For myself, I have solved this political dilemma in a very direct way. On Election Day, I stay home. Two reasons: first of all, voting is meaningless; this country was bought and paid for a long time ago. That empty shit they shuffle around and repackage every four years doesn’t mean a thing.
Second, I don’t vote, because I firmly believe that if you vote, you have no right to complain. I know some people like to twist that around and say, “If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain.” But where’s the logic in that? Think it through: if you vote, and you elect dishonest, incompetent politicians, and they screw things up, then you’re responsible for what they’ve done. You voted them in. You caused the problem. You have no right to complain.
I, on the other hand, who did not vote—who, in fact, did not even leave the house on election day—am in no way responsible for what these politicians have done and have every right to complain about the mess you created. Which I had nothing to do with. Why can’t people see that?
Like Carlin, I also abstain from voting. This came about, initially, because the first election I could vote in was the presidential election of 2008. I hated both McCain and Obama, so I saw no reason to vote, especially since all the local elections were pretty much decided well in advance. Since I didn’t want to serve jury duty and I wasn’t going to vote, I never registered.
After I gave it some thought in preparation for the 2010 elections, I realized the following truth: Democratic governments derive their authority from the consent of the governed. If I don’t give my consent (i.e. vote), then I ultimately am denying their authority.
Thus, anyone who votes anyone who votes is, at the very least, tacitly approving of the current government, whether the candidate they voted for wins. In turn, this means that they are culpable for whatever happens as a result of the election.
On a different note, imagine what would happen if no one voted in the next election. No one would be elected, and ultimately the entire system would be repudiated. It would be interesting to see how politicians would react. I’m sure that all but the most prudent would claim a right to rule. At that point, it would be pretty obvious to see that politicians view themselves as rulers and view citizens as subjects. Never once does it occur to them that they are public servants.