Acting “As If” the Election Doesn’t Matter
The mind may be a terrible thing to waste, but an independent mind is a horrid thing to use during election season. Partisans cannot abide contrarian dissent within their ranks when the outcome of an election is at stake, especially a presidential election of historic proportions.
But of course, every impending election is branded the most historic election ever, as the hubris of politically motivated people tends to skew their sense of how vast, in fact, history is. I doubt they have ever given a second thought to the momentous nature of their undertakings. It is quite possible their political struggles could be utterly inconsequential to the arch of history — a mere blemish soon to pop and turn pockmark on lady Fortuna’s cheek — but don’t tell this to the partisan unless you wish to upset their parade.
But even if one refrains from calling the quadrennial fight between the jackasses and pachyderms a farce, inaction on one’s part is also considered a sin. If you plan on sitting out the election, prepare to be chastised and called a child for failing to bow to the peer pressure of the people.
For example, Sara Benincasa (who is said to be a comedian and author) has recently deemed herself “Aunt Sara,” and she has a message for those of you on the left who do not wish to vote for Hillary Clinton,”Get with the fucking program.”
Well, excuse me, pardon me, Sara, but fuck your program.
Ironically enough, Sara’s post reminds me of my work on conservative talk radio. You see, I am not a creature of the left. I play the fool for the right, and as much as Sara may loathe Donald Trump and his supporters, she sounds just like them: screw your attempted independence from the two-party system; get with the program; we cannot let the other side win!
I do not find her or my conservative friends’ appeals convincing. I made a promise to myself before this election season ever began to support no one for the presidency. I did this for one simple reason — to maintain the integrity of my mind. Something about supporting this or that politician makes good people do dishonest things (such as apologizing for awful politicians), and I will have no part in it.
And to anticipate a usual challenge to my position, no, I am not throwing my vote away you insufferable partisan asshats. My contrarian dissent matters just as much as your servile consent. And no amount of bullying or condescension will sway me on this point; it will only harden my contempt for the partisan hordes. Vote for who you wish, but spare me your use of the royal “we.” I did not sign up to join your collective. Do not presume my allegiance. Vote as you wish, and I will stay home as I wish.
In closing, I will leave with a piece of advice for those of you who share my sentiments from Christopher Hitchens’ short book, Letters to a Young Contrarian. At the end of chapter five, Hitchens writes:
In an average day, you may well be confronted with some species of bullying or bigotry, or some ill-phrased appeal to the general will, or some petty abuse of authority. If you have a political loyalty, you may be offered a shady reason for agreeing to a lie or a half-truth that serves some short-term purpose. Everybody devises tactics for getting through such moments; try behaving “as if” they need not be tolerated and are not inevitable.
No matter who wins the presidency, I plan on behaving “as if” there was no need of a president whatsoever. Some may claim this is a Sisyphean action on my part, but as the updated moral of the story says, “One must imagine Sisyphus happy,” and I am quite happy sitting this absurd election out.
Join me if you wish.
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"The fool doth think he is wise..."