01 June, 2008

If You Don't Vote, Then Don't Complain

Obviously, I strongly disagree with this statement. Well, maybe it's not so obvious to you. But being a non-voter who is inclined to complain about the way things are, it reasonably follows that I would disagree with that statement. There's this really perverse notion in this country - this pro-voting hysteria - that suggests that a person who chooses not to vote is also choosing to give up certain of his rights. Like the right to voice his opinion, for one thing. "If you really gave a damn, you'd vote. Since you don't vote, then you're all talk. You're a hypocrite. You're wasting our time." Bullshit.

Okay, so this country is supposed to be run by a democracy, or something similar to a democracy. By the people, for the people, of the people, all of that stuff. But I'm afraid it's not that simple. There are people, and there are persons, and frequently the people trample the persons. But the reason that this is a problem, is because not one of us is a people; no, each and every one of us is a person, and each of every one of us is getting trampled by the people. Luckily for the majority, they are persons that most closely resemble the people, and so the damage done to them is considerably less. But for the minority persons out there, it's a nightmare.

I've explained this philosophy before. What I wanted to say was, the idea of a democracy is that every person gets a say in the governing body. Politicians do the governing, and it's our votes as citizens that represent our participation in that governing. It's a representative sort of thing. But that's exactly where the "democracy" part fails. How the fuck am I supposed to get my voice heard in the governing body, when I'm in the minority? We're running on a popular vote system here. The minority will ALWAYS lose. It doesn't matter if every single minority voted for their cause, the majority will STILL trump them. Voting is a meaningless exercise in this context.

Take Code Geass. Suzaku and Lelouch both want the same things - a peaceful world where people are treated with respect. At least I think that's what Suzaku actually wants, sometimes it's hard to tell through his hypocritical actions. Anyhow, the difference in their two methods is key. Suzaku wants to work within the system, but what Lelouch understands that Suzaku fails to see, is that Britannia itself is corrupt. As long as Britannia remains in power, Suzaku and Lelouch's goal will never be completed. That's why Lelouch is determined to fight and overcome Britannia, to install his own better plan for the world. Suzaku can spend his entire life working within the Britannian system, getting promotions here, overturning rules and bylaws there, but he will never accomplish that goal, because Britannia is Britannia.

Aiming back at the democracy thing, and the American Empire, voting only encourages them. The greatest thing you can do is to not vote. Imagine the result if a record number of people simply did not vote. Do you think it would mean that all those people simply don't care? Of course they care. It would be a powerful wake-up call to the people in charge, a huge message of "this isn't working, and we refuse to continue to take part in it."

Am I implying that the American government is so corrupt that it needs to be overthrown? Perhaps, but I don't necessarily feel that strongly about it. This is just an example. I am only a minority, and no matter what my opinions are, it won't make a difference, because I'll always be drowned out by the voice of the majority. So it doesn't really matter what I think or say. But my ultimate point is, voting does nothing for me. Whether I vote for Candidate A or for Candidate B, it's not gonna change my life or my world in the way that I want to see it change. When faced with two evils, I refuse to willfully choose either one. I don't support evil. (Keep in mind that there's a HUGE difference between what I consider to be evil, and what the majority labels as "evil") . Does this mean I have no right to complain about that evil? Ridiculous.

I don't vote, but don't take that as a sign that I don't care enough to speak out. Quite the contrary - my willful choice not to vote is the loudest call I can think to make to profess my personal feelings about the issue.

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