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Politics Mondays: Exercise Your Right Not To Vote by Eric Jackson


The election is quickly approaching. Some of us are unsure who we ought to vote for. Allow me to be so bold as to suggest that you avoid the polls altogether.

First I need to dispel the silly notion, moronic at best, that if one does not vote, one cannot complain. In 2004 I voted for the Libertarian Party presidential candidate, Michael Badnarik, who received a whopping 0.4 percent of the vote. And while Badnarik was no doubt pleased with my excursion to the polls, it didnít make a lick of difference in the overall election. In the battle between two C students from Yale, the one who could not delineate his position beat out the one who could not form one. Since my vote was utterly inconsequential, I retained the right to complain irrespective of whether or not I did, in fact, vote.

Tangentially, I wonder if the people who hoist this ubiquitous canard are really intent on applying this to themselves. By their reasoning, I can complain as loudly as I want, but the chumps that voted for Mr. Bush are out of luck when he does all kinds of things they find altogether unpleasant, as, by their standard, one cannot complain if one were foolish enough to vote for the man.

The state of things at the federal level is of two nearly identical parties, forever squabbling, like children, over a silly toy. Donít believe me? Letís say a hypothetical fellow feels that a government which takes a significant amountólet alone between a third and one halfóof a manís income is evil. To which party should he turn? Letís say our man thinks we need not have troops in over 100 countries on the globe. Letís say our man feels that affirmative action is abhorrent, and is an insult to the dream of Dr. King. Letís say he thinks we shouldnít give billions in foreign aid to countries who hate us, or who will use that money to develop weapons for all kinds of nefarious no-good sorts of schemes. Letís say he doesnít much like living in a country where over 44 million babies have been slaughtered through abortion. To whom should he go?

The party of FDR and LBJ is about as likely to reduce the size of government as I am to sprout wings. And while the democratic base is upset, and rightfully so, about our role in Iraq, it is the height of naivety to pretend that the same party that got us involved in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo and Somalia is suddenly going to avoid interventionism. Foreign wars always increase the size of government, which is just one reason why government, especially big government, so often wages them.

Meanwhile, the Republicans increase the size of the federal government faster than the Democrats ever could. Their stance on war is completely indefensible, as well as unsustainable. And the one issue on which they do have some moral high ground, namely in regards to the abortion holocaust, the party is silent. They hide behind court precedent, but the real reason for their silence is that if abortion would be once again made illegal, the Republican party would lose voters, and, by extension, power.

We do not live in a representative republic. Oh, Iím sure it still exists on paper, or maybe in an NSA database somewhere, but the republic is dead. A man cannot be told to choose between two nearly identical men and believe that he has any real power. The process calls to mind Henry Ford, who said you could have whatever color car you wanted, as long as it was black.

This article was published in The Michigan Tech Lode. Comments may be emailed to lodecomment@mtu.edu


Eric Jackson

Monday, October 2, 2006

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