Following on from this rant (http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/09/make-your-vote-meaningful-vote-for.html) on the state of the current election and the use of voting for someone who supposedly can't win, I guess I should explain my theory of voting.
Some people say, "Why bother voting? You can't change anything anyway."
It's a lie.
If you don't vote, you sure won't change anything. Unless you decide to take the law in your own hands, at any rate.
Sure. One vote is like a grain of sand on the beach.
But if there are no grains of sand, there's no beach.
This is something that takes faith in your fellow man.
There are several ways to take the law in your own hands.
can find materials and make a bomb and dump it someplace where people
will get hurt. Anyone can buy or make a gun and shoot it at the people they think hurt them. It makes a lot of noise, but what does it change?
It may seem like taking the law in your own hands, but it is really just doing the opposite.
It only makes people more determined to do what they thought they were going to do anyway.
If you have a lot of money, you can bribe people to do things you want them to. Sometimes it actually sort of works, but they aren't really doing it because they care. So it doesn't really work all that well.
If you have a lot of money, you can directly help people who need help. Buy wheelchairs, prosthetics, medicine, etc. for people who need them. If you have a lot of money, you can hire people who need a job to do something they can do (and write it off on your taxes). These kinds of things need to be done, by people who have that kind of money.
But, statistically speaking, you don't have that kind of money.
There are other useful things you can do. You can drive courteously. You can open doors for people whose hands are full. You can donate to crowdfunding projects. You can attend a church or social function that you sort-of believe in and encourage the others there to do what they can believe in.
Maybe you can't pass a miracle and cause someone in a wheelchair to suddenly not need the wheelchair any more. Maybe you can't give a person a job. Maybe you can't solve all the social problems in the world and win the wars against poverty, crime, bad health, etc.
you can smile and say hello to that person in the wheelchair, so his life is a little
It's like sand on the beach. Little things make the world
If the little things don't get done, there's no beach.
If you vote, that tells the people who get elected that someone cares who gets elected.
you follow up your vote by contacting the elected officials and telling
them the good things they are doing, it helps them listen when you have
to ask them to change something they are doing.
If you helped elect them, they may feel some duty towards you.
you didn't, they will likely still want to see if there isn't a way to
satisfy you, in the hopes that you'll vote for them next time.
If they are honest public servants and don't care whether you vote for them next time or not, they especially need to hear your opinions. Otherwise they make lose their desire to be public servants, and start giving in to the lobbies.
And while you are talking with them, they may think of something you can do, to help avoid making more laws and raising the taxes that more laws always generate.
Voting doesn't really end at the ballot box.
And that is why it is important to vote.
[JMR201610281721: Expanded a bit more on this here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/10/why-vote-what-does-vote-mean.html.]