Nonvoter Manifesto: Don’t Vote!

19604351_MLI am a nonvoter. I stand by my principled decision not to vote. Ever.

People think voting matters. It doesn’t, particularly now when so much power is amassed by unelected bureaucrats (the officials our Founders denounced in the Declaration of Independence for harassing the people). People know little or nothing about issues and theirs is rational ignorance–the governments (local/state/federal) have taken “responsibility” for everything under the sun. There is no “knowing the issues” when they count in the hundreds or thousands.

But, every four years, the bread and circus element of democracy rises from its slumber. Suddenly, your vote is going to change history or stop monsters or make America great again. Words fly: “hope,” “change,” “Great Society,” “make America great,” down with the rich, up with the little people, help the poor and the middle class. Some of these may be worthy goals but the brouhaha surrounding AN ELECTION where one vote has never tipped the scales, where candidates are not bound by their positions, where most “law” is delegated to bureaucracies that presidents have struggled fruitlessly to manage.

All this over a single day, a single vote, and then the people, nearly half (or perhaps more) unhappy with the winner, go back to their slumber. The NSA will still spy, the IRS will still harass, the FDA and FCC will blunder through areas where change happens much faster than old-school bureaucrats can handle. The War on Drugs will continue to throw countless young people into prison. American drones will continue to kill during undeclared wars.

I do not like Trump. I loathe Hillary. Bernie is a sanctimonious Vermont liberal whose type I know all too well. If I did vote, it would be for None of the Above. So I do not vote. But it is not because I don’t like any of the candidates (which is true), it is because of the above reasons. In short, the day after the election or inauguration, Big Government remains. Brooding, hostile to the populace, dismissive of due process, warlike overseas and, at times, in American cities.

I vow not to get dragged into more wasted talk about this election. We are “free” on election day, enslaved between elections.

Enjoy your “freedom,” but remember that it does not unbind the chains that hold and harass you every day of the year.


Jonathan Bean,

The Nonvoting Party (which holds no primaries to upset your day).

Jonathan Bean is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, Professor of History at Southern Illinois University, and editor of the Independent book, Race & Liberty in America: The Essential Reader.
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