A Former Voter Is Rehabilitated
by Philip Hensley, Jr.
by Philip Hensley, Jr.
My name is
Philip, and I used to be a voter. It was an addiction I struggled
with for almost eight years, but this past weekend I went cold turkey
and stopped voting. Iíve now been vote-free for almost three days,
and while thereís still a week of early voting left and an opportunity
to relapse, I think I can make it through next Tuesday and not vote.
Sure, voting is the "cool" thing to do right now, and
"everybody is doing it," but this year, Iím not voting.
I felt tempted to go into voting booth and pull the lever for Bob
Barr, and perhaps vote for a Ron Paul endorsed candidate in my local
district race (B.J. Lawson). And I really had the urge to vote against
a proposed tax on prepared food in my county. In fact, I decided
that I would go vote, but after November 4th I wouldnít
vote anymore. After all, it was just one time. I could handle voting
just one more time right?
I drove to a local school to vote, but the line was really long,
and it was about to rain outside. Iíll come back, I told myself.
On the way home I decided to not go back. But after a couple of
hours, the self-doubt started to creep in. Isnít voting a duty,
or a responsibility, or one of those other clichés that I
hear all the time? Didnít soldiers give their lives so I could have
the opportunity to vote? Then I thought of all the peer-pressure
and ridicule I might face after not voting. How could I tell anyone
I hadnít voted? "What, you didnít vote!? How could you not
vote? Your vote is the best way to make your voice heard,"
I could already hear other people saying.
I drove back to the voting place. This time the line was much smaller,
and I could have been in-and-out in less than ten minutes. I got
out of the car, walked past all the parasites handing out campaign
literature outside the polls, and got in line. The first thing I
saw posted on the entrance door was a sign that said, I saw all
the people in line with their voter guides and sample ballots filled
out so they could remember who to vote for. It was evident than
many of these people had spent weeks and weeks contemplating who
to vote for. There was also a sign on the door that read, "VOTING
IS THE CORNERSTONE OF DEMOCRACY."
away without voting, and it felt great. I realized a couple of things.
First, voting isnít a duty or a responsibility. And even if it was,
your vote really doesnít matter. The question isnít why donít more
people vote; the real question is why so many people vote in the
first place. If you were sick on election day and couldnít make
it to the polls and vote, would anything have changed? No. The same
candidate that won would have won, and the same candidate that lost
would have lost. Elections are won and lost by big groups of swing
voters who usually have a vested financial or political interest
in the outcome of the election. In fact, you probably have a better
chance of being elected president yourself than being the one vote
that decides the election. Why waste days, weeks, months or even
years of my life deciding between Obama versus McCain? My vote isnít
going to change anything. And voting isnít the best way to have
your voice heard. The best way to influence the political process
is to become wealthy and buy off a few congressmen to see things
years we hear the same crap from the two major party candidates.
But the reality is if McCain wins, government is going to get bigger
and more powerful. If Obama wins, government is going to get bigger
and more powerful. "Conservative" radio hosts are going
crazy over Obamaís "redistribution of wealth" comments,
and showing concern for Obamaís supposed disrespect for the Constitution.
So what if Obama wants to redistribute wealth. Republicans have
been doing it for decades, just to different groups. Republicans
arenít really opposed to redistribution of wealth, they just want
it redistributed to people that vote for Republicans. Look at all
the wealth that has been redistributed to senior citizens, car manufacturers,
and wall street banks over the past eight years, six of which happened
under a Republican President that had a Republican-controlled Congress.
Where were all the defenders of the Constitution hiding then?
My vote wonít
change any of this. And why should I have to vote in order to prevent
the government from taking over more of my life? Why is the burden
on me? I refuse to give my consent to such a system and go through
the charade of pretending that our government is legitimate. Iím
proud to be a non-voter.
Hensley [send him mail]
is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill. He currently lives in Durham, NC.
© 2008 LewRockwell.com