Voting: An Infantile Disorder

by Isaac Peachey, ’16

As the presidential election approaches, many young voters are preparing to cast a ballot for the first time. By supporting the candidate of their choice, some teens genuinely believe that they will make a difference. This upcoming election, more so than others, will be a very important year for those who lean toward reformism. With issues such as universal healthcare, mass incarceration, police brutality, war, and education, there is a collective wish to finally witness a change in the system. However, the unfortunate truth is that voting is an act of futility.

The United States supposedly has an illustrious history of reformism. From the supposed “peaceful revolution” of 1800 to the civil rights era of the 1960s, groups have come together to attempt to make a change in public policy. However, as historical precedent will show us, the struggle has been a failure. Reform movements may have influenced concessions from the American Government, however, they have yet to see these laws faithfully executed and enforced. Those who wish to vote in the election should be concerned with the enforcement of laws rather than influencing the creation of new ones. This cannot be done through voting. 

courtesy of arbiteronline.com

Students will prepare to vote in the upcoming election (courtesy of arbiteronline.com)

Instead of the political aristocracy serving their respective constituents, another class is catered to. This class consists of the amalgamation of lobbying organizations that use their immense wealth garnering abilities to influence congressional and executive policy. Due to money being such an important factor in a campaign, corporate lobbying institutions hold a great amount of leverage over the democratic process. In fact, campaign finance is arguably the most decisive factor in an election. Take, for example, the 2012 election. According to the New York Times, the winner, Barack Obama, raised a total of $726 million in comparison to his opponent, Mitt Romney, who raised $467 million. Unfortunately, these contributions come from an elite social class, and it comes with a cost. In other words, the wealth is given in exchange for political favors. This caters the entire government process towards one social group.

Another fundamental flaw in the voting process is the validation of a violent dictatorship. If one were to assume that the United States was, in fact, a democracy, then they must also accept that they are part of a dictatorship of the majority. In other words, the rule of the 51%. However, U.S. democracy adds an equally oppressive twist to this dictatorship. It is also one of the minority. A majority-chosen aristocracy of politicians utilize exclusive voting rights to create public policy. In theory, this is a great idea that would enhance the lives of American citizens. Although, in practice, it shows to impede on individual human rights by sacrificing the will of the individual to the will of the majority.

Those who do not accept corporate contributions are known to fail miserably from the lack of sufficient funds. Take Senator Bernie Sanders, who is launching a massive campaign against corporate finance. After winning the state adjacent to his home, New Hampshire, he began to slip. Subsequently, Sanders lost both Nevada and South Carolina. As Hilary Clinton is a gaining speed, most likely due to connections with large lobbying organizations, Bernie is losing ground. The outcome remains to be seen, but, if the current trend continues, the results will be grim for those against corporate lobbying

So, if one looks at the facts, the they will gain an understanding on the futility of voting in the United States. For those that do not want to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors (who have continually failed at making any significant change) and for those that do not want to support a violent dictatorship that supports a single class, an aristocracy of wealth, it is advisable not to vote. Instead, people should organize and rally for change. Take for instance, the work of Huey Newton and the Black Panther Party. By organizing outside the limitations of government, they were able to influence the enforcement of new civil rights laws. This style of organization is something that all young voters should look up to.

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