When the choices presented are the electric chair or the gas chamber it’s hard to gin up much enthusiasm for the choosing.
But we have to choose, eh?
Then again, there is a third choice. The Libertarian choice.
And it’s not Gary Johnson. Who of course isn’t one. A Libertarian, I mean. (See here for at-length rant about that).
So, what’s our third option?
None of the above.
Decline to endorse the lesser of two evils.
Doing so – if enough of us did so – would have one very salutary result: It would leave the “winner” – whether He or She – without the pretense of a mandate. This would de-legitimize either’s agenda from the get-go.
It would be very hard for the Red Queen, as a for-instance, to issue a a decree ordering the surrender of people’s firearms.
Well, she could issue the befehl easily enough. But the obviously “anti-democratic” nature of the thing would impair her ability to carry it out. She would be seen for just what she is – a shrill tyrant acting contrary to the popular will.
Or at least, a very large portion thereof.
Similarly, Il Duce would find it challenging to do the various ugsome things he has in mind, for the same reason.
Not just Libertarians but Americans generally have a real opportunity here. Almost everyone, regardless of their politics, is disgusted by politics. By the complete capture of both parties and the occupation of the government by grifters and worse who have their hands around our necks, another in our pockets and the other grabbing our genitals, firmly.
It has got to stop. But voting won’t stop it.
In fact, doing so only makes it worse – by legitimizing the outcome. This enables them. Which is always bad news for us.
No matter the form of government, consent – the illusion of it – is necessary. The people must acquiesce and this is only achievable long-term if most people believe, however grudgingly, that most other people accept the legitimacy of the government. If not, it’s a very big us against an extremely small bunch of them.
You end up with the oligarchs waving mechanically from atop Lenin’s Tomb.
It doesn’t sell.
Now, the salutary fact is the presidential (s)elections are already illegitimate, in terms of the “consent of the governed” and the most sacred of all democratic shibboleths – the “will of the majority.”
This is just not generally known.
It should be, so let’s have a look:
Of the eligible electorate, only about 50 percent have bothered to vote in previous presidential elections. The “winner” is the one who manages to get somewhere north of half the 50 percent. Usually about 2 percent north.
The other fourth having opposed outright, the remaining fifty percent or so having expressed their contempt (or indifference) by not involving themselves at all.
Even a “landslide” victory – like Ronald Reagan’s over Walter Mondale in ’84 – was only such in terms of the minority who voted. Reagan carried every state except Mondale’s home state of Minnesota, but he only received 54,455,472 votes (vs. Mondale’s 37,577,352) out of a voting-age population of about 170 million people. See for yourself.
In other words, even in a “historic” and “lopsided” contest such as the ’84 race, most people – the vast majority – chose neither of the above.
And yet, ol’ Flatop was able to claim – and act on – a “mandate,” because of the way the system whitewashes minority rule. A candidate just barely wins a state by obtaining a plurality of votes cast and the whole state goes Red (or Blue) as if universal consent had just been given. Even though only about 26 percent of the eligibles actually gave their ja! to the New Leader.
It’s a magnificent con, you’ve got to give it to them.
But it’s a con, nonetheless.
The Dear Leaders and their minions need to claim “the people” have spoken in order to anoint themselves as bearers of the will of the people. But what if only a few of the people have spoken – and the rest are on to the con?
This is a big problem – for those who esteem democracy.
Because this ain’t it.
Because the majority hasn’t spoken.
Or rather, has – but its wishes are systematically trampled by a minority.
If the majority ever becomes aware of this, look out.
By not voting next week.
Imagine it. He – or she -“wins” a (s)election in which only a third of the eligible voter pool had anything to do with it. The “winner” having obtained say half that third.
It couldn’t be whitewashed. No matter how red – or blue – the CNN map ends up. People – the majority – would be on to the con.
Which would do to government what sodium silica does to an engine. It would seize up the works. Make it harder at least and – hopefully – impossible for the Cthulhus in DC to flail their tentacles effectively.
Whether it’s He – or She.
That would be an outcome worth “voting” for.
By not voting at all.
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