Voting is painful for me – almost like going to see the dentist.
One the one hand, I wish our rights were not up for a vote; that I didn’t have to worry about someone else being in a position to simply pull a lever (or tap a screen) to take my money – or my liberty – away.
On the other hand, if by voting I can prevent my money or my liberty being taken away – and yours, also – then it seems okay to vote in favor of that.
Which has become a lot like buying a new car – and specifically, buying new car options. Which are plural, usually. The thing you want is bundled with things you may not want. The sunroof is part of a package. If you want that, you’ve got to buy this and that too.
It’s worse with voting, of course, because the package you’re stuck with costs more than just money for features you didn’t want. It is probably also going to end up costing someone else their rights – as well as yours.
Even as you’re voting to protect yours – and theirs.
This is so because casting a ballot is – among other things – the endowing of an official with essentially unrestricted proxy power to “represent” you . . . without any formal requirement that he is, in fact, representing you.
Even if he wanted to – exactly in accordance with your specific wishes – the thing is mechanically impossible. How does one person “represent” the will of even half a dozen different men and women? Let alone the thousands (if not tens of thousands) who vote in most congressional races and the millions who vote for senators, governors and presidents?
Even with the very best of intentions, the best that can be expected/hoped-for is that the person who is voted in will try to avoid acting in such a way as to violate the rights of any of the people who voted for him. And even those who didn’t vote for him.
But he is not obliged to act in that way.
This is arguably the fundamental problem with voting for “representatives.”
These people we vote for cannot “represent” everyone – so they end up representing some ones. These usually being the ones who were most helpful to the candidate seeking election; i.e., those who furnished him money – and such people tend to get what they paid for.
A very good example of this being the people representing the pharmaceutical companies who contributed very large sums to the presidential campaign effort of the Orange Man, the first time around.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. details how these people were represented by the Orange Man.
In brief, the people who represented the interests of the pharmaceutical cartels were appointed to key positions in the federal apparat that “regulates” – would you believe it? – vaccines, among other things. They got what they paid for. And the Orange Man – who had met with RFK, Jr., prior to meeting with the representatives of the pharmaceutical cartels – stopped meeting with RFK, Jr. Whom the Orange Man had previously promised he would look into making available to researchers data pertaining to negative side effects of the pharmaceutical cartel’s meds, so that the public would be better-informed about the pros and cons of these meds.
I voted for the Orange Man. But I didn’t vote for that.
But what was the alternative?
There is an argument in libertarian circles that a vote for any office-seeker is inherently a vote for the system that puts people’s rights on the ballot. That, by voting – however well-intended – the evil of the system is not merely perpetuated but anointed.
You voted, after all.
There is truth in this. If enough people stopped voting to take away other people’s rights – even if they didn’t actually vote for that – it would become much harder for “representatives” to violate people’s rights.
It is a kind of gaslighting to blame the person who votes to protect his – and your – rights when the person he voted for – to not violate anyone’s rights – ends up acting in a way that violates the rights of others. No one is responsible for the actions of someone else – even if they voted for them. Particularly, if they voted for them to not violate anyone’s rights. If rights are subsequently violated, that was an unavoidable part of the bundle – the package – they were stuck “buying.”
It does not mean they wanted to buy it.
I have no desire to ever travel on an ocean liner. But if I found myself on one and the thing hit an iceberg, I wouldn’t bitch about the poor ship-handling skills of the captain or the crappy design of the hull. I’d do all I could in that moment to salvage what could be salvaged – in the hope of surviving. I’d “vote” for the lifeboats to be lowered and for as many people to board as possible – even if a few Bruce Ismays sneaked on board.
Voting will be a problem for as long as it is possible to vote to take away other people’s rights. That will only change when people’s minds change. But until they do, it’s no sin to vote to try to protect people’s rights – even if the person you voted for decides not to.
Thus, this coming Tuesday, I will hold my nose (and show my face) and vote in Virginia’s gubernatorial race. Not so much for Glenn Youngkin, the Republican candidate – but against the Leftist candidate, Clinton fixer Terry McAuliffe. The latter promising to do to people’s rights what the iceberg did to the Titanic. Youngkin isn’t a libertarian. But he might – like one of those lifeboats – keep things afloat.
I’ll vote for that.
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