Thoughts on voting

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Today is election day, the day when people are given the usually very poor choice between two candidates to rule over themselves and their neighbors.  I am not into voting in elections anymore.  I simply have better ways to spend my time as the individual vote is literally statistically meaningless in an election with any sort of volume.  The chances that your vote will change the outcome of an election is for all intents and purposes zero.  And please, don’t tell me my vote matters if your only supporting arguments are a handful of empty platitudes.  Maybe I’d be a bit more positive about it if the candidates weren’t carefully picked so that the political elite and their friends end up winning and everyone else loses.  Remember Romney vs Obama?  Most conservatives hated Romney during the primaries but as obedient pawns they ended up supporting and voting for him anyway.

Ask your friends and family about who they’re voting for today.  Ask them what they like about the candidates and specifically what they like about their proposed policy.  Most people will not actually know what they’re supporting.

And people want me to be confident in a system like that?

We shouldn’t have to vote.  It’s not a duty and it’s not a right–it’s an imposition on our individual sovereignty.  Still, it isn’t necessarily wrong to vote.  If you are able to vote for a candidate that will increase freedom, it’s a step in the right direction and makes sense in a practical manner.  Imagine being stopped on the street by a man who says that he’s going to let you choose whether he’s going to slap you in the face or punch you in the face.  He doesn’t have the right to impose either on you, but you have a pretty good idea that if you abstain from deciding, a slap or punch to the face is guaranteed.  So it makes sense to pick being slapped to prevent being punched.  This doesn’t mean you consent to being hit but instead is simply a means to minimize the harm created by a bad situation.

Voting is no different.  Having decisions for your life be put up for a vote will all but certainly result in something bad for you even if you don’t agree with the system in place that does this.  Regardless of whether or not you vote, someone is going to be forcing their preferences on you.  If you can vote for someone who seems like they will minimize the harm imposed on you, then that why not try if you think it’s going to work?  This is why while I personally don’t have much interest in politics, I support those who choose to try to work within the system to change it.  Ron Paul is the perfect example of someone who did just this.  He asked people to vote for him and won elections in order to spread the message of liberty.

The point is that there are many ways to spread liberty and make actual change.  That may or may involve elections and voting, but if you choose to use the election as a means to your end, then it is important to understand that the vote by itself is useless.