Election 2014 Is Over. Here's Why Your Vote Didn't Really Matter

Voting rewards irresponsibility. That's just one problem with democracy.


The 2014 midterm election delivered both good news and bad. The good news is that the losers lost. The bad news is that the winners won.

Journalist Mike Barnicle says he's never seen an election in which the people feel so distant from the government. I wish his diagnosis were right, but I suspect it is not. True, voter turnout likely set no records for a midterm, but this doesn't indicate alienation as much as disgust with the particular cast of incumbents. Who wouldn't be disgusted?

Despite what the voters may think, however, this isn't really about personality and character. It's about the limits of human nature. No one is qualified to govern us, considering how "govern" is defined today. The national, state, and local governments attempt to manage all aspects of our lives. In various ways, they undertake to "get the economy moving" and keep it "humming." On top of that, the national government maintains a global empire in the service of which the national-security apparatus presumes to manage foreign societies.

Even if doing these things were morally proper—which it assuredly is not—it would be beyond the capability of human beings. No person or group could possibly possess the knowledge that would be required to manage a society—this one or one in a foreign land. Any "leader" who presents himself as fit for that job is a poser. No one is qualified to do what politicians today aspire to do.

That goes for Republicans as well as Democrats. Republicans talk about shrinking government, but don't believe it. They certainly have no intention of shrinking the American empire, much less dismantling it. Quite the contrary. And while they talk about freeing the economy, that usually means removing restrictions on privileged economic interests without also eliminating the privileges. Republicans give the free market a bad name, because too often their policies amount to unabashed corporatism. But, then, the Democrats are no different. Both parties have a vested interest in the essential status quo, whatever their differences at the margin.

The election season is when we most often hear hosannas to democracy. Every public figure, including supposedly hardboiled news people, urges us to vote. "Every vote counts," they say.


As the late Gordon Tullock explains, "It's more likely that you'll get killed driving to the polling booth, than it is that your vote will change the outcome of the election." Think about the elections you voted in. Not one would have turned out differently had you done something else that day.

Since no one vote is decisive, most people have no incentive to invest time and money acquiring the knowledge necessary to act responsibly on election day. (The responsible thing could be to stay home.) Government at all levels imposes burdens on our economic activities—the so-called economy is just people and their pursuits. How many voters study economics so they can competently judge what candidates promise to do? And how many study moral philosophy to better decide whether existing and promised policies are moral or immoral? The great American social critic H.L. Mencken said, "Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods." How would we decide if he is right or wrong?

To really become an informed voter, you would have to do nothing but study these and other subjects. But since your one vote won't be decisive, why would you take time away from your family, friends, work, and voluntary community activities, where your choices are decisive?

You wouldn't, and you don't.

Moreover, the costs and benefits associated with electing the candidates you vote for are dispersed among the multitude, so even if your choice wins, your share is minuscule.

Thus your vote has virtually no personal material consequences and no influence on the outcome. So remaining ignorant and voting your biases and feelings turns out to be the rational thing to do.

In other words, voting rewards irresponsibility. That's just one problem with democracy.

In the end, democratic representation—the opiate of the masses—is just a way to stop us from complaining. The people in Washington aren't our representatives. They are our rulers.

But fear not. The alternative isn't dictatorship. It's individual freedom, responsibility, contract, and voluntary mutual aid.

This article originally appeared at the Future of Freedom Foundation.

NEXT: Boehner, McConnell Vow Renewed Effort to Repeal Obamacare

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  1. What is the point of this article other than Richman is butt hurt about a bunch of stuff?

    On top of that, the national government maintains a global empire in the service of which the national-security apparatus presumes to manage foreign societies.

    What the hell does that even mean? They are not trying to manage anything. They are trying to keep people who mean us harm from doing so.

    Now, maybe they are wrong about that. Maybe those people don’t mean us harm and thus there is no reason to be there. If that is the case, that is the point Richman should be making. Instead he begs that question by making this statement. In a sense every act of national defense from deterrence to even the most justified use of force taken in self defense is in some sense “trying to manage other societies” by taking away their ability or will to attack us.

    1. So Nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan is not trying to manage foreign societies?

      1. Sure it was. It was just trying to find a humane way to destroy their will to fight. In the past the way you destroyed a nation’s will to fight was to invade, occupy and ALSO inflict so much harm on a country that collectively gave up fighting. All “nation building” is is a way to do that without killing so many people and inflicting so much horror.

        Understand that in both cases you are trying to manage and change a society into something that no longer wants to make war against you.

      2. the other option was to completely annihilate them – basically kill everyone and turn the country back to nature. Killing the islamic extremists then turn the nation back over to so called moderates ends up with the extremists back in power(don’t believe me look at what happened in Iraq and Vietnam). If occupation and pacification had continued under Obama then we wouldn’t have to go back in and kill the barbarians again.

    2. What he’s saying is that voting doesn’t mean shit if the people you vote for don’t recognize and restrictions on their powers nor are they held to any sort of accountability.

      1. “What he’s saying is that voting doesn’t mean shit if the people you vote for don’t recognize and restrictions on their powers nor are they held to any sort of accountability.”

        Probably, but it would help if he could say that in plainer language.

        1. it would have been a very short article
          and wouldn’t have made his real point as eloquently.
          There are no humans so pure that they should be telling the rest of us what to do, and even if there were, we still have free will and will always have it so long as we are not afraid of using it.

          1. “it would have been a very short article”

            I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that if you can summarize your entire point in a single sentence, then apart from that single sentence your article is a complete waste of space.

            Yes Mr. Richman, we get it. You don’t think the Democrats or the Republicans are very good at safeguarding our freedoms. Why did you think you needed 12 paragraphs to tell us that?

      2. I don’t agree. he seems to be a borderline anarchist who doesn’t live in the real world. It would be nice if everyone was a self actualized self regulating adult and that countries a would respect each other’s territorial boundries.

        as we know from current events and history that is not the case nor will it be in the future.Our country, the US has to regularly incarcerate people for a huge mesure of wrong deeds ranging from fraud theft and petty crimes to rape and murder. If the most advanced society on the planet not have the ability to self regulate then it is impossible to believe that the uneducated people in third world countries will.

        Whether this idiot likes it or not we need government to regulate life in this country and to keep people in other countries from killing us.
        The question for Libertarians like myself is not whether or not to have government but, how much and what powers are rightfully given to it by the populace.

    3. So we take away another country’s will to attack us by attacking them?

      That’s historically always worked. By always, I mean rarely.

      1. Well, it works if you destroy them. But such an extreme response is rarely appropriate.

      2. It is not that it has always worked, it is that it is the only thing that has ever worked. If a country has decided for whatever reason to make war against you, the only way to get them to make peace is either by surrendering completely or winning a war such that they no longer have the will to attack you anymore.

        If you fail to do that, the war doesn’t end, it just pauses for a while. The best example of this is World War I. The allies won the war but they didn’t win in a way that settled anything such that Germany no longer wanted to make war. So the war didn’t really end, it just paused until Germany rebuilt and sought revenge.

        1. its like sex – its only effective if you finish it.
          In Vietnam (and now in Iraq and Afghanistan) we did not have a policy of winning the war which is the total destruction of the enemy’s ability to resist, then reshaping the country in a peaceful manner. Last time we did this was in WW2 with Japan and Europe. We still have troops in both.

      3. Actually it works great, provided that you’re ruthless enough and the victory thorough. This is not an endorsement; obviously it works just as well as a tactic for the bad guys as it does for the good guys. But it does work pretty damn well.

        1. Exactly. “Nation building” was just the US trying to figure out a way to do that without being so ruthless. It sadly seems to have failed. People think Iraq is some kind of tragedy for the West. They are wrong. It will end up being seen as a tragedy for the Middle East because it will represent the last time the Western powers tried to deal with the Middle East in any sort of humane way. At some point we are going to give up on nation building there if we haven’t already. When that happens the response to the next 911 will just be mass slaughter and nothing more.

          1. People tend to forget that we flattened cities and killed a staggeringly high percentage of the German and Japanese young male population before we got that idyllic post-WWII client state relationship that we have now. The allies also shuffled around entire towns of ethnic Germans out of Eastern Europe and the Balkans like so much debris for their purposes, ditto the overseas Japanese communities. Not only that, but we had the advantage of having the Soviets as the bad example — Germans who crossed over into Western Germany were terrified of the Red Army which had just finished a rapetastic conquest of historical Prussia.

            I expect that whatever our next response to terrorism from the region is, it won’t be pretty and the US public won’t be very interested in hearing the details so long as it works. That is not a pleasant prediction, but it is a historically aware one.

            1. It is a shitty prediction but probably a correct one. And yes, the Germans and Japanese were only so compliant because we killed millions of them and destroyed their entire country and dealt with any acts of partisan resistance ruthlessly. People forget that there was a nice little partisan war in post war Germany and the allies and Russians didn’t exactly deal with it in a CNN friendly way.

              One aside, I hear a while back there really were bands of former concentration camp victims running around Germany hunting down and murdering their former Nazi tormentors Inglorious Bastards style. That would make a great movie. It is too bad Tarantino got his filthy paws on the subject before anyone else did.

              1. Boo… that’s one of his best films.

          2. You write this and call me the sociopath?

            1. No. I called you a moron. And understanding the human nature and war doesn’t mean I like it or don’t wish it was different. It just means I am unlike you sentient.

        2. agreed. The US has been “too nice” since WW2 – perhaps a fallout from the horrors of that war that spawned the highly erroneous “peace movement”

          the reason that the “peace movement” is erroneous is that you have peace when violent tyrannical governments find it too costly to wage war instead of peaceful democratic nations like the US thinking that it is too costly to protect itself, its allies and its interests.
          That is why we are currently in the mess we are in Nobody fears the US and certainly not with Obama in office.

      4. So we take away another country’s will to attack us by attacking them?

        Worked in WWII!

        1. yep – agreed

    4. What the hell does that even mean? They are not trying to manage anything. They are trying to keep people who mean us harm from doing so.

      That’s sweet.

      They’re technocrats who want to manage everything, including other nations. The idea that the American empire is there for OUR good is so absurd only a progressive could believe it.

  2. Sad but true. Q: How does the freedom alternative come about if not by voting? Revolution?

    1. Rebuilding from the ashes of fallen empire?

    2. The American system, I believe, was supposed to diffuse revolutionary pressure across the federal system, with each level possessing three “equal” branches of government. If somebody didn’t like what the feds were doing, well, maybe his state government will be more receptive or maybe he can sue or whatever. Giving wannabe revolutionaries a lot of non-violent alternatives to express their grievances is actually a good idea.

      The federal system has been more and more imbalanced toward the national government over the past 80 years. Both major parties have encouraged the consolidation of this power. It’s generally hard for states to do what they want without receiving “permission” from the feds. Marijuana legalization is a great example; businesses that are completely legal under state law are having difficulties due to consolidation of many traditional state powers — like banking charters — with the federal government.

    3. Secession, the way it always has.

  3. “You’re vote didn’t matter”

    No way, Sheldon. We taught that Obama a lesson, we did. We have some sooper amazing new friends in congress now that think things like Muslims shouldn’t get 1st amendment protections. Hey, as long as he supports eliminating the dreaded Death Tax that’s fine by me. The only way I determine how libertarian one is is the tax rate that they propose for gazillionaires.

    Question: yesterday, was guy Fawkes’ day and boy was I feeling it. Do you think if I did things like not pay my taxes for 20 years or shot up some ATF agents and then went back to my compound and slept with 14 year olds I could get in good with right-wing libertarian crackpots? I’ve been looking for some Ancap support and money and I was wondering if you knew a good way to get in with that racket. Thanks,

    1. If you didn’t pay your taxes for 20 years, the government would send Lon Horiuchi to shot your spouse in the head as he or she cradled your newborn.

      And nothing else would happen.

      1. Hah, that’s only if you do it the wrong way. You’ve just got to bitch about it more on FoxNews.

        1. Yes, hand-wave away the killing of a woman who’s only crime was being married to a man who committed a non-violent act that was considered to be “illegal” by the powers that be.

          That that I would expect you to possess the ability to feel sympathy, or any other social emotion, as you are a sociopath.

          1. HM, if you come right down to it, most socialists are sociopaths.

              1. So, Obama? Got it.

                1. more like Narcissistic Personality Disorder – BTW Hitler had the same disorder only worse because Hitler was a drug addict as well.

              2. That is slightly inaccurate. They are diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder if they are minors. Antisocial personality disorders invariably progress to full sociopaths by adulthood. I have no idea why they do this. I can’t tell them apart. It is just semantics.

        2. “Hah, that’s only if you do it the wrong way. You’ve just got to bitch about it more on FoxNews.”

          Sigh, the government’s response to tax evasion was shooting Vicki Weaver in the head. And you’re using this event to take a jab at Fox News viewers?

          I guess you aren’t joking about being a socialist.

          1. Fucking kulaks. They got what was coming to them.

          2. What else would you except from someone who is so upfront about believing an ideology that by its internal logic requires mass murder that he makes it part of his screen name?

            If you are a socialist, you are about killing those of the wrong political class in order to create utopia.

            1. John, I’m just way too busy celebrating our great libertarian victory. The thought of freedom lover, Mitch McConnell being majority leader just has me throwing confetti all over myself.

              We need to forget all about that kulak shit and start murdering more Iraqis like your republican friends did the last time they were in office. I had some good times back in 2006 telling military folks just what I thought about them and their war. Again, please.

              1. No. You are just an idiot who doesn’t even understand his own ideology. The old Marxists were evil but they at least understood their own beliefs. You and people like you are their retarded and sad intellectual grandchildren.

                The Marxists understood that socialism doesn’t work unless it is done by the entire world and done after you have created the new Soviet Man and purged the world of all of the exploitative classes. Without doing that, the exploitative classes just continue to exploit and not work for the collective. You have to have the new Soviet Man or the collective fails and the collective has to encompass the entire earth or the exploiters just flee to other countries and undermine the collective. This is why communism was always an ideology of world revolution.

                That is admittedly an insane ideology but it is at least an internally consistent one. Idiots like you don’t even have that. You are not even connected to reality enough to understand that for socialism to work people have to be transformed so that they work for the collective and not themselves. You just live in this pretend world where everyone will magically do that. If it wasn’t so dangerous it would be sad because its so pathetic.

                1. Love my Marxist reader with Stalin and Lenin thrown in. I read it to know how misinformed today’s ” socialists ” are about their claimed beliefs. Well, anyone can believe what the want, but should really not call themselves what they are not. And I find it hard to be a libertarian, but easier than anything else. Sigh!

              2. I had some good times back in 2006 telling military folks just what I thought about them and their war.

                And once the current loser in the WH took office, you promptly forgot?

                How can you laud one of the biggest mass murderers in human history and expect to be taken seriously? When you told the military folks what you thought about them, did you say “you guys are pikers at murder when compared to my idol Stalin!”?

                1. Marshall, Obama pulled troops out of Iraq in 2010 so I didn’t get a chance. Because I’m a blind follower of Obama in addition to being a Stalinist i luv our military being in Afghanistan. That’s awesome.

                  1. 2010? And the first two years of his administration?

    2. Your vote doesn’t matter in the sense that one vote will not change anything.

      It’s like winning the lottery. Statistically speaking the odds of winning are zero. Yes, the actual odds of winning with a ticket are greater than zero, but statistically speaking they are so close to zero that you have the same chance of winning with or without a ticket.

      The mathematical chances of one person’s vote deciding an election is greater than zero, but statistically speaking it’s just zero.

      1. And yet, someone always wins the lottery.

        1. Yes – the State always wins.

        2. “And yet, someone always wins the lottery.”

          Just not YOU.

    3. What?

    4. We have some sooper amazing new friends in congress now that think things like Muslims shouldn’t get 1st amendment protections

      I know Barney Frank is a socialist, but it’s just unfair to assume that all socialists are hostile to religious freedoms — just most of them.

      As far as the rest, doesn’t your collective beet farm believe in its workers not being coked to the gills during work hours?

      1. I dodn’t think it’s actually a collective beet farm. It’s a straw farm. That’s the only explanation for where he gets all the raw materials for the strawmen he’s contanstly setting ablaze around here.

        1. That would explain why the collective is having such a hard time with its crop yields…

      2. Don’t forget that statism is a religion. And in that regard, they’re far from hostile. I’m struggling to put together a metaphor…something something statism, fundamentalism, hostility, atheists. I don’t know. Someone help me.

        (Been up since 4 and still haven’t fully woken up)

      1. Ah yes, but when the Socialists take over, they’ll order the Police to beat up the opposition.

        1. Yeah, they always think the ruling class won’t line any of them up against the wall. “If comrade Stalin only knew!”

    5. That’s a lotta stupid to pack into a few sentences, but you did it. Bully!

      1. Not just stupid but more psychotic. This troll has been periodically posting here for a few months. And it has always been the typical Democratic Underground talking points. All of it profoundly stupid but at least mostly coherent.

        This rant however isn’t even coherent. You go from Muslims to evil presumably right wing tax evading child raping polygamists. And all put up in response to one of Richman’s “I hate the war and both sides” articles.

        This people are clearly not taking Tuesday very well. How long before they become a threat to themselves or others?

        1. Fortunately they don’t believe in private ownership of firearms, so the physical damage they can do is somewhat limited.

          1. I will bet that someone manages to blow themselves up trying to make a bomb in their Williamsburg or Berkley apartment sometime in the next four years.

            1. Totally. I wanna be more like libertarian right wingers when they lose elections and then forward petitions to the WH asking to sucede. I have a bit of a different take on that and would have happily given them what they wanted, but that’s just because I live in a commune and grow beets

              1. You went from having a super majority in Congress and a new and popular President in 2009 to having the smallest minority in the House in nearly a hundred years, a minority in the Senate, the fewest state legislatures since reconstruction and a wounded, deeply unpopular and increasingly delusional President.

                Things haven’t gone as planned. You would do well to look in the mirror rather than worrying about how Libertarians always lose.

    6. I don’t think you understand, American Socialist. I was reading Salon today, and this signals the end of the republic. We are now entering the first stages of right-wing theocratic authoritarianism. People will be forced to convert to Christianity, attend daily prayer meetings, and carry handguns at all times. All minority groups will be rounded up and hunted like wild animals by rich aristocrats. The military budget will double, and all men between the ages of 18-21 will be drafted to fight in a war against ISIS. Roe v. Wade will be overturned, and birth control will be prohibited. In fact, women will be required to have children.

      The entirety of Obamacare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps will be repealed. People will be allowed to sell their organs. Beer will be banned. Homosexuals will be sterilized. Unions will be prohibited by law. Things will get worse and worse until Yellowstone explodes, and half the continent slides into the sea, while the other half is covered by ash and soot. And it’s all because of Citizen’s United. I can tell the writers as Salon started drinking days ago, and so have I. Farewell, brave souls. May God make your death’s merciful.

    7. Sheldon is a moron who lives in fantasy land.
      I’m very disappointed that a libertarian website like Reason publishes his delusions

  4. I’m kind of with John on this – not sure what Sheldon’s on about entirely, but there sure are a lot of words there, and something something incentives, rewards, and not distance, but disgust something something.

    Cool story, bro. Yeah, meet the new boss – I have low expectations.

    1. It was a midterm election and the President doesn’t give a fuck. Even if the Republicans had elected a clone army of Rand Pauls to run the Congress, what exactly would they be able to do for the next two years?

      1. A lot more than they can do in the position they were in before the election. By controlling the senate they can defund any initiative that Obama puts forth through executive fiat.

        They also now control 70% of the governors as well which is a tremendous amount of power at the state AND national level.

    2. Richman managed to resist the temptation to end his article with his usual ceterum censeo Judaeam esse delendam.

      Can’t we celebrate the small victories, Negative Nancy?

      1. Being Libertarian is like being a Cubs fan. If you can’t learn to enjoy it when the Cardinals lose, you are going to have a pretty sad life.

        1. problem with being a Libertarian is that you desire limited government and do not desire power.
          Politics is the game of acquiring power so it works against the basic ideals of libertarians.

          Libertarians make the best leaders because they do not seek to increase their power but to use power in the most lawful and restricted manner. It also makes it very difficult for them to be elected as most people in this world actually want to be dominated so they do not have to make choices for themselves or assume the responsibilities of person-hood and citizen.

  5. Good news; The pinkos have had their balls cut off.

    Bad news; The party of stupid is coming back into power.

    Does that sum it up?

    1. pinkos are more dangerous. They think that the rules are whatever they like at any given time. Conservatives less so. At least they see the Constitution as the supreme law of the land although they have been know to wander a bit as well

  6. Quoting Mike Barnicle is like quoting Elizabeth Warren.

  7. “It’s more likely that you’ll get killed driving to the polling booth, than it is that your vote will change the outcome of the election.” Think about the elections you voted in. Not one would have turned out differently had you done something else that day.”

    Not true, at least, in at least one case:

    Several years ago our town voted to change the charter in a manner that would have fundamentally changed the way the town was governed. There was a ONE vote difference between the yeas and nays.

    An individual vote may not always matter, but you will never know until the counting is done, and then it’s too late to say “Gee, I wish I had voted.”

    1. – Republican AssHat
      – Democrat Shit4Brains
      X (write in) Donald Duck


      1. yep that gets —-nowhere.

        Sitting at home screaming at the TV gets you nowhere and gets nothing done.
        So does writing in Donald Duck on a ballot. Only further marginalizes you.

  8. my neighbor’s mother-in-law makes $80 every hour on the laptop . She has been without a job for nine months but last month her check was $20076 just working on the laptop for a few hours. blog here…


  9. Since no one vote is decisive, most people have no incentive to invest time and money acquiring the knowledge necessary to act responsibly on election day. (The responsible thing could be to stay home.)

    Brennan has a series of posts on the responsibility of ignorami not to vote over at BHL. The problem with that is that the only people who are going to read Jason Brennan are at least moderately informed, whereas the people he’s encouraging not to vote have no way of even knowing that they’re too ignorant to vote, ala Dunning-Kruger.

    And rational ignorance is the basis of every democratic system, which is why the demagogues have to keep crowing about the importance of “democracy.” As soon as you recognize the incentives democracy of any stripe cultivates, you understand why it’s not necessarily better than oligarchy or monarchy. It’s always the institutional limitations on political power that determine the relative success of a system.

  10. The more non-base voters vote, then the more non-base politicking we may have. A drop of water means nothing, it can be controlled. It is the flash flood that finds its own level and can level anything in its way. That is why votes do count and the more the better.

  11. This guy’s assessment of the outcome of the election is accurate, but I disagree with his cynical and apathetic attitude towards voting. Obviously he is bitter about the outcome of the election but promoting voter apathy as a result is counterproductive and self-destructive. His approach only enables our rulers to continue being our rulers and makes his voluntarist fantasy all the more unrealistic. All its flaws aside, the alternative to a system in which people vote is a system in which rulers make all their decisions without any input or consent from the public whatsoever. We want to move further away from such a system, not closer to it.

    1. “Voluntarist fantasy”

      The real fantasy is believing that a few oligarch can manage 300 million people. You don’t know what a Voluntaryist is let alone libertarianism.

  12. Politicians have no power except the power to destroy. When you vote, you are merely expressing a preference on who to destroy next. But don’t feel guilty – your vote doesn’t count anyway.

    The real purpose of voting is not to let the voters control the politicians. It’s to let the politicians control the voters. Voters are being programmed to select one-bit answers to false dichotomies chosen by the politicians.
    . . .
    Your vote impacts nobody or nothing except to tickle a transistor buried in a computer chip somewhere. . . .
    . . .
    The collectivists want to train you to identify with the collective – which is the first step in identifying with the State. They want you to think that, in casting your single vote, you are a whole collective of like-minded voters. But you are not. You are an individual. If you stop behaving like an individual, then you will not BE the State, you will be OWNED by the State.
    . . .
    So if you want to influence the world, instead of voting in the next election, use that time to share your words and whole ideas with “regular people” instead of serving computers that are programmed to program you to choose one-bit answers to false dichotomies framed by authorities who have only the power to destroy. Stay home and talk to your friends – your vote won’t count but your words will change the world.

    – from

  13. You can achieve change without the religious practice of “voting”. Regardless, this nation is doomed.

    1. yes with a Gun. Sorry – I would rather do it with a ballot and political action than with a gun and a bloody revolution.

  14. disagree mike. my estimation? it’s about laziness and irresponsibility. what you’re saying is a simple excuse not to get involved, and not to really care. people who don’t vote are part of the problem, not the solution. it’s our sacred right that makes us a democracy. a government of the people, by the people, for the people. commoners are dumbing down, our kids can’t afford good educations, this is the result. we’re all talk and no action. a bunch of cliches sewn together? yeah, i’m not a college grad, but, i examine the issues and i vote. i’m ashamed of people who don’t. republicans count on it.

  15. been a huge fan having grown up in andover ma, in the sixties. respect your work immensely.

  16. But fear not. The alternative isn’t dictatorship. It’s individual freedom, responsibility, contract, and voluntary mutual aid.

    And as Friedman said to Donahue so many years ago, “Who are these angels?”

  17. Voting by itself can be an exercise in empty egotism when done in a vacuum. Voting however, can effect great changes and wield great power when it is done with coordinated forethought. That is, political parties.
    Acting together as a political party allows individuals who do not suffer from the delusion of a special personal insight into the truth based on nothing more than a belief in the infallibility in one’s own limited outlook.
    The generations before us felt most empowered by voting a straight ticket, trusting to a general set of interests being protected by a political group who could handle the details far better than they could individually hope to. While they were not so deluded to think that there was not some loss to corruption, compromise and error, they would likely find the idea that their personal opinion of every technical policy issue might be superior to the official party line. They all had lives to live, after all.
    In 50 years of intense psychological manipulation by the professional advertisers who’s craft, designed for controlling consumption has also caused most of us to become convinced of our own personal infallibility, believing ourselves to be self contained and perfect in our judgment while, at the same time, becoming utterly controllable by professional psychological methods.

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