Today is election day, and there is some hope that the Republicans will hold on to their majority in the House and gain a majority in the Senate. Once again, it is the most importantest election EVAR!!!
I have only ever voted once in my life, in 1984. I will never vote again.
In the public choice school of economics, there is a concept know as “rational ignorance“. The gist of this concept is that people don’t spend a lot of time getting to know the issues or candidates. Most of them just pull the level for the incumbent or the member of the political party that they identify with. Public choice theory says that this is a rational act, as it takes too long to for the average person to research all the various candidates and issues before voting. And since one person’s vote won’t decide an election, then it really doesn’t make sense for people to be fully informed before voting.* So, all of my research and paying attention to politics is wasted because my vote is cancelled out by some idiot who votes for the opposing political party because they are on ‘his team’.
But that’s not a reason why I never vote. My reasons are even more basic. For one thing, if you vote for someone, whether it’s Jack Johnson or John Jackson, then you are acceding to whatever he does with his power while he is in office. If he invades a third world country and the military kills women and children, well you helped him get elected to a position of power where he could do that. In law, this is called being an accessory or aiding and abetting. And the blood of those individuals is also on your hands.
And here’s the main reason why I refuse to vote: as a Christian, I have already chosen my King. Joshua put it best:
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15
In that Bible verse, Joshua is speaking to the Israelites about serving either the Lord or other pagan gods. But let’s not forget that the Israelites later demanded a king in the first Book of Samuel:
4 All the elders of Israel assembled and came to Samuel at Ramah.
5 And said to him, Behold, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways: now appoint us a king to rule over us like all the other nations.
6 But it displeased Samuel when they said, Give us a king to govern us. And Samuel prayed to the Lord.
At that point in time, the Israelites had no king. They had judges who ruled, but who did not have absolute power. In truth, the Israelites had almost complete freedom. They only had to obey the 10 commandments. But like most people, the Israelites didn’t want to be free. You see, if you are truly free then you are also responsible for your own life. And based on my experience, most people don’t like it when you point out that they are the cause of many of the problems that occur in their life.
So the Israelites begged for a king. And by asking for a king, the Israelites were rejecting the leadership of God:
7 And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken to the voice of the people in all they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not be King over them.
They wanted a man. And they got what they wanted…hard:
9 So listen now to their voice; only solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.
10 So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked of him a king.
11 And he said, These will be the ways of the king who shall reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots.
12 He will appoint them for himself to be commanders over thousands and over fifties, and some to plow his ground and reap his harvest and to make his implements of war and equipment for his chariots. Translation: the king will steal your sons and your stuff and use it to go to war. But it’s okay because it will increase your GDP.
13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. Not to mention taking them to be his concubines.
14 He will take your fields, your vineyards, and your olive orchards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. Only 10%? Lucky bastards!
16 He will take your men and women servants and the best of your cattle and your donkeys and put them to his work.
17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will be his slaves.
18 In that day you will cry out because of your king you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not hear you then.
And even after hearing the price that they would pay, the Israelites persisted in their demand for a king. And it is interesting to note the real reasons why they wanted one:
19 Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, No! We will have a king over us.
20 That we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles.
I doubt they teach those Bible verses in church, where they proudly display the American battle flag, say “God Bless the troops”, and sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
That’s why I don’t vote.
* This was the major plot point of the movie “Swing Vote“. The popular vote for the presidential election was tied, and Costner had to cast the deciding vote; in essence, he was picking the president. The bulk of the movie deals with him learning everything he can about the issues and candidates. And then he casts his vote for…I don’t know, I didn’t see the movie.