Monday, November 1, 2010

Why Bother?

The midterm elections are tomorrow, and I'm hearing a significant number of people say they're so disgusted with the whole mess that they aren't going to vote at all. While those folks may think they're making some kind of statement by staying home, I don't think it's a very constructive one.

Two years ago, Dear Leader was elected by a scant 52%-48% majority. Less than a third of registered Republicans bothered to show up. I'm not saying McCain was a great alternative by any means, but I doubt he could have effed things up as badly as the Demonrat Democrat dictatorship that resulted.

Like it or not, we still have (more or less) free elections in this country. Friends who have become US citizens after escaping truly horrific repressive regimes are incredulous that so many Americans ignore their voting rights.

Just as with the right to effective self-defense, incrementalism works both ways. This country didn't get in the toilet overnight, and it won't get out overnight. Job One is to do everything we can to break the current force monopoly in Congress. After that, we need to hold the replacements accountable, and vote them out if or when they fail.

Linoge points us to an excellent discussion of the resistance continuum. We still have many, many ways to work within the ballot box before the cartridge box is our only recourse. We have an absolute obligation to exhaust every single one of those ways first. Sitting out elections is not the way to do so.

The world is run by the people who show up. VOTE!


Viatecio said...

What I get frustrated with is that the people for whom I vote don't have a snowball's chance in That Place of getting into office.

Some call it "throwing away your vote," and I can see exactly why. However, it still doesn't make me any more likely to vote for either of the major parties, especially when they both have such original ideas that have failed so spectacularly in the past that they feel the need to rinse and repeat with a different soap.

I saw a bumper sticker on a car and it's always resonated in my mind: "Republicans/Democrats: Same shit, different pile."

I still vote, and I'm proud to do so, but the frustration with knowing that my chosen candidates regularly get only a single digit percentage of the votes sometimes gets me down a little bit.

parabarbarian said...

In a free society, voting would be reserved for those things that don't matter as long as everyone agrees to do it the same way. Like which side of the road do we drive on.