Is Voting Bullshit?
George Carlin says that he does not vote because its a waste of time. His reason is that the public sucks (meaning that they are a bunch of ignorant, self-centered consumers), and since the politicians come from the public, they also suck (as self-centered opportunists). Well, he is right on both counts that the public sucks and that the politicians suck. And given the structure of government and the methods of voting, he is right in not wasting his time voting.
But his reasoning that publicly minded people do not want to enter the political arena is wrong. The reason is not that they don’t want to, but that they know that they cannot win; so they don’t try. In the US, we have a track record of seemingly good candidates entering the political arena and losing. There is the case of Eugene Debs who ran for president five times unsuccessfully. I remember Eugene McCarthy trying, Ralph Nader, as well as Ron Paul.
Why can’t such people win? Because elections are won through propaganda and advertising – through a control of the news media. Winning takes lots of money and the support of corporations which control the media, and they also have an influence on existing politicians who manipulate votes and voting. Stalin is quoted as saying: “The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”
The bottom line is that only those candidates who are rich and have the support of the rich win elections. And our political choices are between a rich Tweedle Dee and a rich Tweedle Dum.