Voting Against

Some of my friends have been asking people to not vote, as a protest against the corrupt system. It won’t work.

Don’t misunderstand me: I agree that the system is corrupt. Elections are regularly fixed — NOT, as the conspiracy theorists would suggest, by stuffed ballot boxes and voter farming, but rather by the simpler method of limiting the pool of candidates to those Wall Street and the Establishment would find acceptable. We have a choice between terrible and worse.

Which is why I intend to vote against.

Environmentalists and hunters both love the wild; in any reasonable world they should work together.  The NRA probably has some excellent ideas about gun control (in addition to Use both hands) but nobody on the Left would dream of asking, and very few of listening. The overwhelming majority of Americans agree on what the ideal abortion law ought to be, and yet every election cycle we’re forced to choose between two extreme opposite views that have nothing in common with the majority opinion.

For most of us, there is no real power to choose. Our states are unavoidably partisan, run by intractable political machines. If we vote for the party that’s in control, we endorse what they’re doing and how. And so I suggest we vote against them. If you’re in California, vote Republican; if you’re in Alabama, vote Democrat. Show your discontent; seize it as a banner and march behind it.

If you happen to live in a battleground state, you may actually have some power to impact the decision. Use it wisely. But if you can’t decide, consider voting third party. A vote for a third-party candidate is a vote against — and it’s a powerful thing.  Invalid votes are discarded without counting; these include votes for Mickey Mouse and anyone else who isn’t on the ballot.  But in many races, third party candidates are on the ballot, and those votes will be counted.  People in power will pay attention; they live and die by public opinion — by the polls.  (If they didn’t, there wouldn’t be polls to begin with.)

A vote against is measurable, and there are laws against tampering with those numbers. Granted, those in power wouldn’t shy from breaking laws, but the counting is done precinct by precinct across the country, by volunteers as well as by party hacks and paid shills. Some of that protest will be heard, even if some is suppressed (as the alt media suggests).

And politicians live and die by public opinion.  They will take notice — if you vote against.

Some of you may have heard about the Forward Party. They have a slate of candidates they’ve endorsed; if you live in Nevada or Utah, you may be able to vote for them. Otherwise, probably not. This may change between now and 2024; we can hope. A lot will depend on whether certain prominent political figures are influenced by the results in 2022.

I believe they can be, depending on how people vote.  The political machine incumbents will probably win — but the narrower their margins of victory, the more they’ll listen to their constituents. If we act in concert, we can make those margins very narrow indeed.

So if you like the way things are, by all means: Don’t bother to vote.  Your silence will count as approval for the way things are.

If you believe as I believe, that our elected representatives don’t represent us and that our government does things we ought to be ashamed of, then you should vote against.

Make your vote count for something — for a change.

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