L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 197, November 4, 2002
Why I Will Not Vote!
Exclusive to TLE
This Tuesday, November 5, a very important event will occur in my life. For the first time since 1984, I will not vote in an election. I have never failed to vote before, not once. If I was eligible to vote, be it a general election, special election, primary, you name it, I voted. However, as of this election, and from now on, unless our political system changes, or unless I and/or L. Neil Smith stand for election, I will not vote.
This is not a decision which has been made lightly on my part. In fact, I have come close to doing so before, but I always relented, in the hope that somehow my vote would make a difference. I have persisted in the normal delusion that to vote in our society was to exercise my personal authority over our government. I believed that my failure to vote was an abdication of my responsibility to make my voice heard. Now, I have now admitted to myself that my participation in the electoral process is nothing more than my stamp of legitimacy to a corrupt and unlawful system.
The constitution is a legal contract between the people of the United States and the central government which our forebears established to secure their mutual interests, and those of us, their decedents. To insure that later generations would have a voice in the government they formed, the founders provided for free and unfettered elections of a democratic type. To help ensure that the nation did not succumb to the failures of other democratic nations in history, caused by the majority voting to elevate and enrich themselves at the expense of the minority, they divided power between, the people, in the form of their elected representatives, the state governments, in the form of their appointed Senators, and the Federal government, in the form of the president who is elected by, and must therefore represent the nation as a whole. They also provided for a judiciary which would act to punish those who attempted to violate the terms of the contract. They then added a list of rules, in the form of the Bill of Rights, intended to inform the people, in no uncertain terms, of their rights as individuals and of the limitations on the power of the central government.
The founders only made one mistake, they assumed that the people would demand that the Federal government uphold the contract. They assumed that we would act in our own self-interest and prevent the usurpation, by the government, of powers and authority not granted it. They were, of course, wrong in that assumption. The government, almost from the first days of its operation, sought to extend its power beyond, and often in direct contravention of, the constitution. In the early days of the Republic, men of conviction stood up to these unlawful actions and forced adherence to the terms of the contract, but with the passing of years, such men have become more and more rare and their influence has steadily declined. Today there can be no more doubt, the contract has been broken, the government, at all levels, feels no more constrained to abide by the terms of the constitution than the rapist feels obliged to buy his victim dinner and a movie first.
Far from being a means of demonstrating my commitment to the ideals of constitutional government, my vote has become an excuse used by the minions of our corrupt system to continue their evil. Voting implies that one will abide by the decision of the majority, even when one's own side fails to gain victory. When you or I vote today we are broadcasting to the vermin infesting our system that we will follow their orders and directives, despite the unlawful nature of their actions. To vote is to place our stamp of legitimacy on the corruption of American legal and political principles. I will no longer do so.
The United States government, and all of its various subdivisions, on the state, county and municipal levels will do with me as they will, provided they have the physical power to do so, but I will no longer volunteer to assist them. I will not vote, and thereby legitimize their illicit rule. I will not participate in the jury system, I will go when summoned, I will sit if empaneled, but I will not vote for a verdict, any verdict. The purpose of a juror is to protect one's own rights by protecting the rights of one's fellow citizens, well the government no longer recognizes my rights, so I have nothing to protect. I will seek to avoid assisting the government in any way, and I will only submit to the minium extent necessary to prevent my arrest, and only when I cannot avoid compliance entirely.
The legitimate authority of the United States government is gone, the contract which existed is now null and void, I will no longer pretend otherwise. The only power the government possesses is brute force and I will no longer consider anything else. No appeals to good citizenship will avail them, I am a citizen no longer, I am now a subject in a conquered nation. Appeals to my morality will not work. The immorality of their actions removes any moral constraints from me. I will act only under duress, and then only to that extent necessary to protect my life.
Today is my independence day, I am declaring my independence from the men who have enslaved my mind for so long and soon I hope to free my body as well. Until that day I will do what I must, and I pray that I will be able to avoid being forced to go farther. I will not be incarcerated. I will not act against my fellow subjects. I will not lay down my right to express my opinions. T will not be denied my right to defend my life, nor to possess the means to exercise that right. If the day comes when those in power over me see fit to deny these things to me I will die, but I will not die alone, nor will the people who die with me be the young uninformed members of the government's military and paramilitary forces, but rather those who sent them.
"Now, what are you prepared to do?"