THE BLOG

Do You Elect Anarchy When You Elect not to Vote?

Nov 28, 2008 | Updated May 25, 2011

Inadvertently, I believe in some ways we do choose anarchy when we decide we've just become so dreary of our downward-spiral of a political system we aren't going to bother on Election Day. However, when a friend or acquaintance who I think of as any sort of equal tells me, 'What's the point of voting? My vote doesn't count. They're all crooked anyway,' even amidst everything we've seen between the war and the economy downfall during the last right years, I'm astonished.

I'm not bewildered at those whom are overcome with jaded views of the voting system or have adopted cynical opinions of our politicians -- hey, I get it -- where were the WMDs?? I'm rendered speechless, however, at the fact that people seem to forget their sixth and seventh grade history lessons. My first day of sixth grade I walked into Mr. Borget's class and on the chalkboard was Santayana's famous phrase, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Now to clarify -- I'm not talking about the rest of the world laughing at the fact that nearly half of this country might good and well elect four more years of failed policies under the Republican administration. This is an administration which has already been exposed through documentaries and news reports for protecting those they deem 'friends' -- about 7% of this country and a small, but entitled, few abroad -- all of whom have financial interests with the oil and weapons industries to make sure the money finds its' way back into their own pockets. No, I'm not talking about what an irony it would be to elect more of that.

I'm not even talking about a possible continuation of this copy-cat administration that actually gets elected because they chant juvenile catch-phrases that kindergartners can understand so as to get their wildly supportive 'base' amped up in a high school homecoming game way (intellect, be damned! - in fact let's call these smarty-pants Democrats 'elitists' and put a negative spin on being well-spoken!).

No. I'm talking about the history of this world. Anarchy! 'Oh, those are medieval times,' a lot people think. Not so fast!

First, what's anarchy again? The definition is: The absence of government; a state of lawlessness due to the absence or inefficiency of the supreme power; political disorder. This issue was brought to my attention recently and I was forced to reflect on the extreme luxury we now have, to not have any desire to 'get involved with politics.'

Wow; must be nice! And you know what, it is! I mean, it's pretty cool to just be living here in the U.S., right!? I mean, who has time to live through genocide? I mean, with our busy latté-sipping schedule, and all. How about a famine -- not having enough food or the energy to find any food because the mafia is the one hording it and dispersing it since there is no FBI to regulate them? Maybe it might be cool to watch the end of one dictatorship where everything falls apart as you know it, only to be sliding right into the hands of some other slimy dictator? How about getting robbed or shot - but having no police to call? Damn, that would suck! Would it bother you if there were no longer any working traffic signals? How about rapists and pedophiles running around without any sort of legal repercussions -- never mind having that cool State-run website on the internet where you can see where all the creepy sex offenders live? Would it be kind of a problem if schools weren't in session because no one was keeping accounting of taxes, therefore no teachers had any work? Would it bother you if your creepy, long-haired neighbors were building a bomb and having a few late-night deliveries of highly enriched uranium but there was no CIA to call? Catch my drift?

Well, probably not; you've never actually experienced it, nor have I, so one paragraph isn't going to grip us with actual despair. It's not our reality. Yet, if you turn on the news, it's creeping up just a tad. It's not our fault; we were born into this privileged nation.

I suspect the people reading this are not the people this article is directed at.

My point to you, then, is this: we have to be a little more conscious of those around us who are so busy, or so jaded, that we just shrug our shoulders when they say, 'Eh, it won't make a difference,' or 'Oh, I'm just not interested in politics; it seems so crooked.' I've heard it a million times and while I'm not encouraging shoving politics down your co-worker's throats, it might be a nice little wake up call to point out adversity those in lawless countries face. Wouldn't it suck to not be able to vote? Or wouldn't it suck to have a rebel army bang down your door while you are getting ready to take a hot shower on a cold night and ask you - with a machete - which candidate you are voting for? And then having to vote for a candidate (probably the one you don't want to vote for...)?

Toss out a few of these little facts about other countries that struggle with a constant instability of government. Then tell them you're going to call them 'Ungrateful One' until Election Day. Just Kidding. Kind of. A few hiccups in deregulation (absence of the law) have been:

•In New Delhi, India in 2006 there was widespread neglect on the part of the Indian government to regulate Medical Labs and doctor's offices. Medical examiners and nurses were encouraging people to have lab tests they didn't fully require and sometimes medical treatment they didn't require at all. People who were in the lowest income brackets were coaxed into paying 25 -50 % on top of the already-inflated price, not to mention, receiving treatment they didn't even need. Many times, when there is a 'neighborhood epidemic' people are apt to follow popular protocol to avoid getting sick. Case in point: How many times have you gotten a Flu Shot because other people encourage you? Think about that mentality translating to undereducated masses in unmonitored, overpopulated cities.

•The demise of the government of Siad Barre, who ruled Somalia from 1969 thru 1991, rebel groups such as the Somali National Movement (SNM) and the Somali National Democratic Front (SNDF) contributed to an onslaught of anarchy. Anarchy in a country that made its only money through farming and agriculture, but constantly fought severe draughts. Chaos in the already problem-riddled country erupted through the 90s with disorganized, radical rebel regimes in power, but having no real control and sparring an ultimate genocide in the Jubbah Valley, where people were tortured, raped, burned, shot, killed and the rest left to die or become completely displaced.

•Following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the years to follow would prove to be a bleak passage from communism to democracy. Russia was a junkyard of the Cold War; lawlessness was rampant as monopolies and privatization began to conquer the cities and western parts of the country (think Enron in a 'government' position without ANY sort of regulation - or better, Dick Cheney running the country from his home office, with the Halliburton factory in his backyard). The black markets boomed police were dysfunctional and completely buried in their own business agendas; the middle class became increasingly poor, cold and totally unmonitored. Nuclear materials and weapons were in the hands of poor family men who resorted to arms dealing on Turkish borders because it was the only means to making any kind of money. KGB integrated (then took over) big business monopolies and trade, with no one stopping it. Public outcry resulted in empty gestures and token promises on the part of Boris Yeltsin, and the rest of an overwhelmed 'democratic' government. Imagine undertaking the absolute ordeal it would be to flush out mafia and illegal trade, which in effect, was the exact commerce Russia had begun to survive on in the mid 90s.Then the daunting task of making separatist countries and cities act in any kind of accordance, after the country had successfully rebelled and overthrown an entire communist government! Think of that moral climate!

Maybe the choice between Obama and McCain ain't that bad after all. Perhaps showing up to make a few checks in a few boxes at the high school down the street is kind of an easy responsibility in turn for the comfort we enjoy to be able to post a Ron Paul picket sign on our front lawn - without losing sleep over the fact someone might send a lynching mob over - is worth it. Just sayin'.