Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Accepting the Premise

Well, it's silly season again. It's inescapable. And over at The Smallest Minority, I encountered the kind of insulting statement that never fails to get my ruff to stand on end:
I'm not worried about the 1/5 of America that voted for [Obama], I'm worried about the 3/5ths of America that didn't care enough to vote at all.
That statement, and its many variations, annoys the hell out of me. It's not indifference that causes me to refrain from voting. When you ask whether I'd prefer to be bitten by a rattlesnake or stung by a scorpion, you've asked a meaningless question. Constant insistence on its deep relevance does not give it the least bit of actual relevance.

"If you don't vote, you don't have the right to complain." BULLSHIT. I'd say rather that you've forfeited the right to complain if you DO vote for any of the pre-selected bastards, because you've accepted the premise that those are the only acceptable alternatives and the one who wins 51% of the vote now has the god-given and indisputable authority to push 100% of us around.

I find that offensive. It is an absolute certainty that the upcoming presidential campaign will not contain one single contender that I would find acceptable, so I'm supposed to accept the idiotic premise that my only legitimate alternative is to vote for the "lesser evil" from among the evil bastards presented for my approval. This is somehow supposed to make perfect sense.

When I fail to show up at the polls again this time I will have voted for my regular candidate, a fellow named NOTA. Once again this time he'll get the majority of the votes, and once again he'll be ignored. But I'll behave as if he won the election, because he did.


Matt said...


I agree whole heartedly. I was an inveterate voter, never missed an election. Gag reflex finally took control last election when I realized I could not voter for either candidate. So, NOTA for me to. A freind recently reinforced the decision to me when he mentioned that it doesn't matter if we vote or not. If nobody voted, a candidate would still win.

LJH said...

All I can add to this one is "Amen."

Last presidential election I DID go to the polls, and wrote in 'Joe Walsh'. Next time I probably won't waste the gas even for a protest vote. :-(

Kevin Wilmeth said...

Right with ya, Joel. When all the "but you simply must dooo yer paart" bullshit starts coming around my ears again, I'm just going to point people here. In rereading it today for linking here, I don't think I'll need to change a single word of it for this year.

Or for any other year, for that matter.

MamaLiberty said...

The bottom line for me, Joel, is that it wouldn't matter a bit who the candidate is... I would not find ANYONE on earth acceptable to control my life in any way. And I suspect you are the same.

It isn't a matter of no acceptable candidate available. There's no such thing for me.

And that's what I tell people who start this "you MUST vote" bullshit.

Tam said...

Yeah, I didn't vote for years.

But lately I've decided that if I'm going to be heard, I'll at least be heard: There are wookie-suiters on the ballot in my state, so I vote for them. If there's no wookie-suiter running and my only choice is "D" or "R", I'll vote none of the above. A blank ballot still has to be counted and does a better job, I think, of letting them know that None Of The Above Was Acceptable. After all, they know I didn't sleep in or blow it off; instead, I was annoyed enough that I went down there and wrote in "None Of The Above".

I'm not going to say any of that "do your part" nonsense: If you have a principled stand against exercising the franchise, that's cool, and I completely understand, but I do disagree with those say they don't vote as a "protest", because the folks that count the ballots don't know it's a "protest"; they just know you couldn't be arsed to show up.

Tam said...

Oh, and Justice Steven H. David of Barnes v. Indiana fame is up for a retention vote next year. There will be two boxes next to his name, and it will be a personal pleasure to tick the Thumbs Down one.

Joel said...

Wait. They let you vote YES OR NO on a judge? Oh, I'd so be there.

Tam said...


Indiana supreme court justices are appointed to 10-year terms, but must face a retention election in the first election cycle after their appointment.

I have sworn to always vote "No" on sheer principle. ;)

Anonymous said...

I vote, however I write in 'none of the above', to drives them crazy.