I’ve already discovered that publishing this site means getting interesting responses. And by “interesting,” I sometimes mean “stupid.” I want to share this example with you.
In response to my piece Wednesday morning about not voting, a friend of a friend left the comment above for me on Facebook. How do you possibly argue with people such as this? How can anyone believe he has any chance of using reason to bring them around to understanding individual sovereignty? He’s an (allegedly) educated man from a nice suburb in Virginia, but it’s clear that he’s been so brainwashed by the “civic religion” that he can’t stop and ask why someone might choose not to vote for moral reasons. We can’t win our freedom by hoping that people such as this guy will suddenly decide to start making sense. We have to find alternative ways — outside the political process.
I’m delighted at the intelligence, information and tone of much of the feedback I’ve gotten from you guys so far, but people such as this guy remind me that we’re in the minority. Even if it weren’t a moral issue to me, trying to bring change through voting just isn’t pragmatic. It’s not going to happen.
Oh, and for the record, my name isn’t Dave.
Postscript: The man who wrote the note I’m ridiculing here is a good friend of one of my friends. As a result, my friend has rushed to his defense, insisting that her friend didn’t mean to be argumentative or disagreeable. She’s argued her case pretty heatedly. But I think this makes a further point that’s worth noting. People don’t have to be malicious or mean-spirited to be wrong. This guy is a very decent man who’s just like the vast majority of people in this country who still believe in our civic religion. But those of us who see that this is a moral issue have to point out and ridicule these unthinking beliefs, not to ridicule the people, but the lay the foundation for helping people understand that freeing people from state control is a moral issue, not just one of preference. At one time, polite people didn’t point out the immorality of slavery to slaveholders or to others who defended that repugnant system. We don’t need to make the same mistake today. The people who hold the view we’re talking about aren’t generally evil. They’re just well-meaning, civic-minded people who unthinkingly repeat lies they’ve been taught.