Why People Shouldn’t Vote: With Great Power comes Great Responsibility

I don’t write about politics because I really don’t like them.  The best definition of politics I’ve heard is choosing your words and actions based on how others will think or feel or act rather than what you actually think or feel.

Other people are really good at this.  I’ve never really been at choosing my words based on other peoples thoughts or feelings.  It’s not that I intentionally search for conflict or desire to be offensive – but I do think it helps authenticity in a relationship when what comes out of my mouth corresponds with what goes on in my head or my heart.

(Despite my lack of affection for politics, I was good enough at politics to be voted class president in the fourth grade, but it was a short term since it was only for the month of August and I felt a little gypped that I only got to call rows to go to lunch for a week.  I like to think of it as my own reliving of the great presidency of William Henry Harrison; Tippecanoe and Tyler too! was my official campaign slogan.)

But this election year feels more like a docu-drama; I really don’t enjoy it.  If I want drama, I’ll watch LOST or 24, thank-you very much.  Could someone just provide good reporting on the election for once, rather than all the drama associated with it? Puh-lease?

Yet still, I work on a university campus in which part of the conversations are on how “uncool” you are if you don’t vote.  Especially in this election, when several of my students reside in swing states.

(By the way, I am so glad I don’t live in a swing state.  I went to visit my family in Wisconsin and wondered why several folks seemed on edge.  I looked at the television commercials and now I know why.  Ever listen to the music in political commercials?  So sad…I just wonder how dumb we are that we can fool ourselves so much…)

I do believe that we are very privileged to live in a democracy.  But I also believe that there are certain responsibilities that are associated with a republican form of government, and part of that responsibility is taking the necessary time to understand the issues in order to vote intelligently.

Being a political groupie and regurgitating rhetoric that we’ve all heard before is so unbecoming to our country.  Case in point – watch this clip of John Oliver on the Daily Show recently.  I don’t care what your political affiliation is, this is just sad.

(Best line: “That’s not a saying, that’s just a selection of words you made up.”)

Do we really want these people voting?  Maybe Ben Parker from Spiderman was right – “with great power comes great responsibility.”

It’s probably both politically and socially incorrect for me to say this (hence why I really wouldn’t make a good politician), but I think I’ll say it anyway because of some semblance of social responsibility:

I think some people shouldn’t vote.

When people like those interviewed by John Oliver are voting for who will be running the country, then we fall into something tragic – like what my friend Eddy posted this on his blog today…if this is prophetic, then God help us all.

A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

  • From bondage to spiritual faith;
  • From spiritual faith to great courage;
  • From courage to liberty;
  • From liberty to abundance;
  • From abundance to complacency;
  • From complacency to apathy;
  • From apathy to dependence;
  • From dependence back into bondage.

—Attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler, ~1770

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4 Responses to “Why People Shouldn’t Vote: With Great Power comes Great Responsibility”


  1. 1 Eddy E October 29, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    If anything, I’m a little more sober when we our leaders believe that democracy is the solve-all solution to the woes of the world. Democracy IS better than any other form of government, but it’s the one that requires an educated electorate. When so many people believe that Obama is a Muslim and a Marxist, you realize that maybe we have some kinks to work out in our own neighborhood…

  2. 3 Robert October 31, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    So we are somewhere in the apathy to dependence? Or are we already through dependence?

    The only thing that might be saving/prolonging this cycle is that right now there seems to be a reasonable amount of interdependence. We are dependent on a lot of countries for support, but they are using our excesses to grow. We will be in real trouble if the others become independent before we can reverse our course and become independent.

  3. 4 andybilhorn November 1, 2008 at 2:15 am

    It will be interesting to see how people respond to the Marxist and Muslim comments in four years when Obama is up for re-election in four years. I would feel so stupid if I were those poeple.

    I’m sure Tytler’s thoughts only thought of independent systems and not interdependent systems. All the more scary if things get worse for us. I think we are in apathy to dependence right now…


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