We Have to Vote, Don’t We?

I didn’t bother registering to vote after moving to Texas. For one thing, I wasn’t expecting to be here long. For another, I had largely abandoned interest in electoral politics by the time I was settled in, and my loss of interest had morphed into snarling hatred within a few months (concomitant with my conversion to Catholicism and reaction).

I’m not alone in my principled refusal to participate in a frankly evil electoral process, and I see now that I’m not online in reconsidering it. Kathlene M., in a comment at View from the Right, sends along the story of blogger Mark Shea, who relates the following answer to a reader who asks whether or not it’s morally justifiable to vote GOP this year:

The Administration’s acts of naked warfare on civil liberty briefly made me wonder if it might be prudent to vote GOP, but when I contemplated the fact that the GOP was, in fact, the engine that drove the passage of the NDAA, I thought, “Nah. They are as enthused about transforming American into a police state as Obama.” A GOP Prez will not do one thing to undo Obama’s “gains” in eradicating civil rights or checks on a tyrannical executive. So since both parties were still gung ho for their preferred grave intrinsic evils, I saw no particular reason to support either.

Now, however, the Administration’s gratuitous and malice-filled war on religious liberty and the Catholic Church introduces a new wrinkle to the equation. We now have what I think is a real difference between the parties. The GOP is largely indifferent to the Church when the Church disagrees with it on matters like torture and just war. It makes use of the Church when it is convenient (yakking about abortion and family values while doing very little). But it has never taken a position of naked and open hostility with a view to crushing it.

For this reason, I am considering voting GOP this fall as the prudent action, because an America ruled by a corrupt party indifferent to the Church is better than an America ruled by a corrupt party that is actively seeking to crush the Church. I haven’t made up my mind (because I’m not sold that supporting pols who advocate grave evil is something I can justify. We are, after all, talking about a field of candidates–Ron Paul doesn’t count since he will never be nominated–who aspire to be war criminals). But the launch of Obama’s war on the Church seems to me to be a potential game-changer here. He is, after all, also a bellicose warmonger eager to expand our wars of Empire, but he has also taken his war for an American hedonist crony capitalist police state empire, not merely to the Islamosphere, but to the doors of every Catholic Church in America. Give him four years to make war on the Church without hindrance and we may be very surprised at how little is left of the American Church by 2016. He means business and it is foolish to underestimate that.

Things are a little worse than that, though. I’ve noticed a pronounced radicalization among my leftist friends since the start of Obama’s war on the Church. They really want it beaten, subjugated, and destroyed, and they don’t care what absurd and evil lies they have to manufacture . Perhaps it’s just that their latent insanity has been stirred to action by an opportunity to express it with social approval; more likely, it’s that people of average intellect are basically sheep and that the nature of American identity politics is such that they will always be radicalized by the leaders of the parties they follow. (Remember the remorseless, unprincipled shriveling of nearly every mainstream “conservative” in America during the Bush administration?) The fangs have come out. Give it another four years and they may well be dripping with blood.

The lack of institutional leadership in the form of an aggressive and belligerent President would, if nothing else, halt the metastasis of the left’s cancerous madness for a few years, or at the very least draw it away from the Church and toward Republicans. It’d be a small victory, but small victories are perhaps all we can ask for in these benighted latter days.

Of course, my vote won’t make a difference — there’s no doubt that Texas won’t go blue this year. But being on the right side (or, rather, emphatically declaring that I’m against the wrong side), it seems to me, is reason enough.

15 thoughts on “We Have to Vote, Don’t We?

  1. I first thought about ‘voting’ as a phenomenon, while I was writing Thought Prison – and I realized that it was an evil way to make decisions in almost all instances.

    Voting is anti-truth (as well as anti-beauty and anti-virtue).


    There really is no excuse for voting, after Kenneth Arrow (economist) mathematically demonstrated what many who have been on committees observed for themselves – that voting may lead to a decision which no single person regards as correct.

    Voting is a trick. It is a trick whereby people are induced to accept the outcome of a procedure, before they know the outcome. It is a trick for diffuse and concealing, indeed for deleting, responsibility.


    Voting (in the context of bureaucratic organization) makes possible (does not cause, but makes possible) the evils of modernity. Why are there so many bad laws? Voting. Why so many ugly buildings? Voting. Why so much dull and dishonest science? Voting.

    Decisions should be made by individual, responsible persons (with advise from those they trust); or by unanimity of consent from a close-knit group – when all are responsible.


    So what should we do?

    We should not vote, *obviously* we should not vote: not in elections, not anywhere.

    Every vote cast is an endorsement of the principle that decisions should be made by voting. We should not endorse it.

  2. The GOP has don’t “little” to stop abortion? What planet is Mark on? Justices Alito and Roberts aren’t “nothing”. Neither are a couple other dozen judges on lower courts.

    Nor is it “nothing” when for 8 years Bush kept a lot of radicals out of the State department, etc. kept the military from becoming even more radicalized via commissions, etc.

    Mark has a vendetta about the GOP but paints with such a broad brush he’s probably working for the other side. False flag op. Or has there ever been a “pure” Catholic political party….ever?

    • The modern R party and its coalition coalesced in the 60s as a product of “fusionism.” Fusionism is the idea that the right ought to consist of, on the one hand, a leadership layer of glibertarian intellectual whores and their Wall St paymasters, and, on the other hand, social conservative masses to do the volunteering and voting.

      At or near the formation of fusionism, abortion was illegal, sodomy was illegal, anti-interventionism was a respectable opinion on the right, school prayer was universal, immigration policy was sane, etc, etc, etc. Also at the formation of fusionism, the top marginal tax rate was 90%. Fusionism was triumphant in the Reagan administration. By the end of that administration, the top marginal tax rate was 28% (whereupon the Rs started fighting for a special 15% rate on capital gains), abortion was legal, sodomy was de facto legal, school prayer was illegal and not a live political issue, immigration policy was insane, hyper-interventionism was de rigeur across the political spectrum, etc, etc, etc.

      If you consider their coalition partners, the blue dog democrats, the R party has been the more powerful of the two parties now for more than 30 years. Over that period, they have gotten their high priority policy items: tax cuts for the rich, deregulation of the financial markets, unlimited immigration, the destruction of the labor movement, the care and feeding of the warfare state, etc. The fact that they have “lost” on abortion and other issues that their actual voters care about has come about because they don’t give a fig about them (them the issues and them the voters). The R party has done absolutely nothing to stop abortion, and it is not going to. John, you might consider the possibility that you been had.

      I do agree that the less we hear from Mark Shea, the better, though.

  3. The argument above for voting Republican has a certain cogency, I admit, but I think we have to consider the long-term effects. If a Catholic Republican is nominated and elected – Santorum most likely, not Gingrich – the identification of Catholic orthodoxy with American conservatism will become so overwhelming that I think it will do real damage to the Church’s image and apostolate, as well as to Catholic life in this country.

    • Yes, I would much prefer Santorum not be nominated for that reason (and it’s funny you mention that, as I was just thinking it this morning). But that seems unlikely at this point, anyway; if not an outright Romney win, we’d likely end up with a brokered convention at which some non-Santorum (and likely non-Catholic) is nominated.

  4. Bruce, are you saying voting in every case is bad? What about electing individuals to positions of responsibility? I wonder if it’s necessary that some offices be elected.

    As far as Proph’s basic question, is it prudent to vote or no, my thought is to let the liberal train wreck happen. It can’t be averted anyway. Why not get it over sooner rather than later?

    Perhaps we should just get out of the way and let things play themselves out. Of course, intentionally voting for leftist candidates in order to hasten the collapse would be immoral.

    Perhaps noninterference is the best (moral and prudent) course.

    • @ AM

      I set out the arguments in this blog post:


      I am not saying that we should avoid voting because that is a good tactic to win. I am saying we should not vote because voting is evil, and we should avoid participating in it.

      From the perspective of tactics, I am one of those who believe that only a miracle can save us – in the sense that only repentance can save us, and that would be a miracle.

      But miracles sometimes happen, so that (and not a political solution) is what we should work for – by becoming better Christians and praying for a miracle.

      To feel helpless, because we really are helpless – and not just in terms of holding back the tide of modernity/ Leftism/ PC, and to call on God for rescue is one step towards humility.

      Of course, if this works – then we will be asked to do some thing or things; but whatever these things are that we should do, they cannot be calculated in advance, only revealed at the time.

  5. I don’t have any arguments to make that haven’t already been made before, here or elsewhere. I’ll simply repeat something I posted on my blog a while ago:

    “I personally feel no responsibility for decisions made by our current government, be it federal, state or local. The simple fact is, they have never listened to me. I am one vote among thousands or millions, and have been on the losing side of almost every recent election. Even when most of the other voters have agreed with me, the powers that be have contrived to ignore us.
    They’ve never asked for my advice, not really, only for my money and my obedience.”

    Even if I identified and voted for a candidate who represents the ‘right side’, I have no confidence that my vote would be correctly interpreted. Voting is too crude a method for ‘sending a message’ about how I think we should be governed. When mixed in with the votes of those thousands or millions of others, any message I’m trying to send gets reduced to mere number, stripped of any meaningful content. Then the spinmeisters go to work putting those numbers together and telling us what they all ‘really mean.’

    I need more than a single binary bit, yes or no, to express my thoughts on these matters. I need more digits, but I’m not going to get them, because as I said, they’re not really interested in my advice.

    They only want to create the illusion that I’ve somehow approved what they’re doing — even if I’ve voted against them, I am, as Bruce says, presumed to be willing to approve the outcome as the ‘will of the people.’

    Well, no, I don’t approve. Majority rule is evil, and I’m no longer going to participate in the pretense that it is not.

    • A couple of followups:

      — I don’t think we actually have a system of majority rule. I think we have a pretense of majority rule, as cover for an oligarchy that’s going to do what it wants to do no matter how we vote.

      — In America at least, the concept of ‘the people’ has become an amorphous blob, a set with no defining attributes except being present inside the borders (which correspond to the brackets of the set notation.) We have no common heritage, no common faith, no common anything. Newcomers are no longer expected to assimilate, and this means that even the idea of America as a ‘proposition nation’ no longer describes who we are.

  6. Assuming voting is still the responsible thing to do, I’m convinced that many principled reactionaries who dislike mainstream conservatism should join the most radical of the mainstream parties. That way, they can try to block future radicals from coming to power while opening a second front and causing internal dissension within the left.

    Your vote counts most in the minor races and in the party caucuses, primaries and party assemblies for local races and local party leadership positions. In the U.S. the GOP will just end up imitating the Democrats on social issues unless the Democrats are reformed. Displace the enemy where he is strongest, but also less on guard against internal adversaries.

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