Stop Voting

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Just drop
the vote and step quietly away from the vehicle.

We hope you'll
join us. We are a multitude, and we have been on the increase for
forty years. Forty years, and now our time is at hand.

You looked
for us when you sought an object for your ill-conceived charity,
but we quietly sent you away. We who will not vote, who will not
gratify you with an opinion of your foolish and indistinguishable
pretenders to this or that throne, we infuriated you. You called
us apathetic for refusing to play the game. Refusing even to register.
You said it was the only game in town.

But if we're
so apathetic, why have you sought us so desperately, coveting even
our style, asking our barbers if you are real, begging us to hold
the mirror for you while you compose yourself? You have courted
our swingers, but we have seen your anxious eyes in the rear-view
of your Volvo.

You like statistics,
go see if it isn't true: voter turnout has been decreasing in the
established democracies since the 1960's. You're desperate for a
mandate, but it's flowing away from you.

Your empire
flunkies are banging at our doors, telling us we're red or blue,
or striped with white bars, and we should go to our color-coded
stations. Greens, now there's a hue for you. Use 'em for a side
salad while you get on with dinner. Or get them to do the washing
up. Greens are excellent for washing things. And you know how they
just love to be included.

What's driving
you nuts is, we're not even refusing. We're not saying anything.
And we know you're nuts. We've seen your conventions. Also, your
good wars, and your bad ones. Your Motor Voter legislation so you
can register to kill twice at one convenient location.

You are a computer
virus. You thrive on attention. Say no to you, and you preen because
someone noticed. We say nothing.

You probably
think this song is about you. Don't you?

You have immense
standing armies, and they wish to march left, right, left, right.
We are more than forty percent of the adults in America, fifty percent
in Europe. If we would just say something, anything, left, right,
left, right, you could get a stronger mandate, get these armies
working efficiently, instead of going around losing wars to tiny
countries. But like you say, it's hard to fight a war if we don't
all stick together.

20, 2008

Ker Thomson's [send him
] is taking a year out from the Centre for Comparative Literature
at the University of Toronto to write a book on American radicalism
since 1637 entitled “A.”

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