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Only cowards vote

by Per Bylund

The official truth is that voting is a glorious thing, that it may even be a democratic duty. After all, most free countries have a history of bloodshed and war, which was the only way of finally getting rid of terror and oppression to establish Democracy: Where we, the people, rule ourselves and there are no kings, lords, or absolute rulers. In such a world, are we not obliged to show our respects to those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom? Voting means exercising the very core principle of the freedom their sacrifice has granted our glorious generation; if not a legal duty, it should be a moral obligation. 

We have heard it said many times in many ways: Blessed be thee, oh voter! And curs'd be thee, who do not honour the sacrifice of our fathers! He who does not vote has no right to complain! 

But if you are one of us who do not vote, do not despair. Official truths are so often official lies that it is difficult to tell them apart. And if you do not understand the evils of political power and the state, then you may easily be misled to believe in its self-proclaimed goodness and the seemingly forever repeated gospel. Do not despair, because voters are nothing but the worst of hypocrites and despicable cowards. 

Don't believe me? Then let me show you.

There are two kinds of voters: Those who vote because they believe in a candidate, a party, or a program, and those who vote to stop a candidate, a party, or a program. In either case, they are cowards and we should offer them nothing but our sincerest contempt. 

Those who cast their ballots for someone or something do so out of belief that they can change the world through voting, that the system is generally just and accountable to the voting populace. Some of them may even believe that their vote actually counts, which should make us doubt their ability to think straight. But what they do is grant legitimacy not only to a candidate or party, but to the system of dog-eat-dog politics. Politics is a winner-takes-all kind of game, but winners and losers alike — they all share that they voted

I have previously discussed what it means to vote and will not repeat myself. But it is safe to say that those voting for a change want to see that change happening — at least to some degree. But whereas this is obviously true, we also know that these people do not go about trying to accomplish this change in some other way: They expect voting to bring about the change through political means. 

The people voting against some change are not different: They do not wish to see the particular change and therefore vote for someone not supporting it. And while doing so they automatically vote in support for some other change, unless their candidate is literally a conservative and wishes no change at all (but then why would they run for office?). Whether the change they vote against is good or bad, they still expect their voting to make the difference. 

It is true that voters sometimes use other means to bring about change and vote. But even so, voting reveals their belief that political decisions not only matter but are important; they deem politics so important that they prefer voting to doing something else — and so they cast their ballot in support of a candidate, a party, or program. This is true even if the candidate does not offer the best of solutions or even promises to work for a solution close to the one preferred by the voter. They still cast their votes. 

But of interest to us here is not primarily the rationale for casting votes, even though it is important to establish that votes are always cast for someone or something. What is of interest here is: What is the nature of this change for which all voters knowingly or uncomprehendingly cast their votes in support? 

The change, it must be stressed, is always of a political nature. This is no surprise, but few seem to be able to or want to connect the dots: The change they desire is not for themselves, but for you and me and the neighbour's son and the lady down the street and themselves. Their preference is not to put in an option they lack and would choose, but for a one-system solution that we all will be forced to accept one way or the other. The only means to establish a political solution is to do so by force and coercion: Against people's will if there are dissenters. 

It is in this sense the voter is a despicable coward: Just like the person hiring brutes to beat up an enemy rather than doing it himself, or hiring a hit man rather than making the kill himself, the voter hides and lets others do his dirty work. The voter is too lazy to try to establish the change for and by himself — or too evil to allow others to seek their own solutions. In either case, the voter pretends to have his hands and conscience clean while pointing murderers to their victims. 

The only moral approach to change is to bring it about yourself and stand tall knowing it is your own work, whether in success or defeat. The coward hides behind smoke screens, representatives with fancy titles, and faceless, anonymous systems that carry out their deeds. The former is the radical, the free spirit, and the entrepreneur; the latter is simply the cheat, the fraud, and the crook — in democratic terms, the politician and voter. 

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