As the midterm season comes to a climax, candidates continue to argue their positions, back and forth. From New York to California and every place in between, Democrats and Republicans fight with tooth and claw in order to secure their positions of power. They get these positions, of course, by the power of the vote. However, it does not have to be this way. A cultural shift is possible, and can finally lead society away from the battling for control, under the brilliant guise of democratic freedom. I now will present a list of 10 reasons not to vote this November.
The Impracticality of Voting
1) Mathematically, an individual’s vote does not count. In the 2016 election, over 137 million people voted. This gives each voter about 0.0000007% of the total vote. In any other mathematical sense, one would recognize this lack of significance. To put it in context, the ratio is the same as 0.41 square miles of the entire planet’s land surface area. This is not a statistically relevant percentage.
2) Also, most states do not offer much of a choice anyway. Almost without fail, California will run Democrat, and Alabama Republican. So, if your state is solidly leaning towards one candidate on election day, your vote makes no noticeable difference. For example, a vote for Donald Trump in Texas makes no difference, as he won the state by nine points.
3) Frankly, it is a waste of time and money. Polling places often have long lines and may be miles away from voters’ homes. Why spend the time or money on gas standing to pull a lever that does not make a statistical difference? There are better, more productive things to do with free time on a Tuesday.
A Lack of True Representation
4) When selecting a preferred candidate, you will inevitably have to sacrifice some of your beliefs. There are too many important issues out there for the candidates to cover every combination of beliefs possible. One candidate, for example, may share your belief about taxation, but not war. Why should you have to sacrifice one of those? By staying home, you do not abandon any principles.
5) Only a very narrow set of beliefs are actually represented on the list of viable options. Of course, most ballots only have Republicans and Democrats listed. If there are more choices, though, they are generally third parties without a prayer of winning. When the viable options are on such a narrow spectrum (Democrats and Republicans, ideologically, are not far apart) most people will not see true representation.
6) A politician has no real reason not to break a campaign promise. Now, throughout the election season, candidates make statements that they often do not keep in office. By voting, you are not voting for those statements, but for the person. More often than not, you will not be getting what you asked for, as politicians often go back on their words. Don’t want to get conned? Don’t participate.
Political Reasons Not to Vote
7) When it comes down to it, a vote is an expression, however small, of political power. But, it is not morally right to use power over another person, especially when that person has not done anything to you in the first place. By voting, you are saying that it is okay for this preferred politician to use force against my neighbor. Rather than selecting who should use force against your neighbor, stay home and declare that nobody should use force against you, your neighbor, or anyone else.
8) A vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil. Even when voting against one candidate, you are voting for another one. Regardless of the circumstances, it is wrong to personally endorse a candidate that will do wrong. In the modern day especially, the vast majority of elections come down to this idea, which leads to a number of people unknowingly voting for evil themselves. In complacency, the worst evils of mankind can arise.
9) When someone votes, they are accepting the will of the majority. Basically, a voter claims to support the right thing, but if more people support the wrong thing, then that’s okay because it was a democratic decision. In issues as important as war, we cannot let a voting body decide this. No amount of people, majority or otherwise, should get legal protection of inhumane acts like war. But by voting, you accept the eventual outcome of the election. Thus, contrary to popular opinion, if you do vote, then you shouldn’t be complaining. You consented to the system and agreed to a majority outcome. Only by refusing to participate can you truly say that the resulting poor actions are not your fault in any way.
10) Lastly, voting for the right is doing nothing for it. If you truly do oppose something inhumane, like war, you should oppose it absolutely, rather than conditionally. A vote is a conditional opposition because when the majority wins, the right principles do not succeed. Instead, it is better to persuade people of your principles in a tangible way, rather than hoping that someone else will use coercion to enforce them. If you oppose wars, you are not ending them by voting for someone who may or may not do so. However, you could help to actually end the atrocities by persuading civilians not to become soldiers, starting a charity that donates to victims, or any number of other methods. Clearly, an action for the right is infinitely stronger than a vote for it.
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