Once again I was a candidate for U.S. House of Representatives. Once again I did not vote. There are plenty of good reasons for not voting.
There is one good reason for voting: at least it's something. If you don't vote, how do you send a message to the incumbent(s) that it's time to leave the capitol and go home? Clearly, none of them are going to go home voluntarily. They'll keep committing acts of "government" even if they don't get the votes of a majority of their "constituents." If only one person votes for them, they'll still keep on levying taxes on everyone else and killing people all over the world.
If you didn't vote, I hope you at least sent an email and told the winner why you didn't vote. That's pretty easy. Maybe easier than voting. And maybe more effective. I believe America's Founding Fathers would do a whole lot more than just send an email if they could travel through time and see the size and intrusiveness of the government today. They would risk everything. The Declaration of Independence says we should "abolish" any government that becomes a "tyranny." That happened decades ago.
And it's not just a "right" to abolish tyranny, the Declaration says it is a "duty." So if you don't vote, how are you actively discharging that duty? (I don't believe you can passively discharge this duty.)
If you don't vote, please consider running in the next election, so that other non-voters might have someone to vote for. Run for anything. Over twelve thousand people took advantage of a chance to say NO to tyranny by voting for me.
Here are the results of the election. All in all, I did fairly well at the polls -- if you consider me a "real" candidate.
One out of every four people who voted in the previous midterm election (2010) did not go to the polls in 2014. In 2010, 6.2% voted for me, but in 2014, 7.678% voted for me, while both the Republican and Democrat candidates got a lower percentage of the vote than in 2010. I think I was the top vote-getter among Missouri Libertarian Party Congressional candidates (again).
But I've never considered myself to be a "real" candidate. I run for office to gain a soapbox. I run to educate, not to win. The biggest temptation is to try to be a "real" or "legitimate" candidate. After all, so many people won't even vote for the candidate who most closely represents the voter's own views if the candidate "can't win." I rationalize temptation by saying I can't educate without gaining "respectability." But can you speak the truth to government/media and still be "respectable?"
In 2014, I feel like I consistently failed to advance the heart and soul of my campaign* in media interviews. I allowed myself to be boxed in by their questions. Interviews go by so quickly. There's not much room for a thoughtful conversation with the mainstream media.
Don't get me wrong: the Press gave me fair coverage. They always treated the race as a genuine three-man race. I wasn't excluded from debates or anything like that. Nobody ever tried to paint me as an "extremist."
The problem is, I am an extremist! So I guess that means I wasn't a very good defender of "Liberty Under God," at least according to that webpage. I fear I chickened out too often.
* The "heart and soul" of my campaign is that we must abolish the government, for it has become a false god. That was the message of America's Founding Fathers. That's an "extremist" message.
When I first began to run for Congress back in 2002, I thought it would be a good soapbox to advance my agenda. I'm not sure anymore. Many Voters are both apathetic and boxed-in (not interested in "thinking outside the box"). Non-voters, ironically, are often more interested in the issues than those who vote. But the more you know, it seems, the more cynical you get. The people who are most likely to vote are those who have the least knowledge and interest in the real plight of America, and the real solution.
I probably need to attach less weight to the media and more weight to the individuals who were affected by my campaign if I'm going to avoid getting too depressed.
I still believe something is better than nothing. But next time I run I'll be putting more into educating than being "respectable."