Why I won’t vote (and you shouldn’t either)

by Stan

(Originally posted on Feral Scholar, June 19, 2011)

In the 2008 General Election in the United States, I cast my vote for Barack Obama to become the President of the United States. I stated publicly that it was important to me to vote for Obama for three reasons.

First, I wanted to rebuke the race-baiting of the campaign, beginning in the Primaries with Clinton and in the General Election by most of the Republican street. It became a question of solidarity with black people, not an election.

Second, I wanted to rebuke the Republicans for the lawless Bush years.

Third, I wanted to demonstrate once and for all to die-hard Democrats and ever-hopeful independents that the wars, the economic crisis and the depredations of the rich against the poor were not the exclusive province of Republicans. I said so before I voted. I said that Obama would behave like a Bill Clinton, because he is of the same ilk – a tireless shill for the Democratic Leadership Council, which is a tireless proponent of whatever Wall Street and the war-makers tell them.

I was proven right about the last; and that proof still fails to penetrate the consciousness of many who will support Obama even if he were to dress up in a pig costume and masturbate into the fountain at DuPont Circle, singing “Deutschland Uber Alles.”


I am not categorizable within the current popular discourse about politics. I am not a Democrat or Republican. I am not a conservative or a liberal or a progressive.

Being Wrong for the Right Reasons

The reason I am finished with this kind of probative voting is that by now all who can be convinced probably are convinced; and all who treasure the delusion of American democracy more than the evidence of their senses will continue to cling to those delusions until they die. Now, I want to convince those disillusioned with Obama to consider a deeper problem than Obama’s personal moral failures, which accompanied his naked ambition far in advance of his announcement for presidential candidacy. I want to convince as many people as possible to quit voting altogether.

I for one am registered to vote now in the State of Michigan; and I intend to go to every major election to stand outside the polls with a sign that says, “I am not voting because the choices are intolerable.” I hope a million others will join me in 2012 to do the same thing; but I doubt they will. Those who care enough to think about voting at all are already in the minority; and of those the majority remain convinced that elections might fundamentally change society.

This is wrong for all the right reasons. People who are unhappy with the status quo and who want to change it for unselfish reasons – and there are many of these people from across the political spectrum – are genuinely motivated by their good will. They simply don’t understand yet that the most important choices are made by flows of cash before a single voter has a say in these so-called elections. They don’t understand that the most important topics related to changing our society are excluded by both parties, censored by ruling class media, and that these excluded topics mask the substantial agreements between the putative opponents. They don’t understand that elected officials have very little power once in office, or that the system is now designed to prevent anyone in office from having power in any critical realm sufficient to make changes in the relative power of the rich and the rest.

The only exception to that, in my opinion, is the ability of the President of the United States to stop wars and end the forward-deployed US military presence overseas. No candidate who advocates this with any seriousness will get past the first gate. If she does, I’ll break my promise and vote twice for her.

The reason it won’t happen is that any candidate that doesn’t give behind-the-scenes reassurances will face a tidal wave of money.

(Continued at Feral Scholar . . .)

This entry was posted in Class War Chronicle and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Why I won’t vote (and you shouldn’t either)

  1. Terri Lee says:

    Hi Stan,

    I support your efforts and just want to clarify — as you stated here — that together we publicly ‘not vote’. I do make a distinction between quietly staying home and not voting and organizing for a public act of resistance.

    I appreciated your article.

    Boycott the 2012 Presidential Election!

  2. Terri says:

    A few updates on the call to Boycott the 2012 Presidential Election:

    1. There is a very good discussion taking place on the Occupy Wall Street website forum:
    “Call to Boycott the 2012 Presidential Election!”


    Currently has 273 comments! You are invited to join in the discussion

    2. I will be speaking on a panel of three at the Left Forum in NYC — Pace University — in March on the call to Boycott the 2012 Presidential Election.

    The link is here: http://www.leftforum.org/panel/boycott-2012-presidential-election

    3. You can join the Boycott Event on Facebook, here:


    Thank you and please help spread the word.


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