If only voting the right person in would work to better our world. The reality of the situation is that it simply enables our self-proclaimed rulers to continue oppressing us.
(SS Op-Ed) - As the midterms approach, the internet has become a flurry of activity. Slogans decorated with pretty colors and the American Flag go up, people cheer for folks they know nothing about and they vote for said people if they like them. Everywhere you see the message "This is the most important midterm election of our lifetime. Go vote!" Everyone on social media is encouraging their friends, family and acquaintances to vote for a small selection of people (who we never know how they get into the running in the first place) and make the world a better place.
Let me explain why I believe this behavior to be misguided.
I've been a non-voter all my life. There are many reasons why, chief among them that I don't pretend to know what's best for other people to be doing with their lives. But there are many other concepts to consider when deliberating on whether or not to sign up to vote.
One reason is because of this quote I found while scrolling through Facebook:
If one votes, one participates. If one participates, one condones and endorses the process, and subsequently, what those elected ‘representatives’ do and say in your name.
If you go and vote, you are participating in the activity of your own free will, and if you participate, you essentially tell the politicians you voted for that they can do whatever they like because you obviously agree with them by showing your allegiance through voting. In addition, the promises the politicians make are null and void because they are allowed to lie to their constituents to gain the favor of those who would elect them. Once the politicians gain such favor, they are in office and no longer have any reason whatsoever to listen to the whims of their supporters; they can, in essence, completely ignore the people because there can be no consequences for reneging on their promises. And the only way to fix that problem is to suffer through their policies for four years and wait to vote them out; and after that, the person that inherits their armchair will follow the established behavior of previous politicians and do the exact thing the previous person was voted out of office for. It is an endless cycle that cannot be broken by "voting for the right person."
Secondly, the very act of voting lends legitimacy to a very dangerous idea. This is the idea that it's perfectly acceptable for the majority to use the brutally coercive and threatening government to impose their will on those who would resist or not consent to their preferences, laws and ideas. No matter what the laws are or how arbitrary, trivial or useless they seem, if someone chooses to disobey them the state will then use force (or the threat of force) to compel such people into submission. Because of this, it is an unethical, immoral and unclean act to vote. As the great and respected comedian George Carlin once said: "If you vote, you have no right to complain." This is because if you vote, you tell the state that both the results of the election and the actions of the elected representative, no matter what they may be, are done in your name and with your permission (regardless of whether you object after the fact).
To avoid voting actually gives one the right to complain and protest about the effects of such an action (contrary to popular belief). When someone votes, they essentially make a contractual agreement with the state which hands over the individual's right to speak for themselves to another person. Because of this, that person has been officially recorded and is considered to consent to whatever the government does afterwards. Non-voters, however, have retained their right to speak for themselves and can therefore object to the effects of the election to their heart's content.
Another good point is that by participating in the voting system, the act of voting reinforces the factually false narrative that people cannot harmoniously live together without being violently controlled and regulated. The system of voting uses the threat of force to compel individuals, willing or not, to obey the results of the election, and at the same time has convinced people that without this system, their would be blood, death and rape in every street corner. However, most people have some idea that one should not infringe on the rights of another and the average individual is generally a morally righteous person at heart; after all, most people vote in the name of doing good (unaware that they are encouraging the opposite). There are no laws written that say murder is unlawful or rape is unlawful, and yet we prosecute these terrible injustices anyway because we know they are wrong. Besides, the human race would not have survived if competition superseded cooperation, so people almost always find ways of coexisting harmoniously; for those few who decide that theft, rape and murder is something they want to commit, that is what self-defense and the ownership of weapons is for.
Participation in the system (voting) also implies that the majority of people know what's best for everyone, despite the fact that only the individual could possibly understand how best to lead their own lives. Voting is tantamount to pretending you speak for everyone's best interests when in reality you only speak for yourself and maybe some others who share your exact beliefs.
Voting is also tantamount to governing by way of mob rule, because after the majority has elected a candidate and that candidate enacts legislation, the majority (essentially, the mob) then enforces its views and opinions on the rest of society via violence or the threat of violence. The act of voting is essentially one saying: "If I win, everyone who does not agree with me must be punished." And this punishment, one way or the other, ends up being the point of a gun whether a gun is actually drawn or people are simply afraid of being in such a situation. By voting, the voter quite literally condones and encourages the use of force against completely peaceful, innocent individuals who simply want to live their lives as they wish.
Voting (and its promoters) also reinforces the concept of "the people" having the power. In reality, it is the bureaucrats, the elected rulers, that have the power that the people sacrificed and gave away to them, and said bureaucrats are generally unaccountable for their actions in office.
In addition, voting is in fact a futile endeavor despite its immorality because, nearly every time, the candidate that has access to more money will gain office because one cannot gain influence without being well financed. Therefore, those with more money will nearly always win, while candidates who are less brimming with wealth will almost invariably lose. The only exceptions seem to be random flukes that can sometimes happen in various states.
One's vote is also, statistically speaking, less influential than a grain of sand upon a beach. The idea that "your vote matters" is actually false and gives the voter a misguided and inflated sense of self esteem. One's vote counts so little that it is tantamount to the chances of winning a lottery, and it is physically easier to be struck by lightning than win millions of dollars gambling. Speaking of gambling, if voting truly did decide which candidate won, then voting is essentially gambling; throwing the freedom in your own life and countless others away to chance and fate's sometimes cruel hand. If the outcome of an election is known, however, voting is futile and the results are illegitimate.
Let's face another fact: the only information about electable politicians people are exposed to daily is information from mainstream media. CNN, Fox News, The Washington Post, the New York Times, and other such outlets for example. And these sources are not legitimate because they are heavily biased in their output of information. CNN is known to be liberally biased media, Fox News is conservatively biased, and the Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos (the owner of Amazon and the richest man in the world as of 2018) and so WaPo will be politically and educationally biased in whatever direction Bezos leans as he would not allow the platform to publish articles critical of things he supports. Government news channels are nothing more than propaganda and cannot be considered good sources of information because that information will obviously be skewed in favor of keeping the current system alive and working. Propagandizing the American citizens is even legal under the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) of 2013, which replaced the Smith-Mundt Act from 1948. The words of politicians cannot be trusted due to their ability to simply lie to the electorate, and what one learns in school is also not viable because school is owned by the federal government and is therefore only going to teach in a way that the government condones. Therefore, public education will only reinforce the idea that voting is a legitimate and good activity and, if a public school does not teach in line with what the federal government wishes, they will simply have their funding pulled or their officials punished and teaching will no longer be possible. If one uses the above sources as their information about the election and uses it to influence their choice, their ability to make a truly informed decision is nil. And if an individual is unsure about the election, he or she will do more for their society by abstaining from voting rather than guessing and coming to regret a mistake.
Another fact is that no individual has the authority to make laws or rules that their neighbors or countrymen are forced to obey. Since this is the case, it is not morally acceptable for any individual to give authority they do not possess over to someone else (i.e., the politician they voted for). Also, if a person knows more about TV shows, celebrities, video games, or sports, than he/she does about matters of actual importance to the people (political philosophy and theory, history, economics, critical thinking, reasoning, etc.) than should such people really be in a position to vote and therefore use violence to enforce their views on others?
A common excuse for voters who dislike voting is that they do not like either of the two candidates, but they feel they must vote and so they "choose the lesser evil." However, the "lesser" evil is still evil and the better choice would be to note vote at all.
In essence, people of the world, the difference between being a non-voter and voter is being a Voluntaryist or an Involuntaryist. If you are a Voluntaryist, your political stance is this:
"I advocate for a society wherein people are free the voluntarily interact with each other."
If you are an Involuntaryist, your political stance is this:
"I advocate for the use of force, or threat of force, against innocent individuals in order to make them comply with my opinions, views and preferences."
It is obvious which one is the moral stance to take. So my friends, if you care about the freedom of humanity and you care about personal liberty, don't vote. Or else you enable tyranny.