"People have often been willing to give up personal identity and join into a collective. Historically, that propensity has usually been very bad news. Collectives tend to be mean, to designate official enemies, to be violent, and to discourage creative, rigorous thought. Fascists, communists, religious cults, criminal 'families' — there has been no end to the varieties of human collectives, but it seems to me that these examples have quite a lot in common. I wonder if some aspect of human nature evolved in the context of competing packs. We might be genetically wired to be vulnerable to the lure of the mob." ~ Jaron Lanier
31 Reasons to Vote
Don’t blame me, I didn’t vote. ~ Jeremy Sapienza
My barber believes passionately that everyone should vote, and since one of my primary objectives is to persuade people to abstain from politics, I often raise the subject with her during election season. Although our conversations remain cordial, usually they are short and intense (at least her part). Last week she asked me, “Why would you not vote? I think that’s the most dishonorable and un-American thing you could do.” But it seems to me that it is the voter who must justify his actions, since voting is an affirmative act. Since most voters have never really considered why they vote, I have decided to assist them by providing a list of reasons to vote:
1. 1. You believe that a majority of voters has the right to impose their will on everyone else through the use of force.
2. You want to steal from other people and/or force them to do certain things, but you’d rather have someone else point the gun for you.
3. You believe that the State is legitimate, and want to provide legitimacy to it for the next two to six years.
4. You believe that democracy is a legitimate decision-making process, and don’t mind being bound by the results.
5. You believe that voting will protect you from government or slow the growth of the State.
6. You want to live in a political society instead of a civil society.
7. You prefer to wield political power because you’re too lazy to work for social power.
8. You want the politicians to have a mandate and to be able to say, “The people have spoken!”
9. You don’t mind if the government helps you decide by narrowing your choices for you.
10. You’re a follower who needs to be led, and believe that everyone else needs “leaders” who are selected by a majority of the voters.
11. You believe that millions of people gave their lives to defend your right to vote.
12. You want to honor the victims of 9/11, who were killed because some foreigners didn’t like the fact that we live in a democracy.
13. You believe that voting is the way to make your voice heard, and that politicians hear your voice when you vote.
14. You believe that if your candidate wins, you will get what you want, just like you want it.
15. You like the way that politicians have been running things, and want to send them back for more.
16. You believe that politicians will keep their campaign promises.
17. You don’t believe that power will corrupt politicians once they’re in office.
18. You trust the politicians you vote for, and believe they care about you.
19. Your government school taught you that voting is a privilege.
20. You like to exercise your freedom—to choose your master.
21. You believe that your vote will affect the outcome of an election.
22. You believe that voting fraud won’t affect the outcome of an election.
23. You believe that the new touch-screen voting machines are reliable, tamper-proof, and leave an adequate paper trail in case the results are contested.
24. You’re proud to wear the “I voted” sticker that they give you after you vote.
25. George W. Bush said that it’s your duty to vote.
26. The president's wife or mother called you and asked you to vote.
27. You get a rush out of wielding political power.
28. You think that a politician is cute, or you like the way he kisses his wife, or you like the earth tones he wears, etc.
29. You saw a campaign sign that made you feel patriotic because of its flag motif, or that made you feel good because it had a catchy slogan on it, such as "the courage to lead" or "neighborhoods first."
30. The political ads on TV and radio that cater to the lowest common denominator don't insult your intelligence.
31. You don’t mind your name and other personal information being on a government list, which will come in handy if the government wants to summon you for jury duty, draft you into the military, audit your income tax returns, collect information about you, or send you to an internment camp.