Ready, set, vote...or don't

I was going to do it. I really was. It has been said that people are dying in the Middle East for the right to vote, and the popular opinion is that, as such, any American who does not vote is dishonoring their deaths.

I think that’s a crock. First of all, those people do not have an Electoral College to override their popular vote. Secondly, they have no Supreme Court or hanging chads to further kill their vote. Nor do they have lobbyists and pollsters to scramble their brains like eggs in a frying pan. When they do, chances are they’ll come around to the same conclusion that many Americans have: the popular vote amounts to f**k all.

While getting ready to leave today, I asked myself if I really believed that last sentence. Does my vote count? My candidate of choice, Gary Johnson, certainly does not stand a chance, not the way things are now. Millions of Americans will have to change their minds about the two-party system both in the streets and in the media in order for any independent to stand a chance at the polls. Hence, casting a vote for Gary Johnson, while noble, amounts to the same action as tossing a penny into a wishing well, where a vote for Obama or Romney is more akin to laying one brick in a rising wall.

The Electoral College projection once again has Florida as a swing state. I wonder if we will see any purging from that state again or how the zombies will fare regarding turnout. The Departed did well in 2000, if you recall the amount of votes from dead people which were counted in favor of W.

I’m having flashbacks of the second W. Bush election, the one he stole from John Kerry in an Ohio recount, with votes from such esteemed members of society as Mary Poppins. Part of me hopes we’ll see this again with an Obama win. Why?

It would finally, I hope, show the American people that this system is a farce. It is a dog-and-pony show to keep the burghers believing that what they say or do, how they vote or write, actually matters. Maybe, just maybe if it happens again people will get angry and speak up loud enough against the Electoral College to get the media’s attention and perhaps do away with that burdening institution.

The election should be decided by the people and the people alone. It is the same principle as McDonald’s employees not being able to play the Monopoly game. There is too much chance of bet-hedging. Too many employees would be stealing fry cartons and ripping away the pieces until they found the ever elusive Boardwalk piece.

Here is a fact about how your vote works: “When U.S. citizens vote for President and Vice President every election year, ballots show the names of the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates, although they are actually electing a slate of "electors" that represent them in each state. The electors from every state combine to form the Electoral College.” (The Center of Voting and Democracy)

What does this say to you? Better yet, what does this say to me?

It says I’m staying home. At least this time around. Why? Because rather than vote not for a president but for a faceless member of the Electoral College, I think sitting it out and spending the next four years writing and speaking my fundament off until it’s worn down to a pencil nub against the Electoral College system would serve my country far better than casting a vote that does not really count.

I don’t want some selected, unknown pol voting for me, nor do I want to support that pol by casting a vote, especially considering my intended vote was for Gary Johnson, whom the Electoral College has no plans to consider. I want my vote to be about my choice and my choice alone, and for my horse to stand a chance in the race. This will take much time and much effort; I don’t even know if four years will be enough.

Most people just want to make sure their candidate keeps the rat race running. They don’t care about the inner workings of the system as long as they can get up and go to work, hit the gym, and come home to a decent dinner with their family and watch the Simpsons or Fear Factor or something like that, and then go to bed and wake up the next day to repeat the process. Also, they want their vacation so the kids can go to Disneyland or Six Flags or somewhere like that. And a nice retirement package. As long as they have those things in order their lives are well-mapped and secure; they don’t have to worry about all of this folderol.

Knowing this, I’ve got my work cut out for me if I intend to be instrumental in changing the way the system works. Is it foolishness or bravery? Before entering any fray, this is the question one must ask themselves. Today I decided it is foolish to vote for Gary Johnson, and I’ll be damned if I’m voting for either of the two nitwits heading the race. Both of those horses are ugly in a deeper sense than the superficial.

One intends to be a religious business leader, a warrior pope for the fatbacks. If lining the already bulging pockets of J.P. Morgan until the bastard has to buy parachute pants in order to accommodate his carry-around fortune, and engaging in crony capitalism is what will get America back on track we may as well have just stuck with George W. Bush.

The other intends to let a government panel decide whether I can be cured or not of any illness I may develop over the next fifty-or-so years I have left on this Earth, and send smokestack industry crumbling to the ground in order to institute green energy and promote cellular phone usage. He will make it next to pointless to start a business because hey, you know, you didn’t build that. We’re not sure who did, but it damn sure wasn’t you, and how dare you be so presumptuous as to believe that all your hard work actually means something?

It’s enough to make one want to eat bullets for breakfast.

No. I think I’ll just stay home for now and enjoy a day with my wife. Tonight, I’ll watch the sparks fly. I may even write more about it. It is with bated breath that I anticipate the outcome.

Oh, and for anyone who wants to tell me I cannot gripe because I did not vote, know this: you’re wrong. This is a free country. We still have freedom of speech. My choice not to vote was made right at the last minute and with pure pith and reason, and I think it’s the right one. If a person knows that his horse stands no chance, why place a bet? It’s a waste of time and money, and I’m not going to get a migraine over two candidates I despise just to satisfy the great big mouths on Facebook or elsewhere.

A final time, I reiterate: I don’t want either of these guys. So why bother? Do you go out and do things when you see no point in doing said things? Probably not. I rest my case.

In four years my opinion may change. I really hope it does. If not, I will not have done my job. Nor will the people I know who claim to want either change of the election process or an abolition of the Electoral College have done their job.


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  • While I was reading this, I started thinking about Bill Hicks's bit about Gideons, and then I started applying it to the Electoral College. Who are these guys, anyway? Have you ever seen one? I certainly haven't.

    Anyway, I've said it all my life, even before I was of voting age: the day they abolish the Electoral College is the day I will register to vote. That is when my voice will actually be heard.

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    I wanted not to believe this. I really did. People slam us for thinking this way. But I can't deny the fact that these faceless pols can either count your vote or not. Since I would not be voting for Obama or Romney, mine would be trashed.

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