If you know anything about me, you know that I don’t like government. I don’t just think the government is over-sized and grossly out of control -I’m not fond of the idea, at all. I don’t vote, and I’m very vocal about it (it’s my form of representation…) -I don’t want to tell anyone else what to do anymore than I want to be told what to. I see involuntary democracy as a threat to freedom, so you can imagine my reservation when a friend of mine asked me to take his wife to go vote because he was unable to. She actually mentioned this conflict of interest to him -the election has been a big topic of discussion for us, lately.
Her husband was not voting -he shares my distrust for governmental authority, but she is a strong social liberal and has received a lot of pressure from many of her friends to vote for Obama, despite her reservations about the man. She’s also felt a lot of pressure from her husband and I (though not direct) to refrain from participating not just in the election, but voting, all together. She has fairly libertarian values when it comes to government and has never felt compelled to vote in elections because she didn’t want to waste her vote in this duopoly political system that dominates our government, but with all of the nonsense about how Republicans are going to take away womens rights and send black people back to the cotton fields, she started doing some research and began to pressure herself into voting.
Many people feel that voting is an important element of the regulatory process of government -they see the evolution of voting in America as the struggle for equal right, as government ended-up in the hands of corrupt jerks who used took advantage of the limited representation of government, and I don’t blame them; we not only restricted voting to white, land-owning males -we enslaved other human beings, and this was supported by laws that were passed by elected officials… obviously, something needed to be done.
I appreciate the struggle that others went through so that everyone can vote, but I have no faith in voting to bring about change in anything other than government… which I’m not fond of in the first place. I talked a little bit about my issues with voting a few weeks ago (*Consent to Be Governed) and this is really a big issue to discuss… I believe most people vote for all the wrong reasons, and regardless of people who actually have faith in this demagoguery, it’s all so distorted that we’ve become accustomed to ideas like “settling for the lesser of two evils”… obviously, something needs to be done.
I decided to take my friend up to the polls to cast her ballot, but while we stood in line, all I could think about was what an arbitrary ritual voting has become and all of the people who were voting for all of the wrong reasons -all of the people who were voting based on lies, and all of the people who had false hope in bringing some kind of change about through voting. As my friend walked out of the voting booth and dropped off her ballot card, I asked her what she decided to do… she voted for Gary Johnson. We both laughed about the pointlessness of her vote, and even though I don’t agree with government or voting -I was proud to have helped a member of my community participate in the voting process who actually cared about not only the truth of the issues, but was brave enough to stick with her principles and throw her vote to the wind.