Using Your Words Instead: The Principled Act of Not Voting

I am 58 years old. My earliest memories of the 1960s finds me filled with optimism about the future. But I have over the many years since then watched my republic being dismantled and re-incorporated into a global economic order that has devastated the organizations of working people and undermined their class consciousness. 

The dismantling and reincorporation began in the 1960s at the hands of Democrats. Democrats—progressive, neoliberal, neoconservative—have been at the helm or behind the scenes all the way. Republican leaders during this the period for the most part bent to the will of the globalist corporatist elites who were busy denationalizing America. The current president is an exception. And that’s why the establishment has turned on him in an unprecedented manner.

We were told for decades that acknowledging the truth of globalization was a “conspiracy theory.” I’m an expert on political economy. Globalization is not a conspiracy. What happened has happened in the open and is well known to anybody who troubles himself to look around. Our rulers don’t hide it. They speak of these developments in virtuous terms. They tell us that globalization is good for us. There is really no theory involved. For the most part, we just describe what has happened and what is happening.

The Democratic Party has betrayed the working people of America. Hand-in-hand with the corporatists of Europe and Asia, they have betrayed the working classes of the world. 

Joe Biden is the last, best hope for globalists | Financial Times
Joe Biden, globalist (source: Financial Times)

For those of you who were not around when I made it clear that I was not and why I was not voting for Obama, and then Clinton, I want to make sure you know I will not vote for Biden and why I will not vote for him. For his entire career, Biden has been at the forefront of selling out the American working class to the globalists who are destroying my country. Biden is a corporatist shill. The worst of the worst. I could not vote for him. (See Joe Biden is the last, best hope for globalists, Financial Times.)

“But, Andy, what about Trump?” The lesser-of-two-evils argument is not only fallacious because it assumes that a vote can be used strategically in a national election, the argument is also wrong because it misidentifies the greater evil (See I’m With Her). Those who are dismantling my country are the greater evil. 

Here’s what I will do. If there is no one I can vote for, then I won’t vote. I won’t let people shame me with the canard that I’m throwing my vote away because I either don’t vote for who they want me to or don’t vote at all. Not voting for a principled reason is a noble political act. Freedom means the right to participate or to withdraw consent by not participating. What is it they say? If you choose not to decide, then you still have made a choice? Exactly. My vote can only be a vote for my aspirations and values. It’s a symbolic gesture in a democratic society. The hard work of democracy is about persuading people to do the right thing.

Published by

Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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