Sunday, October 21, 2012

Why I Don't Vote

Voting is the keystone of the democratic system, at least that's what we have been told our entire lives (assuming you come from a country with a democratic voting system). But is voting really that important?

I get criticized a lot for my outward refusal to vote, some argue I am squandering my rights, others are upset that as a relatively educated individual I have chosen to take my opinion out of the ring and allow further leverage to the extremists and crazies.

But above all else what has perplexed me is that few people have ever bothered to ask me who it is I would vote for. I guess they assume I would vote in agreement with their tastes, but this is an awful bold assumption considering the value they place on a single vote and the statistical probability that my vote could just as likely lose the election for them as win it.

When I press the issue, asking,"would you still be adamant I vote if you found out I lean towards the other side of the aisle," I am met with a startling answer, "Yes!" they proclaim, before explaining, "I simply believe everyone should be informed and vote."

This explanation befuddles me, as these same people are the same who have all but deified their candidate of choice well simultaneously demonizing the opposition. So under what pretense could they possibly want to encourage my support of something they so strongly oppose.

I have yet to find any explanation for this obsession with my participation in politics. When asked about baseball and I explain I don't follow the sport I am never accosted with such angry rhetoric about being un-American, or how I have been given the freedom to watch baseball and therefore I must keep up to date on the goings on of America's favorite pastime.

"So why don't you vote," I sense you screaming at your computer screen, sick of me avoiding the question like so many of the politicians whom will participate in nationwide popularity contest, and the coolest kid wins the girl, or something like that. So here is my list of reaons...because you all love lists so much!

3. Most People Are Morons...
and under the democratic voting system the vote of a moron is just as valuable as the vote of a college political science professor, or me own vote. It's hard to find coherence in participating in a system that values my opinion equally to Honey Boo Boo's Mother's or the redneck living down by the creek in a rotting old trailer.
If I were to propose a way of verifying or valufying a person's vote, I would suggest a test. Not anything opinion based, just pure facts such as,
Are we currently at war?
A. Yes
B. No

Where does the President of The United States live while in office?
A. Portugal
B. Florida
C. Washington D.C.
D. Nebraska

Which of these is a political party?
A. Green
C. Wal*Mart
D. None of the above

I can already here the criticism, "What about Spanish, or other non English, speaking residents?," "This discriminates against the lower class!," "Somehow this is racist!" All of those issues can be addressed later, in fact other than the first comment they aren't issues, they are just stupid comments made by a political party who assumes it's voters will be adversely effect by the tests qualifications. But hey it would get rid of the people who clearly are too ill informed to be voiting.

2. Waste of Time
One vote doesn't matter, and if it does then someone will challenge the results and that vote won't matter, the decision of the courts will matter.

I currently live in Pennsylvania, the candidates don't even bother to stop by because it's a blue state and will remain a blue state for the foreseeable future. In fact in Pennsylvania if a candidate wins Philadelphia they have basically won the entire state. Never mind that this makes a State where a majority of the counties are red, turn blue for any National elections. So if I was to vote Republican my vote would be a waste as a republican will not win, and if I was to vote democrat it would be equally a waste as by the time my vote was even counted the democratic victory would be announced.
And while my state is one of the many that is not a swing state, even in the swing state one vote is astronomically unlikely to matter, and again as we saw in 2000 when it is close the decision is left up to the courts, not the official vote count.
And just to say I mentioned it, there is the whole electoral college thing, which makes many entire states voting preference nearly meaningless. But really when it comes down to it, I don't consider the above reasons when choosing not to vote, I simply don't vote because...

1. I Don't Care
All the candidates are hand picked by committees, they are groomed into great speech givers and excellent debaters. Each candidate has a team feeding him or her the "right" answers to any question and few have any issue changing opinion to align themselves with public opinion. Both parties have the same goal and motivation, money, and are funded by the same or incredibly similar interests.

In the end a candidate is chosen not by the voters but by political organizations and billion dollar companies. Many of the policy they preach the will enact they never do, and may of the policies they swear to overturn, they allow to continue and even extend.
All in all I don't care, because they don't care about me. If they want to raise taxes they will, people will complain but then everyone will get use to the hike and continue chugging along in their lives. So I have opted to save my time and energy fighting for or against the system in favor of rambling about my world views.

You're Welcome!

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