March 30, 2007
by: jovial_cynic
I've been offline for a little while, busy at work, busy at home, but all the while thinking about politics and how stupid it all is... because that's what I do.

Folks often act shocked when I tell them that I'm a non-voter, and that as much as I write and debate on political issues, I don't vote to support my particular position. They can't figure out why I wouldn't be more active in my political views.

The reality is that I don't think that democracy is a system in which important changes should happen, whether I'm involved or not. When we have people signing a petition to ban dihydrogen monoxide (that's water, by the way) because some clever college kids wanted to run a social experiment, a statement is made about voters and how quickly people will sign a petition or cast a vote in ignorance. It's a wonder this nation has lasted as long as it has.
np category: politics


Mary Ellen said:
That's the whole point of democracy - it gives stupid people an equal vote with everyone else. It's messy and ugly and doesn't always work that well. But it still a lot better than almost anything I can think of. I certainly wish that I could form my community to my own utopian views - but nobody would really want to live there.
I don't think you made a very compelling argument about why you don't personally vote...I think (as one example) the world would be a very different place if Al Gore had one the election in 2000 - for better or worse. Do you also not vote in local issues -such as school funding, etc?

March 31, 2007

jovial_cynic said:
This wasn't meant to be a compelling argument. I've got several articles in both the politics and in the religion sections that actually go into the argument, so I didn't think it necessary to post it all again. This was really just another thing on top of all that.

As for local issues - I'm a little softer on my stance about that than I am about voting for political leaders, but no -- I generally don't. I think it's all pretty meaningless, really.

March 31, 2007

Kristen said:
You remind me of Solomon (or whoever wrote Ecclesiastes). :)

Penn & Teller did the same thing on their show with the "banning dihydrogen monoxide" petition.

April 03, 2007

jovial_cynic said:
I assume it's because of my cynicism, and not because of my wisdom, eh?

There is an aspect of pointlessness that I feel towards politics, but I don't think it's quite the vanity-vanity approach that's reflected in that book. I think there are good things to be done... but just not through the political system we have in place. It's all about influence and pursuasion and games, really. And I don't think that most issues are worth playing that game.

April 03, 2007

Kristen said:
Can it be both wisdom and cynicism? :)

Yes, our system is messed up. I wonder, is there a better one? My hubby thinks banning political parties would be one step in the right direction, but I'm not sure.

April 05, 2007

jovial_cynic said:
I don't know if there's a better one.

I think the key is being aware that any human system of government is bound to be rife with corruption and wickedness, because... well, because it's lead by humans, and it's meant to govern humans. Humans are a problem.

If you look at the original government established by God over Israel (pre-kingdom), we have the divine Law and the prescribed way in which the Law should be executed, and yet the people to whom the Law was given were notoriously wicked. The wickedness stemmed from both the governed people and the governing body. So even with what we agree to be a perfect Law, human beings are incapable of governing and being governed. That's just the reality of humanity -- we're a wicked, wicked creature.

So... picking a government system is ultimately arbitrary. There are plenty of Christian Conservatives who believe that a government aligned with biblical principles (which begs the question, "which biblical principles?") somehow creates a better place for everybody, but I think that such a notion is wrong and dangerous, and it dilutes the actual message of Christ.

When it comes down to it, any government system would be ideal if you didn't have to factor in the human element.

April 05, 2007

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