Why I’m Not Voting

As much as I hate talking politics, especially at the bar, lately even my normally fun-loving, congenial conversation has been steered away from talk of female fantasies and proper ways to make bourbon cocktails to the upcoming presidential election. All the way over here in Seoul.

“Neither of them deserves my vote,” I’ve been saying, hoping it will be enough to misdirect the oncoming pontification about Obamacare or Romney’s economic plan from the guy on the stool next to me so we can get back to talking nonsense.

If that doesn’t work, and it usually doesn’t — once people get it in their heads that they’re drunk enough or fired up enough to talk about their personal beliefs they’re hard to dissuade — then I break down why I didn’t fill out my absentee ballot this year.

Since turning 18 I have voted for the lesser of two evils in each presidential election, as many people do. People talk about “the lesser of two evils” often when mentioning voting. If you really think about it you’re still voting for an “evil.” I don’t want to do that anymore.

Your right not to vote is just as valid as your right to vote. And that line about how you can’t complain if you don’t vote is what cynical people who regret buying into the system say. Not voting is my complaint. It’s my protest against our lack of viable, attractive choices for a leader.

In this world of consumerism, where we can walk into a supermarket and have dozens of options for toothpaste, why is one of our most crucial decisions — who will lead our government for the next four years — so dismally limited?

How bad do things have to get in the American political system — and in America as a whole — before the structure will be revolutionized and a real third choice will emerge? Worse than things are now, it seems.

I’m aware of the fringe candidates, and I’m glad they’re on the ballot, but under the system we have, where without support from one of the two main parties a candidate cannot succeed, they’re there as a formality more than anything.

If politics really don’t matter, if the market makes all the decisions, than how about I treat my vote like I would the marketplace? I vote with my dollars and think about where I spend my money all the time. Why shouldn’t I treat the presidential election like any other consumer choice? Congress is a corporation I don’t support.

I’m not apathetic. I care about the people in the country I come from and I’m versed in the issues. But a vote for any of these politicians would mean that I approve of one of them in some way. I don’t. I don’t think either of the candidates is fit to be president. I don’t have a solution, or someone better in mind. I just don’t want to vote for this system until it changes. TC Mark

image – Shutterstock

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