Zippy Catholic on voting

There are many arguments why voting is wrong. Let’s focus on one. Zippy Catholic emphasized that your intention to help a particular less-evil candidate is always less significant than the ritual affirmation of liberalism you thereby perform.

Voting in mass market democratic elections is not rational if it is viewed as a procedure by which we rank public preferences for candidates and choose candidates according to that ranking.

And it is not rational as a means to oppose evil in politics through a willingness to compromise, either as an individual or as part of a group effort.

But voting is perfectly rational from the point of view of our ruling class and their ruling ideology of liberalism. Because voting is a public liturgy in which a large portion of the populace personally endorses the legitimacy of our ruling class and their ruling ideology of liberalism.

Voting is perfectly rational as ritual act of doffing your hat to the king.


Participation in mass market elections in a modern liberal democracy involves asserting your own personal influence in pursuit of some specific outcome, given the options on a preselected ballot.

Your individual influence is negligible: you can only assert meaningful influence as part of a group effort. The more influence you hope to have on an election outcome, the more you must first ignore, and then embrace and affirm, liberalism.  The objective potency of your affirmation of liberalism always vastly outweighs your objective potency in terms of determining the outcome.

So here is the iron law:

Your personal influence over modern election outcomes is proportional to, and always infinitesimal in comparison to, your personal affirmation of liberalism.

60 thoughts on “Zippy Catholic on voting

  1. I may be wrong, but here goes.

    Here’s the problem, it’s not a sin to doff your hat to the king.

    If it’s not wrong in essence, I don’t think it’s wrong. It’s not “compromise” if the government is legitimate.

    I think it takes the same kind of abstruse reasoning that would eliminate all kinds of stuff, to the point where it might be scrupulous. Pay taxes? Compromising with liberalism. Do business with a company that pays taxes? Same thing, after all your taxes support a liberal regime. Serve in the military or the police? Supporting a liberal regime. So you can’t earn money, spend money, defend your country, enforce laws. If it’s not the same why isn’t it? It seems this line of reasoning is more restrictive than monasteries are. Like you needs must go out of the world.

    The real question is how we can know a government is legitimate and apart from direct revelation it’s not an easy question to answer. Paul used his status as a Roman citizen. David, Daniel, Joseph, all served pagan kings at some point and not casual pagans either. This just smells like a purity flex, a nice heavy burden that shows how trad you are. That being said I might be wrong. Not just saying that, I really might be and honestly the old philosophy muscles aren’t as strong as they used to be. For real, follow your own conscience.

    • The argument is not that voting is intrinsically immoral, but that when weighing the goods and evils of remote material cooperation in the case of mass market elections in a liberal democracy, the outcome dependent good effects are negligible and in most cases the personal bad effects are much larger, in that our vote conforms us to liberalism.
      Zippy often reminded that a prudential judgement does not mean that there is no objective fact regarding if a not intrinsically immoral act was good or bad, it just means that our intentions and the consequences of the act must be judged as well to determine so.
      I think the analogy to other civic acts is misplaced. In paying taxes, serving in the military, etc. it is still the case that we have to make a prudential judgement of whether the remote material cooperation with evil is licit. In the case of taxes, the penalties to ourselves for not paying them are obvious and will certainly outweigh any good from not paying them. No one is penalized by law for not voting in the U.S. (or currently for serving in the military.)
      Zippy’s argument really does not depend on if a particular government is legitimate. Rather, liberalism is an incoherent political theory and liberal commitments are not a good thing for us to have for that reason.

      • A rational case could be made that the cause of political conservativism has been permanently damaged by Donald J. Trump, because most political conservatives in America have recently worshipped not God and conservative limited-government libertarian political principles, but have sold their very own souls down the river for the cause of worshipping obeying and supporting in everything he thinks, believes, says and does, for the conservative cause of Donald J. Trump. Therefore because only few good conservatives like George W. Bush and others refused to worship Trump, and also Tom Ridge refused to support the Republicans in this, we see that political liberalism is now the majority political belief in America, with a large minority of liberals being pro life and against Obergefell SCOTUS decision, as a principled Liberal Democrat who refuses in good conscience to tow the party line on abortion and homosexuality. Socialism is the answer. Social Security Administration. No Marxism: Capitalist private property free market democratic liberal socialism. As in Scandinavia. Not Venezuela.

      • Please provide some examples of an Orthosphere author “worshipping obeying and supporting [Trump] in everything he thinks, believes, says and does.” The search function works quite well. Type in “Trump” and get back to us when you find a panegyric or eulogy.

        The difference between Scandinavian and Venezuelan socialism is Scandinavians and Venezuelans. So what does that tell us about socialism here? In any case, the USA is socialist, just dishonestly so.

      • I know it’s not your main point, Mr. Harrington, but I can’t resist pointing out that a conservative with limited-government libertarian political principles has already lost, if not his soul, at least his conservatism.

    • Voting is distinct from acts of obedience to a legitimate authority in that it is an actual endorsement. I also approve of symbols of respect and homage to a personal sovereign (follow the link to understand “doffing the hat”; it was a reference to a particularly obnoxious bit of republicanism being criticized by Zippy), but voting doesn’t only approve a person (which would be bad enough, since they all embrace intrinsically immoral acts and a false political philosophy) but also a system and its evil ideology.

  2. Some wit once said that if voting really mattered, they wouldn’t let us do it. On the other hand, we’re constantly being told that this particular election is the most important in history, because the other guy is so evil that if he gets in, we’re done.
    That should give us a clue about what we’re really doing when we vote, and that a system where nothing changes based on our individual vote and where matters of life and death of national importance are (theoretically) decided by the uninformed man on the street may not be such a great idea.
    If Hitler’s on the ballot, and has a serious chance of getting elected, then we have bigger problems that require better solutions than a vote.

  3. I’m still not convinced (or don’t want to be convinced). I read the words of Zippy Catholic, Bonald, Charlton, and David’s comments, and I nod along and agree up to the point where the solution is not voting, or as it has been termed “voting with your feet”. The rationale seems too self and inward directed, and the results beyond the self are illusory, but perhaps it is the right solution in the long-term. Which is why I’m curious about the various expectations of voting with your feet. Charlton seems to hope for it reaching a significant level that the ruling government is seen as illegitimate. What would that level of non-participation in voting need to be? Others seem to indicate that there are no expectations of mass acts of non-voting or any changes beyond the self. Is that accurate? Is this purely a matter of one’s spiritual well-being? And does it run the danger of being, as Hoyos termed it, a purity flex?

    • Vote or don’t vote, it literally makes no difference to the outcome of an election, let alone to the consequences of what whoever is elected does. That is simple reality we have to contend with.
      Even convincing the people we could realistically convince to vote one way or not vote, probably a hundred to a thousand people at best, will make no difference in a mass market election.
      And more, there is simply nothing much we, personally, can do to effect things on this scale, at least for good. “Not voting” is not a solution, but it is a start, as we have to destroy our own liberal commitments and help others, our family and friends first of all, to do the same.
      I think most anything could happen, given that Providence guides history and not mere material conditions, and if there is an awakening and repentance, then opportunities will be able to be found.
      Curtis Yarvin, formerly Mencius Moldbug, has a new article on his substack, about automated voting. This is what I expect will happen, and I think his solution will be the next step in the Hegelian Mambo: voting as total internecine liberalism gang warfare rather than a genteel intramural liberalism debating society.
      This article from Zippy is relevant:

      • I was with you up until “but it is a start”. A start of what? If not voting is as inconsequential as voting, if not voting is merely spitting in the face of King Liberalism rather than doffing one’s hat at King Liberalism, and in either case recognizing that we are individually meaningless and only as a group effort, whether in voting or not voting, can we have meaningful influence and thereby are merely affirming Liberalism, what is not voting and convincing others to not vote a start of? I feel like I’ve started reading a book towards the end and skipped a lot of earlier foundational writing I need to go back and read.

      • I could have made this clearer. The argument is that voting in mass market elections is, in almost all cases, not prudentially justified, therefore it is wrong. Stopping doing evil is always good, and repenting of doing evil is always justified.
        I say it is a start, mostly because I have never had much of a desire to vote myself, as not voting is even easier than voting and has the same effect on the outcome of an election.
        I do not know what is going to happen, but as individuals and as groups, we should stop endorsing a bad system and we should try to see clearly what is wrong in the system and in our own thinking.

      • Mr. Walker,

        This is an interesting question. I don’t have to answer it, since helping people realize that they have been endorsing evil and accomplishing nothing in the process is a worthwhile service.

        However, if we could inspire a group of people to not only abstain from voting but to publicly refuse to do it and to have some sense of connection to others so refusing, then this might be the beginning of something. If there were a penalty for abstaining from voting–not enough to be crippling, but enough that by accepting it we can prove our seriousness–that would actually help.

        Think how beautiful it would be if the bishops, instead of abasing themselves to “dialogue” and “cooperate” with any liberal regime no matter how noxious and anti-Catholic, were to forbid Catholics to vote or hold elected office, as in the early days after the accursed Risorgimento. For one thing, it would spare us some awkward discussions about how anti-Catholic a politician can be and still receive communion. More importantly, Catholics would learn to stop imputing the liberal state with moral credibility (it has none), stop imagining it is amenable to our entreaties or is a potential instrument of our agency (it isn’t), and stop believing that this freemasonic form of government is ordained by God (an idea any Catholic with the slightest loyalty to his ancestors should abhor).

        Of course, I’m not the first conservative or Christian to point out that we are shut out of government power (at least at the federal and state levels), and that our survival depends on organizing locally and non-politically. Many people have said that, but it never seems to sink in and probably cannot as long as conservatives and Christians still vote and are thus willing to endorse the political system that will be persecuting them.

      • Yeah, imagine if 30% of the electorate vocally refused to vote because voting signals one’s assent to liberalism. Or even 10%. This would have a beneficial effect regardless of who was elected president.
        Or take something perhaps more within the realm of possibility: imagine if a sufficient number of mainstream social conservatives had refused to vote for a candidate who publicly endorsed sodomy. Sodomy might still be a controversial issue rather than a settled one. Society tends sometimes to move more leftward under Republican presidents because when the Republican candidate or Republican president adopts leftist policies, their base is willing to go along with it for the sake of winning the election or to show their support for him against his enemies once elected. Policies that they never would have tolerated in a Democratic candidate or president.
        I think Zippy used to advise using the time that you would have used to vote to pray for your country instead. Certainly a more practical action.

      • @Ian

        When you say “imagine if 30% of the electorate vocally refused to vote because voting signals one’s assent to liberalism. Or even 10%.”, what do you mean by vocally? How would you count those voting with their feet? When we are told that more than 40% of the voting population already doesn’t vote, how do you know that 10-30% of the electorate is already choosing not to vote because of a refusal to assent to liberalism? This is part of my question of when the elected government would lose its perceived legitimacy. Biden was apparently elected by ~21% of the population and ~34% of eligible voters. And these numbers are high in comparison to earlier presidential elections, yet it appears the election of Biden has a higher level of perceived illegitimacy compared to those earlier presidential elections. What does this tell us about the effect of not voting? But this is probably where Bonald’s comment that local and non-political organization is needed beyond not voting. And I’m not arguing for voting. As I’ve said, I agree with all of the reasons given for not voting, and I generally don’t vote unless there is a confirmed pro-life candidate on the ballot. That is the single issue I vote on. Perhaps I shouldn’t even be doing that.

      • Justin,

        By ‘vocally’, I mean merely that those who refused to vote for the reason of withholding assent to liberalism would make known their rationale to their friends, family, and acquaintances: if ten percent of people did this, then everyone would know someone who refused to vote for this specific reason. This would put the idea of a wholesale rejection of liberalism ‘in the air’ so to speak, even if decidedly still a minority view. Politicians would even have to consider that group when campaigning on liberal positions for fear of losing mainstream conservative constituents to the ‘no-voting’ traditionalist bloc.

        Of course if you had bishops and other leaders calling on Christians not to vote, as Bonald imagines, that would only amplify this effect.

        That said, we are nowhere close to being ten percent of the population.

        The riot at the Capitol illustrated how unserious the conservative movement in America is: I’d have had some sympathy for conservatives storming the Supreme Court after the Obergefell decision (this would have at least evinced some vestiges of health in our society), but rioting over an election result? Voting causes us to place undue importance on elections.

        [By the way, anyone know why paragraph breaks sometimes don’t show up in the published comments?]

  4. This is very true. By *not voting* in the late elections, I thereby insured that Trump won in my district by a margin of (roughly) 90/10; whereas, had I voted, I would have thereby insured that Trump (literally, Hitler, spelled differently) would win by a margin of (roughly) … 90/10. Ahem.

    The abject stupidity in some of these “arguments” sometimes amazes me even more so than their abject moral turpitude.

  5. I consider myself a friend to the idea of anti-voting, haven’t voted in mass market elections in several years, but also find myself inadequate to the task of spreading the good news of abstention. If I try to explain, I lose people somewhere around the part of the argument in which benefits from not participating in an essentially liberalism-affirming exercise dwarfs in many orders of magnitude whatever benefit your vote might have on the election.

    I gather that people have a hard time evaluating the tangible act of casting a vote vs. the abstract concept of how casting such a vote is a ritual in the liberal order. They don’t want to affirm no liberalism, they just voting.

    • It might be worth doing anyway if only because it might introduce someone to traditionalist thought. I remember in 2016 trying to explain my non-voting stance to a new acquaintance, and discussion inevitably turned to more fundamental matters: you can’t really explain the argument without explaining why you reject liberalism.

      The argument is unlikely to have much purchase on those who have not rejected liberal premises anyway, since they won’t see any problem with assenting to liberalism. In my case, once I was introduced to reactionary thought and had become convinced of it, it shortly became obvious to me that I should no longer participate in mass elections. This was before I had discovered Zippy’s arguments, although he provided welcome articulation of the position.

    • It’s not worthless in the sense of having no effects. It’s that the negative effects (strengthening the liberal consensus; personally assenting to liberalism) outweigh any positive effects.

    • To add to Ian’s response below, which is the correct one, people believing in the utility of useless action is not a proof against the uselessness of the action, as you well know.

      • I can only speak for myself: I reject voting and so I can lay no claim to caring a hoot in hell about what the legislators do. If they pass it then next year they’ll revoke it and we’ll go back and forth. The only people who care are people who still vote. Why should I care about legislation put forth by legislators I didn’t vote for about a process I don’t participate in, especially legislation which I didn’t get a say in writing and wouldn’t get a say in enacting even if I did vote for anyone in the room.

      • Well… If voting is bad then having EVERYONE vote is truly evil. So, in this respect, Republicans are for less evil means by restricting the vote.

    • WS,

      (Hope you are well in your world BTW), I am coming out of my Lenten slumbers – always allowed on Sundays! – to make a couple of points. As a liturgical act of liberalism voting is VERY important to liberals. Who and how to vote is a perennial concern which *displays* the importance they assign to voting. Thus, – and I stipulate here – that Republicans are “restricting” the vote is illustrating just how important they consider voting to be. I understand your point; I just don’t think it’s the “gotcha” moment you want it to be against us anti-liberal intransigent non-voters. That some Protestants – for an example – make it harder for other Protestants to Protestant seems an odd concern for a Catholic to worry himself over.

      • Hi Wood, there’s a little bit of a gotcha but I honestly want to understand how “you guys” square this (in my mind) circle. I have no doubt there’s a logical answer. Most of you are very thoughtful people in my experience.

      • “Universal suffrage” is false. Thus, the desire for all to vote is fatally flawed because it allows those who should not have a say in a mutually-inclusive future to have a say per “voting.” In other words, self-annihilators should not be allowed to vote, but “universal suffrage” demands it. So, in this scenario, Republicans are in the unenviable position of always “restricting the vote.”

  6. WS,

    I also think you are quite thoughtful – also just wrong 🙂 But really this is probably something we’ll never agree on. Once you give up – unequivocally – liberalism so much of the Relublican v Democrats debate feels like the homeless folks at Union Square playing checkers.

    • Excellent point wood. I would also add that associating the Orthosphere with republicanism is a category error. Most political charts take classical liberalism as a given, with “economic freedom” on the x axis and “political freedom” on the y axis. It would be misleading to say Orthosphere is a Z-axis, rather it’s a whole different kind of chart.

      The Orthosphere (to me) is concerned with politics only insofar as the orthosphere exists in a landscape shaped by classical liberalism. And I personally am trying hard to not even be concerned with politics to that extent. Trying to understand how we “square the circle” is like trying to tie your boat to a picture of a dock. It’s just not going to work until you’re able to see things from beyond the bounds of classical liberalism.

      • winstonscrooge,

        It’s a bit of a motte and bailey defense. I’ve seen many posts on the orthosphere supporting Trump and the Trumpist Republicans (@Kristor for example) and others arguing for restrictions on voting (@JMSmith for example). All seem to be met with general agreement. But when discrepancies are pointed out “you” retreat into the bailey that this is a category error and traditionalists have nothing to do with Republicans.

        I suspect that what you are observing is simply that there is not consensus on this topic within the orthosphere. Bonald is anti-voting, so was Zippy, and so are several commenters on this thread. I regard it as the genuinely reactionary position to take. But I don’t know about other Orthosphere contributors, I suspect not all of them would be fully on board with that position.

      • It’s a bit of a motte and bailey defense. I’ve seen many posts on the orthosphere supporting Trump and the Trumpist Republicans (@Kristor for example) and others arguing for restrictions on voting (@JMSmith for example). All seem to be met with general agreement. But when discrepancies are pointed out “you” retreat into the bailey that this is a category error and traditionalists have nothing to do with Republicans.

      • Orthospherians can prefer policies without putting their political identity first. That’s what I mean when I say orthospherians aren’t republicans. Republicans are like fans of sports teams. My local baseball team can have an entirely different roster this year than it had last year, and when the all stars who got traded come home fans will boo them because they are on the wrong team. Republicans of today have the policies of democrats in the 90’s. Trump just presented an actual alternative to the uniparty system.

        None of this even matters though. If you insist on calling orthospherians republicans you will never understand why the orthosphere has a distinct space to convene and talk and why we don’t just go hang out with other republicans. I can tell you from personal experience that most republicans dislike my ideas at least as much as democrats. And at the end of the day they’ll vote and I won’t.

      • I forget where I wrote recently that voting is problematic only when it is a feature of liberal polities.

        There are always high offices, and so there is always some way of electing officers thereto. In practice, the opinions of at least a few people are always consulted about such things. They make the decision about who shall be recognized as sovereign. So, they are the electors.

        The sovereign occupies his sovereign office, and exerts his sovereign authority, in virtue of a general agreement that he does indeed occupy that office and wield that authority. If he should lose the Mandate of Heaven, the medium whereby that loss is made known is a failure of confidence in his leadership among the electors.

        These are truths of all sorts of social order: republican, democratic, aristocratic, monarchic, or what have you. There is always a leader, and the leader is and remains the leader only in virtue of pledges of allegiance to his leadership on the part of his subsidiaries.

        Electors can make their opinions known in many ways. Voting is just one of them. Vows of fealty are another. So are civil war, palace intrigue, contest of arms, primogeniture, investment of wealth (in the project of a particular leader’s sovereignty), on and on. Electoral methodologies are plentiful.

        Now, whatever the procedural details of the electoral process, if you want your society to be excellent and virtuous, to survive and prosper, then you want your electors to make good choices about their leader. So you want your electors to be themselves excellent, virtuous, prosperous: intelligent, wise, knowledgeable, educated.

        You want them to be, in short, aristoi. And that means somehow or other limiting the class of electors to the most excellent men.

        Again, whatever the procedural details of the electoral process, if you want it to work well, then ceteris paribus you want it honest. You don’t want to run your society on falsehood. That means controlling for cheating, whether in voting or in jousting.

        Whatever the procedural details of the electoral process, if it runs on the agreements of aristoi it is, precisely, *not liberal.* If in such a society the aristoi should decide that it makes sense to keep track of their opinions by voting, there is not necessarily any problem.

        The problem then is not voting per se, but liberalism. Liberalism would be just as problematic in a monarchy as we find that it is in a democracy. Because why? Because liberalism is false, and societies that run on falsehoods fail.

      • Thank you for taking the time to write this thoughtful and non adversarial (personally) response. I try not to be adversarial in that way but it often comes out that way especially in forums such as these. In response I would say that all societies fail eventually for different reasons. I’m not convinced that liberalism is or will be the reason this one fails whenever that happens. That said, I find value in this blog and the fresh perspective it conveys.

      • A society ordered according to the truth about the correct way to order a society could not fail for reasons of its own strictly social disorder. It might fail for other, incorrigible reasons. But it is a principle of risk management that you control for the risks you can control, and leave the others to fortune, meanwhile making prudent preparation for their realization.

      • Seems correct in theory. However, such a society could be conquered by a stronger society and fail. As for the US or western civilization as divided as it currently is probably will not fail any time soon. But we shall see what happens.

      • … such a society could be conquered by a stronger society …

        Sure. Or it could be obliterated by a cometary impact, or a plague. But at least it would not have been destroyed by its own delusions.

      • “You want them [the electors] to be, in short, aristoi.” — Kristor
        Not if *you* are a “progressive liberal.” In that case, *you* also want the “elected” to be the very worst VOTED into to office by the least best because of the “equality” inherent to “universal suffrage.”

    • We don’t have to agree. But I still want to understand how a person can believe voting is useless and an a sinful asset to liberalism on the one hand but also believe that it should be restricted and have concern for voter fraud on the other.

      • Winston,

        If I may take a stab at it: this question is a good illustration of the disconnect. Let me first try to simplify your comment into a syllogism-esque format.

        1- Ortho’s believe voting is useless and a sinful asset to liberalism
        2- Ortho’s believe Access to voting should be restricted
        3- Ortho’s are concerned about voter fraud

        It seems to me that the confusion lies in the fact that (2) and (3) aren’t congruent with belief in (1). The fact of the matter is, I have not seen an excess of hand-wringing about (3) and based on the responses to your question I don’t believe many if any Ortho’s are particularly passionate about (2). If (2) and (3) don’t fit into belief in (1), it’s because they don’t.

        Said another way, you are ascribing (2) and (3), which are republican beliefs, demonstrably, to the Orthosphere, which is an invalid comparison. In my experience, anyway, Orthospherians are disliked by republicans with about equal vehemance to the dislike from democrats. I would even go so far as to say that it is a category error to believe the Orthosphere is a political sphere at all. Orthospherians live in a classically liberal world, but view it through an illiberal lens.

        Is any of that making sense? The crux of the confusion is that you seem to believe Orthospherians are republicans, and that’s just not the case.

      • Scoot wrote:

        1- Ortho’s believe voting is useless and a sinful asset to liberalism
        2- Ortho’s believe Access to voting should be restricted
        3- Ortho’s are concerned about voter fraud

        It seems to me that the confusion lies in the fact that (2) and (3) aren’t congruent with belief in (1). The fact of the matter is, I have not seen an excess of hand-wringing about (3) and based on the responses to your question I don’t believe many if any Ortho’s are particularly passionate about (2). If (2) and (3) don’t fit into belief in (1), it’s because they don’t.


        …The crux of the confusion is that you seem to believe Orthospherians are republicans, and that’s just not the case.

        Exactly. Well said.

        Not only are we not [R]epublicans, but neither are we “conservatives” in the normie sense of the term. See e.g. Prof. Smith on this – we don’t reject genuine Conservatism; we reject its counterfeit, and hold the imposters who tout themselves as the real conservatives in contempt.

        With regard to your syllogism,

        (1) I certainly believe that voting is a sinful asset to liberalism, and that, as such, voting is perfectly useless *to Orthosphereans in particular*, but also to genuine Conservatives of every denomination;

        (2) Voting should be restricted into oblivion, to state it very simply and to the point. However, if someone asked me the pointed question, “do you believe voting should be restricted?,” I would simply answer, given the reality of the world I actually inhabit rather than the world I’d prefer to inhabit, “*if we must have voting*, then, yes, it should be [heavily] restricted.” Heavy emphasis on the “if we must have it” part.

        I don’t get to decide whether we have voting or not, and Orthosphereans are too tiny a minority to get to decide the question as well. Therefore, and since apparently we must have voting, it ought to be heavily restricted in my view. In any case, and as you rightly point out, I personally don’t worry myself with the problem all that much because, well, I’m powerless to do anything about it, and all that. Which of course harkens back to the inescapable conclusion that voting is perfectly useless to Orthosphereans and genuine Conservatives of all denominations.

        (3) Inasmuch as Orthosphereans concern themselves with occurrences of voter fraud, so called (I believe “systemic fraud” is the more accurate descriptive, but anyway), it is related to the fact that we know systemic fraud is a feature and not a bug of liberal democracy, just as we know that fraud, waste and abuse (FWA) is a feature, not a bug, of all government entities under liberal democracy. It’s not the inconsistency of thinking Winston seems to think it is for Orthosphereans to hold, on the one hand, that voting is a sinful asset to liberalism, and on the other to cite various forms of voter fraud as strong evidence it is an inherently bad and severely flawed way of choosing who rules it over us and how, vs. who doesn’t and how not.

        My two cents.

      • winstonscrooge wrote:

        I don’t believe all Orthophere contributors are Republicans.

        Thanks, Winston, for that clarification. I should add my own clarification in the same spirit.:

        I didn’t mean to imply that you were necessarily saying all Orthosphereans are in fact Republicans. My sincere apologies if that is the way I came across.

        Additionally, I should clarify that when I agreed with Scoot above in writing, “not only are we not Republicans, etc.” I was using the term “Republican” in one specific sense that perhaps you are not. Namely as advocates and defenders of the idea that *Republicanism* is the best form of government.

        You could probably count the number of such advocates and defenders amongst Orthosphereans on one hand, and still have enough fingers left to hold a pen and write a long, scathing letter to your “Republican” legislator. So to speak. I don’t know whether or not that is where Scoot (et al) is coming from, but it is where I’m coming from on this question of whether Orthosphereans are Republicans or not.

        None of which is to say that there aren’t perhaps a significant proportion of Orthosphereans who are also registered Republicans, which is a different issue to my mind.

        I was once a registered Republican, in the interest of full disclosure, but that was a long long time ago. Back when I was ‘young and dumb,’ and thought that Republican meant Conservative, and vice versa. But in any case, that a proportion of Orthosphereans are potentially registered Republicans doesn’t necessarily equate to the idea that they are defenders of Republican government as ‘the best form of government,’ or whatever. Once again, given the actual world we inhabit, vs. the world we had rather prefer to inhabit, and all that. …

      • This sub thread was a reaction on my part to the idea that voting is a useless exercise and an assent (not asset) to liberalism in contrast to a comment JMSmith made somewhat recently in another thread. To paraphrase, he questioned the notion that expansion of the right or ability to vote is any different morally speaking than restricting the franchise.

      • I don’t remember writing this, but am proud to hear that I did. Voting is a decision procedure, and should therefor be judged by the quality of its decisions. Voting procedure should be judged by the same criteria. For instance, does a secret ballot lead to more or less responsible voting? The scope of the franchise should be judged by the same criteria. Are decisions more often correct and perceived as legitimate with a wide or narrow franchise? The universal franchise is the polar opposite of monarchism, and is in my view just as liable to make incorrect decisions that have low legitimacy.

        “Morally speaking,” we should aim for political decisions that maximize the good. This includes decisions about decision procedures. If we decide voting is the decision procedure that maximizes the good, we must then ask what scope of franchise maximizes the good. I think it is obvious that a universal franchise (“democracy”) fails on this score, so restricting the franchise would maximize the good and be “moral.” I could be wrong about this, but do not think that I am obviously or necessarily wrong.

        We can, of course, discard all pretense of morality and say that setting the scope of the franchise is a legitimate part of politics. We could compare this to “gerrymandering.” There are no natural (or neutral) boundaries to legislative districts, so drawing the boundaries of political districts is a legitimate part of politics. There is no natural (or neutral) class of “voters,” so defining that class is part of politics. Declaring that my preferred boundaries and class of “voters” is natural (or neutral) is also part of politics. So is laughing at the hypocrisy of this claim.

      • What JMSmith was getting at, IMHO, is by “liberal” mandate “good intent” is the way to “moral equality.” So that when the “progressive” claims his “good intentions” for expanding the vote, the conservative, TO MAINTAIN “moral equality,” only need state his good intentions for restricting the vote.

        What WS is doing as a “liberal catholic” is COMPLAINING about this “moral equality” of “good intentions.”

      • To paraphrase, he questioned the notion that expansion of the right or ability to vote is any different morally speaking than restricting the franchise.

        Thanks again, Winston.
        I’m not sure of the specific comment JMSmith made, but perhaps you could provide me/us with a link? I don’t presume to comment upon it negatively in any case. If in fact he made such a comment congruent with your paraphrase, then i assume he had very good reason for doing so, and meant it in a sense that perhaps escapes you for whatever reason. I highly doubt, in any case, that I would disagree with him on the point, but we have disagreed before. Perhaps you could provide a link to his comment in question, whereupon we’ll see (whether I disagree or not). Not that my agreement, or disagreement as it were, means much of anything in any case.

      • “But I still want to understand how a person can believe voting is useless and an a sinful asset to liberalism on the one hand but also believe that it should be restricted and have concern for voter fraud on the other.” — winston scrooge
        “Voting” advances “liberalism” because “voting” signifies the inability of the best of society to determine right from wrong. “Liberalism” is the cyst-STEM hack. Ergo, “voting” is “useless” for finding Truth.
        Yet, “we” still have”useless” “voting” and IT SHOULD BE ACCURATE as far as “voting” goes, so the obvious, conservative position is to limit its scope in all instances possible, and where it is fraudulent, discard those “useless” “votes” altogether.
        So, even though conservatives see “voting” as bad BECAUSE in the “useless” service of “liberalism,” they still maintain their “moral equality” with their good instinct to restrict the vote where bad AND fraudulent.
        You don’t seem to like this supposed “inequality” between the good intentions of the conservative versus the “good intentions” of the “roaming catholic” intent on expanding “liberalism” using the “voting” mechanism?

  7. “And it is not rational as a means to oppose evil in politics through a willingness to compromise, either as an individual or as part of a group effort.”
    The oppressor versus oppressed narrative power scale is tipping toward a more primeval (non-rational) evil being summoned through incantation by grievance cults. Literally. This politically active primeval evil will unleash chaotic rage against the bulwark of good, morally ordered civilization. Our civilizational skin in the game is at risk. Voting against primeval is a small token acknowledgement we can still wake up in the morning, face and fog a mirror, and know we are standing together against it.
    Acknowledging that Liberalism in its negative sense (tolerating, normalizing and promoting immorality, criminality and insanity) is causing this problem, our survival instinct in exercising our right to vote as rational citizens must outweigh that revulsion.
    So here’s what motivated the “primeval” reference for me:
    “SCOOP: California’s proposed “ethnic studies” curriculum calls for the “decolonization” of American society and has students chant to the Aztec god of human sacrifice. The solution, according to one author, is a “countergenocide” against white Christians.”
    “The state board of education will vote on this curriculum next week: if it passes, it will install the principles of critical race theory and its related ideologies into the state’s 10,000 public schools, serving 6 million children.”
    Here’s the story.🧵
    Christopher F. Rufo


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