Why I Don’t Vote

(a [fictional] treatise by Osgood Stanch)

My name is Osgood Stanch. I am 73 years old, a widower. I am white, Protestant Christian and live in a park model manufactured home in the Rosy Skies RV Ranch in Surprise, Arizona. I retired in 2004 from the Glendale School System where I was a high school history teacher. I usually don’t tell people that. When asked what I taught I usually reply, “Morons!”

It’s 2012 now and a Presidential election is approaching this November. I’ve decided to put pen to paper and write down my thoughts about the reasons (they are many) why I don’t vote. Obscene sums of money are being spent on ads to convince me that anyone running is either a Neanderthal idiot or a criminally insane outlaw. It is my hope to convince enough citizens to abstain from voting so that four years from now (if I am still alive) there will be no robo-calls in the middle of the night.

1) For whom should I vote? In the 2012 Presidential election it is Barack Obama versus Mitt Romney. (Presidential candidates now don’t even have the decency to use their middle names so that they might be referred to by three initials.) Should I vote for Obama? I have seen the past four years of his administration and am not impressed. Romney? He’s a Morman and consequently believes in using up natural resources and preserving nothing since the end of the world is near. He promises “energy independence” by 2016. This means he would have no compunction drilling on Federal lands, even National Parks to extract oil. If Utah clamors for more water would he dam up the Colorado River and flood Grand Canyon? It would also deny Colorado water to those dirty Mexicans downstream. Romney is also a pompous ass favoring the ultra-rich who seem to be his supporters. No, as in so many elections the choices are between Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dummer. Choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing an evil!

2) Voting only encourages them.  Politicians promise the voters anything to get their votes; then find that Washington insider politics prohibits most really beneficial measures from being implemented. There must be some tremendous benefit in holding public office. So many of those running for office hunger mightily for it.

3) They are all crooks! At least that’s what the myriad political ads tell us. Voting for this guy? No, he once lobbied for the “pay-day loan” industry, encouraged them to charge 180% interest. His opponent? Backs uranium mining in the Grand Canyon. We even have a guy running for U. S. Senate named “Flake!”  As he is a Republican he’ll probably win, too. Just what we need; a senator who is a certified Flake.

4) Registration: in order to vote I’d have to register as either Republican or Democrat. I hate being pigeon-holed. Declare you are a Republican and people roll their eyes in a knowing way as Republicans are all Tea Party members, right? You’re a Democrat? that means Roman Catholic, blue collar union member, right? Sure, I could register as an Independent but then I’d be prohibited from voting in nominating primaries. Is that disenfranchisement? And what if, God forbid, the time came when voters elected a monster of a leader and we held those of a particular party who voted for him responsible for having done it?

5) Does my single vote really count? I can’t see that it does. Numerous times I have voted for candidates who lost. In close elections, such as the 2000 Presidential race, the outcome was decided by a Florida judge not voters. In any Presidential election it is the Electoral College, not the individual people who ultimately chooses the winner. The revered Founding Fathers didn’t trust the average American citizen of 1789. Thought of them as farmer dunderheads. At that time a voter had to be a landowner. Non-squires, women, African-Americans, Native-Americans and those under 21 years of age were excluded. Votes could be bought for a five-cent cigar. I once lived in Louisiana where the Napoleonic Code, not English Common Law prevailed. The symbol of the Democratic Party in Louisiana in 1968 was a rooster. Potential voters may have been illiterate so they were instructed to “stamp the rooster!” In 1968, Hubert Humphrey ran on the Democratic ticket. George Wallace was running as an independent. Wallace was awarded the rooster symbol while Humphrey got the donkey symbol. Wallace carried Louisiana and split the Democrat vote allowing Nixon to win.

6) The republican process is no longer viable. Those “chosen representatives” don’t represent the will of their constituents. They are mightily influenced by lobbyists and special interest groups. Bribery? Gifts? Junket trips? All perks of being part of the exclusive clubs of the Senate and the House. Should we go back to having a King? A benevolent despot isn’t a bad idea. Consider: he needn’t run for office every two or four or six years. He would be beyond corruption and his word would be law. At least some things would get accomplished. Benito Mussolini was a dictator but he forced the railroads to run on time! Railroad unions threaten to go on strike? Off with their heads! The greatest good for the greatest number. Now “political correctness” demands that all be included. Case in point: Are you worried that U.S. schools have a poor standing in the World when compared with education systems of other countries? Do those other systems “mainstream” Down’s syndrome children and others with mental insufficiencies? My daughter attended school with a little girl who was both blind and deaf. She communicated, like Helen Keller, by “signing” into someone’s hand. But she nonetheless won the French pronunciation contest! Really?

7) I stopped voting when I learned that courts use voter registration rolls to select prospective jurors. Civic duty? Lawyers manipulate jury pools to select favorable members sympathetic to their clients. Jury of one’s peers? Ha! And jury duty is long, boring, potentially hazardous and not rewarding remuneratively.

8) Still think America is the greatest country in the world? Still think Democracy is the greatest form of government in the world? I learned those things in fourth grade civics class, too. For me, America lost her innocence in 1963 when Kennedy was assassinated.  The duplicities of Nixon? Water boarding and Abu Ghraib prison? Very public sexual liaisons of Clinton?

These are just a few, bet you have a list of your own


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