I had a conversation with my brother recently that reminded me so much of my disagreement with my mother about Obama 3 ½ years ago, except this time I was explaining why I will not vote for Mitt Romney even though I think Obama has been a disaster for anyone that believes in peace and liberty and sound economics.
“But Romney is the lesser of two evils”, quacked my brother – using the same tired and unsound reasoning the establishment and statist types rehash every four years. This reasoning, if it can be called reasoning at all, has led to the perpetuation of the left/right, republican/democrat pendulum swing where each election the State grows in power, size, and scope and our liberty is eroded bit by bit. Hobson’s choices.
Voting Against vs. Voting For – The Lesser of Two Evils
For dozens of years now, approximately one half of all voters in American presidential elections vote against a candidate rather than for a candidate. Just over ½ of the voting age population votes in Presidential elections (and the voting age population represents about 65-70% of the entire population). Given that each candidate in Presidential elections typically obtain just over ½ of the votes (or about 33% of the total population), that means that in any given Presidential election only 16% of the nation’s population is voting FOR a particular pre-approved candidate.
Clearly something is wrong with this picture. Many people have become justly disillusioned and concluded that the political system is controlled by the establishment parties and their corporate, special interest and banking benefactors that produce in perpetuity two candidates that are both advocates of increased State power. Of course the influential benefactors expect certain “returns on investment”. Many voters, including myself, have thereby concluded that it no longer matters which of the Republicrats win, for liberty is always diminished and the State always expands. Every year. Every election.
Every President since I was legally permitted to vote has involved our military in military conflict or outright war (Reagan; Lebanon, Grenada, El Salvador, Nicaragua – Bush I; Iraq – Clinton; Iraq, Serbia, Somalia – Bush II; Iraq, Afghanistan – Obama; Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan with Syria and Iran on deck). Each President has subscribed to crony capitalism/fascism, welfarism (corporate and/or individual), increased bureaucracy, increased national debt (this has risen under every President, even Clinton), increased spending and borrowing, Keynesian monetary policies and an unaccountable and secretive Federal Reserve.
Each President has expanded executive power and assaulted our constitutional rights so we now have such Orwellian named things like the Patriot Act which among other things eviscerates the Fourth Amendment and negatively affects the First and Sixth Amendments as well. We have also seen Congress recently pass the National Defense Authorization Act which is one of the greatest assaults on civil liberties in our history as well as the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act which makes protest illegal and is another assault on the First Amendment. We now have Fusion centers that spy on peaceful Americans including Ron Paul supporters. The State has drastically increased its domestic surveillance and spying. The last two Presidents (one from each party) support the suspension of habeas corpus/detentions without trial. Both Bush and Obama advocated military drone use domestically. Both recent Presidents allowed renditions and torture, although Obama likes to call them enhanced interrogations. And now we have a President that claims the authority to engage in extrajudicial killings, including American citizens.
Many voters thought Obama was the lesser of two evils in 2008 as he campaigned against torture, the surveillance state, etc. He falsely promised a more open and transparent government. But in nearly every way he has been worse than Bush when it comes to increasing State power and diminishing liberty. He picked up where Bush left off and the transition between the supposed opposites has been seamless. If you were concerned about the every growing reach and power of the State, voting for Obama as a “lesser evil” was a pipe dream. If you thought as a lesser evil, he would be less war mongering, have another toke on that pipe. Likewise, if you had voted for Bush over Gore or Kerry because he was the “lesser evil” when it came to deficit spending and smaller government, you were fooled again. Spending increased faster than under ANY previous President until Obama. Bush wasn’t a small government conservative; he was a big government disaster. And Obama has shown he will sacrifice nearly the entire Constitution on the holy altar of national security, something the Republicans are more known for.
Yet each election someone tells me I have to choose for the lesser evil. Each time the storyline is false. Once in office, the supposed free market, small government Republicans increase the size and scope of the State. Despite their rhetoric Republican presidents spend as much or more than the supposed big spending liberal Democrats people thought they were denying office. The Democrats supposedly value civil liberties protection and are less warlike. Yet Democrat presidents have traditionally involved the nations in more frequent and larger wars (Wilson and WWI, FDR and WWII, Truman and Korea, LBJ and Vietnam) and give us increased police state legislation. I suppose it’s to counter the false “soft” image. Or maybe they just know what Randolph Bourne so eloquently stated, “War is the health of the State.” Each party expands the power and size of government in a never ending voter purchase program – and always at the expense of freedom and a cost of more debt. And I am told I must buy into this system or the “more evil” side will win.
And with each cycle we become less free, more regulated, and poorer both economically and morally.
Plunder, special interest pandering and exploitation have become commonplace in the halls of American government. Oh the two parties argue over gay rights, abortion, and some minor differences in foreign policy, but the essential and fundamental system remains in place and the same. Both parties kowtow to the same major corporate donors (who contrary to established meme actually gave more money to Obama than McCain in the last election), banks, and special interest groups.
Can anyone honestly remember a candidate that kept even a small fraction of his campaign promises? No. Because they never intend to keep them! The promises are for the sheep voters, who each candidate knows they can then ignore for the next 3 years once they obtain office. Each election the rhetoric is spewed and dished out and each time a delusional populace eats the crap fed to them and believes THIS time will be different. Each election reinforces Einstein’s definition of insanity-doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results.
I unplugged from the Matrix
For a significant segment of the population we are given the false choice between two equally unpalatable candidates and told to vote for the “lesser of two evils”. The fact is we are given two corporate establishment choices that pander and lie to obtain votes and then go right about the business of ignoring the people and obeying their corporate-banker masters. The State grows more powerful, liberty is decreased – every time. And yet I am urged to vote for the one who will chain me less tightly. No thanks. I have taken the red pill and removed myself from The Matrix thank you.
Years ago I decided that I refuse to participate in the fraud of a false choice between two equally corrupt candidates. I do not vote for the lesser of two evils. I will not pretend to believe that evil is not evil or that by voting for a supposed “lesser evil” (which is often not the case examined four years later) I am better off. I will not vote for someone I know intends to harm me. THAT is insanity, but millions buy into the illusion that this is the only alternative.
If I cannot vote for someone, such as Harry Browne or Ron Paul, who sincerely advocates individual freedom, both economic and personal, I withhold my vote.
I claim my personal freedom by withdrawing my participation in a rigged contest between two liberty hating Statists.
I remain free from false choices because I will not make them.
Telling me that things will be only slightly less horrible if I pick the Republican/Democrat option is not a selling point. And I feel sorry for the people that think that is their only choice or that by making it their life will change for the better. They are mentally trapped and chained. They are not free because they have ceded what they know is right and cling to the poor belief that choosing a slower death is the same as living. They would rather choose a lesser evil than follow their convictions and struggle for a better and more honest system. The “lesser evil” people don’t vote their own principles, they vote against someone else’s.
By participating in Hobson’s choices, they perpetuate a system of tyranny, corruption and destitution. Refusing to participate is the more honest and frankly liberating option, but they remain in the mental trap of less evil must be good. It’s not.
I personally refuse to be part of the continuing problem, which is pretending that by choosing smaller evils we can one day become good.
If I am prevented, for whatever reason, the opportunity to vote for someone that is not a Statist, Keynesian, and Charlatan – then I do not vote. And I do not EVER believe campaign promises. I look at a candidate’s record and his associations and recorded writings – never promises. “Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing.” ~Edmund Burke
If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain.
Do not fall for the, if you don’t vote, then you have no right to complain argument. That is utter nonsense. First of all, I am given by God the right and ability to speak. If I choose to, I will complain with my dying breath. But the people who claim I have no right to complain if I do not participate in my own enslavement are essentially saying that if I am mugged by two robbers at the same time and don’t choose one to take slightly less of my money, I have no right to complain about it! That’s just absurd! It is like Henry Ford saying I can have a car in any color I like, so long as it’s Black. The American political system right now is essentially Morton’s Fork or a Hobson’s Choice – You can have any President you want, so long as it is one of two handpicked and establishment produced, equally corrupt, lying, statist, warmongering, debt increasing, freedom hating, banker and corporation controlled options.
I end by asking this: If the Republicans and Democrats somehow cloned Stalin and Hitler and offered them to America as the two candidates, would the “lesser evil” proponents feel compelled to vote in such an election? Could they ethically, morally, and honestly cast a vote for the “lesser” of two barbaric mass murderers and feel proud that their choice killed a million fewer people? Could they claim with pride that they voted for good because the winner was less terrible and the people slightly less poverty stricken? Or would the rational and moral choice be to refuse to consent to the election of either man -to refuse the contention that by voting for the lesser evil you have stopped evil? By casting a vote, you are legitimizing the choices offered. You would in this hypothetical, by casting a vote for the lesser evil, be advocating FOR the death of millions. Would the “lesser evil” proponents really tell me that if I followed my conscience and principles by not opting for evil in either form, I am silenced forever from complaining about the evil I see and abhor? I hope the answers are clear. To me they are.