Tag Archives: don’t vote

Not Voting Is a Powerful Form of Dissent

Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow
Saturday, June 18, 2016

Imagine living in a country in which the two major parties had nominated a statist, war-mongering crook and a nasty authoritarian narcissist. Imagine being embarrassed that after more than two centuries of existence this apparently was the best your beloved country could do. Imagine considering that the best option on Election Day might be committing ritual Seppuku, but deciding to stay home instead.

The Freedom to Stay Home

Politicians have no right to insist that the disaffected suffer through the humiliation of voting.But then imagine government officials showing up at your door, demanding that you accompany them to the polling place to vote for one of the candidates who you would scratch your eyes out before actually watching speak. That is the world which some high-minded “civic activists” desire.

Every election can be expected to unleash ponderous commentaries bemoaning low voter turnout. Many Americans don’t register, let alone cast ballots. Why, oh why, won’t they get out and participate—which usually means vote left? It is so unfair, we are told. The wealthy, elderly, and well-educated disproportionately participate, which “skews policymaking,” complained the Economist. Just think of all the government programs the underrepresented could vote for themselves if only they showed up on Election Day.

Of course, there is another way of looking at the process. Today those most likely to follow politics, understand issues, watch the news, and know the candidates vote disproportionately. Which might “skew” policy, but presumably in a very good way. Those choosing America’s leaders are actually more likely to know something. Amazing thought!

Forced to Vote

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Not a Dime’s Worth of Difference

Not a Dime’s Worth of Difference

 

What if all the remaining presidential candidates really want the same things? What if they all offer essentially the same ideas couched in different words? What if these primary races have become beauty pageants largely based on personality and advertising?

What if our system of governance is so deep into the fabric of big government in the second decade of the 21st century that all the presidential candidates really believe that most voters actually want the government to care for them?

What if all major candidates in both major political parties promise a federal government that can right any wrong, regulate any behavior, tax any event, solve any problem and borrow unlimited amounts of money?

What if the federal government is broke? What if it is politically committed to spending more money than it collects in revenue? What if all the candidates believe in borrowing money today and again borrowing money next year to pay off today’s debts? What if rolling over federal debt never pays off or even pays down the principal?

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Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change.

The people we elect aren’t the ones calling the shots, says Tufts University’s Michael Glennon

ISTOCK/PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY LESLEY BECKER/GLOBE STAFF

THE VOTERS WHO put Barack Obama in office expected some big changes. From the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping to Guantanamo Bay to the Patriot Act, candidate Obama was a defender of civil liberties and privacy, promising a dramatically different approach from his predecessor.

But six years into his administration, the Obama version of national security looks almost indistinguishable from the one he inherited. Guantanamo Bay remains open. The NSA has, if anything, become more aggressive in monitoring Americans. Drone strikes have escalated. Most recently it was reported that the same president who won a Nobel Prize in part for promoting nuclear disarmament is spending up to $1 trillion modernizing and revitalizing America’s nuclear weapons.

Though it’s a bedrock American principle that citizens can steer their own government by electing new officials, Glennon suggests that in practice, much of our government no longer works that way. In a new book, “National Security and Double Government,” he catalogs the ways that the defense and national security apparatus is effectively self-governing, with virtually no accountability, transparency, or checks and balances of any kind. He uses the term “double government”: There’s the one we elect, and then there’s the one behind it, steering huge swaths of policy almost unchecked. Elected officials end up serving as mere cover for the real decisions made by the bureaucracy.

Glennon cites the example of Obama and his team being shocked and angry to discover upon taking office that the military gave them only two options for the war in Afghanistan: The United States could add more troops, or the United States could add a lot more troops. Hemmed in, Obama added 30,000 more troops.

Glennon’s critique sounds like an outsider’s take, even a radical one. In fact, he is the quintessential insider: He was legal counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a consultant to various congressional committees, as well as to the State Department. “National Security and Double Government” comes favorably blurbed by former members of the Defense Department, State Department, White House, and even the CIA. And he’s not a conspiracy theorist: Rather, he sees the problem as one of “smart, hard-working, public-spirited people acting in good faith who are responding to systemic incentives”—without any meaningful oversight to rein them in.

How exactly has double government taken hold? And what can be done about it? Glennon spoke with Ideas from his office at Tufts’ Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. This interview has been condensed and edited.

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P. Diddy Abandons “Vote or Die” Movement, Says Voting Is A “Scam”

Home»News»P. Diddy Abandons “Vote or Die” Movement, Says Voting Is A “Scam” John Vibes October 24, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) Some people can really only take so much of the political process before they give up on the system entirely. This is especially true in modern times, where every candidate is pro-war and pro-establishment. Obama was the last hope for many people who thought a politician could change things, but when Obama brought more of the same, some people became awake to the reality that politicians are usually con artists and that the entire political system is a scam.

Even P. Diddy, the rapper formerly known as Puff Daddy, admitted in a recent interview that voting is a scam. This is ironic considering Diddy was the figurehead of the “Vote or Die” movement, which encouraged young people to vote for nearly a decade.

During a Q&A at Revolt’s music conference, Diddy was asked about the upcoming elections — and his answer was surprisingly refreshing.

Diddy told the audience:

“See the things [sic] that’s tricky about politics is there’s so much bullshit with it. We started Vote or Die and… and from the community we’re in, we’re not with hearing too much of the bullshit. So that’s why we get disenfranchised, [we’re] disconnected because nothing that they’re saying actually relates to us… So Vote or Die, and getting out the vote, those things [were] laid out there so people could understand about the process. We started Vote or Die, and the whole process was all full of shit. The whole shit is a scam.”

Diddy said people can vote if they want to, but it probably won’t change anything.

“At the end of the day, I’m not telling you not to vote. But I’m saying be a realist and know that they’re motherfucking kicking some bullshit up there,” he said.

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from a decidedly male perspective