On Civic Duty and Why I Won't Be Voting in the Presidential Election

I have voted. I voted for Obama in 2008. I hoped for hope and change and I believed just enough that it might happen that I voted. Obama was better than McCain, who I think would have gotten us into a nuclear war. That was my last hopeful vote.  I voted for Ron Paul in 2012, although I had no expectation he would win.  If a Ron Paul-like candidate ran again, I might vote again. Gary Johnson is no Ron Paul. I plan not to vote in the 2016 Presidential election.

Today my mantra is: "Don't vote. It only encourages them."  It encourages the candidates to think they are more important than they are. It encourages the political parties to hold these giant spectacles of political theater, in which their rhetoric moves people to tears and leads to no productive action whatsoever (hint, that is the very definition of propaganda). The candidates, in this case Hillary Clinton, avail themselves of the opportunity to insert the nauseous lie that the 1776 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia established United States of America as "one nation."

Why do I refer to the "one nation" meme as a nauseous lie? Here's a great podcast from Brion McClanahan about why the "one nation" view is so antithetical to American history and to the very founding principles of the USA. As Professor McClanahan discusses, the Constitution's preamble reads as follows: "We the people...establish this Constitution for the United States of America." Notice the preposition. The Constitution is not the governing document "of" a nation. The Constitution was established by and for the benefit of the States that comprise the Union.  

Further, as HRC should know, but apparently doesn't, the Constitution did not become binding on the several States at the Constitutional Convention in 1776. The Constitution only became binding after it was ratified by State conventions of people called by the respective State legislatures. North Carolina and Rhode Island both refused to ratify it prior to the adoption of the Bill of Rights, following which both did adopt it in 1789 and 1790, respectively. Had they not done so, they would have continued as separate states abutting the federal republic of the United States of America.

How does this history affect my decision not to vote? Because this lie that HRC told, this myth that she (and many others) believes, that a small group of self-appointed people created one nation out of the whole cloth, that they were imbued with authority to hand down laws like Moses did with the Ten Commandments, actually represents the way she thinks of herself. She is one of them. One of the law givers. One of the wise leaders. She could now be the chosen one. Cue the balloon drop.

The view that Americans are properly ruled by a coterie of wise law givers based in Washington D.C. is completely at odds with the role envisioned for the federal government in the Constitution.  Recall that the States in North America declared their independence from Britain with the ringing words of the Declaration of Independence because the government of Britain did not have "the consent of the governed." Governments could only act when their "just powers" had been derived from the consent of the governed. When the States did finally adopt the Constitution (in 1790, some 14 years after having declared their independence from Britain and 3 years after the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia) they made it clear that the new federal government was to have limited, defined powers. All other powers were, pursuant to the 10th Amendment, "reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." 

Yet there's HRC endorsing a platform which calls for, among other things: raising worker's wages, expanding access to affordable housing and home ownership, ensuring a safe and dignified retirement, revitalizing our nation's postal service (yes, really; apparently FedEx, DSL, UPS and email are not doing a sufficient job), fostering a manufacturing renaissance, reining in Wall Street and fixing our financial system, ending systemic racism, ending poverty, promoting arts and culture, honoring the people of the territories and making debt free college a reality. This list only touches the surface. It goes on and on and on.

Does that sound like a government with limited powers to you? Apparently, there is nothing that the Democrats will not or cannot do from Washington D.C.

Lest anyone think that I am picking on the Democrats, let's look at the list promised by the GOP Platform. It's not promising to be the sugar daddy to the American people, but it is promising to roll back the regulatory state, which would, at a minimum not violate the Constitution; however, the GOP hasn't rolled back anything in the last 25 years for the benefit of the American people. So, I am not holding my breath for that to happen. Of course, the GOP loves the security state and foreign interventions. It has no intention of limiting its power to conduct any of those activities and those are some of the most expensive, destructive programs originating in Washington D.C.

Still, people listen to the candidates. One making absurd promises to control or influence every aspect of each American's life and the other promising more freedom. Sadly, the first promise is often kept and the second never is. But both parties believe life begins and ends in Washington D.C. with their words, their influence, their ideas. They are the law givers and we must respect them and the ritual political theater they put on for our entertainment.

But you protest, I don't deify the president. I would never do that. Really? Really? You've never been moved to tears by some story of an immigrant family (whose country was likely bombed into oblivion by the USG) talking about his love of the USA? You've never been riveted to the TV set during the speeches because so much is at stake? No, "proud of my president bumper sticker?" No denying the criminality of "your president" because the other side engaged in just the same criminality. Think of all of the people you know who rightly decry Cheney as a war criminal (which he is), but have nothing to say about the drone bombing campaign led by President Obama.

Think of all the people currently decrying the relationship between Trump and Putin, who have nothing to say about George W. Bush and Prince Bandar or nothing to say about HRC and Saudi Arabia even though, as we now know since the release of the 28 pages of the Congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11, Saudi Arabia was responsible for the 9/11 attacks AND it has funded up to twenty percent (20%) of HRC's campaign. Hell, even Politico, HRC's own personal media center, couldn't confirm or deny how much she got from the Saudis. Politico just said, well it's hard to tell exactly how much she gets from the Saudis because the reporting rules are so bad, but we think it's somewhere between $10,000,000 and $25,000,000, assuming that the Clinton Foundation is following the proper reporting procedures.  

Sure, why not assume that? Politico wants us to assume that a person who collaborates with the leader of a sovereign nation that attacked the country she is seeking to lead would never fail to properly account for funds received. 

Oh, before anyone asks about Citizens United, no, I do not think any, much less all of this, would be fixed by repealing Citizens United. Is there anyone in the world naive enough to think that making a law that politicians shouldn't take money from people who want to buy influence would be enforced for the benefit of ordinary citizens?  By whom would such a law be enforced?  Why, it would be enforced by the government of course.  

I will not vote for the leader of an organization I view as a criminal enterprise. That is my way of repudiating the entire farce. People do not need others to rule over them. The particular farce that we engage in here in the USA is that we are free because we choose those who would rule over us, those who would spend our money in ways we would never choose to spend money; those who, in our name, would kill people we have never met with impunity; those who would insert their stupid ideas into every area of our lives and livelihoods from the way we give birth to our children, to the medicines we take, to the food we eat, to the education of our children in the most intimate matters, to who we choose as our friends and teachers.

(I really think that you ought to check out that last link in the preceding paragraph.  I have heard a lot of crazy nonsense in my life, but I have never heard anyone espouse the crazy ideas attributed to sovereign citizens as Vox does. The SPLC is quoted as endorsing the wildly speculative view of some sovereign citizens and the SPLC is still affiliated with the FBI, i.e. this nonsense is taken seriously by that investigative branch of the government.)

How can I say all of this and have begun with saying that if a Ron Paul-like candidate ran, I might vote again? That is because, Ron Paul never wanted to rule over anyone and he had years and years of proving that true. I think he would have worked diligently to end the warfare state. I think he would have audited and ended the Fed. I think he would have closed many cabinet level departments and told the government workers to go home. I think he would have known that he was the chief executive officer of a government of limited powers and that his powers were very limited indeed. If another candidate like that appeared, one that I could trust would use his power to cede power back to people and the states, I would vote for such a candidate. If I had the chance to vote for more freedom, I would vote for more freedom.  I think it's unlikely I will be called upon to cast such a vote.

For now, I won't be voting and I won't be genuflecting before this ritual process designed to create the illusion that picking one's ruler is the same as living as a free person. I don't think it's my civic duty. To the extent I have a civic duty, it's one I have defined for myself and am performing right here and now. Resist the mass narrative. As Carl Jung said "[R]esistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself." 

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