Case For Not Voting   Leave a comment

My research theme of the moment is anarchism – hence the posts on that subject. I am not myself an anarchist. I find reason within some of what anarchists have to say, but not being a koolaid drinker means I can’t wholly embrace any philosophy. That’s why I didn’t become a liberal in college. Andrew Breitbart blamed it on going to class drunk. My excuse is I see the holes in many philosophies and follow those to their logical conclusion and then think – well, that sounds like a good idea, but maybe it won’t work out so good.

Anarchism provides a lot to think about because a lot mascharades under the term “anarchy”. There’s a huge difference between the “anarchy” of the Weather Underground and the anarchy of Patriot’s Lament. Both are against the state, but that’s about the end of the similarities.

At its most basic, anarchism means a system of society that does not have a government, but really the word itself means a system of governance that is not based upon a hierarchy – an’archy.

I’m fascinated and perplexed with why anarchists don’t vote. I’m not exactly buying the “you give your own power away when you vote” and “you elect your own tyrant” arguments. In my opinion, if you don’t vote, you are choosing not to participate in the political process, so you shouldn’t be surprised when those who do decide to participate vote in ways that reduce your liberty. You didn’t take advantage of one of the tools our society provides and have disabled yourself in that way. I’m not saying it is right that the majority of those who show up can restrict the liberties of those who do not. I’m just acknowledging it as a reality that we allow by our complacency – or anarchists embrace for philosophical reasons I’d like to understand.

I also don’t think the results of an election mean the subjects surrounding the election are closed to further debate. Email is a wonderful thing and if you are not engaging your Congressional delegation in this way, you’re not doing all you could to participate in this system of self-governance. I email Mark Begich regularly because I think he is beholding to listen to his constituents even if they didn’t or wouldn’t vote for him. He’s supposed to represent all of us. That he doesn’t is a really good reason to fire him. On the other hand, I recognize that if you voted for Mark Begich, you brought the Affordable Care Act into being. He was the deciding vote even though Alaskan voters were polling 80% against the ACA. Apparently Mark doesn’t believe he needs to listen to his constituents. Lisa Murkowski, who helped draft portions of the bill while on the Senate health subcommittee, did listen to Alaskans and vote against the bill. I won’t vote for her, but I give her that applause because she earned it.

So, I see the point anarchists are trying to make – that elected officials do what they want rather than what we the people want. Representative government is clearly broken and we need to do something about that. I don’t necessarily accept the anarchist idea that not voting is somehow better than voting.

Posted October 11, 2013 by aurorawatcherak in Common sense, politics

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