A couple of days ago I was taken to task by someone whose opinion I generally respect, even when we disagree. It was over voting. Let me quote the two relevant passages:
When there are two wrong choices, and at least one right choice, it doesn’t matter to me if nearly everyone else is making the wrong choice. I’m not the boss of them. I have to answer to my own conscience, not peer pressure.
In voting R or D, you are *voting* for evil.
Let’s unpack this.
In the first quotation it is apparent that the act of voting is not considered evil. That voting one’s conscience is righteous and good, even if it’s tilting at windmills, but voting for one of the two parties that’s actually going to win is EVIL.
It’s my understanding that the Spoonerite wing of the anarcho-capitalists consider voting itself to be an act of evil, and to my thinking they’re right.
Government is evil. Government is the concentration of power over others into the hands of a few. Governments have the power to do things – and get away with them – that individual citizens would go to jail for (or be strung up for). Government is not good. Government cannot love you. Government cannot care about you. Government is going to be some group of assholes interested in having their hands on the levers of that power. But Government is a necessary evil, because without it – despite the fantasies of the anarchists – someone is going to have the power of life-and-death over you, against which you will have little to no recourse.
Our Democratic Republic was designed to limit the reach of that power as much as practicable. Two-plus centuries of entropy has eroded many of the protections initially installed, but it’s still the best we’ve got. In our system of government as it stands today, we have a two-party system. The parties have changed over time (I certainly hope they both do again in the near future), but one of those two established parties will have its hands on the levers this go-around. Yes, both R and D are evil, no question, but one’s going to win. Voting “Other” no matter how much it assuages your conscience will have no effect – and voting is STILL EVIL, regardless of who you vote for. You’re voting to put that person in a position of power over others. (Which may explain why the majority of eligible voters stay home.)
“What if they gave a war and nobody came?” someone once asked. “Well, then the war would come to you!” was the reply. What happens if you vote your conscience? You get one of the other two anyway. This is not to discourage votes of conscience, absolutely not. It’s to discourage feelings of moral superiority over those of us with a different worldview.