Win, Lose or Draw: Why I Don’t Vote (Diary of a Non-Voter)

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First off let me say, as a teacher of Political Science, I understand the purpose of government, the role of voting, and the functioning of Democracy (or American Republicanism). But…

The absolute worst thing I hear from people is: “if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain.” These people are idiots. This is by far the most ignorant comment I have heard on the subject of voting in American elections. If you pay taxes to government, you can complain rather you participate or not. Do you complain when you get crappy service at a restaurant? People who don’t vote may not choose what’s on the menu but when we’re paying, we have just as much of a right to complain as those who picked the restaurant.

Voting in a Republic or any representative democracy equals Power. When you vote for another person, you give them the right to represent you; speak on your behalf and on behalf of your interests. I prefer to keep that Power for myself. As a result, no one on any capitol hill is given the power or authority to speak on my behalf or say they represent my interests. If you want to know how I feel on a particular bill or issue, ask me. But don’t look at the governor or city council and say, “I can’t believe he or she represents you.” They don’t…

The most significant problems currently plaguing our society are not on the ballot. Morals, value, hard-work, good parenting, and halting the promotion of mediocrity and perpetuation of ignorance is not on the ballot. When we can vote on selflessness, properly raised children and educated parents, let me know…

If you’re Black, like me, voting becomes even more useless. First, people say, our ancestors died for our right to vote. Wrong. They did not die so that we HAD to vote. They died so that we had the choice to vote, an opportunity. We can feel free to pass it up if we choose. That’s Power. At least we have the option rather than being denied even that. Being forced to vote or not having a choice at all is slavery. Ultimately, Blacks in the US are just routinely manipulated and exploited by both parties. Republicans use us as threats to scare their constituents. Democrats use Blacks to win elections without ever really considering their collective interests at all. Most importantly, let’s be idealistic for one second: Suppose that every Black person in this country voted the exact same way, on the exact same issue, for the exact same candidates. As around 12 percent of the population, that still wouldn’t give us any significant advantage to winning or having our interests taken seriously. Take out the children and felons, and we are talking about more like 7-8 percent of the population. Can’t win any election with that. Black people need better people and more ideas than just, “that candidates clearly racist, so I’m voting for the other person.” I’m sorry, has either one of these candidates demonstrated that they care about the interests and values of the Black community at all? If you’re out there listening to vile and ignorant rap music, watch Tyler Perry movies, and have a new pair of shoes but your child doesn’t, stop telling me about how important voting is to uplift the Black community.  Spare me…

Voting in American democracy or elections does not mean the majority wins or the person or issue has the confidence of the majority of Americans. Close to half of the American population is not of voting age. Add prisoners and felons who lost their right to vote, you’re down to half the population who has no say or does not participate at all. Presidential elections generally get the most voters, and on a good day they receive 60-70 percent voter turnout. That percentage of actual people who guide the country just shrank again. Now be prepared to cut that number in half as voters are split in a two-party system and before you know it, 12-14 percent of Americans are valued as a result of American elections. That is all it takes to generally guide the direction and values of this country. Majority? Common Good? Choices? Good luck with that…

People please, the most immediate and significant way to change your life and your community is NOT through voting! Attend a school board meeting or attend your child’s parent -teacher conferences. Raise decent children, read to them, help them with their homework, and teach them to love themselves. Join a gym. Government is neither your problem nor your solution. If you think voting is a civic duty or the only way to participate, you’re an idiot. Most people in this country are too ignorant to correctly and effectively utilize their vote anyway. Look at Republicans in the south who continually vote against their collective interests. Didn’t we witness the elections of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse “the Body” Ventura?  Effective voting means people have to at least attempt to be objective, knowledgeable, and interested in the common good, or the success of others. Most people have zero interest or ability to think, let alone vote, considering someone else besides themselves.

In the end, Election Day doesn’t significantly change your life. If it does, what kind of life is that? Love yourself. Love your neighbor and value your contribution to the community. Love and raise your kids. Teach them right and wrong. Focus on the important things in life and teach people to care about more things than money. Do community service. Help the disadvantaged and poor. Get up each day with a passion and a purpose. Leadership is service. Spread love and pursue knowledge. Ladies and Gentleman, this is how you change the world… And none of that is on the ballot.

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