To vote or not to vote

The in-fighting between and among Presidential hopefuls in 2016 appears to be the only news-worthy material these days.  On one hand it’s a free campaign mileage for these personalities who otherwise are not in the consciousness of the voting public.  If this is the sort of campaign strategy that Presidential candidates are resorting to, woe to the nation!  It won’t surprise me if voter turn out next year is at it’s lowest.

But for those who don’t vote, will they lose the right to complain?

A Washington Post article cited philosopher-author Jason Brennan for his writing on the matter which mirrors my own. In his book, The Ethics of Voting, Brennan argues that

voting isn’t sufficient to discharge those duties (i.e. promotion of the common good, no free riding, promotion of fellow citizen’s welfare) because many people vote badly in ways that on a collective level tend to undermine the common good and harm their fellow citizens.

Ilya Somin, writer of the WP article, expounded on Brennan, providing an example for why someone would abstain from voting, an act which Brennan avers as not only morally acceptable sometimes but actually morally praiseworthy:

When you lack sufficient knowledge of the issues to vote in a minimally informed way, and don’t have the ability or the time to increase your knowledge at least to the point where you are better informed than the average voter.

Somin continues

they at least should not be stigmatized for abstaining in situations where their participation is likely to make the situation even worse.

Having rights implies the freedom not to exercise a right.

Back to the situation here, it’s the same old story that’s being recreated before us,  Thanks to media, certain candidates who only have their grave mistakes in public office as credentials are the ones earning a following.  It’s sick which is why people who refuse to be sucked into participating in the game can’t be blamed for not voting.  It’s not the voter.  It’s just there’s not a trust-worthy candidate anymore.

In any case, most citizens who abstain from voting in a particular election continue to do good on their own, even when no one is looking or without somebody leading or telling them to:


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