Why I didn't vote
(this is from 2012. I'll revisit it at some point).
I guess you may not be surprised to find someone with a blog titled "apathy
online" didn't vote. But my non-vote had nothing to do with apathy or
laziness. Voting in this country is a huge mess of nonsense at this point, but
here is what it really is, in no particular order. These reasons stem from me
considering myself a Christian, and desiring to live according to Christ's
teachings, namely, "... Love one another ..." I'll add verse references later
perhaps. I've been extremely busy not being lazy, but I'm sure you are
intelligent enough to find what I'm alluding to. Even Jesus didn't use Bible
- I am not just voting for me. I would never be voting for someone to be 'my president,' I would be voting for someone to be your president too. It's a moot point if you are participating by voting also -- participating in the game means you agree to the rules and outcome. What about the people who don't participate or can't participate for whatever reason? Should I be participating in a schoolyard game that enforces it's rules on those who don't play? Isn't that what bullies do? Does that demonstrate love?
- My vote makes me responsible in a way for what I vote for. It would be an endorsement for the actions of a particular candidate. I am saying, "I want this." When I voted in 2004, I voted for Bush. I was saying "I want George Bush as my President." And back then I did. And I got what I wanted: a horrible person was given power to do horrible things in my name. In 2008, I decided I would vote my ideals, and voted for Chuck Baldwin (who was even endorsed by Ron Paul). I wanted Chuck Baldwin. And Chuck Baldwin turned out to be fascist leaning. In light of the previous point, should I really be trying to force my neighbor to be under Bush? Under Baldwin? Under Obama? Under Romney? If I am opposed to the ideas of a candidate, should I be endorsing that candidate?
- The American system is not the best thing ever, oorah. The American system is based on violence. The government tells the people what to do, and enforces those dictates with threats of violence. Practically speaking, that's just how it works. It's just dressed up to look civilized and nice. Worse still, many people, thinking this is okay, try to use that violence for their own means, using the state, and voting to command things over their peers. This isn't just an Obama thing. This isn't just a GOP thing. We have a culture where it's perfectly acceptable to use violence to get our way, and we rationalize it by abstracting the instruments of violence away. We vote to raise taxes, vote to ban 'drugs,' give away land, etc. And in the end, all these things we legislate on our neighbors and fellow Americans is backed by threats of violence, usually via arrest. Is this something I should contribute to? Did Christ say I should participate in violently forcing my neighbor to do anything? Should I be endorsing a system of neighborly oppression by my participation?
- Christs kingdom is not of this world. Jesus wasn't partisan. He did not root for the Romney of the Roman Empire. He didn't cheer the Obama either. And when the people 'voted' to make Him ruler, He didn't want any part of it.
- God didn't want insertCandidateName to be president. There is a horrible presumption in modern Christianity that God want's X candidate to be elected, therefore Christians must rise up and vote for God's chosen person. A person that shares God's values and is a 'Christian.' Usually this person argues for killing in Christ's name, stealing in Christ's name and oppressing in Christ's name. And the church says that it is God's candidate? Isn't this blasphemy/taking Christ's name in vain? Didn't anyone learn anything from the history of the crusades, manifest destiny and other horrible actions that were labeled "of God?"
I'm sure there are valid reasons for voting, however, the above is why I did
not and will not vote. These are not excuses for "laziness." Instead of
participating in voting to change the world, I've decided to work outside of
that: real work, and not just donating to causes I like. There really is an
entire world outside of the political landscape that gets neglected. Your
neighborhood, your family and friends are all in your sphere of influence. You
can be a friend. You can help others instead of demanding that others help.
You can use your time and money towards causes as you see fit without forcing
others to join you.