Why Joel Doesn’t Vote

I have had discussions with two people recently who have criticized me for not voting, so I think I should clarify why I don’t.

Ever since I was a small child, I have been an avid student of history, economics and politics. I have constantly put my beliefs to the test and have changed them when I found they couldn’t withstand the hot fires of reason. Some of these beliefs have been harder to discard then others. Willingness to think and listen to logic even when it hurts are the hallmarks of a well functioning human being. I don’t allow what everyone else thinks to influence my beliefs; at the time I dropped religion, I didn’t know a single person who wasn’t religious. In that same independence of mind vein, I have come to the conclusion that voting is not only useless, but it could be immoral as well. I realize that this is a highly unpopular stance to take, but hear me out, I have my reasons.

Let’s take a look at our current two-party political system. The way the electoral college and election rules are set up, it is virtually impossible for any alternative parties gain momentum and rise to power. My two options left are the Republicans and the Democrats. Both parties are horrifically corrupt and both engage in gerrymandering, pandering to special interests, and cheat in the actual elections (any time an election is audited, thousands of extra voters are found and that’s just the most obvious way to fix an election).

The Republicans and Democrats are virtually mirror images of each other and they are run by the same group of people. The parties only pick a couple of minor “issues” each year to focus on… usually small policies that don’t affect the ruling power’s economic and political interests, such as abortion, how to pull out of Iraq, etc. The truly important issues are never really brought before the public: taxation, overall government services, and future major diplomacy plans (everyone knows we are pulling out of Iraq, the only issue being argued now is when). Bush was supposedly a conservative, yet he raised taxes at a rate far greater than that of Clinton. Clinton was supposedly a liberal, but he did not hesitate to use force… I could go on for hours listing examples like this, but the essence is that both parties follow the same policies on the most important issues. It makes sense that they do so, because the key people that run both political parties come from the same elite group. They attend the same universities, are members of the same country clubs and laugh at the common people while they relax in the steam rooms. The only difference between America and Russia is that the Russian people are not deluded into thinking that they have true political power.

Another reason not to vote is simple mathematicsl. Even assuming that the system isn’t completely corrupted (which it most definitely is), there are 300 million people in America. Statistically speaking, 1/300,000,000 is a big, fat Zero. You don’t matter at all. You have better odds of winning the Lottery, than you do of having your vote make the least bit of difference. Playing the Lottery is widely acknowledged by economists and other intellectuals as an incredibly stupid thing to do; why do we insist that voting is any different? Even if it did matter, my vote would just be canceled by one of the countless rednecks, welfare queens, Puyallupians and other distasteful people I wouldn’t even associate myself with, much less allow to control my destiny. And don’t feed me a bunch of bullshit about “duty”; my only duty is to the people I love, not to the unwashed masses. By wasting a day or two researching the issues and candidates, then voting, I am throwing away time I should be spending with people who are important to me or earning money to support myself and those I love. Thus voting violates my basic moral principles.

When you vote, you are implying that you support the structure of elections and that you believe you can make a difference, even in the face of a mountain of evidence that your vote doesn’t matter. I will not give my implied support for my own slavery. I don’t have a choice but to accept the current political system because I have no power currently, but I am not going to participate in it. One day, I hope to be a part of that elite group that controls the major policies in this country. The King of America does not demean himself by pretending along with the rest of the country that the Emperor has clothes. I leave that to you, MTV watchers. You can rock the vote, but I think I’ll try to reach the halls of power where I can make some real changes.

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Joel Gross

Joel Gross is the CEO of Coalition Technologies.

8 thoughts on “Why Joel Doesn’t Vote”

  1. I vote. But only so that when I am up for election myself, I have a record to speak of. I know full well that our government is bought and paid for. Only third party candidates can affect the outcome and its like 3 taking votes from 1a, to give the victory to 1b.

  2. I agree with you on most every point mentioned. I hold the belief that the only chance an American citizen has in making a governmental impact is by achieving supreme political, financial, or hollywood success. I’m fine with living under a corrupt and confined system, just, please, don’t scoff after I admit that my “I voted” sticker was picked up off the sidewalk and claimed as my own.

  3. Jordan- I think that is what many people of our generation have decided… just vote because everyone else is doing it and it makes you look good. Stand up for your beliefs and give the system the finger.

    Richard- You must be brilliant, agreeing with me on every point mentioned. I can’t argue with that… 😉

    I feel bad for all the people who believe that voting is somehow making a difference. Delusions may make you happy temporarily, but in the long run, they will trip you up and bring you down.

  4. The fact that you dislike and discuss what don’t like about the process is good. The fact that you choose to be passive agressive about the issue negates your intentions. If you idly moan and groan in your blog, rather than take action against what you know to be wrong. You are just as bad as they are, as a matter fact, it makes you worse because you have the knowledge and ability to provoke change in a positive way. However, when you do absolutely nothing, it’s as if you are turning your cheek when you just figured out that someone bigger and stronger is taking advantage of someone you care about. Bullies continue to bully, because they think they can get away with it. Most politicians count on the fact that a majority of the people either are too ignorant to dig deeper into what’s going on OR worse… they count on the fact that most are too involved in their own world to care. It’s the sad problem that, most people don’t care unless the issue hits them in their own backyard.

    You are intelligent and educated. Your voice matters a great deal. An educated vote is needed to cancel out the stupid ones…if all the educated votes decided they didn’t give a shit…then you leave our country in the hands of morons and corrupt politicians. It is ten times worse for those who are educated to NOT VOTE. And I completely disagree with your tactic for issues you don’t like. Although I think you have some very valid points… Maybe you need to think outside of the box and be more creative in how you’d want to make a change. But, this is such a normal thing. You are like many who do nothing, absolutely nothing about the process they dislike. Saying that you are going to accept and ignore the process now, because you are waiting until later, when you conquer the world… it’s like that old adage of counting your chickens before the eggs are hatched. Keep doing nothing and maybe one day there will be nothing for you salvage or rule.

    Anyhow, with all the time you spend writing your blogs, I think you have some time to spend researching the issues.

  5. Sister Mary Catherine- Holy cow, I think you are even more verbose than I am! I like it, it shows you are thinking about things and come up with a more coherent answer than the vast majority of people who vote in this country… the 70% who don’t know that Congress recently passed a prescription drug benefits law for seniors and will cost half a trillion dollars over the next 10 years and is the most significant domestic legislation of the Bush administration…. or the 60% who didn’t know that Bush has massively increased domestic spending that is causing our national deficit to increase ever faster… or the 75% who don’t know anything about the Patriot Act (which greatly limits freedom and gives the government very ominous powers that our founding fathers were willing to go to war to get rid of)…

    This is why Joel should be King of America! 😉

  6. Don’t you dare attempt to discredit my statement. Its a perfectly valid one. Taking the time out to vote is relatively minimal. If I choose to ever run for a political office, my personal voting record (the fact that I have one) would be a valuable show of faith in the system. 10 minutes out of my day filling in a bubble could be a wonderful benefit down the line.

    Its idiotic to argue against the system when you have no hope of changing it. Its better to manipulate it to your own advantage.

    That way, when the United States collapses, you are financially prepared to jump ship and head to the next great empire, lowly brothers in tow.

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