There’s a lot of political banter and division this time of year (as always) and there is a lot of extremely sharp disagreement on multiple sides, but there is one thing that all sides seem to have in common; one message that all parties seem to echo in unison, and that is: “exercise your right to vote”. Whatever way you vote and no matter what side you are on, there seems to be only one thing more despicable than voting for ‘the wrong guy’ and that is: not voting at all. All parties seem to agree that to vote, in and of itself, is an indispensable virtue – regardless of how one votes, why one votes, and with what knowledge one votes.
But can (and more importantly should) voting be torn from its context of how, why, and what so whimsically? Think about what it means to vote. A vote is a pledge of support to some aspect/action of the Government – and the Government is the only legal agent of force in the country. The Government can do nothing but by force (or the threat of force). If the Government can only act by force, and if a vote is a pledge of support to some action(s) of the Government, then a vote is a pledge of support to one or more uses of force. To paint the picture more clearly: to vote is to give instructions on where to point the guns. To vote is to pledge one’s support behind the type of force to be used, where, when, why, how much, and against whom. Anyone who has ever handled a fire-arm knows to treat it with the utmost respect and caution – and never to treat it flippantly. Why, then, would anyone treat voting – an activity which aims, not one gun, by millions, at not one person, but potentially everyone in the country – any differently? The fact that you do not immediately witness the negative consequences in voting that you would in an accidental shooting does not change the fact that you were an essential accomplice in a horrific crime. To vote is to take part in a very weighty activity – an activity never to be taken lightly.
And therefore, there is absolutely no virtue in “exercising your right to vote” regardless of how, why, and with what knowledge you do so because there is no virtue in forcefully enslaving others to your own ignorance. Before you vote, make sure you have a proper understanding of what it means to vote, of what the Government is (and is not) and how the Government properly should (and should not) function. This isn’t a cute little popularity contest. This isn’t a game. And this isn’t an opportunity for you to “express yourself”. This is a massive and dangerous weapon – and it is not to be trifled with. Be careful, lest your vote (your pledge behind a specific use of force) puts innocent blood on your hands.