Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, and Michael Moore: Endorsing Evil

 

 

 

 

 

by Mark E. Smith

Michael Moore, Daniel Ellsberg, and Noam Chomsky are among the many war
criminals who urged people to vote in elections they knew would result in war
crimes. No matter how you vote, when you sign your name at the polls or on the
envelope of your mail-in ballot, you are authorizing whoever wins to do
whatever they want in your name. It is idiotic to deny that you know that the
US government is guilty of war crimes, global pollution, and economic
imperialism–Michael, Daniel, and Noam have written, spoken or produced films
about these very topics. They knew exactly what they were consenting to when
they voted–more wars, more bailouts, and more nuclear wastes.

It is the lamest of excuses to claim that just because you voted for somebody
you knew couldn’t win, you were protesting the government you voted for. You
voted, so you demonstrated your faith and belief that whoever won would be
best suited to lead the country and that you personally supported whatever
they might do.

Ever notice that you don’t sign your name on your ballot? That’s supposedly
because of the secret vote, so nobody will know how you voted. But in a
winner-take-all electoral system like the United States, with no proportional
representation, how you vote is totally irrelevant; the only thing that
matters is that you voted, and that’s what your signature proves. The easily
hacked and totally unverifiable central tabulators will take care of the rest,
if the Supreme Court decides to allow the popular vote to be counted at all.

There’s no real reason for you to have to sign your name. Once you prove to
the poll worker that you are the person listed on the voting register, they
could simply cross off your name and allow you to proceed to the voting booth.
As for mail-in ballots, there’s no way to know if the person who signed the
envelope was the same one who filled out the ballot inside. The signature
proves one thing and one thing only, that the person whose signature it is,
had enough faith in the system to sign their name endorsing it.

Once you sign your name, you cannot withdraw your vote. You cannot say, “My
candidate didn’t win, so I am withholding my consent from the winner and they
cannot claim me as part of the voter turnout that gave them the right to say
that they were democratically elected and represent the will of the people.”
If you voted for Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, Rocky Anderson, Nobody, None of the
Above, wrote in your own name, or smeared graffiti all over the ballot, your
vote still counts as part of the mandate of the winner: that’s what winner-
take-all means, that the winner takes all the votes, including yours.

As Obama falsely declares Israel’s unprovoked, truce-breaking bombardment of
Gaza a matter of self-defense, proceeds to cut Medicare, Medical, and Social
Security, and continues to have Occupiers arrested for peaceful assembly, many
voters are already protesting the results of their votes. Did they really
believe the old canard that, “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain,” and cast
their ballots merely so that they could complain? Perhaps some ordinary voters
did, but intellects like Moore, Chomsky, and Ellsberg? That’s hard to believe.
Do they think the Declaration of Independence was illegitimate because it was
a long list of complaints against a king who didn’t allow the colonists to
vote, and that only those who vote have the right to complain? Nonsense!

We have to start holding voters accountable for their complicity in whatever
the US government does, and particularly those who are public figures and not
only vote in elections they know will result in more war crimes, but urge
others to do the same. How can we even think about holding elected officials
accountable if we can’t hold ourselves accountable for voting?

The Election Boycott Movement is an effortless, nonviolent, effective way to
withdraw the consent of the governed from a government that doesn’t represent
the will of the people. In Italy, when a 2012 election turnout dropped from
67% in the previous election to only 47%, even the New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/30/world/europe/low-turnout-for-sicily-elections.html?_r=1&
and FOX News
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/10/29/protest-party-does-well-in-sicily-election-turnout-down-sharply/
acknowledged that a majority of Italians had lost faith in their government,
and didn’t write it off to apathy.

As for averting the mythical catastrophe of a greater evil in Mitt Romney, as
evil as Romney is, he is no more evil than Bush was and equally beholden to
big corporate donors he would dare not disobey. Replacing Republican Bush with
Democrat Obama resulted in six more wars, trillions more in bailouts, more
immigrants deported, more Blacks killed and imprisoned, the greatest reduction
in civil liberties that the free world has seen since the 12th Century Magna
Carta–the elimination of due process, the first new nuclear plants in thirty
years, and we now face cuts to social programs that not even the most evil
Republican would have dared. When both parties are dependent upon the same
corporate donors, there is no greater and lesser evil, there is only
unmitigated evil.

It is time for voters to stop whining about and protesting the results of
their votes and stop voting for a government that is doing evil things in
their name, and to stop signing their names to a blank check that allows the
government to do whatever it wants. If you really don’t want evil perpetrated
in your name, then don’t sign your name: don’t vote.

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3 Responses to Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, and Michael Moore: Endorsing Evil

  1. Kieran Kelly says:

    I write as an anarchist who, for reasons of a visceral innate hatred of lying politicians, could not bring himself to vote until the age of 37. You can’t really claim “You voted, so you demonstrated your faith and belief that whoever won would be best suited to lead the country and that you personally supported whatever they might do.” That is simply not true. If someone votes and they do not have “faith and belief that whoever won would be best suited to lead the country” who are you to say otheriwse. I live in a country where there is proportional representation and the politicians are apt to claim a “mandate”. It is bullshit about 99% of the time, of course, but I will tell you in no uncertain terms that the thing that might discourage a claim of a “mandate” is a vote AGAINST them, not an abstention. Voting is a far more effective way of expressing resistance at polling time than abstention (for the politically engaged). For the average person who simply knows that the major alternatives that are presented to them are utter shite, then by all means encourage non-participation. But a politically engaged person should chose to cast a vote that says as clearly as possible that they are engaged, but the system is fucked.

  2. Prole Center says:

    Mark is specifically talking about the electoral process in the United States, which is an absurd, bullshit system. It’s winner-take-all instead of proportional representation and the votes cast are unverifiable and do not have to be counted. Then there’s the electoral college and the fact that the voting machines are easily hacked. And don’t forget that there are only two undeniably capitalist parties and no viable third parties in the U.S. This tactic may not make sense in other countries, but there are those of us who have become absolutely convinced that the first step in delegitimizing the entire system begins with an election boycott.

  3. Kieran Kelly says:

    Don’t get me wrong. I would kill myself before I would vote for Obama or Romney. In fact, out of the two I’d be more likely to vote for Romney because Glen Ford was right that Obama is the “more effective evil”. What I don’t agree with is that a vote is only effective if it goes to the winner. Every argument that can made for the tactical efficacy of not voting applies even more so to voting for a third party.

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