Why I Don't Vote Anymore

There are two distinct classes of men in the nation,
those who pay taxes, and those who receive and
live upon the taxes óThomas Paine

Silly season comes every other year when Americans get to exercise control over governmentóor so they think. There is a saying about insanity as doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result each time. It took me over twenty years to come to my senses. I am a recovered votaholic. Let me tell you my story.

As a child of the 50s, I came out of high school believing in the greatness of our political system. I believed it was our duty as responsible citizens to keep informed and to vote. Keeping informed to me meant keeping up with news and continuing my education on matters related to politics and government. Alas, the more I learned, the more my disappointment grew.

One of the things that started my thinking towards a minimalist government was the knowledge that the Founding Fathers created a system of checks and balances to keep government from becoming the kind of tyranny that had plagued other forms of government. As naÔve as I was, I believed that the concept of liberty was universally understood. This is the freest country on earth. Right?

I voted for the first time for Barry Goldwater in 1964. Democrats impressed me as the party of big government and Republicans the party of small government; so I voted straight Republican. After my disappointment with Nixon, my hopes turned to Reagan. He had campaigned for Barry Goldwater; surely he was a true believer in small government. It was not to be. With Bush running as his successor, I came to my senses and havenít voted since. It took over twenty years to see the con. The Republicans are as much a party of big government as the Democrats; they just pretend to be ideological opponents. It took two Bush presidencies to prove me right.

The choice between a Republican and a Democrat is like a choice between a Catholic and a Protestantó the political system attracts candidates who worship the omnibenevolent, omniscient, omnipotent State. Iíve watched candidates tell the voters what they want to hear; then when elected, they do something else. Iíve watched the Supreme Court reinterpret the Constitution to expand the powers of the State. Iíve watched as presidents got us into wars with nations who were no threat to us. Iíve watched the Federal Government spend beyond its means. Iíve watched dollars lose purchase power as the Federal Reserve creates money to pay federal debts. Iíve watched the graft between corporations and politicians. Iíve watched as greedy voters vote for the highest bidding candidate. It didnít just happen in my lifetime; we could chart a course of gathering momentum from the time America broke off from England.

I am sorry to report to you that our political system is hopelessly corrupt. The game is rigged against you; you can’t win if you play by its rules. The noble experiment in democracy has failed to live up to its billing. If you are a taxpayer like me, do whatever you can to reduce your dependence on the State. It is financially and morally bankrupt. It is what it is. Until a critical mass of the general public loses faith in it, it can’t be reformed anymore than a tiger can be domesticated.

As bad as federal bonded debt is at the publicized amount of seven trillion dollars, it pales in comparison to the unbonded debt of somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 trillion dollars. For the foreseeable future, it will continue to create more money to pay its burgeoning deficits. The effect will continue to raise living costs.

Get out of debt as fast as you can while there is time. If you have the means, reduce your living expenses as much as you can and buy some gold or silver coins as a hedge against a worthless dollar. If you canít, you have my sympathy. We live in an economy that is accumulating debt faster then it is producing new wealth. This can't come to any good.

As far as civil rights go, the passing of the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and the Supreme Courtís repeal of the law of eminent domain may never affect you directly, but you can take it as a sign that our political system has run amok. You canít save the system. Put your energy into saving yourself and those close to you. If you must vote, vote for yourself or vote for anything but the two major parties. That is how you exercise your lack of trust in the State. It is the best you can do to restrain the State.