Those of us who grew up in voting societies have been indoctrinated into the belief that voting is important, vital even and our civic duty. Social contract theories justifying the state rely upon the idea of tacit or implicit consent. None of us have ever signed this mythical social contract, and yet somehow, we are taken to be bound by it. If there is any legitimacy to these theories in today’s world, it comes in the form of voting. A vote is much like starting a new computer program in that it comes with a set of agreements and obligations. When you install a new app, you can either accept or reject the End User License Agreement. You cannot object to a specific portion and accept the rest. It’s a binary choice. Similarly, when voting, you implicitly agree to abide by the results of the election – even if your candidate loses.
By voting, you are supporting the system itself – regardless of the outcome. Our government (supposedly by, of and for the people) acts in our name. It could not absent our support. Each of us is therefore personally responsible for the actions of our government. Think about that for a second. Do you like secret laws, extraordinary rendition, secret prisons, drone-strike collateral damage, or mass-surveillance? (I know I don’t.) Did you vote in elections? If so, you are responsible for these things – whether you like them or not. Of course the responsibility is not solely yours, but each voter owns a piece of it.
In this supposedly democratic society, each participating voter is complicit in the crimes committed in their name. For those whose candidate lost – you are just as complicit as those who voted for the victor. Any vote is a vote for the system. Any vote is a vote of confidence and legitimizing support.
Don’t get caught up in the virtue-signalling that is rampant this season. Instead of appearing to be virtuous by supporting the ‘lesser of two evils,’ take the actually virtuous path of refusing to support an inherently corrupt and corrupting system.
To my classmates: most of you have never had the opportunity to vote before. You’ve also been indoctrinated throughout your lives that voting is the highest civic virtue. Choose yourselves this year – not some career politician or grandstanding populist. Take it from me, as someone who has been to war – someone who has prosecuted this nation’s policy abroad – that you don’t want the stain on your soul. Refuse to accept the burden of your forebearers’ sins.
Take the only stand that matters on election day. Vote for yourself, vote for the people, vote for what is right and good. Vote against systemic corruption, against the unelected political class, against fascistic corporate-governmental oligarchy, against total surveillance, against endless wars, against secrecy.
Let your voice be heard and vote against the system that has failed us all. This election day, let your voice be heard and make the only vote that counts – DON’T VOTE.