Sometimes in the course of one's new-style web-connected life, one comes across an article so idiotic, presenting a point of view so facile, that one has to check several times to make sure it isn't some kind of new-style web-connected satire.

All arguments about why one "shouldn't vote" fall into that category.

Voting is three things: a right, a responsibility, and a privilege. More about those later. First, a word from our sponsors.

Hi! I'm not a psychologist, but I'll be playing one in this advertisement! Writing an article against voting tells us us three things about the writer: first, that they care about what others think. You don't write something about your views and put it in a public place without it forming some kind of narrative; some kind of story about how you'd like to be seen by others. Second, the writer enjoys (in both senses of the word) a fairly dramatic and recent kind of political freedom; the kind of freedom that is regrettably shared by fairly few people. Third, the writer has thought about the issue of voting, and come to some kind of conclusion about its "usefulness", and it doesn't particularly matter what that conclusion is; the key is that there has been thinking done.

And we're back! Not coincidentally, we'll be appealing to all three of our sponsor's precepts in this program.

If you care what other people think (which, of course, applies to everyone) then doesn't that care automatically extend to what other people think about how the world works? Extending that only very slightly, it's easy to see how other people also "care" about what you think about how the world works, or should work. If other people, say, thought that the world would work better without you in it, isn't it comforting in some sense to know that they are somewhat constrained by the fact that you, as an individual have certain rights (either implied or explicitly stated) conferred upon you by the political documents that govern your particular country?

But of course what those political documents say (as it says on the documents themselves) is up for grabs if only enough people can get together and vote on changing them.

Luckily, you being able to vote yourself, and also having the right to try to convince others to vote as you do, is one of the very real things standing in the way of a big enough group of people deciding, either with malice or simply with indifference, to change the laws to have you killed, or deprived of property, or otherwise have your rights taken away.

Voting, therefore, is more than a right. It's the core right from which all other rights descend. Wait a minute, you might say, isn't the "right to life" or the "right to property" (liberty, the pursuit of happiness, etc.) more important than the right to vote? In a word, no. Both those rights have been conferred because people voted to include them in the political documents that govern your particular jurisdiction.

Enjoying the kind of political freedom that allows you to write articles about voting is, therefore, a privilege conferred upon you by the majority voting. Which, naturally, means that voting is also a privilege in itself. A privilege that, it should be obvious, isn't enjoyed by people in places where they have no right to express opinions on things like voting. Odd how that all goes together, no? Or, rather, not odd at all.

To complete our little trifecta here, voting is also a responsibility. For reasons that should automatically follow from the above. But I'll list them anyway. If you don't vote, you are saying "I agree with whatever the majority says on any given issue." Further, you are saying "All actions of the government that is voted in by that majority I tacitly endorse." It shouldn't take too much thinking to figure out that this is a paradox. No-one who cared what others think and enjoyed the freedom to express their views could possibly be indifferent to, say, a majority that for whatever reason felt differently about their right to care (i.e. to exist) and their right to express themselves.

So voting is, therefore, the core right from which all others descend, a privilege extended from that right, and a responsibility that any thinking person accepts by virtue of the fact that they think.

I think, therefore I am. I am, therefore I vote. To ensure the continuance of my "amness", if nothing else, and the various rights to celebrate it as I wish, including the right to pen idiotic and facile screeds about how it's cool (or something) not to vote.

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