I didn’t vote in 2010, and since then, I’ve been weighing it all; voting vs. not voting, voting vs. activism, voting for Obama vs. voting for a third party candidate, etc. And on this issue of voting, and the choice of withholding your vote as a way of robbing the system of any legitimacy, Phil Rockstroh deserves a hearing:
People who turn a blind eye to those things that evoke a sense of discomfort within them — who habitually ensconce themselves in numbed-out comfort zones or behind bristling fortifications of reflexive denial — become monsters. Withal, they transform themselves into agents of the very things that they live in fear of e.g., progressive types who, by the act of lesser-of-two-evil voting, co-sign those actions that they claim to find abhorrent when undertaken by Republicans.By voting in a sham republic, they are not engaging in freedom of thought, expression nor conviction. In reality, they evince the opposite, by submitting to the compulsion (no matter how bolstered by tenuous rationalizations) to act out of fear. “Life moves on, whether we act as cowards or heroes. Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.” ~Henry Miller
Once when I was in my early years waiting tables, I had an older black dude, whom I greatly respected, tell me that he never voted. I launched into a screed, and the older guy looked on and said, “in all the years I’ve never voted, nothing much has really changed based on the outcome of any of those elections.” Life goes on.