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That false narrative goes like this, if you don't vote, you don't matter...
Means I don't Count?
We are taught to go to the polls, and even encourage others to do the same, but would the results be any different if everyone voted? I'm not entirely sure, in a conversation I had with another person on the subject, they suggested we would experience more change if everyone ceased voting.
Such a statement washed my mind in dissonance, especially with my engrained voting beliefs, I was very skeptical of such a strategy; but the more I thought about it, the more I was inclined to believe that a mass non-voting movement would probably make the biggest impact on our governance.
I still vote, but a new-found respect came to those I encountered who do not vote, who wish to not vote in their own demise by picking the "lesser of two evils". During this time, I also found myself alone in this newfound respect for the non-voter, and on social media and in interactions with people offline on the subject, a false narrative began to present itself.
That false narrative goes like this, if you don't vote, you don't matter, and you have zero say in how you are governed.
I searched long and hard to find this narrative expressed in our laws or our Constitution, but found nothing that suggested anything of the sort. When I asked people online or in person where they learned such a thing (that non-voters no longer count) none of them could explain to me where they learned this false narrative from, or why it is even a valid belief.
It became shockingly clear that millions of Americans have ceased interacting with our corrupt democratic republic, and those millions of Americans are being discriminated against, and forced to comply with the minority in many instances.
Our country was built upon the principle of the people choosing their representation, it does not say how that choosing should occur, nor does it state that those citizens who refuse to choose representation by voting shall be forced to accept whatever representation has been chosen for them.
In Oklahoma, they passed a law that banned gay-marriage, but if you look at the voter turnout only 43% (the minority) actually voted to pass this law, the majority either voted no, or abstained from voting on such a silly law that government has no place in setting.
Since the majority of the minority voted to pass the law, those not voting must be okay with discriminating against the LGBT community in their state, but I highly doubt this is the case. The fact that the majority voted no, or abstained from voting, is a form of choosing - they chose not to associate with the law, yet the law was passed and now they are forced to live under its governance.
When I go back and look at numerous other laws, and politicians being voted into office, almost exclusively these laws and politicians are being voted in by the minority ' and the majority of opposing votes and non-votes are lost, and those nonvoter's wishes and wants aren't even considered, they don't "count" ' even though they are choosing to not support those laws or candidates.
Not voting does not mean you want someone else to control your life. If we truly seek democracy in this country, we must respect and consider the rights of all people, and respect their voice regardless if they comply with a set of forced choices or not at the polls.
Claude Morton, Column Editor: Claude Morton is an independent contributor, who mostly writes articles on politics, Veganism, philosophy, or local events. Claude has contributed to a variety of print and online outlets including Yahoo!, MovieMaker Magazine, and the Ann Arbor News. From Claude; I’m in the 1%, no, not that 1%. I’m a vegan, indie filmmaker, libertarian socialist, and a pacifist. I champion freedom as much as equality, and love discussing solutions about our country’s biggest dilemmas. ... (more...)