Laurence, it strikes me that the act of voting shares the same off-loading of responsibility motif as does holding public office. In fact, the two actions are symbiotic in that doing the one—voting—effectively justifies the actions of those who supposedly win the election—the political parasites.
Consider: One of the reasons why the State tends to get worse and worse with time, particularly with regard to rights infringements, immoral actions—abroad initially, at home eventually—is that political action is, by definition, blame-free. When one doesn’t have to pay the cost, he tends to spend more, even when that higher cost is measured in lives and morality. As a routine practice, elected officials can and do have others take action for them—immoral (possibly) and hazardous (often) action—that they themselves would never take personally. They can have a soldier (or some drone-control geek actually still on supposed U.S. soil) go to locale on a map, kill people there, and never have to pay any price. They off-load both the action and effectively, the moral responsibility as well. This ability to off-load and not pay a personal cost can ONLY result in an increase in both the number of immoral actions and the actual immorality of those actions over time. Simple human nature at work, as explained by praxeology.
In a similar fashion, voters, whose actions provide not just tacit authorization, but confirmation—bordering damned close to mandate—supply the “get out of jail free” card that fuels heinous acts by their so-called elected leaders. (With apologies to Godwin’s Law, as the trite saying goes, Hitler was elected, right?) I’m already on record with a modest proposal to make voters liable, although that piece was written somewhat tongue-in-cheek. More recently however, the immorality of voting, and just how responsible a voter is for the actions of his selectee seems more and more clear to me. When it’s so obvious that both candidates will continue to: put “non-violent offenders” in hell holes for victimless crimes fueled by the racist War on (Some) Drugs; kill innocent people in areas most Americans cannot find on a map without help; jail, kill, torture anyone they desire, without a sniff of due process, including so-called American citizens, it seems not a long stretch to conclude that those who obviously knew this would be the case must share at least some of the blame. I’m thankful I took Butler Shaffer’s advice, given on LRC so long ago, and spend the time I could be voting examining my navel lint.11:02 am on October 5, 2012 Email Wilton Alston