jueves, 4 de septiembre de 2008


I know everyone remembers the Vote or Die t-shirts. I saw a lot of people wearing them on campus a few years ago. The campaign continues, even if the slogan is less often spouted.

University professors are not allowed to tell students who to vote for, but they make up for it by shouting at everyone in their class that they MUST vote and it is of the utmost importance (they know, of course, that most university students will vote Democrat).

Why am I offended when I hear this rhetoric of the importance of voting?

If you are voting for an imperialist warmonger (Obama/McCain) then you are doing a disservice to the world, and you would do much better to just stay home on election day. The imperialists want a higher voter turnout to make their elections look legitimate. Do the world a favor, don't legitimize these mass-murderers.

Voting is somewhat important IF you are voting for an anti-imperialist candidate like McKinney or Nader. It would be more important if we had paper ballots rather than the rigged electronic voting machines. It would also be more important if we could actually vote for the person that represents our values rather than the "least worst" of a corrupt, corporate two-party system. That is, we need Instant-Run-Off Voting. In the meantime, we still can vote for Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney, but it's unlikely they'll win, because they are locked out of the presidential debates and the major media.

But let's face it, even if we had the best voting system in the world, we each have a very small voice in the voting system. What's much more important than voting is actually protesting the government when it does things we disapprove of, like engaging in imperialist wars. But for some reason, teachers feel no need to urge their students to take part in protests or civil disobedience. We praise Martin Luther King, yet we don't remember anything he told us. He did not tell us to vote this guy or that guy, he told us to do civil disobedience to end racism and the imperialist Vietnam war (a war to protect the Vietnamese from themselves... sound familiar?).

The truth is, unless we get REALLY involved in politics and we destroy the system of business-as-usual capitalism/imperialism, we really do have a good chance of dying by a nuclear/bio/chemical-counter-attack or by pollution or by brutal police or by being drafted into the army to fight on the unending front on the "war on terror." Or maybe everything will turn out fine for us, and it is just everyone else around the world that will suffer. That would be peachy, huh?

People tell me protesting doesn't work. Well, if anything doesn't work, it's VOTING. You can have 50,000,000 antiwar people voting, and the wars go on. Now tell me the wars would go on if we had 50,000,000 or even 1,000,000 people protesting outside the White House.

I suggest a new slogan for t-shirts: "PROTEST OR DIE."

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