Halt! Vote! Rational Reasons for Refusing to Vote - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14713640
Halt! Vote!

Rational Reasons for Refusing to Vote

Some politicians look good in the early going. But the more I hear them say, the more I learn about what they've done, and the more I discover what they plan to do... the worse they seem. It doesn't take long for most of them to appear downright dangerous.

They say the stupidest things and expect us to believe them. They get caught lying and act like it is somebody else's fault. They promise to do what's impossible, like spending trillions on new programs without raising taxes or cutting existing programs. They are unbelievable.

I wonder why most of them are out of the looney bin. I certainly can't agree to give them power over me, you, and the normal people.

In fact, I can't imagine any reason for giving anybody the power to rule.

My vote is my power -- and they're not getting it.
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Giving my vote power to a politician, because he claims he'll use it to serve me...is like giving my gun to a stranger in an alley, because he claims he'll use it to protect me.

Falling for such a ruse makes a person a willing participant in his or her own victimization.
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Politicians are dangerous. Anybody who wants power can't be trusted with it.

Voters are political enablers. The act of voting makes one an accomplice to the abuses of power to come. And believe me, all politicians abuse the power.

If you vote, you are almost as guilty as the politicians.

If you vote, you forfeit your right to complain or resist.

If you don't vote, you aren't part of the problem.

That's why I don't vote.
#14713644
If you don't vote, you HAVE no power. Apathy and abstaining does nothing, because millions of other people aren't going to do the same thing.

No voting is the same as sitting around and doing nothing. Vote for the local representative that you think will make changes in your community instead of fixating on the big picture, that you "feel" you can't change.

If you vote, you forfeit your right to complain or resist.
False. If you DO NOT vote, you are forfeiting this ability. If you choose not to participate, then you are choosing not to participate in any facet of the government.

Your views on politicians are cynical, extremely biased, and very negative. They are also unrealistic.
#14713648
The whole "patriotic duty" stuff is a load of bull, as is the notion that voting is the only way to change things. Nothing ever gets better without mass movements out in the streets. Probably the most insidious thing about voting is that the propaganda behind it deludes people into thinking it's the only power they have, when in fact we have much more power than we realize. In that sense, I'm very much in agreement with the OP.

However, I find this sort of principled non-voting to be equally ludicrous. The system cares even less about your abstention from voting than it does on a third-party voter's throwaway vote for a candidate who will never get elected. The two major parties are indeed bought an paid for by corporate interests, but this in no way means the candidates are all the same. However bad things are, they can always get worse. Strategic voting helps hold back the tide so as to effectively organize a resistance, which can be can more difficult under certain material conditions than others. You're both wrong: Your vote is not your power. It's one tactic among others that can be used as part of a larger overall political strategy, but should never be put on a pedestal, either as an effective means of change or as an effective avenue of protest. Don't waste your principles on such a lazy and ineffective form of protest. Understand the confines within which voting can make a difference, and learn to think outside those limitations.

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#14713651
By all means, vote. I do. Like the previous poster said, things can always get worse. But candidates are representatives of competing interests within the same system, so don't expect any fundamental changes if that's what you're looking for.
#14713652
I don't deny, Paradigm, that we have more power than a vote, but doing absolutely nothing, achieves absolutely nothing. That's mostly my point.

I do not feel it's a patriotic duty to vote, and I'd never mandate for compulsory voting.

The problems the US has, by thinking they only have Clinton or Trump to vote for, could change, if enough people stood up and marched to Washington, about it.
#14713759
If everyone took that "rational" approach, my voting would make ALL the difference, because I'd be the only one voting. See how irrational your rationale becomes when you consider that? :lol:
#14713764
Godstud wrote:If everyone took that "rational" approach, my voting would make ALL the difference, because I'd be the only one voting. See how irrational your rationale becomes when you consider that? :lol:


Not voting is the Nash equilibrium with perfectly rational actors.

Although that assumes you don't know the others' voting preferences.

But really, let's stop this silliness.
Last edited by Rugoz on 29 Aug 2016 14:16, edited 1 time in total.
#14800645
If you believe in progressive causes you know the system is rigged, the big corporations have it all sown up, they have all the politicians in their pocket, so it makes no difference who you vote for. All we have is a pseudo-democracy. So, if you believe in progressive causes, don't bother to vote, there are lots of better uses for your time.
#14800888
Whether you vote or not, it is your choice. But if you do not vote, you cannot influence the election and it is like you had no say in the matter.

Like it or not, whoever gets elected into office has power over you. So unless you live on a deserted island or you live in a wilderness far from civilization and government, you will be affected by government rule.
#14800906
Not voting is for stinking hippies. You are surrendering an entire front to the wealthy and the exploiters to do as they please.

If you are in a dungeon and you are given a wire with which to try and pick the lock and escape, I would recommend using it. Not so for many, it seems. An imperfect system with a mechanism that probably won't work should be thrown away, and you should wait in your cell hoping your captors come by and take care of you. Perhaps if you lick their palms they'll talk to you what it's like to be out of the cell. Or you can escape into your own mind and make a drum circle with some of the other prisoners !

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Don't be a hippy: Take the vote.

Hunter S. Thompson wrote:Somewhere in the nightmare of failure that gripped America between 1965 and 1970, the old Berkeley-born notion of beating The System by fighting it gave way to a sort of numb conviction that it made more sense in the long run to flee, or even to simply hide, than to fight the bastards on anything even vaguely resembling their own terms.


Hunter S. Thompson wrote:Most hippies are too drug oriented to feel any sense of urgency beyond the moment. Their slogan is "Now," and that means instantly. Unlike political activists of any stripe, hippies have no coherent vision of the future which might or might not exist. The hippies are afflicted by an enervating sort of fatalism that is, in fact, deplorable. And the New Left critics are heroic, in their fashion, for railing at it. But the awful possibility exists that the hippies may be right, that the future itself is deplorable and so why not live for Now?


Lenin wrote:Whilst you lack the strength to do away with bourgeois parliaments and every other type of reactionary institution, you must work within them because it is there that you will still find workers who are duped by the priests and stultified by the conditions of rural life; otherwise you risk turning into nothing but windbags.


Your masters aren't going to be kind just because you're obedient.

But, I mean, if you fancy yourself a greater revolutionary success than Lenin, or a greater counter-culture icon than the good Dr. Thompson, then by all means show us how you intend to do everything they did and more by your complete lack of action.
#14801285
Paradigm wrote:The system cares even less about your abstention from voting than it does on a third-party voter's throwaway vote for a candidate who will never get elected. The two major parties are indeed bought an paid for by corporate interests, but this in no way means the candidates are all the same. However bad things are, they can always get worse. Strategic voting helps hold back the tide so as to effectively organize a resistance, which can be can more difficult under certain material conditions than others.


There are other perspectives on strategic voting. The decades-old rightward drift of the Democratic Party was, at least partially, enabled by progressive wing voting according to a less-evil calculus. This is the tragedy of social democracy: attempting to hold back the tide inadvertently guarantees the tides eventual success. It's well and good to take half a loaf rather than none; it is profoundly dysfunctional to accept half a loaf taken away rather than losing the entire loaf. Over time, the aggregate of such decisions results in the total destruction of whatever values you were trying to protect.
#14801294
I find the term 'tactical voting' strange. When people who want environmentally conscious legislation vote for the candidate offering environmentally conscious legislation, prompting the candidate (party) who lost by a thin margin to include environmentally conscious legislation in all future manifestos this is considered a failing and short sighted.

Maybe it's just another example of the up-is-down, black-is-white nature of USA's political discourse.
#14801362
AFAIK wrote:I find the term 'tactical voting' strange. When people who want environmentally conscious legislation vote for the candidate offering environmentally conscious legislation, prompting the candidate (party) who lost by a thin margin to include environmentally conscious legislation in all future manifestos this is considered a failing and short sighted.

Maybe it's just another example of the up-is-down, black-is-white nature of USA's political discourse.

Your example presumes that the same candidate, having lost that election, will stand in the next one (or that the next candidate for that party will consider themselves such a close successor that they start from all the policies of this losing one), and that they'll conclude their problem was not offering environmentally conscious legislation, rather than not being quite close enough to the positions of the candidate who did come first (rather than third, or worse). And that adopting your preferred positions won't also lose them some support letting the shitty politician back in again. And meanwhile, you have that really shitty politician in charge/representing you for another term.

So, no, tactical voting is not "up-is-down" at all. If you want a cliche for it: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

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