Don't Vote? Then Don't Bitch

Editorial written by Christopher Morrill on Thursday, April 6, 2000

from the unless-you're-under-18 dept.

In the spirit of the elections held across the area last Tuesday, I offer you this bit of wisdom: "Don't vote? Then don't bitch."

One of the best bumper stickers I have ever seen said, "Don't blame me, I voted for Bush." (My all time favorite was "Fuq Iraq" but that was somewhat of a dated concept).

By voting, even if you vote for the eventual loser, you can then absolve yourself from responsibility for all actions of the winner that you may find repulsive. On the other hand, if you vote for a winner that turns into a complete scandal magnet (like Clinton), you should admit it and apologize for your folly. Especially if you voted for him twice.

It's often said that "everyone talks about the weather, but no one ever does anything about it." (And no, KFVS doesn't really do anything about the weather either, despite what they may tell you.) Politics is not like the weather; you do have some say, however small.

I believe that if you do not vote, you should not complain about the government. A simple idea, but one that many people do not embrace.

This country is not a democracy, per se. A true democracy allows every person to vote on every single issue, and majority always rules. Given the depressing number of complete buffoons that live in this country, I am thankful that we have, instead, a republic. A quick Social Studies refresher: a republic allows the citizens to elect representatives who then, in turn, run the show for the common folks. Thanks to the Electoral College, even the President himself is not directly elected. You still have 99% of the say, though.

Despite the end of the Cold War, there are still a few billion people on the planet that have no say whatsoever in how their government functions. We, indirectly, do. How few people choose to exercise that privilege is depressing.

What I cannot stand is people getting all bitchy about things the government does, then do not vote. By surrendering your vote, you should cease and desist with your complaining. By not voting for or against the current regime, you have proclaimed your indifference. So shut the hell up, already.

Many people complain that there "just aren't any good candidates. They're all crooks." Well, let's assume for a moment that they are all crooks. Wouldn't you at least like to be able to say that you were not responsible for the Crook-in-Chief? Or, say, "He may be a crook, but that's my crook?" Heck, if you think you're real hot shit, vote for yourself.

I'd like to think that I had at least some say in how much of my paycheck goes from my wallet into the money-clips of crackheads, ne'er do wells, illegitimate children, and the like. Wouldn't you?

The huge number of people on the government's welfare rolls are a bastion of those who will always vote for the status quo, since their very existence depends on the tax dollars of the gainfully employed. The liberals have managed to buy votes with this system... it's like bribery, but using someone else's money. An ingenious idea, really. But even these mail-ordered voters don't show up at the polls in huge numbers. As luck would have it, the liberals' key constituency is often too illiterate to even make a simple "X" on a ballot box. Or even tell a donkey from an elephant. But this means there's still hope for the rest of us.

This nation was founded, and preserved, by pitched battles and a lot of spilled blood. Our Constitution is flexible enough to allow revolutions without bloodshed; the weapon of choice being not a musket, but a vote.

I would much rather vote for someone who loses than not vote at all. At least I tried. Voting gives you a get-out-of-jail-free card to go bitch and moan about the powers that be.

Even if you vote for a third party that has absolutely no chance of winning (as I am prone to do on occasion), you have made your statement. There is no wasted vote; ideas espoused by third parties are often snatched up by the big parties over time, as history shows. And, of, course, if you vote for a third party, it gives you the right to bitch about everyone.

Even if you vote for the status quo, at least you're up front about your content to be mediocre. Honesty sells, even if no one's buying.

At least have your say. Or don't bitch.