If Only We Could Escape

In a 1972 interview, here’s what Murray Rothbard had to say about voting:

“I really don’t care about whether people vote or not. To me the important thing is, who do you support. Who do you hope will win the election? You can be a non-voter and say ‘I don’t want to sanction the state’ and not vote, but on election night who do you hope the rest of the voters, the rest of the suckers out there who are voting, who do you hope they’ll elect? And it’s important, because I think that there is a difference. The Presidency, unfortunately, is of extreme importance. It will be running or directing our lives greatly for four years. So, I see no reason why we shouldn’t endorse, or support, or attack one candidate more than the other candidate. I really don’t agree at all with the non-voting position in that sense, because the non-voter is not only saying we shouldn’t vote: he is also saying that we shouldn’t endorse anybody. Will Robert LeFevre, one of the spokesmen of the non-voting approach, will he deep in his heart on election night have any kind of preference at all as the votes come in. Will he cheer slightly or groan more as whoever wins? I don’t see how anybody could fail to have a preference, because it will affect all of us.”

I must admit a certain affinity with this attitude. Compared to the agendas and attitudes of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, another four years of Trump/Pence seems absolutely delightful – jail for flag-burning and cop worship notwithstanding. At least it will mean nominally lower taxes, fewer regulations on business, cheaper oil, a stronger economy, less ardent attacks on gun ownership, and fewer wars.

For all my admiration of Lysander Spooner, I have never had much sympathy for his “defensive voting” argument. Yet we are, quite demonstrably, here in 2020, still nowhere within even light years of abolishing the State.

I won’t be voting this time around, and I never do. I’m not even registered.

But given where we’re at – where we’re likely to be at, in fact, for at least the rest of my time on this spinning globe – I will confess a Trump win might actually feel something like relief.

If only we could escape it altogether, by some method other than dying.

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Alex R. Knight III

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Alex R. Knight III is originally from Groveland, Massachusetts, where he grew up listening to rock and roll, reading J.R.R. Tolkien, and the comic books of the 1970s.  He today lives in rural southern Vermont where he welds, plays guitar, paints abstracts, reads avidly, and writes.  He is the author of the short fiction collection, Tales From Dark 7in addition to the novels The Morris Roomand Empty World.  And, he is a Voluntaryist. Visit his MeWe group here.

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