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  • Thomas Hallifax

The Foolishness Of Voting ~ When's That Going to Work?

Ever notice that at certain parts of the year flocks of signs show up in peoples yards, decked out in red, white, and blue with somebody's name on it? It's not the migration of a rare bird species and it's not an invasive one carving out an unwelcome niche; it's a symptom of an ongoing condition. This condition is called the belief in authority and voting is just one of it's many manifestations.

Like any symptom it doesn't spring up without cause but, before going there let's look at what it is. Voting at the most basic physical level is marking a paper and putting it in a machine (unless they have booths with a little lever thingy) but that is literally what voting is. After this ritual is complete a small group of people hundreds of miles away perform a whole set of other rituals. After they finish their rituals they play a game of musical chairs, make some speeches, then sit down. When all is said and done people go right back to whatever they did before. Sounds silly right? Well no, for some of these odd ducks it's the most important thing in the world. The question is why?

To get into the answers that underlie this strange phenomenon it's critical to understand the belief in authority. People who vote believe that all the actions and activity of the daily life around them are under the control of groups of leaders that they call "government." The people they choose get society's permission to change things in other organizations, fire or hire, and make new rules; all of which affect the voters ability to live life. When so many people believe that they are controlled by someone else, it's easy to understand why people take this voting thing so serious. When you get to choose the person that tells you what to do in life, it's important not to get tricked into having a nasty, greedy, meany telling you what you can and can't do.

Now we have some understanding of what drives the flock of signs and herds people to polling places. Let's take a look at what voting says about the voter. No, I'm not going to talk about how voters vote, or who for; I'm going to cover what the fact that voters vote says about them. The first and most obvious has already been touched on; voters believe that someone else is in charge of them. A more subtle element is that in the act of voting they are stating that they do not believe they are free; would someone who knows they are free ever beg political "leaders" for permission on anything? No!

People who vote normally don't think of it as an act of violence, but it is. In essence (no matter which direction you vote) the voter is saying "hey government punish that person or group, not me" and the "other side" is saying the same thing. They don't recognize the point of "hey government, stop trying to tell people what to do." Now most voters see voting as some kind of responsibility as if they are ones "taking action" to "make change" but actually they are asking someone else to either tell other people to go "make change" or give permission to some group to go "make change." What this says is that voters believe they are either helpless or need permission to the obviously helpful thing for themselves or others. No matter how a person votes or whom for, voting itself speaks volumes.

All the absurdity of this belief makes one wonder what the end results actually are. After each voting cycle it should be the case that better decisions are made by better leaders and societies’ problems are gradually fixed, shockingly however they seem to get worse. Violence is generally the net outcome of the whirlwind of political fervor. No matter which party is voting for what or who the us versus them mentality is, the voting process doesn’t exactly encourage collaboration, creative problem solving, or even peaceful disagreement. The fear of one group forcing it’s will on another by way of government basically ensures hot tempers and bad actors. The only real winner is the state and it’s “officials” that scoop up a big bundle of cash and ever more power to control the masses.    

By the end of all this drama and madness is an uncomfortable question; when’s this whole voting circus actually going to work to create peace in society? The short answer is that it never has and never will. A follow up question then would be; what kind of alternative does work? Social problems can realistically only be solved by the individuals that form society. When people believe that things will be solved by some all-powerful person in some office, it’s no wonder solutions never come. Truly effective benefits will only begin to manifest as more people stop looking to government for the answers. It makes a lot more sense to think that the behaviors of people that make up the human experience depend far more on the people themselves and not on some power drunk nut in a fancy suit hundreds of miles away.   


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