And so you see, Mom, that’s why I don’t vote.

I came out of the closet as a non-voter to my family-in-law this summer.  It was upsetting for all of us.  Especially difficult was when they asked why.  How to explain the evolution – no, rather, the clarifying – of my understanding about democracy in dinner table conversation?  See, Mom, it’s just that I have come to understand the Founding Fathers as the liberals they were.  Well, and what is wrong with liberalism, they would like to know.  The more one tries to talk and explain this kind of thing to a baffled audience, the more one realizes that other picnic-goers view you as perhaps being a sandwich or two short…

Well, they would like to know, if I don’t like liberals, why don’t I just vote Republican?  Because, you know, Republicans are conservatives, so even though you may embarrass your family by being a conservative, at least it is a thing which they can understand.  As opposed to just not voting at all which is frankly…suspicious.

My dilemma is really kind of solved now, though, for whenever my back is up against the wall and I am forced to confess my dogged refusal to vote even for conseratives, I shall simply say:

…the function of conservatism in society is to preserve and protect liberalism from its own excesses. Conservatives are the abused enablers of progressives and always will be, mopping up the vomit and excrement after the drunken binges to make sure that they can continue.

And I think that will nicely end any further dinner table queries about my political preferences.  Don’t you?

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14 thoughts on “And so you see, Mom, that’s why I don’t vote.

  1. Bears don’t get to vote. We don’t have addresses. If we did, we’d all want to vote for Theodore Roosevelt.
    In all seriousness, do you think the problem may stem from not being able to find a candidate whose interests are in line with yours?

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  2. I’m rather insane about voting and this may be because I’m a taxpayer in my own right. I pay taxes on my income. I pay taxes for the “privilege” of owning my own house. Sheesh. I pay taxes for the “privilege” of owning my own personal mode of transportation. If I’m going to pay and pay and pay, I’m damn well going to have something to say about it, however small. (Actually nothing sets me off faster than discussing “property” taxes – the most absolute regressive tax there is so I’m going to stop right now before I get my Irish up, LOL).

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  3. I stay on the voter rolls in part because it gets me jury duty–can be depressing, of course, and a very real pain, but juries need sensible people who can see through the nonsense that many lawyers on both sides of the judge practice.

    And I vote against the guy who is the worse of two evils. Looks a lot like voting Republican, but different in my motivations.

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  4. I’m disappointed.

    Not that you’ve decided to stop voting but that you see the Founders as basically liberals(I’m assuming you mean in the non-classical sense). What would lead you to that conclusion? Were their sacrifices only for self gain with a morsel thrown out there for posterity? They were flawed, sure, but give them their due. The complexities of governing, even in this country’s infancy, are greater than what you might think. It was not and will never be(hopefully) “my way or the highway” in our representative republic.

    I can understand why people pull back from conservatism. It often calls for a slow slog. It says to walk when we want to run, stay grounded when we want to fly. It demands patience and prudence. Its strengths are mistaken for weaknesses. There is a similarity in how Chesterton(or Lewis – I forget which) described Christianity: its not that it has been tried and found wanting; its that it has been found difficult and left untried.

    There will never be a perfect candidate – even among conservatives. So what? This is about the long haul. If you can’t find the perfect conservative, then find an imperfect one. If you find a democrat to vote for, you probably haven’t done your homework.

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    • The Founders were less morally psychotic than many of their philosophical children. They were probably even most of them very sincere. And many of them certainly did make many sacrifices. That doesn’t make them right. “Classical” liberals are still, when it comes down to it, liberals. They still make freedom the political priority. For why that’s wrong, it might be worth reading some of the articles on the subject at the site our host linked to; just type liberalism is the search box. The most recent post, “You’d better hope it comes up heads,” probably isn’t a bad place to start, though “Definition of Liberalism” and “Leftist Larvae” wouldn’t be bad either.

      As for conservatives, while I can’t speak for our host, my own objection is not to their slowness. As a matter of fact, I prefer a bit of caution. What my objection to them really is, is that what they’re conserving is just more liberalism. That’s also my objection to what the nationalists, libertarians, neo-reactionaries, most of the reactionaries, etc. are peddling.

      Given that my choices are not between liberals and not-liberals, but between assorted varieties of liberals making different unprincipled exceptions (since liberalism is incoherent, ALL liberals make unprincipled exceptions), given the negligible effect of my vote on the contest, given the investment of time and energy necessary to vote wisely, and given the misgivings I have about the whole process and the philosophies underpinning it, what possible justification could there be for me to vote?

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      • “…given the negligible effect of my vote on the contest, given the investment of time and energy necessary to vote wisely, and given the misgivings I have about the whole process and the philosophies underpinning it, what possible justification could there be for me to vote?”

        It seems to me you’re cornering yourself with excuses. I’ve been noticing this more often where conservatives, liberals(and whomever else) have been painted with a broad brush while never really letting on about a coherent political philosophy that would be an adequate alternative. “Neo-” this or “reactionary-” that are phrases that have little use in trying to understand differing political philosophies. They just muck things up.

        I’m a conservative because it appeals to the commonsense as it relates to political governance and because it is the most sympathetic to the Christian ethic that has been part of our heritage and traditions since the first settlers arrived. Preserve those laws, customs and traditions that have proven themselves to be beneficial to our nation’s political health and prudently discard those which have proven to be a thorn in our side. The continual leftward drift of the Democrat party has – and I don’t say this lightly – caused it to become un-American. That is, it’s principles are now at odds with those of our founding ideals. Therefore, it is in no position to carry the mantle forward. Libertarianism shares some principles with conservatism but it lacks maturity. There is little else left.

        I sincerely don’t get the grouping of the political parties into a melting pot of moral relativism. One is actively destroying this country through its policies while the other is being bludgeoned by the media on one side while the citizenry is – against their own best interests, I believe – attacking it from the other side. If there’s ever been a time where the options are clear, this is it.

        (I realize there’s a lot more that can be discussed on these topics, such as the “fourth branch” of government and so on, but sleep beckons).

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      • “The Founders were less morally psychotic than many of their philosophical children. They were probably even most of them very sincere. And many of them certainly did make many sacrifices. That doesn’t make them right. “Classical” liberals are still, when it comes down to it, liberals. They still make freedom the political priority. For why that’s wrong…”

        I had already read the first suggested post from Zippy’s site and I’ll just say that I’ve been finding his posts less agreeable. So be it. The founders being “less morally psychotic…” implies they still had some moral psychosis, but I don’t believe that label is warranted. I looked up the phrase, just to be sure, and the only result I found(in five pages) was “The Moral Psychosis of Demonstrating in Support of Hamas.” That I understand.

        So, rather than an ongoing critique of the failings of the founders and the various political parties, what would be a good, concentrated summary of a political philosophy that the people could rally around that seeks to preserve the best that this country has to offer while respecting individual rights? I would be interested in reading anyone’s thoughts.

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      • re: herbie31

        As far as excuses, eh, maybe. It could be sloth or despair or cowardice or whatever. Or it could be that it really is, so far as I can tell, such a poor use of resources that even getting into combox debates is a better use of my time. You can’t know my motives. Given that, it might be more productive if you stuck to addressing the claims and questions given, rather than psychoanalyzing me.

        As far as what people should be doing?

        “He is free who lives as he wishes to live; to whom none can do violence, none hinder or compel; whose impulses are unimpeded, whose desires attain their purpose, who falls not into what he would avoid. Who then would live in error? None. Who would live deceived and prone to fall, unjust, intemperate, in abject whining at his lot? None. Then doth no wicked man live as he would, and therefore neither is he free.” -Epictetus

        If freedom is really what you value, then you will practice and encourage the practice of virtue. The virtuous man, exemplified by the martyrs, is free under any circumstance, because there is no circumstance under which one cannot choose the good. The wicked man is not free when he has the whole world and everything in it, a slave to his passions and appetites, a slave to sin.

        I don’t have a complete alternative political system. But to focus on rights or freedom, as opposed to what is good or true, is a mistake that ultimately costs us rights and freedom, just as the man who loves his life will lose it. And we don’t need a complete and perfect alternative (indeed, I doubt such a thing could even exist) to know that we’re doing something wrong, and that the first step fixing the problem is to stop making things worse, and a bit of backtracking might be in order. Besides, we’re not gonna save the world. But we might, just possibly, by the grace of God, escape it’s ruin at the end of time.

        Nothing that happens at the ballot box is going to change that.

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  5. I’ve only voted for presidents and then local people my mother asked me to. lol I should be more involved locally though. It’s a duty and a responsibility, and I am a property owner individually. I recently observed the swearing in of new school board members. My husband expects I will be some sort of elected official some day simply because there aren’t many of the younger generation left here and there will be a die out in ten years or so. He suggested I run for Congress, and things like this are tempting to think about (and how nice to have a husband to believe it is possible for you to win :)), but one has to fight back the foe of feminism pretty regularly. Maybe once we get Trump in we can leave it to the men to get things back in order. For now, every single vote counts. If you reconsider, consider voting #Trump2016.

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  6. I’m very proud to say that my wife, who shares my belief against women voting, practices what she preaches.

    She has offered to register to vote so that I may give her a list of candidates to choose. While I’m delighted at such a show of submission, I enjoy knowing she has never participated in such an unladylike activity.

    Our mothers are both quite feminist, so she frequently gets called on her belief. Her mother once said something to the effect of, “The first feminists were arrested for just trying to register to vote! So why wouldn’t you take advantage of something that was fought so hard for on your behalf? ”

    But when I chime in and suggest that if we knew what we know now, those early feminists should have been hanged, that usually puts a stop to those sorts of conversations.

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  7. Your point of view is interesting Sunshine! We do vote… all the time… for minor and big things. Our city is extremely corrupt, it’s so sad, but voting makes sure that good people’s voices are heard, and although it may not be able to make sure corruption stops, when good people stand up for what is right, there may be small changes that work together to ultimately make a major change.

    Mostly I feel the need to vote personally now because of my husband being a public servant of our city. The corruption directly affects him, his job, our health insurance, his pay (our only income right now), and so doing whatever I can to combat that is (I believe) the right and morally good thing to do. 🙂 We just had a MAJOR win against our corrupt city manager!!! A fight that has taken place for over 2 years now, but was very much worth fighting for.

    Don’t completely lose hope, your voice matters, and it’s a little scary when good people don’t do anything when there’s so much evil happening around us. We need good people like you, please don’t stop giving your voice when it’s much needed.

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  8. Pingback: This Week in Reaction (2015/12/06) | The Reactivity Place

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