I’ve seen marriages like this.

They didn’t end well.

Still, that old sense of obligation is there. It is not that my vote counts or that I really care who wins. That’s not my fault. Forces beyond my control have made my citizenship worthless. What I can control is how I discharge my duties and obligations. That means I’ll probably stop at my polling place in the morning and cast my ballot. The choices may be awful and I may hate having to vote for any of them, but at least I will have done my duty. My country may not care much for me and citizenship may mean nothing, but I still can be a good citizen. At least I’ll have that.

Meet the new boss. Literally the same as the old boss, but if you squint your eyes just right and say “If I don’t vote for a RINO a liberal will win” over and over to yourself, maybe you’ll feel better about the whole thing.Voting2

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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12 Responses to I’ve seen marriages like this.

  1. billf says:

    I always vote,I always have voted ever since I was old enough.As things get worse and worse,not just in the US but in the world,I realize the futility of swimming upstream,but I can’t help it.I’m still a striver,(I’m cynical but hopeful,can those two things even go together?),and I’ll probably continue voting,and speaking my mind,and I’ll eventually shoot if it comes to that,as long as I live.But I don’t think there’s much of a future for this republic.
    More people know who Katy Perry is,than know who their Senator is,and that’s just fucked up.

  2. Was talking about that the other day with a friend who still thinks she has a “duty” to the “social contract” to “vote” and pay taxes.

    I asked her what she would do if someone came to her house and pointed a gun at her, demanding she give him her money. She had no hesistation saying she would consider that criminal behavior and theft. In other words, wrong and not something she had agreed to.

    Then I asked her what she thought would happen if she refused to pay taxes, if she came to a point where she no longer believed it was her “duty” to pay them. I suggested that people would come to her house with guns and take it by force. Then I asked her just how she could see any difference.

    “Oh, because we voted for the taxes.”

    Ah… yep… I’m not any part of that “we.”

  3. Why, Bill? I know the names, reputations and history of all the local “representatives.” I learn about all the new contenders as well. Doesn’t make a particle of difference in the long run because they are all basically the same… they have a wonderful plan for my life and my money, and what I want or need to do with them doesn’t count for anything – regardless of their rhetoric. They ALL want power over others, and some are quite willing to kill us to get it.

    I don’t recognize that ANY of them have legitimate authority over my life. When some people are given power over other people, against their will, tyranny is the inevitable result. That’s exactly where we are today because people accept that bogus authority, instead of understanding that they are responsible for their own lives and welfare.

  4. Bill, I can relate to where you are. I have been there myself.

    For me, the step after that was full-blown heresy. And I’ll admit that it was folks like Mama and Claire that helped me get from the one point to the other–not such a far step, really, but not easy, either. They said things I had to confront, and the only way I could successfully confront them, in the end (I tried nearly everything else, believe me) was to change the fundamental way I looked at the world–which is something that people tend to resist with some gusto. Heaven knows I did. But boy, did that turn out to be a growth event for me, and I’m grateful beyond words for it.

    Only you can determine your way, no matter what anyone else says. (If your reaction to that is to say, “Says who?”, you may already be a heretic and not know it. 🙂

    My question, given all of the above, is this: if your own loyalty is to an idea or an ideal, which I suspect it is, then why is it wrong (for you) to identify the source of the idea’s corruption as the system itself, rather than any of its practitioners–and refuse your support at that level, just the same way that you would refuse to support a corrupt politician individually? That is, when the mantra of “the only way to improve the system is to work from within it” starts to kick up in your mind, ask: “Why? Why do I believe that? Where is my faith in that idea coming from?”

    This is a conversation that’s worth having with yourself. Even if you don’t find yourself ready for heresy, it’s always worth it to better understand why.

    And at any rate, as you’ve already figured out, the “republic” is going to do what it’s going to do–no matter what you do. But, I suspect strongly that you can live most of your own ideas nonetheless, without troubling anyone, and maybe that’s enough. Sure, TPTB can be annoying and even dangerous, but remember that creativity nearly always trumps brute force. If the point of all this striving, after all, is to live free, then it would seem that any surplus striving should logically be redirected at…simply living free. 🙂

    Please forgive me if I sound patronizing–I don’t mean that. Again, I don’t really suspect we’re all that different, at heart. Maybe I’m just trying to find something constructive to talk about on an otherwise depressing day.

  5. GoneWithTheWind says:

    “Ah… yep… I’m not any part of that “we.”

    Oh yes you are. That is what everyone who chooses not to vote fails to understand. One way or another you ARE voting. If you don’t cast a ballot then you are voting to let other people control your lives. Yes indeed you will pay your taxes because “we voted for the taxes”. A lot of people voted at the ballot box and you voted by not casting a ballot.

  6. Such BS. The entire premise of the “constitution” is that the consent of the governed is required. Of course, that’s the theory and has never been the actual practice of any non-voluntary government.

    There is no legitimate authority without individual consent. Anyone is perfectly free to “elect” any overlords they wish, of course. They cannot, however, legitimately choose that for me.

    I definitely voted… I voted NO!… to everything. Taxes being only one part of it. I don’t want ANY of it. I do not consent to being “represented” and no “majority” can make that happen absent my consent. They can PRETEND to do so, but that’s a whole other thing.

    The thing that even the “will of the majority” folks are ignoring is that fewer and fewer individuals are willing to consent… Not all for the same reasons, obviously, but more people all the time see the whole system as bogus and destructive.

    Just one small example… Did you know that:

    85.4% of Floridians did not affirm their consent to be governed by Rick Scott.
    69.8% of Floridians did not affirm their consent to be governed by _anyone_.

    Read more at http://knappster.blogspot.com/#lh0QqirKopmWf120.99

    So… if I refuse to obey, ultimately the only option for those who desire to control my life and property is to kill me. “For my own good,” of course.

    THAT’s your “representative” government in a nutshell – and there isn’t any other way for it to function.

  7. GoneWithTheWind says:

    “85.4% of Floridians did not affirm their consent to be governed by Rick Scott.”

    That is how you interpret it but it isn’t true. Everyone who didn’t vote did in fact vote. They voted to let the people who marked ballots decide. There isn’t an option to “not vote”. You can choose not to submit a ballot but then you are voting to allow a majority of those who do mark a ballot and turn it in decide for you. It’s kinda like voting “present” but not quite.

  8. GWTW, you’re making what I call the “fait accompli” argument for statism: you justify participation based on the assumption that it somehow must be inevitable.*

    Please understand, some don’t make that assumption. Some even believe that the only reason the whole ugly charade stays propped up–the only reason that it can even be thought of as inevitable–is simply because so many people believe it to be that way. (Personally, I think that’s why the hardcore statists, and certainly the state itself, have such a burning hatred for the heretics–the ones that take the phrase “consent of the governed” literally, and refuse to consent by participating in the act that perpetuates it all. That sort of idea gets out of hand with the plebes, and the whole thing just might come crashing down!)

    I can assure you, personally, that I did not “affirm” or “consent” to anything involved in this last election, by staying as far away from it as possible. The “qui tacet consentire videtur” concept is based implicitly on the legitimacy of mob rule, absolutely at the expense of the individual, and I reject it. Completely. With a big green loogie.

    Oh, I’m under no delusion that there is not a very real mob, legitimized by millions and accountable only to itself, that will come to impose its terms upon me (and you) at a moment’s notice, at gunpoint. I’m quite aware that the mob is there, and what its appetites are; just because it’s all horribly insane, doesn’t make it not real. And so I interface with it as little as possible, and then not so much from any sort of tacit agreement or consent as a simple desire not to be murdered by thugs over money, or raw milk, or any other trivial thing that I can instead manage when necessary and ignore everywhere else.

    Don’t misunderstand: I’m not one of those people who grew up understanding liberty from the beginning. I had the whole politics thing down at first, all-in, and then I voted “defensively” for some years once I started to realize something was horribly wrong about it all. I see a lot that’s familiar to me in the things you say above. But at some point, with the help of a number of patient people, it clicked in my thick brain that politics cannot be the solution to politics, if the problem itself is politics. And it also clicked that Master could hardly care less who or what we vote for (or against), so long as we legitimize Master himself, by participating.

    And besides, I look at it this way: if I participate, I become both figuratively and literally part of the mob. And I can’t handle the cognitive dissonance in pointing guns at my own head. 🙂

    * In my experience at least, all arguments in defense of statism, from full-blown totalitarianism all the way down to the most innocuous sounding minarchist ideas, reduce to one of two core ideas: either the fait accompli argument (“the state is inevitable so you might as well make it the best one you can”), or the “Spock” argument for mob rule (“the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”). Dress ’em up however you want–heaven knows people try–but they all wind up one of these two in the end.

  9. Jake says:

    I figure, as Tam has been known to say, that if people are voting at me no matter what I do, then I might as well vote right back at them.

  10. GoneWithTheWind says:

    The people who choose not to vote in order to make a statement or voted for “someone else” gave us Bill Clinton and Obama. They will probably give us Hillary in 2016. Now, sadly, not all of the loyal opposition are as good as we want and deserve. But all of them were better then Obama and arguably better then either of the Clintons as well. “Our” vote counts. Your “our” may be different from mine but as a group you and your like-minded voters are a voting block. Now you can choose to not participate and of course the politicians won’t consider your views when they pass legislation. But make no mistake there are voting blocks that the politicians go after and that they pass laws to favor. Minorities, women on welfare, gays, immigrants both legal and illegal… And these people do vote and they do get favorable legislation. If you want to make a change you have to be in the game. It won’t always go your way but there really is no other choice.

  11. You do not seem to understand–or at least acknowledge–that I know perfectly well how the system works. (And not just a little, either. My degree actually says “Political Science” on it.) Just because I reject it, doesn’t mean that it’s somehow from ignorance.

    Nor is there “no other choice” simply because you may find it personally inconceivable. Reality requires neither your consent, nor mine. 🙂

  12. GoneWithTheWind says:

    All I can do is respond to what you stated and not to what you “know”.
    I will agree that there are “other choices” but… We were talking about voting or not voting. In that arguement there are no other choices that make sense. It “feels good” to say “the hell with them, I refuse to play their game”. But it is not a rational or logical choice.

To the stake with the heretic!