Conscientious Non-voting

I am far past frustrated at the colorful array of candidates that the republican party has put forth thus far. They are absurd.Gail Collins’ piece in the New York Times this morning about the horribly decrepit state of Republicans’ understanding of women really got me incensed about the problems I have with voting for anybody who doesn’t give women the rights they deserve as humans. I have been thinking a long time about become a vocal non-voter, and this tipped me over the edge. I would like to put forward my first treatise as a conscientious nonvoter, with evidence of why non-voting is essential for me, and probably for you.

1. I am interested in politics, but I disagree with the American political rat race. My desire to write in a completely absurd candidate (I am proposing everyone’s favorite JRT, Wishbone) comes from my informed disapproval of the polarized system.

2. I refuse to vote for any candidate who does not support gay marriage and women’s right to contraception. Though I typically do not “like” homophobic people or chauvinists, I am tolerant of them as individuals, and understand that their upbringing and socioeconomic background may have prevented them from having the educational opportunities that allow ideas of equality to function in a society. However, I don’t need to vote for them. And nor should you.

3. I don’t think my reasons for not voting are any worse than most peoples’ reasons for voting. Voting for Obama as an alternative to Herman Cain or Michelle Bachman is a stupid reason to vote for Obama. As is voting for Obama because he is a democrat. “The lessor of two evils” mentality is only harmful to our collective well-being.

4. In any large-scale socio-political movement, there are various stages of dissent and action. The earliest phase requires a vocal, passionate, and informed minority to speak up about the problem. The Russian intellectual response to corrupt elections is an example of this stage:

From my point of view, conscientious non-voting is not a flippant or lazy rejection of civic duty, but an act of social dissent. Russia’s issue in the parliamentary elections was not with the lovely array of candidates, but the monopoly that United Russia has on the whole thing (You will see in the video that Putin’s face appears on every bureaucrat involved with the election). For this reason, the “Nah Nah” campaign was organized to convince Russian voters to vote for every party, making their vote null and making a point about the irrelevance of “elections” in Russia and party plurality. I am  not advising that dissenters vote for both Republican Clown #1 and Democrat Trickster #2. I am proposing a massive write-in campaign for someone great and totally unexpected, like JuJuBean (or someone similarly hobbity), or Wishbone.

If you are interested in hearing someone else’s perspective on conscientious nonvoting:

Offsetting Behavior

“There are large sections of my life, and of your life, that I don’t believe should be subject to democratic decision-making. Regardless of what a majority wants, I think you should have the right to marry whomever you wish, to ingest what you like, to engage in whatever voluntary exchanges you like that don’t infringe on others’ property – in short, to pursue what you view as the good life so long as your enjoyment does not unduly infringe on the equal rights of others. And far too much of politics seeks to impose the majority’s view of the good life on others.”

The Ethics of Non Voting

“I argue that citizens have no standing moral obligation to vote. Voting is just one of many ways one can pay a debt to society, serve other citizens, promote the common good, exercise civic virtue, and avoid free-riding off the efforts of others. Participating in politics is nothing special, morally speaking.

However, I argue that if citizens do decide to vote, they have very strict moral obligations regarding how they vote. I argue that citizens must vote for what they justifiedly believe will promote the common good, or otherwise they must abstain.”