Why Do You Bother To Vote?

“I’m trying to free your mind.”
~Morpheus~
(The Matrix)

You may think by my titling this as I did I am being facetious, but I’m not; I seriously want to know what it is that causes you to go to the polls to vote. I’m not asking what motivates you into going to the polls; be it a sense of civic duty or if you actually care as to who gets elected. No, I’m more interested in what you expect out of the candidates you vote for; what is it you want them to do?

I’m certain that there are some who vote for the candidate who promises to do things that will personally benefit them; create more benefits and entitlement programs, or something else that will make their lives easier. Then there are those who are hawkish in their views and look to a candidate who will strengthen our military and protect us from any and all possible threats which may arise across the globe. And then there are those who vote simply to keep someone from the ‘other’ party from getting elected.

The underlying point, or question, I’m getting at is this; what is it that you expect out of government?

John Quincy Adams once said “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” But what if none of the candidates seeking office came anywhere near what you looked for in a candidate; would you still vote? Or, would you do as many do today; choose from the lesser of two evils?

You see, it all does boil down to what your personal expectations for government are; what is it that you want government to do; both for the country and for you personally. If you are happy with the ever increasing size of government; its continued regulation of your private lives; its violations of your rights, then by all means continue to vote for either a Republican or a Democrat, or the lesser of two evils.

Now when I say content with the path this country is on I am not speaking about the path it is been on since the election of Barack Obama; I’m talking about the path this country has been on for generations. I say that because if you are truthful with yourself you can’t help but notice that no matter whether the Democrats or the Republicans are running things; government continues to grow bigger and bigger and more intrusive. However, if you are not happy with the path this country is on you may want to step back and reconsider what it is that you are asking/expecting government to do for you.

One of the lesser known Founding Fathers, James Wilson, once said, “Government … should be formed to secure and enlarge the exercise of the natural rights of its members; and every government which has not this in view as its principle object is not a government of the legitimate kind.” I don’t know about you, but that is the litmus test I use for judging whether a candidate is worthy of my vote; not what they can do for me, but the extent to which they will allow me to exercise my rights.

That concept, that the purpose for which governments are created is to secure our rights, lies at the very foundation of everything this country was founded upon. The Constitution may be a law but it is upon the precepts expressed in the Declaration of Independence that our Constitution was erected, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

The Constitution may is the Supreme Law of the Land, but its sole purpose is to uphold that fundamental principle enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, “…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it…” We do not need government’s permission to do that, it is our right as government only exists by our consent.

You see, the Constitution may be a law but it only has any force as long as the people enforce it; and if the people should fail to enforce it then it is no more binding than the words written upon a plain piece of paper. For instance, it is a law to murder another person but that law is worth nothing if the people do not adhere to it. If someone pulls a gun on you and you hold up a piece of paper that says, “It is against the law to kill me” do you think that piece of paper alone will save your life; protect you from bullets? Of course it won’t, it is only when people have the desire to adhere to the law that the laws have any force upon us. The same goes for those we elect; the Cosntitution only has any force when we the people choose to enforce it.

When James Madison was trying to convince the people of New York to vote in favor of the Constitution he, along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay wrote a series of 85 articles explaining this Constitution to the people. These became known as the Federalist Papers. In Federalist 48 Madison states, “It will not be denied, that power is of an encroaching nature, and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it…What this security ought to be, is the great problem to be solved. Will it be sufficient to mark, with precision, the boundaries of these departments, in the constitution of the government, and to trust these parchment barriers against the encroaching spirit of power?” (my emphasis)

The Constitution is merely a document written upon an old piece of parchment; the barriers it puts up between the branches of our government and the limits it imposes upon government as a whole are worthless unless the spirit that guided our Founders beats within the heart of every American.

If our Constitution was constructed to preserve our liberty then the only way it can hold off the encroaching spirit of those in power is if the people stand united to fight back those who would deprive them of their liberty. That is why what Learned Hand once said is so true, “Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it.”

By how you vote you are expressing your attachment to liberty; how important it is to you. If you vote for candidates who promise things that restrict your liberty the only conclusion that can be drawn is that liberty is of little value to you personally. If you vote for the lesser of two evils the fact remains that you are voting for evil; and therefore for a candidate who cares more about granting government more power and further limiting your freedom. This goes for those who vote for so-called conservatives; who in their desire to protect us from global tyranny would violate the rights protected by the first ten amendments to the Constitution. A quote attributed to Ben Franklin offers us a clear warning of what would happen should we choose security over liberty, “Those who would give up essential liberty for a little temporary safety will deserve neither and lose both.”

Our government passes a multitude of laws which regulate and control our actions; very few of which are actually powers granted government by the document which created our government. De Tocqueville spoke of this very thing when he wrote the following, “It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which government is the shepherd.”

Or, as Daniel Webster so brilliantly said, “There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.” Is this the system our Founders hoped for when they affixed their signatures to the Declaration of Independence? Did they hope to enslave future generations to a government just as tyrannical and oppressive as the one they fought against to gain their independence?

We the people hold the ultimate fate of our country in our hands; if it fails the fault lies with us, not the candidates we choose. As former president James Garfield once said, “Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature.”

Years before our Constitution was written Samuel Adams wrote the following, “Among the Natural Rights of the Colonists are these First, a Right to Life; Secondly to Liberty; thirdly to Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner they can–Those are evident Branches of, rather than deductions from the Duty of Self Preservation, commonly called the first Law of Nature.”

Whom you vote for is your choice but make no mistake about it, if your choice violates my liberty it is my right under Natural Law to fight to defend my liberty. By my doing so I am not an enemy of the state, a traitor, or unpatriotic; I am merely standing up for the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence 239 years ago. It is you who have abandoned these principles by voting for candidates who seek not to enlarge the exercise of our rights as is the very purpose for which our government was established.

This is why I choose not to vote, because there is not a candidate running who shows any intention of restoring the rights we have lost and if I cannot find a candidate who will stand for the principles I hold dear I would rather not vote at all.

I know there are few left who feel as I do. I also know how Patrick Henry must have felt when he declared, “Perhaps an invincible attachment to the dearest rights of man, may, in these refined, enlightened days, be deemed old fashioned: If so, I am contented to be so: I say, the time has been when every pore of my heart beat for American liberty, and which, I believe, had a counterpart in the breast of every true American…”

So now we have come almost full circle. If you continue to play the game; vote for either a Republican or a Democrat, you are demonstrating that liberty, freedom, and your unalienable rights are less important to you than the promises these candidates toss about on the campaign trail like beads during Mardi Gras.

An addendum: I wrote this last night and held off posting it until this morning. I’m glad I did. America has gone past the point of where we can hope to take our country back by simply voting for the ‘right’ candidate to hold the office of president; it must be taken back by the people.

In that vein of thought I suggest you read the following; and this is the first time I’ve included a link to someone else’s articles in one of mine. So read Mike Gaddy’s article and forget about Donald Trump, or Ben Carson; they are all puppets to keep you sidetracked from the real issue; the continued loss of your freedom.

About Br'er Rabbit

I'm just one person out of millions of others. The only thing different about me is that I don't walk around with my head up my ass.
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