Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Why vote?

Why I Won’t Vote

by James Altucher

I was asked this during my last Twitter Q&A:

Bryan M. Smith ‏@bryanmsmith: Who are you voting for in the election & why?

Answer: I don’t vote. I won’t vote. I have no political anti-establishment reason for not voting. I’m not an anarchist. I just don’t see why I should vote. A vote is a choice between two elaborate theatrical productions. It’s a choice between the aesthetics of Star Wars versus Indiana Jones. It’s a vote to see which artist more cleverly evokes our mythological and unconscious responses to the perilous world around us. We all die but “hope and change” properly demonstrated gives us a signal that our choices can help society live forever, that the small stain we leave behind has a chance of survival even after we are long dead.

Is it better for you or me if Mitt Romney or Barack Obama is President? I wish Bush hadn’t been President. Too many 18 year olds were sent to die. I wish Bill Clinton hadn’t been President and spent years wrapped up in impeachment litigation after lying to his wife and the country. It’s great to have the entire past to look back on. Essentially every President was bad. I can’t think of a good one. They all wove dreams out of the fabric of their intelligence but when they left us we were lonelier than ever.

Heck, I would be bad if I were President. Unless I did absolutely nothing. Which is hard for the leader of the free world to do. He feels like he has to do something. Like kill people (“intervention”) or disrupt the way we trade with each other (“tarrifs”, “immigration!”). Or disrupt the way we try to save for our futures (“money printing!”).

People get very upset about this voting thing. I’m accused of being unpatriotic, for instance. Or my little 10 year old told me, “more people will run stop signs if we don’t have a President.” She associates a President with a magical parent. Perhaps projecting her own sense that I don’t give her enough boundaries for her to figure out where the edge of childhood ends and adulthood begins. I let her run a Stop sign when I don’t set a bedtime, or turn her TV off. She wants a President who will tell her when to “STOP!”

So here are some reasons for not voting. I’m not asking anyone to agree with me. Many people like to vote. Do things that you like to do.


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