OFF HIS ADVICE
WHY YOU MUST KEEP VOTING, DESPITE JOE'S CALL NOT TO
By: Rich Smith
Ether Zone columnist Joe Blow sucked pretty bad
with his Sept. 13 advice to stop voting.
Ordinarily, a Joe Blow job on these pages is a heady experience. But, this time, I got
no satisfaction. And Ill bet few other readers found his latest full-throated
mouthing to be very pleasurable, either.
Truthfully, the Blowster is a good guy, and I hope he takes no offense
at my criticism of his performance, or at any of my linguistic foreplay - er, wordplay -
here. But the fact remains that his reasoning is flaccid about why its detrimental
to vote in erections - I mean, elections (one more lame double-entendre like that and
youll have every right to spam the living daylights out of my e-mailbox, or at least
tattle on me to fellow Ether Zone comedian Doug Powers that Im stealing his Hooters
To summarize Blows position, voting is immoral because it is an act that gives
legitimacy to the socialist form of government now reigning in America. Furthermore,
lending legitimacy to the illegitimate serves only to degrade the principled,
freedom-loving individual who casts a ballot. And, to top it all off, the vote is
basically worthless anyway, since it has power to change absolutely nothing in a
duopolistic party system where Democrats and Republicans are completely interchangeable.
Thus, youll feel better about yourself if you simply refrain from participating
in this fraudulent scheme, Blow and his cited sources contend.
Now Ill point up the fatal flaws in this thinking. First of all, like it or not,
you accord legitimacy to the government every time you pay taxes, whether directly via
income and sales taxes or indirectly through your purchases of products and services
containing so-called value-added taxes. Actually, come to think of it, paying taxes
legitimizes the government about 1.5 trillion times more forcefully each year than have
all the votes cast in all the elections since Franklin Roosevelts debut as the first
modern American socialist ruler.
You might counter by arguing that voting is a voluntary act, whereas paying taxes is
involuntary. Try telling that to any tax protestor. If hes worth his salt, Mr.
Protestor will respond by punching you in the nose - but not before spelling out in vast
detail why no one is compelled to file with the Internal Revenue Service and its spawn
across the 50 states.
Blows legitimization assertion completely crumbles as you begin to realize just
how frequently and freely you give your approval to government. Legitimacy is conferred
each time you cooperate with government in any capacity and whenever you utilize any of
the services or benefits it provides.
For example, drive your car on a government-built and -maintained highway, and you are
utilizing one of governments provisions (forget that this is the kind of provision
sanctioned by the Constitution - remember that so is voting). Buckle your seatbelt as
required by law and you are cooperating with an immoral mandate of that illegitimate
government, no matter that you use the safety harness by informed choice to protect
yourself from injury in the event of a collision rather than because you fear getting a
ticket from the traffic cop and having your car insurance rates rise through the ceiling.
Hell, just go buy an automobile and youve legitimized this illegitimate
government once again, since your purchase stands as a bold, prima facie endorsement of
the myriad and totally insane regulations inflicted on the carmaker (in other words, when
you agree to buy the car, youre voting with your dollars and in effect telling the
government you support the illegitimate idea of federally-mandated emissions standards,
fuel-economy goals, automobile factory health and safety rules, raw materials shipping and
handling requirements, worker hiring practices, non-discrimination guidelines, handicap
accommodations, sexual-harassment protections, et cetera ad naseum).
Bottom-line, government is so invasive in our lives today that nothing we do short of
dropping out of society and taking up residence as hermits in one of those dank, smelly
caves left behind by the fleeing al-Qaeda crowd in the hills of Michigan is going to spare
us from granting legitimacy to the government. That being the case, you might as well keep
voting, just as you might as well keep using the highways and buying automobiles.
As to your vote not mattering because the two major parties are, for all intents and
purposes, one and the same: theres no law that says you may only vote Democrat or
Republican. OK, dont hand me that line about voting for a third party is like
throwing away your vote. Remember that the Republican party was once a third party. It
caught on because it had a platform that resonated with huge numbers of Americans - and in
the mid-1800s, Republicans had no 21st Century-type marvels of mass media to
help them become known to the electorate. I believe unshakably that if a third party once
before in history could rise up and come to dominate the political landscape for
generations, then it can happen again in our future. But it will almost certainly never
happen if you and I stop voting.
Besides, voting has real significance in places like California, where the people have
power to directly enact laws of their own and even to amend their state constitution.
Granted, most of the good stuff we Californians put on the ballot and pass gets
eviscerated by leftist judges - but, sooner or later, well wise up and float an
initiative that includes a clause declaring that no portion of the proposed measure is
subject to judicial review or cancellation.
Finally, voting is pivotally important at the level closest to home - in city-council
elections, school-board contests, and even in the match-ups for the all-important post of
dog catcher. This is where the votes of just a handful of individuals can be decisive in
determining the outcome of a race. We can dicker (sorry, I cant seem to help myself,
double-entendre-wise) over the value of conservatives winning small-potatoes local offices
when nowadays everything is controlled with an iron fist from Washington, D.C. But
lets dont. Lets just look at it from the position that, if you and I as
members of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy can take control of councils and school boards,
were one step closer to taking control of our states. And, from there, its
only a short hop, skip and jump from deposing the entrenched socialists in the
So, heres what I want you to do. Number one, keep voting. Number two, vote for
the third-party guys (but only those who are legitimate conservatives in an actual
conservative third-party). Number three, run for local office yourself, and use your own
vote to help get yourself elected (then, once youre in power, be sure to send me a
cut of the graft youre able to get in on - no, er, ah; just kidding).
And finally, never ever in any way, shape or form allow yourself to embrace through
thought, word or deed this thing called defeatism. Because defeatism is the ultimate
mechanism by which you confer legitimacy on that which is illegitimate.
Rich Smith has been a freelance journalist since 1976 and is
currently based in a nearly liberal-free zone along the rim of California's fearsome
Mojave Desert. He is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.
"Published originally at EtherZone.com :
republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."
Rich Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in the September 23, 2002 issue of Ether Zone.
Copyright © 1997 - 2002 Ether
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