I Don’t V*te Because…

I don’t feel the need to be governed. I guess I never have.

Even decades ago when I used to v*te, it wasn’t because I felt that someone else could run my life better, or because I was scared of what would happen if “other people” weren’t governed, it was just what responsible people do.

Or so I believed.

I couldn’t understand people who “didn’t care enough” to bother to v*te.

I needed to v*te because “everyone else is doing it“.

Of course, I finally realized that not everyone is doing it. And to my surprise, it wasn’t because they were lazy or apathetic. They often had good reasons that I agreed with. Reasons I agreed with more than I agreed with the justifications for v*ting I had always bought into in the past– “self-defensive v*ting” being the one that held the most appeal to me.

I started feeling like participating in something I didn’t approve of was giving the appearance of approval. I didn’t approve. I realized I had been giving an illegitimate institution– government– some false legitimacy by participating.

So I finally started behaving in a way that was consistent with my values.

It didn’t happen overnight. For a while I was ashamed to admit in public that I hadn’t v*ted. I eventually realized I wasn’t the one doing something shameful and harmful.

I’m not usually too hard on those who still v*te because I understand why they are doing it. I just no longer agree that their reasons make any sense.

Maybe they’ll come around, or maybe I’ll eventually change my mind again.

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Kent McManigal

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