When Should You Not Vote?

Talking to some, one would almost think it was a mortal sin not to vote.  There might even be a certain place in hell for people who don't vote.  It's a wonder Dante didn't write about the topic.

And of course, it is said if you don't vote, you lose the right to complain.

But I would like to challenge this conventional wisdom.  I find it a little too ill thought out.  I think there are plenty of times you should deeply consider not voting. 

1. Don't Vote Just to Vote

I believe voting just to vote is deeply immoral.  Voting just to vote is like being on a jury and finding somebody guilty or innocent "just because."  Voting just to vote is unjust.  Don't "rock the vote" just because MTV thinks you mindlessly pulling a lever is better than you not voting.  If you do that, you are just a sheep falling into somebody else's power game.  Voting just to vote makes you and everyone else in our society a victim, and not an actual participant in our democracy.

2. Don't Vote If You Don't Know the Candidate

If you are going to cast your lot for a certain candidate, you should only do so because you've considered ALL the possible candidates you are voting for in each office, thought about where they stand on the issues, have considered their general character and qualifications to hold office, and believe they in some way represent what you believe is important for our society. 

Going into the voting booth and pulling the lever for somebody because they belong to a certain political party, or because you saw an ad on the TV and thought they'd be a great person to have a beer with, is rather idiotic.  Don't be stupid.  Vote straight party if you feel you think every candidate in that party represents you and what you believe to be good for the country.  But if you don't know that to be factually true, don't vote straight party.  In voting straight party, you are quite possibly voting for some really terrible candidates who don't have your interests in mind, and you are empowering such people simply because they have an R, D, or L next to their name. 

In my opinion, having the option to vote straight party should be illegal.  There should be no party names next to any persons' name.  Such only encourages uninformed voting, and making people useful idiots.

Don't vote out of ignorance or because you decided it'd be fun to randomly pick a few people that you know little to nothing about.  Don't do things like randomly select county commissioners, sheriffs, judges, or other such people, simply because you have this nervous itch to vote with a completed ballot, and having an incomplete ballot drives your "type A" personality insane.  It's ok if your ballot is incomplete.  This isn't a graded quiz.  Your ballot doesn't need to be completed.  You aren't going to get an F on your report card if you don't fill in every category. 

If you are going to vote your conscience, then you need to make a vote based on actual knowledge.  If you don't know, don't vote!  Your vote impacts our society, and the last thing our society needs is some politician in office who got there by a bunch of people who randomly picked their name out of a hat.  This isn't a lottery or magic trick you are participating in.

3. Don't Vote If All the Choices are Bad

A lot of people are upset about the candidates in the 2016 election.  Donald Trump seems like a terrible candidate.  Hillary Clinton is terrible too.  Jill Stein doesn't offer me anything I really want in a president.  As of now, I plan on voting for Gary Johnson, but there are some stances he takes that I'm not very excited about, and make me pause and question whether I should even be voting at all.  I'm almost at the point I would consider not voting for any of the 2016 presidential candidates.  And you know what?  That's ok.  And guess what?  If I do I am not forfeiting my right to complain or participate in our democracy (in spite of what people mindlessly parrot). 

In our form of government, our elected officials are supposed to be people we elect that represent us.  They are elected to congress or the presidency in order to represent our interests.  Therefore, you should NEVER vote for somebody who doesn't represent you in any way, shape, or form. 

Don't hold your nose to vote.  Only vote if somebody truly represents you and where you stand on the issues.  If somebody doesn't represent most of the views you hold, and if you don't think they'd attempt to do most of the things you don't want done, then voting for somebody just to vote is about the dumbest thing you could possibly do. 

Why in God's name would you do something like that?  It simply lacks sense.  That means you are intentionally voting for somebody who is going to represent the total opposite of what you want done in office.  Do you realize how stupid that is?  Don't choose to be stupid.  Rather, choose not to vote!

Not voting is an option, and one you should seriously consider if there are simply no candidates who represent you running for elected office.  Choose not to vote, then exercise your right to give your opinion in public about why you think voting for any of the candidates is a dumb idea.  It's the only reasonable thing to do.  In truth, voting just to vote is the only way you forfeit your right to an opinion in our democracy.  If you vote for somebody who doesn't represent your point of view, then you are actually silencing your point of view and forfeiting your opinion.  Your opinion is the one that truly doesn't count when you vote against your interests!


Don't rock the vote just to rock the vote.  If you just can't bring yourself to vote for any candidate, then don't.  It's the only morally right thing to do. Corrupt politicians and corporations may prod the sheep into voting just to vote, because for them, it's simply a numbers and power game.  Don't be some corrupt politicians sheep or useful idiot. 

Politicians fear you not voting more than they fear you voting for somebody else.  Otherwise, they wouldn't push as hard as they do for large voter turnouts.  There is nothing politicians fear more than a low voter turnout.  For a low voter turnout robs them of money, power, and the ability to ultimately influence the world we live in, and to accomplish their agendas. 

A low voter turnout is practically a death sentence to a politicians' political career.  And if you refuse to vote because all the candidates are terrible, such a "protest vote" sends a signal to the powers that be that better candidates are needed.  Otherwise, if they know that the masses are going to vote just to vote, and if they can count on you mindlessly voting, then they will continue to put forward terrible candidates that will only further ruin our country, because they know you will vote for them anyway.  And that, in my opinion, is one of major reasons why we often have such terrible candidates running for office.

At the end of the day, sometimes the only way to make a difference and give your opinion in our society is to not vote.  Sometimes voting "none of the above" is the only logical and ethical decision possible.  And if you identify with some of the points I raised in this post, seriously, prayerfully consider not voting this election cycle.

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