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The Unexpected Easiness of Voting (Or, Don't Waste Your Vote on a Blowout)

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One might wonder why they should be interested in my voting experience and anything that I have to say, and I cannot offer you much incentive for reading this expect for the fact that I did not vote Barack Obama. I also am a student who voted at school and for the past month I had been wondering what I would do so that I could participate in this election.

First, I must honor the wisdom of George Carlin who said so eloquently: 

"You may have noticed that there's one thing I don't complain about: Politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says, "They suck". But where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky. They don't pass through a membrane from another reality. No, they come from American homes, American families, American schools, American churches, American businesses, and they're elected by American voters. This is the best we can do, folks. It's what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out.

....I have solved this political dilemma in a very direct way: I don't vote. On Election Day, I stay home. I firmly believe that if you vote, you have no right to complain. Now, some people like to twist that around. They say, "If you don't vote, you have no right to complain", but where's the logic in that? If you vote, and you elect dishonest, incompetent politicians, and they get into office and screw everything up, you are responsible for what they have done. You voted them in. You caused the problem. You have no right to complain.

I, on the other hand, who did not vote -- who did not even leave the house on Election Day -- am in no way responsible for that these politicians have done and have every right to complain about the mess that you created.

I’m sure as soon as the election is over your country will improve immediately. As for me, I’ll be home doing essentially the same thing as you. The only thing is when I get finished masturbating I’m going to have something to show for it.”

Months ago, I would have taken this wisdom to be true. I would have been cynical and one might say I would have been better off.

But, when Carlin passed away over the summer, my mind began to be swayed significantly by the Nader/Gonzalez campaign. I was already partial to Ralph Nader because of the documentary film An Unreasonable Film, but I now was essentially sold.

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The campaign put out “7 Things You Can’t Say in ‘08” to highlight explicitly the deficiencies of this nation’s two-party system, which limits the discussion greatly.

The “7 Things” were: too much corporate power, no nukes, open the debates, free Palestine, pass national single payer health insurance, repeal the anti-union Taft-Hartley Act, and impeach Bush/Cheney. (Actually, the video said it was eight things because you could not and still are not supposed to say vote Nader in the 2008 election either.)

In effect, what got me involved in the election was the fact that there were issues not being discussed and there were choices for this election that were silencing voices. (Those voices have been Barr, Baldwin, McKinney, and Nader.)

This wasn’t anything new, but that didn’t mean I had to stand for it. Reality existed (and the reality has not changed), but my feeling was and still is, if you can vote hope and change, I have the right to vote for more voices and more choices by supporting somebody who doesn’t wish to silence or put a damper on discussion of the most pressing issues of the day.

***If you are ready for my voting story, scroll down. I’m not done with George Carlin yet.***

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You see I don’t think we Americans in this country have much choice in this country. So, I second the ideas presented by George Carlin in this video.

“All of this back and forth debate implies that there are really choices in this country---that we really have choices. It’s an illusion.

There is no real choice. They say “freedom of choice”. You’re given the illusion of choice.

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for

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