My friends wife asked the dreaded question the last night, “Who are you voting for?” (Technically, that question and the title of this blogpost should be ‘for whom are you voting?’, but whatever.)
I told her I wasn’t voting at all. Not on the national level, not on the local level. (As an aside: I might go to the polling place in order to write in “NOBODY” for president, and take a picture of it on my phone, but even that seems like a tremendous waste of my time for little personal satisfaction.)
She was perplexed, “You of all people, you’re not voting?”
Her husband, who kind of knows where I’m coming from, joked: “Yeah, he’s one of those people.”
It was neither time- or place-appropriate to discuss the topic, so I just left it at that, “Yes, I’m one of those people.” Her presumption of course, was that I seem to know an awful lot about politics, and she couldn’t understand why someone who knows about politics wouldn’t bother to vote.
But it got me thinking: Sure, I know a lot about the nature of politics, but I know next-to-shit about the measures that are on the ballot locally, and I know next-to-shit about the national Popularity Contest. I couldn’t tell you what it means to vote “No” on Michigan proposal 2, or “Yes” on Prop 1. I have no idea. I don’t know how McCain or Obama plan to have the government create jobs. I don’t know how either one plans to handle world affairs, or domestic affairs. I don’t care, because I know that neither one of them is going to give me one iota more of liberty.
I don’t need to know the specifics of Obama’s plan for the economy, or the specifics of McCain’s plan for the economy in order to tell you why they’re not going to work; I don’t need a crystal ball to tell you that they’re both making promises that can’t or won’t be kept.
They can lie to you, and get away with it time after time, because the amount of bullshit people are willing to believe is proportional to how badly they want it to be true.
Which brings my thoughts full-circle. When people learn that you’re not voting. Some people, like my friend’s wife will be puzzled, “Gee, you know an awful lot more about politics than I do, I can’t believe you’re not voting. Why not?”
The inquiry really needs to be redirected. If you’re voting, and you’re surprised to learn that people you trust as knowledgeable about politics aren’t voting, perhaps it’s you that needs to reconsider.
My knowledge and understanding of politics and the political process has taught me that on balance, no good can ever come from voting. I am not an “informed” voter, in terms of the red herrings paraded as “issues” in politics these days.
I refuse to vote for the person who will rob me less than the other guy. I refuse to vote for the person who will murder fewer brown-skinned foreign people. I refuse to vote for the person who promises to take money from you and give it to me.
So, why are you voting?