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The Wasted Vote
The great political satirist and acerbic journalist/curmudgeon, H. L Mencken once said, "government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advanced auction of stolen goods." Let me repeat that: "government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advanced auction of stolen goods."
That is what an election is to the unprincipled and is one reason why those with high ideals tend to shy away from voting at all.
And if they do vote, most people believe that they must vote for the lessor of two evils. A very distasteful process, voting–when looking at it from the viewpoint of a horse-race and cheering on that lessor evil horse. So why even vote?
I would like to suggest to you here that those of you who have fallen for the horse-race/ lessor-of- two- evils mentality are stuck in a faulty premise that just encourages and emboldens those who wish to grab power and hold dominion over your own individual lives to stick it to you even harder the next time.
Remember, if you keep on doing what you have always done, you will keep on getting what you always got.
So those of us with principles, with high ideals, why vote? We must remember politics is a process over time with an ongoing philosophical battle over the proper function of government. And that function of government, whatever it is, affects all of your lives in a very fundamental fashion. Whether it is your lifestyle, your line of work, your child’s education, your relationship with neighbors, or your ability to help your fellow man, government as we know it today, gets in your way. Previous Libertarian Party candidate for president, Harry Browne, put it this way. "What government does is, it breaks your leg, then hands you a crutch and says, ‘see, if it weren’t for us, you wouldn’t be able to walk.’" I don’t know about you, but no thank you, I don’t need that kind of help.
So it is very important for those of us who care about the world, for those of us who would like to live life to the fullest, and to direct are own lives, to vote our belief system, not to be hoodwinked into the horse-race game. I like to put it this way, as my soon to be famous quote: "An election is just a small, but important skirmish in an all out perpetual philosophical war.
If a person chooses not to vote for the person or the philosophy in which he believes, but instead, either doesn’t vote, or does vote for the lessor of two evils, one is not registering his or her belief in this dynamic yet perpetual philosophical war. To vote for evil is to sanction evil. To refrain from voting, is succumbing by default the burgeoning police state that is encompassing our lives.
Politics is a game of trends. One doesn’t have to win in order to effect change. One only has to participate in a movement, a movement that may some day become a tidal wave of philosophical change that started with one voting pebble thrown in an obscure pond that started a ripple, which ultimately became a wave of positive change. But unless one votes for ones own beliefs, that ripple of positive change never occurs.
A vote for either power faction of the War Party, either the Republicans or the Democrats, will only embolden them to more wars that adds to their litany of wars–Korea, Viet Nam, Grenada, Panama, Yugoslavia, Iraq, the Spanish American War, the war on blacks, the war on native Americans, the war on poverty, the war on crime, the war on drugs–in essence, the war on freedom.
For the principled among us, there is a choice; one can choose the Machiavellian notion that the end justifies the means, and enter the power mad horse-race and so choose the type of war that will be fomented, come to think of it–for the principled that is no choice at all, or one can vote to renounce the war power of the State, renounce force as the standard mode of political operation, one can exit out of the vicious game of an advance auction of stolen goods, stolen goods obtained by the force of the gun, as both figuratively and in reality, the IRS agent holds all of us up and says, "you’re money or your life." And as power warriors they are, those Republicans and Democratic politicians and their alphabet agency minions mean it.
One can, instead, vote for choice, volunteerism, cooperation, a live-and-let-live philosophy. And although, a vote away from the so-called two-party system, for an alternative party is a step in the right direction, I assert here today, that only one alternative political party fully encompasses the antithesis to the power hungry war-like state, and that is the only political party that has as its unifying principle, the renunciation of the initiation of force in achieving social or political goals. "I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means in achieving political or social goals." That is the certification that is signed by Libertarian Party members. So if you want to be consistent in a belief in freedom, in opposition to the power hungry warriors of the two factions of the war party, then vote for your belief system. Take a stand. Vote libertarian.
If you believe that adults should have the right to do as they please as long as they respect the right of others to the same; that personal relations between consenting adults should not be infringed, and likewise that economic relations between consenting adults should not be infringed, vote libertarian.
As Richard Allan White has said, liberty is the only thing you can not have unless you are willing to give it to others. And I say that life without liberty is a life without meaning–a life without self direction is not really living at all. If you have to ask government permission on what you eat or drink or smoke, you are not living your own life; if you have to ask government for permission on how you earn a living, you are not living your own life; if you have to ask government permission on what you do on your own property, or with your own property, or with whom you engage with concerning your own property, you are not living your own life; if you have to ask permission to hold a "Rock the Vote" Festival, you are not living your own life–your life has become a living death. Libertarians are the true pro-lifers–we believe that your life is your own, your aspirations and dreams are your own, your choices are your own, the fruits of your labor are your own, it is not government’s and your life doesn’t become the government’s life just because a majority bans together in a legislature and votes to make it so.
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