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Election day and another diatribe for you

November 4, 2014

I sometimes read Libertarian websites. I have one I keep in my RSS feed because sometimes I am engaged by their arguments. I’ll admit that there’s a great deal of what constitutes libertarian thinking that I’m for. There’s enough that I don’t like that I’m not sure I could ever call myself a Libertarian.

It’s very interesting to me that there are many in what I would broadly call “the freedom movement” who are anti-government to the point that they will refuse to participate in government at all, even to the point of not voting.

I’ll just go on record and say that abdicating your right to influence government, when government is going to be getting in your way for the rest of your life, is possibly one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard.

Anyway, as it’s election day, I read an article by one of these guys about “25 Reasons I’d Never Get Elected”. I took the time to write out my objection to his post. As I’m writing this, it’s still being moderated, but I liked it enough to post it here too.

Here it is in its entirety.

“I am appalled to see this opinion held by so many in the freedom movement. Obviously voting has some effect or we wouldn’t be straddled with the debt, the bureaucracy, the military interventionism, the expanding role of government that we see encroaching on freedoms. Even if the only difference is the rate or speed with which it happens.

Your “No one would vote for me” patheticness is a crutch for your inability or unwillingness to engage the Dems and Reps in policy debate in the real world. It is protectionism for your comfortable ivory tower irrelevance.

My name is Russell Clements. I have a blog at I got elected and served two years on City Council. I was out-voted on 99.9999999% of everything that mattered, but I believe that my service forced the rest of Council and City Staff to hear “another side of the story”; one that hadn’t been heard for a very long time.

The problem isn’t that one vote doesn’t matter, it’s that people like you aren’t willing to pay the price to become an excellent communicator and change the hearts and minds of those who are presently running things. In those votes, taken, for example, by City Council members, one vote can very often change a great deal.

Why not try to engage those who don’t already agree with you and actually engage in the “battle of ideas”. Before too long, that “battle” may extend further than just ideas. Are you going to be as useless in that battle as well?

The two main reasons that I was willing to run for office were these: (1) I wanted to be a voice of reason speaking truth NOW so that when the calamitous effects of government policies come to be borne by the people in who’s behalf they were supposedly implemented, there would be a track record of warning that would give credibility when communities rebuild themselves. (2) When I am forced to defend the liberty of my family by force, I want to be able to have the moral conviction and rationalization, that I have attempted to “use the system” before resorting to the freedoms that God has entrusted to me.

I would challenge you to be the statesman you would be willing to vote for. If you are unable to summon the intestinal fortitude to run yourself, find a candidate that you can support and support them. Do not ever compromise, but do engage. If you will not vote for the lesser of two evils, then support a “good” candidate.
Yes, you will likely lose or worse, you might one day win. What will you do then?

Can you serve in office with the same convictions you espouse on paper? Could your arguments sway your fellow Council members or School Board members? Can you face the hail of disapproval and antipathy that will come your way?”

I can have no respect for such people as this author, who are only willing to throw sticks from afar when there is no reasonable expectation of harm or criticism. If his ideas are so potent, so valuable to society, then get out there and use them to vanquish some of the stupid ideology that sets itself up as wisdom. If you can’t do that, then just shut up and prepare for what you know is coming. Save what you can in your own way, but expect to have as much say in the future as you do in the present.

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