Two Kinds Of People


Photograph by Darrel V. Willis

Originally published on Nov 5 1996

You have a point to a certain extent when you mock my statement that "there are two kinds of people in the word—those who vote and those who don’t vote." For even those you suggest that voting is a hoax, seem to miss my original point.

I've sometimes struggled with the question of citizenship, more specifically—voting or not voting. Many people suggest that voting is a cruel hoax, postulating with wimper and whine, that there is only one party, one slate, one candidate, and that’s the fascist corporate dog. Is this for real? Perhaps I am just a silly pawn participating in a sick process that allows the slave to choose his own master. Maybe I can't see the forest for the trees and am wasting precious brain cells worrying about this issue or that. I don't know. Do I betray myself as an artist and an individualist by convincing myself that citizenship, the right to vote, the right to serve on a jury is important? Socrates didn't think so. But then, Nietzsche thought Socrates destroyed the aesthetic of Greek tragedy, of philosophy.

I am happy that I got up and went out to vote. I am happy that I took the time to read several perspectives on the issues, coming to my own conclusions, however petty they may seem on the worldstage at any given point of social struggle, and I don't have any regrets about voting for one of the big parties in spite how I believe the party system in this country is designed to keep new parties from arising. They make it so cost prohibitive, the only rebel we get to see rising from the dust is yet another rich little weasel dusting himself off with the people’s rag.

I also think it’s a shame that more people don't see their right to vote as important. Imagine, if more people did, we might actually see some change. Whether that would be for the better is up for debate, but a true democratic republic would be one where every eligible citizen adequately informed rises to the challenge and casts a vote. The original idea was that the American citizenry should have a non-violent revolution every election.Of course this idea is naive, and superficial, bugt it is the spirit from which we embrace our heritage. That's what we should strive for instead of sitting on lazy, uppity haunches pretending that we're staging some big protest by not voting. I know a lot of people who don't vote and they don't vote because they simply don't give a rats ass not from some higher level of protest.

I spit on the so-called "independents" determined not to be sheep by not voting. They are allowing their voices to be silent and are not doing anything subversive or meaningful by not voting.

Vote. It's free. You can go to the booth and vote for absolutely anyone you want. You can write in a candidate. That would be much more effective than sitting on a couch with a beer and a ciggy pretending to protest with apathy. There isn't enough revolution happening right now. We perhaps need some voting booth agitation to get our juices flowing. Isn’t that spirit still available to us?

But I digress.

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