The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Do You Think Before You Vote?

It's a serious question, that title. It's going to be very important this year and one I want you readers to think about. Too often, I think, we vote robotically. That is, we lean so strongly toward one party or another that we do not examine the candidates in any meaningful way.

I think we want to but have been conditioned to react emotionally when it comes to politics. Maybe not conditioned, maybe we have always done this. I think back to the days of monarchies and royal families and so on. Did we examine closely those we followed as leaders? Or did we basically engage in popularity contests? We liked one family better than we liked another. And did we, at the time, think about what was best for our country (or region) or did we consider more superficial things... like looks or tradition to be important?

I ask because voting, while apparently not all that popular in this country, is important. A friend once urged me to vote for Obama rather than waste my vote on Romney. After all, he told me, why vote for someone who is likely to lose? Go with the winner.

That offended me. Not because he thought my choice was bad but because he thought a a vote for someone, even if he loses, was a waste. I was reminded of an exchange I had with a liberal-minded gentleman some years ago. We were talking about soldiers "dying in vain" and I stated that I thought "no soldier who dies in defense of his nation dies in vain." Of course, he brought up soldiers of Nazi Germany in WWII. I re-affirmed my belief and said "even them." That sounds silly, doesn't it?  After all, they lost that battle to protect Germany from the Allies. But, ask yourself, would Germany be the nation it is today if they had fought and won? They had to lose in order for Germany to get rid of Hitler and, eventually, become the nation it is today. Same with Japan. Sometimes, losing is better than winning. And, if the eventual result is a better nation, then did the soldiers really die in vain?

A vote is an opinion. To vote robotically is to not have an opinion but to defer it to another... to a party. If that party is one you agree with 100% then fine, go ahead and cast that ballot. But, if you do not agree with the party 100%, how will they know it if you vote in "lockstep" with the party's wishes?  You know the answer to that rhetorical question.

An added thought:

I am curious... what is your idea of a perfect society? Is it one that requires participation? Or is it one that leaves you alone to do as you please, short of breaking laws?

Or, put another way: Do you believe all things are legal until a law is written prohibiting them? Or do you believe that all things are illegal until the government says they aren't?


Tom Sightings said...

Wow, a lot of difficult questions. I can only answer one. The perfect society is one that doesn't require participation, but does invite participation; and otherwise leaves you alone to do as you please short of breaking the laws. P. S. Easier said than done.

Douglas said...

Tom, we are simpatico then. Since we live in a nation that embraces that view, it is not surprising. That ability, that general outlook, leads to the voter apathy and the willingness to retain incumbents we see today... in my opinion. We don't feel a connection to the government and, therefore, we lean toward apathy.