by John Roscoe and Ned Roscoe
1. You know the present political system doesn’t work. You know it doesn’t make a difference who wins. It won’t make a difference who wins. It won’t make a difference to you.
2. You don’t believe the majority is always right. Your parents told you the truth when they said they didn’t care what the other kids did, you ought to do what’s right on your own.
3. You think the government has your name on a enough pieces of paper.
4. You don’t want to give any candidate the idea that he or she represents you.
5. You think all candidates are lying.
6. You believe you are victimized by politics and politicians. You don’t want to give the sanction of the victim to any politician.
7. You think it’s immoral to impose your view on others. You believe the best course of action will be decided by individuals without government interfernce.
8. You think the candidates would say anything, promise anything, and do anything to get elected.
9. You believe power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. You believe incumbent politicians attain absolute power.
10. You want to send a message to politicians that government isn’t the most important thing in your life and you are not going to waste your time voting.
11. You have something better to do with your time.
12. You want to join the 75 percent of American adults who won’t vote for the next President of the United States.
13. You don’t think political parties represent ideologies. You think the parties are a collection of people who combine to attain power over others.
14. You don’t have an intelligent or logical reason to vote. You prefer to act in ways that make sense to you.
15. You know the incumbent almost always wins. You don’t think it’s in your best interest to add to the power of politicians.
16. You don’t believe in the Civic Religion. You don’t worship this way.
17. You didn’t register. You want to avoid jury duty.
18. You don’t believe what they told you in high school Civics. The system doesn’t work as they said it would. Since they were wrong about the system, they were almost certainly wrong about the good voting does.
19. You don’t want to give government any reason to get bigger, or to legitimize it. You think the 44 percent of the Gross National Product they now spend is enough.
20. You think nonvoting makes a bigger statement than voting.
Here’s the deal, boys and girls.
Let’s say we Throw the Bums Out, and put the Republicans back in power.
Do you really believe they’ll dismantle the damage done over the last two years? The last twelve? The last sixty? Damage they enthusiastically embraced?
Will they stop the war on drugs? The war on guns? The war on privacy?
Will they kill Obamacare? Not tweak it, not pull back, not ameliorate, not weaken the individual mandate, but just kill the whole damn filthy thing, cut it out root and branch, and salt the foul earth it grew from?
No, me neither. I don’t think they’ll do any one of those things, which is about the minimum that will satisfy me.
If I vote this year, it will be to deliver one last shock to the system. One last attempt to play by the rules, to remind Those Who Would Rule who’s really [supposed to be] in charge.
One last time to say, OK, I tried to warn you.
One last time to be part of what looks like one of the biggest upsets in electoral history.
And, frankly, if the worst happens, if the lame ducks openly revolt against the people, if Obama tries to have the vote thrown out on charges of fraud, or even if he just goes ahead and declares martial law, (none of which I seriously expect, not even from him) I want to be able to say, that’s my vote you tried to suppress, my voice you tried to silence.
But, dammit, I was saying similar things last election. I voted anyway, and ended up with Obama as my President.
Do I really want to play the game? I expect turnout will be huge this year. Whoever wins will be able to say, “I have the people behind me”, as he puts another rivet in our chains.
If our government were in its proper role, voting or not wouldn’t matter all that much, because it wouldn’t have that much power over our individual lives, and I could vote with a clear conscience.
Instead, it has enormous power, and if my vote actually had an effect, it would matter a very great deal.
I fear, though, that my vote has no power, that instead it gives my power away to those who would rule. Voting is now, in essence, your consent to be ruled.
But I really, really, really don’t want to accept the implications of that.
It’s what Billy Beck keeps saying: “All politics is now rehearsal for civil war.”
I don’t want to be in a civil war. I’m old, and weak, and poorly trained and poorly prepared.
I want to vote, and know that my elected servants are dealing with all the crap I don’t care about.
But I can’t do that, can I?
Who you vote for doesn’t matter a lick. Voting or not matters, more than it ever has in all our history, and I hate that.