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Time to Boycott Voting

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After many years of political disappointment, more progressives, liberals and conservatives – and certainly moderates and independents – know in their hearts that voting for Democrats or Republicans is a waste. Just imagine if voter turnout was cut to 25 percent or less! Let the whole world see Americans boycotting a broken and corrupt political system and rejecting what has become a delusional democracy. To keep voting in an unjust political system makes us willing political slaves that the rich and powerful elites exploit.

Just leaving the major parties is not good enough and, besides, most Americans are not party members. We need a bolder strategy. We must humiliate the political elites in both major parties and the corporate interests that support both of them. We can send a shock wave throughout the political establishment by not voting in the 2008 presidential election.

There will be negative, defensive knee-jerk reactions to this audacious strategy. Let’s examine them:

Many will think that taking such action violates our responsibility as citizens. But taking that responsibility seriously as engaged citizens in the Jeffersonian sense must reflect that there is still a valid contract between citizens and their government. When we vote we have the right to a political system that respects we the people and gives us an authentic representative democracy. We have a right to a constitutional republic operating under the rule of law. But we have elected representatives that no longer have the public interest as their primary commitment, nor truly honor and respect our Constitution.

They have been corrupted by corporate and other special interests that fund their campaigns to get the laws, loopholes and largesse they want. They have been corrupted by power and the perks of office. They are political cowards and mostly intellectual midgets. The two major parties have a stranglehold on our political system that no longer merits our participation in their crooked game. Political parties are not part of our Constitution and the two-party duopoly has demonstrated that both Democrats and Republicans put their own interests above those of we the people, our nation and our democracy. We cannot vote our way out of our current, dreadful political system.

Whether you are on the political left or right, you will fear that not voting will help put in office people that support policies your abhor. But decades of objective political reality tell us that even people from the party that we align with do not, when elected, fulfill their promises and our hopes. Sadly, most Americans have become lesser-evil voters, deluding themselves that this is the best, least worse, yet awful choice. Instead of feeling bad about voting for candidates that we know in our hearts are not worthy of our votes and public office, we must have the courage to say “enough is enough; I will not play in this shameful game any longer.” We must stop legitimizing and abetting our disgraceful government.

Many may fear that not voting sets a terrible example to children. But isn’t it more important to tell America’s children that true patriotism must reveal itself by rejecting a political system that no longer merits respect? Thomas Jefferson believed in periodic rebellion. Now is the time for all good Americans to come to the rescue of their nation, peacefully by boycotting elections.

The small number of third party members may be screaming: yes, don’t vote for Democrats and Republicans; come over and join us! I have been a strong third party supporter, but we must face the painful truth. The two major parties have so rigged the political system in their favor and against third parties that voting for third party candidates is a futile action. We must first boycott voting to create sufficient pressure to open the system to genuine political competition. That requires a number of electoral reforms and may only happen if the nation gets its first Article V convention (see www.foavc.org). With reforms we can increase voter turnout to over 90 percent, as routinely seen in other democracies.

False patriotism may cause some to think that we must not show anti-American nations and terrorists that our government no longer has the trust of its citizens. But that has already been widely disseminated by endless polls and surveys, including the recent Zogby poll that found a record-low 11 percent support for Congress. Better to show our enemies that we the people have finally awakened and decided to re-assert our sovereignty and restore American democracy. Loyalty to country, yes; loyalty to government, no. Our populist American insurgency must begin with a boycott of voting.

Proof that this extraordinary strategy can work is that by now diehard Democrats and Republicans reading this are squirming in discomfort. So spread the word, if you have not deluded yourself about voting the nation into a far, far better place. Time to boycott voting. Join the picket line; admit that none of the above is the only rational decision when the choices the two major parties give us are not worth a dime.

Voting in a delusional representative democracy is as harebrained as voting even though you know votes will not be honestly counted – which many fear may be true. We may have lost control of our government, but we still control our voting. Time to walk away from the brainwashing and fiction that it really matters which Democrat or Republican you vote for in primaries and general elections for federal office. Power elites want us to believe that. They collude with the corporate mainstream media that make tons of money from campaigns and want you to stay glued to suspenseful horse races. Loud-mouth political pundits that narrate the races are democracy’s enemies. We must stop watching and listening to the political entertainment designed to keep us obediently mesmerized, as if the game is honest. Without an audience, these phony races and media circus will disappear.

Don’t be fooled by the large number of candidates in the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries. It is a sham – a scheme to keep spectators glued to the illusory competition. Ron Paul has as much chance of being the Republican nominee as Dennis Kucinich has of being the Democratic nominee. Zero chance for them and the other minor candidates, regardless of their grassroots support. Reflect on how both major parties accept lots of candidates in televised debates in the primary season. But come the general election with prime time televised presidential debates they keep out third party candidates that desperately need that exposure to rally meaningful support. Such is the hypocrisy and disdain of the two-party duopoly.

Stop playing THEIR game. Take back control. Take back YOUR nation. Time to boycott voting. This strategy is consistent with the thinking of Gandhi and King: peaceful resistance to political tyranny that can bring the corrupt system to its knees. Ultimately, the most effective protest is through civil disobedience – to visibly and stubbornly refuse to respect what has become a corrupt, untrustworthy system. Before it can be fixed it must be deconstructed and then rebuilt. Our much needed Second American Revolution must begin – not with violent action – but with massive withdrawal by citizens that have seen the light. We have a good head start with about half of eligible voters already so turned off that they don’t vote. Obviously that has not been sufficient to change the system.

Come Election Day in 2008 we should party and celebrate (with TVs turned off) our populist boycott of voting and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow patriots. We must help them resist any late urge to vote, because by then millions of dollars will be spent by many special interests to make us feel guilty and ashamed if we do not vote. I can hear Paul Revere now: The liars are coming! The liars are coming! All that advertising and pundit-screaming to herd us back into the voting booths will verify that our boycott strategy works.

With having the votes of only a small minority of the electorate, whoever becomes president will have no public mandate except major, systemic political reforms that satisfy the will of the people. Either that or accept being the president of a fake democracy on the world scene.

Be brave. Stick together. Save voting for a reformed political system worthy of respect and participation.

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About Joel S. Hirschhorn

Formerly full professor Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, and senior official Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and National Governors Association. Author of four nonfiction books and hundreds of articles.
  • Louis

    I think God I don’t vote. I don’t vote for crooks.

  • Doug Hunter

    I quit this game, it’s no fun, nobody listens to what I say. Let’s start over with me as the leader! Childish.

  • troll

    …Doug consider the possibilities – if a high profile voter boycott is organized then will a tax boycott be far behind – ?

    ‘no federal taxation without representation’ has a nice ring to it…although there is where any reform movement will run into the Law and things will get dicey

    …in the meantime enjoy being part of the problem

  • Doug Hunter

    “is to NOT VOTE and play their corrupt game.”

    Good on you. The less of you morons voting, the more important my vote becomes. I wish everyone else would decide not to vote and I could just pick our politicians. Same goes for the primaries. It’d be fun to pick the candidates and then pick the winner. I think you guys are really on to something.

  • Joel S. Hirschhorn

    SonnyD: It does not matter whether I or anyone else impacts your vote; because your vote is a joke played by you on yourself.

    As to the None of the Above option on ballots, which I have strongly supported for a long time. The two major parties refuse to give us that option because they fear the results, even if NOTA received more votes than the “winner” and had no impact on the election result. They fear the embarrassment!! So now the only logical option for those finally recognizing that both major parties and their candidates are not worth voting for is to NOT VOTE and play their corrupt game.

  • troll

    …oh – you refer to those ‘aristocrats’ behind and above the ol’ skull and bones et al

    ..the Russian Landowner Syndrome

    sounds like a conspiracy theory based on an objectively real conspiracy…but what do you call constantly justified paranoia – ? (with respects to Pynchon)

  • Clavos

    By social class I mean the area in society occupied by people such as the Cabots and Lodges in New England, for example.

    This group also includes many of the oldest family names in the country. They are the people listed in the social registers of each city, and money can’t buy you into their circles, though lack of money can keep you out if you’re not already in.

    All are in that class, but not all are wealthy any longer.

    Donald Trump, for example, is not one of them. Neither is Bill Gates or George Soros, though Warren Buffett may well be.

    They are the people who have been to prep school and the Ivy League for generations, and they guard the gates well.

  • troll

    …aren’t you referring to basic ‘classiness’ rather than ‘social class’ which indeed is an economic matter – ?

    or: what do you mean by ‘social class’ – ?

  • Clavos

    your economic class, that is.

    Your social class is determined by an entirely different set of criteria; none of which are purchasable.

  • troll

    …your class is determined not by how much money you have but rather by how you make it

  • SonnyD

    Joel: Promise that you are going to boycott the election. Please! Then I will know for sure that you will not cancel out my vote.

    If you really want to see the politicians get scared, get “None of the Above” put on the ballot. I would really like to see an election held over and over until the parties finally ran a candidate the voters could elect without feeling sick.

  • Clavos


    Even total assets doesn’t work: Bill Gates alone has more money than all the heirs on the list.

    Throw in Carlos Slim Helu, (another self-made man), and you’ve got a major country’s worth of new money.

    My point is, many (if not most) of today’s biggest fortunes were made, not inherited.

    There’s an old saying my father taught me about family fortunes:

    “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.”

    It happens more often than most folks realize.

    Paris and her daddy, granddaddy and great granddaddy are the exception, although after her dad dies off, she just might make it come true for the hilton clan all by herself.

  • if i thought the Forbes list was important, that would matter…

    look at total assets by the same categories, imo


  • Lumpy

    Old money fortunes get broken up and diluted and divided until they are hardly meaningful. Then there were the insane income and inheritance tax rates of the 40s, 50s and 60s. Downward mobility for old money is very real. It’s like France in the late 19th cemtury.

  • Clavos

    Doug’s right about the connections. They are first forged at prep school (often before then, even), and solidified in college and during the early stages of careers.

    For those who attend, far more benefit is gained at prep school from the connections made than the education itself.

    Just asking: Anybody know what the ratio of old money to new is in this year’s Forbes 400?

    If memory serves, the proportion of heirs on the list has been steadily declining for several years now.

  • it’s not about the trades you learn

    it’s about acquiring and sharpening critical thinking, honing the ability to think clearly, and to adapt to new data and apply it effectively

    if one makes it through their educational process and has not put those *tools* into their belt, then they have missed the true Purpose of education, imo


  • Doug Hunter

    I don’t think there is any level where the college experience is not helpful towards upward mobility, I do think the actual trades you learn become less valuable and the social connections more important at the higher levels. I’m not a part of that group so I’m not qualified to offer a definitive answer though.

  • well Doug..you raise some fine points…but one would think it apparent that education IS an important tool in the gathering of Wealth that all can work towards depending on their ability alone

    and you reinforce my point about inherited wealth being a greater factor than just about anything else


  • Doug Hunter

    “if you don’t think folks whose parents and grandparents went to and can send the kid to Exeter and then Yale have a distinct advantage over those who worked hard to get themselves through a state college”

    Education doesn’t make you wealthy, it shapes you into a tool for the wealthy. Get a doctorate and maybe you can work at their hospitals. Everyone has their own idea of what an elite is, but from my experience $25 mil net worth seems to be a low end cutoff just dredging the bottom.

    At that level no amount of education will lead you to a logical way to approach they’re position. At $25 mil even an idiot could hire an embezzling douchebag to manage their money and return 5% or about $1.25 million a year. A great job or small business derived from a degree plan will only net you low six figure income. (plus it takes the first 25 years of your life to obtain while the wealthy start the compounding clock the day they’re born)

    It doesn’t take much education to understand that if they start way ahead, make more money every year, and have their investment income taxed at 1/3 the rate your working income you’ll never catch them or even get close.

    Being an entrepeneur, inventor, or business owner is the only outside shot you have and none of those are taught well in a structured environment. Education is a ticket to the middle class not out of it. If the wealthy choose to send their kids to college it’s not about the boring details inside the textbooks.

  • well Baronius…not quite

    i know quite a few successful folks…some are even good folks…it’s just when i look at how many are good folks in comparison to the unscrupulous types…and add it to the day to day empirical data of how many bright and virtuous folks get trod on (that person in the office who’s boss stole their idea and got a promotion..etc), i find my thesis supported by the data at hand

    can’t say if it’s “sad” or not…i don’t anthropomorphize statistical observations

    as for myself..define “successful”?

    as for creepy…no offense intended, but you have no fucking clue, eh?

    i might like creepy…


  • Baronius

    Gonzo, now that I think about it, what you’re saying is literally sad. You either believe that you and the people around you are unsuccessful, or that they’re dumb or immoral. That’s a creepy view of yourself.

  • Clavos

    So, the lesson I take from this is:

    “One is more likely to succeed by being connected and unscrupulous than bright and virtuous.”

    OK, the unscrupulous I can achieve, but how can I get connected?

  • i don’t “believe” in any such thing

    but there ARE definitive strata that can be objectively observed

    as for “brains and virtue” winning out…the sheer numbers say otherwise…and to “believe” differently than those facts indicate might also be considered….sad

    the bright and virtuous get stepped on every day by the connected and unscrupulous


  • Baronius

    I spent my life figuring that one out, and I came to the opposite conclusion. Brains and virtue will always win. Whatever your point of view, you can’t believe that the rich are a separate social class with different goals. Or if you do believe it, that’s just sad.

  • well Baronius..you hit something there with Hilton…as in Paris

    how far would she get, do you think, if she had not been born to $$?

    one could ask the same about W

    it’s not ONLY about education, some are born to wealth…for every Oprah, there’s a shitload of folks like Paris and W

    if you don’t think folks whose parents and grandparents went to and can send the kid to Exeter and then Yale have a distinct advantage over those who worked hard to get themselves through a state college…then i have a wonderful bridge for sale…

    is it possible to “bootstrap” oneself into success?

    yep, of course

    are such people at a decided disadvantage versus those born to wealth?

    you figure it out



  • Baronius

    Years ago in sociology class, I remember learning one of the few things in there that seemed to make any sense. Before 1850 or so, a person’s class was dictated by his birth. During the following hundred years, a person’s class was measured by his wealth. Since the 1950’s a person’s class has been a function of his education.

    All this talk about a ruling moneyed class is so dated. Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, and Clarence Thomas came from about $8 accumulated wealth between them. Poor Oprah will never amount to anything. I mean, Oprah is so rich that the average TV watcher will never be able to relate to her. No, I mean that when people think of class, they think of Trump and Hilton. Huh?

  • Baronius

    What do you mean, Clavos? They’re just articles about our delusional democracy.

  • Clavos, the politics editorial staff has been aware of this for a while, but his articles do provoke some interesting discussion – far more interesting than the rather repetitive articles.

    And Joel, just for the record, I was born into the ‘elite’ of this country and certainly earn enough money from work and from investments to maintain that status. But like a lot of the elite, I was taught by my family and in my ‘elite’ school that public service of some form was an obligation for those from the privileged class. Somewhere along the way I went a little funny, of course, and like William F. Buckley and a few others of similar background I ended up a libertarian.

    That means I believe that the freedom of the individual is the primary right in society, and I just don’t see how the objectives of the CFR interfere with that belief, sorry.


  • Clavos

    Hey people,

    When are all of you going to wake up and see that all Joel Hirschhorn is interested in accomplishing with these “articles” of his is selling his damn book???

  • moonraven

    If the folks on this site were not functionally illiterate they would be aware that Nobel Laureate José Saramago wrote a novel, Un ensayo sobre la lucidez, which was translated into English as SEEING–which features elections in which upwards of 70% of the population continue to turn in BLANK VOTES.

    Read it–maybe a little culture will rub off on your redneck slobs.

  • gonzo marx

    Joel – well am i Aware of the Article V provisions…and if it was 100 years ago, it might’ve worked

    but NO chance, imo, since WW1 for such remedies

    i also disagree with you concerning utilizing the electoral process…if you and your Ideas can’t even win a Mayoral race…how in the name of blue blazing Hells do you expect to pull of such a thing as a National Convention?

    while i can appreciate the tone of your Thinking, it’s process appears a bit muddied by Idealism with no basis in objective Realism in your strategic goals

    it’s like th e Greens or Libertarians constantly wasting all their raised cash trying for the Presidency, when they do not even have an elected Congressman/Senator…hell a Mayor or 10 is a start

    this demonstrates either their inability to function as a organizing force, or that their viewpoints are not attractive enough to a majority to unseat the status quo

    think about that last..it applies directly to everything you are talking about


  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    There is no right to revolution in the constitution of 1787. The constitution of 1787 is an attempt to secure the liberties of the people of the United States for posterity. It is a method of governance, elegantly simple in its construction.

    The DOI provides the rationale for the existence of the United States, and it does provide for a right of revolution. Naturally, the supreme court has ruled that the statements in the DOI cannot be used to establish rights or law – but the right of revolution becomes operative when the existing structure – including the supreme court – becomes oppressive. In addition, it cautions against revolution for less than serious matters.

    Spending your country into bankruptcy, and running end-runs around basic provisions of the constitution of 1787, erasing the civil rights of the populace, and attempting to electronically monitor every individual (something being worked on as we write) in your nation could be called oppressive – and serious.

    Do I really have to explain basic things like this? Were you sleeping in your poli-sci classes?

  • To gonzo marx:

    Rather than think that our Constitution gives us elections to achieve rebellion – which so clearly and objectively is not the case – you should learn more about the Constitution’s option for an Article V convention – the Framers put that in to really give us a way to overcome a federal government no longer trustworthy. Go to http://www.foavc.org and learn the truth.

    I have been involved with third party efforts for many, many years; your favored climb-up-the-ladder by winning offices at the local and state level has been tried for decades. Look at the data: it has not worked; yet people like you keep invoking it. It does not work because at all levels of government the two major parties have rigged the political system and the public has been so conditioned/brainwashed/misinformed that they rarely support third party candidates even in local and state elections. Some reforms can changes this; for example, (read my book) the Clean Election/Clean Money laws passed in some states have helped third party candidtes, as has fusion candidacies. But to advance third parties we urgently need major national/federal reforms.

    To: Dave Nalle
    The more you write the more obvious it is that you are a completely unintelligent person masquerading as a political savvy person; that you cannot see a rich, powerful, elitist, corporate class that is apart from and above the middle and lower classes demonstrates to anyone with a clear mind that you are a wannabe upper class elitist seeking power through this medium because you have been unable to really gain entry and membership in that elite Upper Class that runs our country. Of course, ordinary Americans want a high quality of life with reasonable wealth, but that does not conflate with your elitist/ring wing/conservative/plain nutty views of politics and American society. If YOU had really succeeded in achieving the elitist power and riches you so admire and desire you would not be wasting so much time doing your evil things on this website.

    To: Bohemianowl
    Thanks so much for the terrific information you provided on the elitist efforts to foster one world/globalization that really means wiping out the middle class everywhere to achieve a two-class world order: the rich, power Upper Class (that Dave Nalle wishes he was in) and the Lower Class for everyone else; and for pointing out that both Dems and Repubs are part of this movement (and one that Bill Clinton very much advanced and that Hillary will also; I discuss the CFR and other groups in my book Delusional Democracy. Maybe Nalle can tell us what groups he is a member of.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Then don’t, troll.

    I understand that clearly. But all this yak-yak about voting (or not) is a waste of time. The actual talking should not be on the internet. It should be in private, in places where surveillance is minimal.

    The point is that you do not have a great deal of time. And blogs like this, nice as they are for some purposes, waste time if it is an issue of saving institutions dear to you…..

  • troll

    Ruvy – it would be unwise for a US citizen to engage in a discussion of tactics that entail illegal activity – murder and theft – on a board such as this

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    You folks all debate about legitimate means of changing government, voting, canvassing, etc., forgetting at all times that the politicians don’t run the country – the boys in the oil and banking establishment do.

    And they DON’T get elected.

    Every “Mr Smith” who reaches Washington sooner or later meets up with some nice person from the CFR with the sales pitch to play along – or get tossed out of the game. The same will happen to Ron Paul, if it is not already occurring.

    The brilliant thing about an outfit like the CFR is that it is not ideological in nature. You can be liberal, conservative, religious, irreligious. The bottom line is not to actually pee on the big boys’ shoes by opposing a world government that they run with their basic values. You can appear to oppose it, like Daniel Pipes works hard at doing, but the bottom line is not to actually oppose it.

    The important thing to remember about the CFR is that they are not an “evil conspiracy bunch” at all. They are a respectable think tank founded by the rich businessmen who themselves were screwed over by losses after WWI and wanted to make sure of two things:

    1. That it would never happen to them again;
    2. That the world would indeed be their oyster, and NO government would ever stand in their way again.

    They are all about power, and power is all about them.

    All the rest has been gravy, and the folks in the CFR are on the biggest gravy train ever created.

    This is why in order for Americans – or anybody else on the planet – to secure the basic liberties a person should be entitled to in life, summarized simply as the right to sit under one’s own fig tree in peace, it is necessary to execute (as in murder) the oil and banking establishment’s members and to liquidate (as in dissolve or take away) their assets. The flunkies, seeing that the gravy train is no longer running, will disappear of their own accord like rats in a sewer – not too different from what the Stasi did in East Germany or the Securitate in Romania.

    That is what the right of revolution in the American DOI is all about. It astounds me that it takes an ex-pat like me to have to explain it to you.

  • troll

    Dave – *wishes to be rich, have power and influence that corporate state* and *desire to earn more income, have a family, a home, a better job, a decent life after retirement, some legacy to leave behind or even your physical health* are not equivalences except perhaps in your twisted logic

    Baronius – you might be surprised at how many folks you can influence by presenting your ideas in this venue and Joel’s article has (hopefully) led some to think about possibilities…but you are correct that more needs to be done

  • Thanks for letting us know which of he candidates are well qualified for the office, bohemianowl.

    Wait, I think I hear Alex Jones calling. You’d best run along to get your latest programming.


  • bohemianowl

    This is the start of the revolution many of us have only dreamed about!

    Fact: This country has been taken over by phonies and liars and corrupt bankers who control Mainstream Media. They operate through front groups like The Council on Foreign Relations….They don’t want to lose their stranglehold and they see Ron Paul as a Major threat #1. Of course, they won’t admit this publicly, but in their secret meetings they are plotting their next move. They must do something before they lose their power….. they thought they had this election neatly sewn up with the majority of candidates on both parties being C.F.R. puppets… they realize maybe they have overstacked the deck, now the deck looks phony and suspicious (it does) point this out to any person with half a brain and the C.F.R.. goose is cooked. Here is a brief description of the C.F.R. ..

    The goals of the Council on Foreign Relations are best described by its very own members.

    Bill Clinton’s Georgetown mentor and CFR member Carroll Quigley says in his book Tragedy & Hope: “The Council on Foreign Relations is the American branch of a society which originated in England… (and) …believes national boundaries should be obliterated and One World rule established.”

    Mr. Quigley is only different from Bill Clinton, George Bush and the rest of them in the fact that he thinks they shouldn’t try to hide this any more.

    These groups brag and laugh about how America’s two-party system allows for both groups to be controlled at the highest level but still operate like bitter rivals.

    As Quigley says, this gives the voters the chance to “throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound of extreme shifts in policy.”.

    Controlling Washington elite allowed private central banks to ” dominate the political system… …and economy of world as a whole” and implement a new system of “feudalist fashion” through “secret agreements”. Although he believes the CFR’s intentions should be more public, Quigley understands the average person doesn’t understand feudalism or serfdom and will never read his book.

    Allright, now that you know what the C.F.R. is up to here’s a list of 2008 Presidential Candidates that are members of the Council on Foreign Relations:

    Fred Thompson
    Rudy Giuliani
    John McCain
    Mitt Romney
    Jim Gilmore
    Newt Gingrich

    Hillary Clinton
    Barack Obama
    John Edwards
    Joe Biden
    Chris Dodd
    Bill Richardson

  • there’s your fundamental mistake Dave…many of us share no (political and economic) interests with the owning/ruling class and don’t aspire to the things that you mentioned

    I take it you’re speaking for yourself. So you have no desire to earn more income, have a family, a home, a better job, a decent life after retirement, some legacy to leave behind or even your physical health?

    I’d say you’re pretty unique in that.


  • Baronius

    Oh, come on, Troll. You used caps and bold font on a message board. You can’t truly believe that that’s going to reverberate through the halls of power.

    How many of you have gone door to door with voter registration cards? or helped out a local campaign? or run for office? You want to make a change, you know how. I’ll never forget working at a poll, overhearing some guy saying that he’d almost forgotten to vote, but he got a call reminding him. I was the one who placed that call.

    Every voter has his one vote. Every campaign worker affects about 50 votes. Troll’s angriest font affects no one.

    And all the whining about campaign money around here… Do any of you give to campaigns? What about membership organizations? PAC’s can represent your interests. I’m proud of the donations I’ve made. I’ve helped some good people afford to wage successful campaigns.

    In summary, do something.

  • well troll, then i think you get into the armed insurrection bit…

    and i’d rather the Gandhi approach first, eh?


  • troll

    gonzo – ‘stupid is as stupid does’ – while I agree with your call for participation in local politics I don’t buy your premise that low turnout at federal elections will not upset the applecart…let’s try it and see

    I think that it is clear that business as usual such as the party building that you recommend will not produce politicians dedicated to advancing the interests of all citizens but rather further crops of our present sycophants to wealth

    and I’m still wondering how I am supposed to withdraw my consent to be governed by this crop of lobbyists and their pets without breaking any laws – ?

    …Joel might be right about the need for a convention as well

  • troll

    *who share common interests*

    there’s your fundamental mistake Dave…many of us share no (political and economic) interests with the owning/ruling class and don’t aspire to the things that you mentioned

    and Baronius – who said anything about quiet – ?

    BOYCOTT FEDERAL ELECTIONS…..loud enough for ya – ?

  • Baronius

    Joel, nothing says taking back government quite like sitting in the corner quietly while other people are voting.

  • Joel’s fundamental mistake is in thinking that the ‘rich, power elites and the corporate state’ are not just part of the citizenry who share common interests with every one of us who wishes to be rich, have power and influence that corporate state.


  • fair enough, Joel..and you have stated it numerous times…

    so let’s talk strategy and tactics…

    the tactic of “boycotting” elections is futile and downright stupid, as i elucidated earlier, for the reasons i stated earlier…

    if your strategic goal is to oust the shitweasals then you have two choices…

    armed insurrection


    beating them fair and square at the polls

    i have shown you how to begin with the second approach…

    run locally as Independents, take the school boards..teach the children, rather than indoctrinate them

    take the town councils

    work up the ladder with a groundswell of support because your new “party” has shown it actually fucking works FOR their constituents, and NOT the monied interests

    well do i know what Jefferson said, but do remember that our Constitution gives us the means to stage a revolution, peacefully

    we call them elections

    your difficulty appears to be not liking the choices on the ballot..and i keep stating, you don’t like it…THAT is the place to effect the change you desire

    both tactically and strategically


  • Joel S. Hirschhorn

    Dear gonzo marx:

    What I want is a set of major political/government reforms that, for example, rids us of the two-party stranglehold over our system. That restores true honest, non-corrupt representative democracy to our nation.

    You can’t win any election in the current system; it does not matter which Dem or Repub wins; both parties serve the rich, power elites and corporate state. To keep voting like idiots in this corrupt, rigged system is to legitimize it.

    What I want to accomplish is to clarify to our citizens and the whole world that we the people no longer support this corrupt fake democracy, that we have seen the truth and want to take back our government and have honest, law abiding elected representatives. I want to open our system to true competition – that means making it possible for third party candidates to gain federal office, and all this requires bold constitutional amendments to break the vicious grip of the moneyed class on OUR government.

    I want what Thomas Jefferson knew we needed periodically – rebellion!

  • gonzo marx

    for Joel…

    tell me, what exactly do you hope to accomplish with your boycott?

    you do realize that Reality dictates that as long as ONE voter shows up…even the Candidate…and votes, that your entire purpose is rendered worthless, don’t you?

    all that such a boycott could possibly accomplish is to keep those thoughtful, civic minded people from having any impact on said election, thus allowing the “base” of the two parties to slug it out among themselves with little or no input from the Independent

    as was said earlier…driving turnout down to 20% or less is meaningless….

    driving it up to over 75% would scare the shit out of the political class…especially if they all wrote in Gandhi for troll…

    THAT is something to ponder

    but i still state that the ONLY way to truly reform, is for new political parties to start, and to start small, school boards and town councils..

    the problem the Reform and other parties suffer from is trying to go for the White House before any of them are even elected dog catcher


  • Baronius

    Troll, that looks good on paper, but how is anyone supposed to tell the difference?

  • troll

    don’t confuse a boycott with apathy as Dreadful and the MSM would have it

  • Irene Wagner

    But troll, if you HADN’T written in Gandhi’s name, there’s no telling HOW much more trollish and disenchanted you’d be now. See, at least you still have the gumption to call your intentions for ’08 “boycott” instead of “not bothering to show up.” A world of difference.

  • troll

    I wrote in Gandhi last time…he didn’t win

    and not only that – ! – no tally of votes for him was made nationally…a truly wasted vote

    boycott federal electioins

  • Irene Wagner

    If Ron Paul doesn’t win the Republican primary, I’m going to write his name in on the ballot in November 2008. And I’ll bet I won’t be the only one.

    It’s my voice and I’m going to use it. If I give up and quit voting, ESPECIALLY in an election that has all appearances of being rigged, the defeatist attitude might become a habit, and I won’t have the spirit to continue to “speak truth to power” just when I need that spirit more than ever.


    P.S. Make sure you hold your nose (if necessary) and register Republican ahead of time if that’s what’s required to vote for Ron Paul in the Republican primary in your state.

    (This ad has been paid for by The Cheerleaders to Elect Ron Paul Coalition)

  • troll

    …in theory our politicians rule based on the consent of ‘the governed’ (as evidenced in large part by voting) – how else can one legally withhold that consent from them but through boycott – ?

    participation will not fix this $hit from within – there is no better candidate or lesser evil to turn to

    …of course no argument will change any minds here

  • bliffle

    A voting boycott accomplishes nothing, IMO, other than demonstrating a sulky attitude. But no one cares how much you or I or anyone else sulks.

  • Joel, boycotting the election does nothing except render you and whatever people follow you even more irrelevant than you would be otherwise. Picking the best candidate or at least the lesser of two evils at least accomplishes something. Even better, go off and start a goofy third party. You can probably recruit some mentally marginal former politicians and draw support from the Natural Law freaks and the LaRouchites and the Scientologists. Then pool all of your money, take some TV ads, get on the ballot and see if you can actually accomplish something.


  • Baronius

    Doc is right on this one. 25% voter turnout wouldn’t scare anyone; 75% turnout would terrify them.

  • Joel claims:

    I am […] someone that does not waste a lot of time on sites like this


    [checks byline at top of quite lengthy article, breaks fourth wall, looks directly into camera]

    Who’s delusional?

  • Joel S. Hirschhorn

    To Dave Nalle and his merry band of mental midgets: there is no contradiction between wanting to reform our political system FIRST by means of a voter boycott and then once the system becomes reasonably honest work to maximize voter turnout through, among other means, making voting mandatory (also making Election Day a national holiday, etc). Our current delusional democracy does not merit participation through voting, and anyone who thinks that letting your congressmen and senators know what you want and favor has any impact is truly delusional – only the ones with big money count with our MISrepresentatives. I am not a Dem or Repub but someone that does not waste a lot of time on sites like this and knows how to objectively evaluate political reality and strive for strategies to return true democracy within our constitutional republic framework. If we could measure the IQ of websites that foster so much empty-headed b.s. the value for this site would be in the single digits…. Those who keep voting for Dems or Repubs certainly deserve the government they get, but not the rest of us.

  • After his compulsory boycott of voting achieves its goals, he will then organize a boycott of compulsory voting.

    Where will it all end?


  • Which is it? Do you want compulsory voting or a boycott of voting…

    I believe he wants a compulsory boycott of voting. That way he and his small number of lunatic conspiracy freak compatriots can take over the government and make wearing tinfoil hats compulsory.


  • They’re not my congresspeople, MR. I just live here.

    I am a citizen of a democracy though.

    Perhaps because it’s a much smaller country with a more intimate political setting, politicians in Britain do seem often to be more closely attuned to their constituents.

    That’s not to say there isn’t any arrogance or graft, but between the voters and the media most transgressors pretty quickly start buckling under the heat they get for it. For a case in point, take a look at this Wikipedia article about the horrendous Hamiltons.

  • justoneman

    gee gonzo…you mean the initiatives the dumbocrats voted for or the initiatives they cant get enough support for…

    Please boycott the election there already too many left wing disenfranchised idiots make it easy on the rest of us..


  • gonzo marx

    JoM in #15 sez – “Hey look at the bright side the lefy wing idiots will prove your point and maybe we can get back on track with killing the bad guys and growing the economy…”

    like that worked out so well from 2000 – 2006

    spare me, ok?

    the debt, deficit, pre-emptive invasion of Iraq, Patriot Act, warrantless wiretapping, Terri Schiavo fiasco…

    on and on

    looks like the GOP completely fucked up when they ran it all..and i have thoughts that the Dems would do any better with single party control

    a divided government, let them fight it out and compromise…best we can hope for, imo


  • moonraven


    Your congresspeople are stealing your tax dollars and stuffing their pockets with bribes and kickbacks as fast as they can so that they do not have to give a shit whether you re-elect them or not.

  • I’m with Gonzo — let’s see Hirschhorn run for something, rather than advocate a standard of inaction. He’s certainly got ideas, and he wants people to do something. He’s a candidate, and doesn’t know it yet.

  • I too don’t think not voting is the answer. On the contrary, it’s voter apathy that has turned many of your elected representatives into the corrupt, complacent bastards they are.

    The problem with the modern democratic system is the perception that personal participation in the process ends with the election. Which is, of course, missing the point. By casting a vote, you’re delegating someone to carry out your wishes in Washington for a predetermined amount of time. Your responsibility in democracy has only just begun.

    What this boils down to is that you need to continually make sure to remind your congressman that he was sent to Washington to represent you, not himself. Tell him, “I voted for you, you know.” But mean, “Please observe these bolt cutters positioned just above your testicles.”

  • JustOneMan

    I agree…all the Dumbocrats, moveon.org followers and other assorted left-wing whale shit should boycott this election cycle!

    This way we can get on with the real matters at hand and stop listening to their bullshit for at least the next four to six years….

    Hey look at the bright side the lefy wing idiots will prove your point and maybe we can get back on track with killing the bad guys and growing the economy…


  • moonraven

    Why vote–unless you vote for the status quo, they don’t count your vote.

    They doon’t allow folks of color to vote because they have a history of voting against the status quo.

    No absentee ballots are ever counted.

  • Most of us seem to agree with your frustrations, but some of us can’t support your suggestions.

    Why vote?

    1. There will be elections whether you vote or not. Why let those who vote and interest groups you oppose make all the decisions and control your future?

    2. Tax money will be collected from you and spent by those elected. Do you want no say in who has that power?

    3. Many elections ARE decided by a very small number of votes per precinct. Even if there’s only a tiny difference between candidates, it may become a big difference later after one of them is elected.

    4. Much more than just candidates are voted on: taxes, bond issues, equal rights, energy policy, gun control, marriage, gambling, smoking, etc., etc. Don’t those issues matter enough to have your say about?

    5. Keeping our freedoms by doing nothing, dropping out, or “partying” on election day won’t work, if history is to be believed; has it ever, anywhere?

  • moonraven

    I haven’t voted since 1984–when I wrote in Jese Jackson.

  • matt c


    Then, if he does not win the Republican Nod, YOU CAN SKIP YOUR NOVEMBER VOTE as protest (Cause that’s the one the world is watching).

    SO A PRIMARY VOTE FOR PAUL! THEN A GENERAL ELECTION VOTE for NO ONE at all! (Assuming there is no PAUL!!!)

    The world is watching and hoping for RON PAUL!

  • Joel S. Hirschhorn

    Dear Brad, No hypocrisy from me: I still support mandatory voting; BUT, if you actually read my article you will understand that before we make a number of electoral reforms we must FIRST destroy the corrupt political system we now suffer from; after systemic political reform is achieved through NOT voting we can then work to maximize voter turnout, because only then can we justify voting!

  • troll

    …the boycott is one of the few non-violent tools of political dissent open to our citizens and I am hopeful that Joel’s thoughts reflect a growing undercurrent

    he and I make 2 – the movement is growing:

    boycott federal elections

  • Brad Linzy, Evansville, IN

    Soooo… This is also coming from the same guy who wants to “make voting compulsory”?

    Which is it? Do you want compulsory voting or a boycott of voting… Because it seems to me that a compulsory voting law would pretty much undermine your right to boycott a vote, wouldn’t it?

    That was a rhetorical question. I don’t expect you to answer it. The would require historical knowledge of what it means to live in a Constitutional Republic.

    Delusional Democracy
    by Joel S. Hirschhorn

    Does What No Other Book Has Done!

    A number of electoral reforms are necessary to rescue American democracy:

    8. Make voting compulsory after other reforms

  • Brad Linzy, Evansville, IN

    All that said, I agree with you that our elections are being rigged and we need to go back to paper ballots.

    You want to start firing the first real shots in a civil war over voting transparency, I’ll be right behind you. It’s about as good a reason as any. But if you don’t believe the voting system is on the level, yet you do nothing beyond writing internet articles and calling for a boycott of the vote, which is about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of, then I cannot really respect that.

    Sounds very juvenile to me. Either you’re willing to die for something or you’re not. Die for your Republic or get off the soapbox. Boycotting the vote is about the most passive aggressive “activism” I’ve ever heard of.

  • Brad Linzy, Evansville, IN

    Gee thanks! I don’t know what I would have done without another oracle telling me who can and cannot win an election in this country!

    Yay for fortune tellers! This means we never have to go vote again! We can just watch the news and let them tell us who’s going to win. Better yet…let’s just skip the nonsense and crown a King and get it over with, shall we?

    I don’t think I need to resort to personal attacks on the author of this post. I believe they can be well inferred.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Trying to elect one man to fix a corrupt system is an exercise in futility, not dissimilar to a boy putting his finger in a dike to stop it from bursting. Those who control the money supply in America and its energy supply will not allow that kind of change. They will not allow themselves to be dethroned without a violent struggle. They have worked too hard to attain the pinnacle of power they have and a mere election is not something they will respect, even if it does take place. Ron Paul may seem to be what the doctor ordered – or not, but the system is not based on the politicians; it is based on the oil and banking establishment. So long as it has control, it makes no difference who you elect, or who you seek to elect.

    The oil and banking establishment must be destroyed – executed and liquidated are probably more appropriate words – before the liberties Americans think they enjoy will even begin to be secured in a hostile world.

    Frankly, I do not think most of the readers of Blogcritics have the imagination or the guts to think that way. Most of the few who do probably have so visceral a hatred for the United States as to express more little more than the hope that it gets flushed down the toilet.

    For me, unfortunately, the fall of the United States is what is most beneficial; its fall will drag down most nations and peoples who think they would benefit by that fall – the Europeans, the Russians, the Chinese, the Arabs and last but not least, the Latin Americans.

    My bets are on that fall, in conditions that will be so chaotic as to be unreadable by the average person.

  • Ron Paul has as much chance of winning the GOP nomination as Kucinich the Democrat nomination?

    Absolutely absurd.

    Paul has raised millions and has active campaigns in every state. Kucinich is a drop in the bucket compared with the Paul campaign.

    Democrats overwhelmingly favor Hillary. Republicans overwhelmingly favor “undecided.”

    Paul offers conservatives the opportunity to take their party back from the neocons. Liberals have yet to figure out that their party needs to be taken back.

    A cursory glance at the Ron Paul campaign clearly shows it has a far better (even reasonable) chance of winning the nomination. Kucinich does not.

  • Don’t waste your vote — cast it for Ron Paul.

    Half of the population has already given up on voting, but that doesn’t stop politicians from claiming “mandates” when they get 51% of the 50% who do vote.

    Stop being a defeatist and join the thousands of us who are doing everything we can to help Ron Paul win. He just raised a million dollars in six days, so not everyone is giving up. He has 49,000 volunteers in local Meetup groups — more than the rest of the candidates combined.

    Turnout in the primaries is historically very low — 15 or 20%. A dedicated group could nominate a decent candidate for a change, especially with 9 pro-war Republicans splitting the anti-Ron Paul vote.

    Think about, it and register Republican. But do it fast — the primaries are earlier than ever this time.

  • well now..it was Bob Novak himself who said he liked it better when people don’t vote in large turnouts…then the motivated base wins

    sorry, i can Understand the frustration, but not voting is NO answer, imo

    do what the Founders did…run yourself, or find and support viable candidates…even if they lose at first

    but start at the beginning, take back the School Boards and town Councils with 3rd Party or Independent candidates…regular people, not professional class politicos

    with the Net for organization and dissemination of Information such is possible

    a MUCH better solution than fucking up the Constitution itself with trying for an Article 5 convention, imo

    your mileage may vary…


  • flowerguerrilla

    I think you’re so right! I met a group of anarachist collectivists last night – educated, bright YOUNG kids who see our only hope of survival is as collectives. Lovely idea. Small rural communities, in harmony with nature..Boycott the corporations Purchase CITGO gas, not Mobil/Exxon, etc. Buy secondhand or FairTrade / non-sweatshop. Reuse. recycle. I’m learning to live on less, and becoming a hippie Martha Stewart!

    Last Resort, i.e., contingency plan – Europe or South America!