I often answer: “Why bother” when asked for whom I plan to vote. When George W. Bush and the Republican Congress failed to honor the trust they were given I renounced the pathetic poseurs and vowed to support them no more. With Republicans holding both houses of Congress and the Presidency, those of us who participated in the Reagan Revolution watched helplessly as our hopes for fair tax, a roster of strong new judges and a muscular foreign policy morphed into pork barrels, gangs of 14 and nation building. Why waste time and effort voting electing GOP candidates who upon taking office become republocrats. Voting Democrat of course is expressing a death wish.
By the response of my interlocutor, you might have thought I had just announced my intent to fly the Second Flag of The Confederacy! “Why, you mustn’t give up your right to vote!” they wail, “It’s your duty to vote.” “Thousands of good Americans have given their lives so you can vote” “You can’t dishonor their sacrifice.” And of course: “Well if you don’t vote, don’t complain about what happens.”
By definition my right to vote is exclusively mine and confers an equal right not to vote. Thus in not voting I am exercising my voting right. Further, a right as any literate citizen understands is never a duty. The watchful hens of The League of Women Voters, I offer dreamed up voting as duty believing that more voters begets better government. Anyone vaguely familiar with the quality of the American electorate knows what a misguided notion that is. I shudder at every third person I encounter wearing one of those I Voted stickers!
Not thousands, no not even one person died for my right to vote for John McCain, Barack Obama, Bob Barr or Ralph Nader. If asked to do so I suspect one would punch you in the nose. For every courageous American soldier, seaman or marine who died to protect his voting right, ten-thousand or more did so for their buddies, families, girlfriends or just for pride of duty. A great majority I imagine, if told they were enduring the filth, privation and danger of war in faraway places for my right to choose between Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee, would have dropped their rifles and walked on in.
Sometime in the last century, American civics teachers began mistakenly to equate democracy with freedom. Politicians of all stripes quickly took up the call as a way of convincing people they are free even while enslaving them. The Bill of Rights was a response to the fears of our Founders that the majority of self-serving dolts would impose its oppressive will on the poor lot in the minority. I do not trust the mob. Give me a monarch and nobles who leave managing my life and property to me over an elected congregation of knaves and blackguards intent on taking my property and becoming my keeper.
The prospect of President Barack Obama leading a leftist, Democrat congress though is just too frightening to ignore. I will thus please the hooray for democracy crowd tomorrow by going to the polls and voting - not for John McCain but against Obama and the Democrats.