Lew Rockwell has written an interesting article for the latest edition of The American Conservative on not voting. While I’m not sure that I agree at the moment (there is still a week), he does make some interesting points:
we do have the freedom not to vote. No one has yet drafted us into the voting booth. I suggest that we exercise this right not to participate. It is one of the few rights we have left. Nonparticipation sends a message that we no longer believe in the racket they have cooked up for us, and we want no part of it.
I have to agree that it is basically a racket that we participate in. Why else is it harder in most states for 3rd parties to get on the ballot than for the two main parties. Is there a two party system in the constitution (the answer is no)? He continues with:
You might say that this is ineffective. But what effect does voting have? It gives them what they need most: a mandate. Nonparticipation helps deny that to them. It makes them, just on the margin, a bit more fearful that they are ruling us without our consent. This is all to the good. The government should fear the people. Not voting is a good beginning toward instilling that fear.
This year especially there is no lesser of two evils. There is socialism or fascism. The true American spirit should guide every voter to have no part of either.
I am a firm believer that an ignorant vote is much worse than someone not voting.
With that in mind, if someone does not have enough love of their country to go out and register themsevles at another location away from their house and also have enough love of their country to go out and vote on election day at an voting station, then I certainly don’t think they have enough love of their country to look up issues and vote responsibly.
So I am personally not in favor of internet voting, voting from home, voting early by mail or anything that does not require a person to actually do something out of the ordinary. Obviously, there may be exceptions to those that cannot physically move or be moved or other such instances, but overall, I think voting has become something people do just because they are told to do it, rather than because they want to do it.
I think we should pray every day that only those people that care about their country and have taken time to actually research issues and people will actually vote.
Or maybe, like in Starship Troopers, only those who have served in the military for a certain amount of time can have the privilege of voting!
I do agree with Lew Rockwell’s sentiment. However, case can also be made (and has been made by Ron Paul) that voting for a 3rd party is equally a protest against the “racket they have cooked up for us.” I hope, like Ron Paul, that enough people vote 3rd party that the establishment is forced to notice. Personally, I think it sends a more tangible message than a non-vote. After all, a non-vote out of principle is indistinguishable from a non-vote out of laziness, apathy, or inattention. I find it unfortunate that Rockwell would disagree with the one main point that Ron Paul made in the greatly-hyped news conference he set up.
The more I think about it I don’t really agree with Lew Rockwell. I don’t think there is anything wrong with not voting, but when I do have some choices that I like I definitely want to vote for them. At the same time I wouldn’t be too unhappy if no one voted because everyone was fed up with Washington.