So, it’s three weeks before the US midterm elections, and it looks like we have got ourselves a horse race! That’s right, folks, once again, it’s time to start playing with those forecast maps on Real Clear Politics and FiveThirtyEight, and obsessively following the fluctuating poll numbers of congressional candidates you have never heard of competing in districts you couldn’t locate if someone held a gun to your head. You need to start doing this immediately, if not sooner, as the stakes in these midterms could not be higher. Nothing less than the continued existence of “American democracy” hangs in the balance, so the ruling classes need every last one of us to get out there and vote for somebody!
The fact that it only marginally matters who that somebody that you vote for is should not dissuade you from voting for somebody. Voting for somebody is your civic duty, and is no less important than rooting for a sports team, or maintaining a personal favorite color, or celebrity, or brand of hemorrhoid creme. Remember, if you don’t vote for somebody, somebody else is going to win, and we can’t afford to let that happen!
Now, your choices this year are particularly exciting, despite the fact that they are exactly the same as in every other US election since approximately the 1970s. Yes, that’s right, once again, it’s the Transgender Panethnic Communists of Color versus the Old White Cisnormal Capitalist Nazis, and what a spectacle it promises to be! The Old White Cisnormal Capitalist Nazis (hereinafter the “OWCCN”) currently control … well, pretty much everything (i.e., the House, the Senate, and executive branch), and so the Transgender Panethnic Communists of Color (hereinafter the “TPCoC”) are hungry, and are looking for some serious payback after getting their butts kicked in 2016. Rumor has it, the TPCoC are preparing to unleash a “Blue Tsunami” on vulnerable OWCCN incumbents, take control of the House of Representatives, and then not impeach the ass clown President they’ve been telling everyone for the last two years is both a traitorous Russian intelligence asset and the resurrection of Adolf Hitler.
And, if that isn’t exciting enough for you already, they’ve got all kinds of other life-and-death issues to emotionally pressure you into picking a team to fanatically root for on social media, and then getting out and voting for somebody. How blatantly to humiliate illegal immigrants, how affluent you have to be to obtain an abortion, how much interest banks can charge when you pay for your chemo with an Amazon card, and which pronouns law enforcement officers are required to use to refer to people whose homes they barge into and unintentionally murder, are just a few of the many “hot-button” questions requiring your democratic input.
Other questions, like whether to invade or just strategically bomb Iran or Syria, or some other non-ball-playing Middle East country, or pour billions more in military aid into Israel, or sell billions in weapons to Saudi Arabia, or foment a coup in Venezuela, or maintain almost eight hundred military outposts in over seventy foreign countries all around the world, are questions that do not require your input. The global capitalist ruling classes, the corporations they own and operate, their friends in the government and the intelligence agencies, and the corporate media will take care of all that. Same goes for those Wall Street banks, and the next looming global financial crisis, and those mass extinctions, and this wacky weather. The grown-ups with the fancy suits and haircuts are handling all that complicated stuff. You just worry about all those other issues, and get out there and vote for somebody!
Seriously, though, for those unfamiliar with the ins and outs of U.S. politics, our election cycle, and these midterm elections, and thus do not have the slightest idea what I’m even referring to, here’s what’s going on in a nutshell …
On November 6, 2018, Americans will be returning to the polls to exercise their inalienable right to choose between two corporate-financed, ruling class-vetted political stooges competing for the chance to pretend to represent them in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and in various gubernatorial, municipal, and somewhat lesser distinguished chambers. A selection of non-ruling-class-vetted candidates will also appear on a handful of ballots. Americans will be free to vote for such candidates, as long as they realize they are just wasting their time, and possibly damaging the “serious” candidates, which the corporate media will remind them they are doing at every available opportunity.
See, unlike in backward European countries, where some semblance of a parliament still exists, and there are actual campaign finance restrictions and limits on televised campaign advertising, in the United States, where everyone is free, voting for non-ruling-class-vetted candidates, in a midterm or any other election, is about as effective as voting for a sandwich … or for, you know, some narcissistic billionaire ass clown who swears he is going to “drain the swamp,” and build “a beautiful wall,” or whatever. The system is designed to guarantee that no matter which ruling class stooge you vote for, and even if you vote for a character like Trump just to stick it to the establishment for once, it makes no difference … or, OK, very little difference.
The reason for this is not a big mystery. When a seat in the Senate goes for ten million dollars and a seat in the House for over a million, and there are no real restrictions on campaign financing, and the corporate-owned media decide in advance which candidates will be given airtime, and considered “serious” by the mainstream pundits who work for the handful of corporations that own the vast majority of newspapers, television and radio stations, and internet platforms that control the flow of information to the American public … well, it would kind of be a little odd, wouldn’t it, if authentic anti-ruling-class candidates were allowed to enter and compete in that system?
Most Americans understand this, which is why nearly half of them do not vote. It’s humiliating enough to be forced to live, and attempt to support a family, and so on, in a savage, neoliberal marketplace with virtually no social cohesion whatsoever, and in which the only real operative value is money, without also having to debase themselves by participating in the simulation of democracy that the capitalist ruling classes need to maintain in order to pretend that they are not just social parasites with a lot of goons and guns.
Which brings me to the point of this essay. See, normally, I try like hell to avoid telling people what to do in my columns, but, after my last one, a number of readers wrote in asking for advice, so I’m going to make an exception, just this once.
Here’s my advice. You’re not going to like it.
Do not vote. For anyone. At all. Tell all your friends not to vote for anyone. Join the hundreds of millions of Americans who refuse to participate in the simulation of democracy. Take time off from work to vote, and then do not vote. Go see a movie, or have lunch with someone you haven’t seen in a while, or take a nice, long walk in the woods or something. Whatever you do, do not vote. Seriously. Please stop voting for these people. They’re not your friends. They mean you ill. They will shake your hand, kiss your baby, then sell you to the first pharmaceutical lobbyist, or military industrial lobbyist, or Israeli or Saudi Arabian lobbyist, that waltzes into their office with a check, or that threatens to turn their voters against them.
You probably think I’m kidding. I’m not. Do not vote in these midterm elections. Or in any other American elections. Not while the system remains as it is. If you really want to vote, move to Europe, where at least there are still parliamentary structures, and a decent variety of political parties, and some restrictions on campaign financing and advertising. All you’re doing when you vote in America is reifying a simulation of democracy, and so perpetuating the system as it is.
Oh, and while you’re at it, if you happen to work for any of those pharmaceutical companies, or any of those weapons manufacturers, or their suppliers, or for an investment bank, or a hedge fund, or private equity firm, or any other company, corporation, firm, consultancy, or department of government that is central to keeping the American political and economic system going as it is, quit your job and do something else. Seriously, go into the office today (or get up from your desk right now) and quit, and go find something else to do with the gift of your sentient life on this planet. I realize that might be a scary proposition, but that’s what it’s going to take to change things, a lot of people deciding they have had it and are not going to play the game anymore.
That’s pretty much all the advice I’ve got. Sorry … I told you you weren’t going to like it.
October 15, 2018
Photo: US PGA TOUR
DISCLAIMER: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel, Zone 23, which we understand is pretty gosh darn funny, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, please feel free to contact him directly.
14 thoughts on “Please Remember Not to Vote!”
[…] By CJ Hopkins, Consent Factory, Inc. […]
But, but, what about all the great new Democratic congressional candidates who are either former CIA, former State Department or ex-military? I mean won’t it be swell when they bring all their “progressive” cred to congress to battle the “OWCCN”? Ha! ha! ha! h. . a. . . h . . .a – sorry I’m laughing at my own joke!
Voting is the fossil fuel of politics.
~David Van Reybrouck
I never understood not voting. If you’re mad at lack of choices skip that particular ballot line. It’s important to vote for school boards and local offices that have a greater impact on your life than the president or a senator. Not voting at all makes little sense.
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[…] As CJ Hopkins reminds us…“Please Remember Not to Vote” […]
Bang! Zoom! Who needs satire when you’ve got the truth? Thanks for another great essay and maybe leave an out in case anybody actually has the privilege of voting wherever a
Especially if they’ve done the vetting themselves. Otherwise, as you say!
I have exactly one thing to vote for in the coming election, a local ballot initiative to stop yet another massive housing development for the wealthy. Will I vote to stop that development? Absolutely! Does this make me think I live in anything resembling a representative democracy? Absolutely not!
Well said, C.J.!
Here in Georgia, due to unaccountable electronic systems and unreasonable absentee ballot voting conditions, you can’t even be sure your vote is tallied for who or what you actually voted for. Even when the exit polls wildly disagree with the “official” results as they have in past elections (see Roy Barnes vs. Sonny Perdue in 2002), nothing is done to change this rigged system by either so-called “party.”
Then there is social media targeting, voter suppression, gerrymandering, “Interstate Crosscheck” style voting list purges (see Greg Palast), slanted media coverage, blah, blah, etc., etc.
Oh, by the way, former governor and lawyer Roy Barnes just defended the state AGAINST efforts in a recent case to try to get paper ballots in place before the upcoming election. Of course, the case was lost by the plaintiffs. After much pretend hand-wringing about acknowledged flaws in the current system, the judge claimed there wasn’t enough time.
That tells you everything!
Remember Cynthia McKinney? Like her or not, she was ran out of office by AIPAC and other establishment money for daring to question the various unsavory relationships we have with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and others in the corrupt Middle East.
The system only responds to BIG MONEY interests except for issues that don’t affect their profits. Then, they could care less.
They occasionally, magnanimously let us sheep have a few little “wins” to keep up the illusion, or should I say, DELUSION of a democracy.
Realistically, I am NOT voting, and I’m encouraging all friends and family members not to either. Screw it.
“The global capitalist ruling classes, the corporations they own and operate”
And the corporations said corporations fully own in their turn.
I mean, the subsidiaries…
It took me very long to realize that, right where it seems to work the least, democracy works best.
Democracy achieves, to the extent that is possible, the majority ‘s wishes.
Which are sort of, well, a couple streets apart from what the majority believes it wishes.
What you have is, the majority of people rules (without knowing it, or knowing what the hated politicians and government do is a result of their wishes, which they don’t know); the élite walk tall, since they believe they lead the voters by their nose (while in fact they are the led group) thus they feel powerful.
And democracy is seen as a failure, or broken, due to its marked undemocratic-ness, which the élite proudly and self-assuredly believe their achievement, unaware that the majority of the people would not allow them to make the system more democratic, while the voters believe they are being cheated, since of course they can know nothing of their dread of freedom and loath of the ideal that democratic democracy is.
Democracy is the only real winner: its very undemocratic state proves that it works. Everyone have what they want.
I am a medicinal chemist in a pharmaceutical company, and feel the need to defend myself. Your advice to me is to quit my job and to do something else with my “gift of…sentient life on this planet”, perhaps by writing satirical articles, I assume.
To begin with, even though the pharma industry is completely screwed up in almost every possible way, it is hard to say that no good has come from the industry. It is likely that you take medicines yourself. Why don’t you take a stand against the pharma industry and stop taking your meds? Take your own advice. Working on cancer medicines, which is my job, and manufacturing weapons, should likely be in different categories.
Our education system is also a complete mess. Should teachers walk out and write satire as well? The health care system is similarly a complete joke. I guess all the doctors and nurses should quit and write satire as well. Our society as a whole is a mess. Should we all go live in the woods? Maybe some would say yes, but I don’t think I’d make it.
But let’s look at it a different way. Let’s judge your advice on what the result would be if everyone followed it. If nobody voted, that would be great – it would show our government that we know what a sham the whole process is. If all pharmaceutical employees stayed home and there were no more advances in medicines, ever, I don’t see that as a good thing. Maybe your response would be “if all pharmaceutical employees stayed home, it would show the leaders of the pharma industry that the people won’t put up with the corrupt system, and they would be forced to reform it”. That’s likely true. Unfortunately, getting *all* the pharma employees to quit is no more likely than getting *all* voters to stay home. So let’s move this line of thought something closer to reality. If a significant portion of people who presently vote stayed home, say 20%, then voter participation would be at an all-time low, and the same message of disenchantment with the system would be delivered. If 20% of pharma workers quit, however, the pharma industry would simply hire new people, and nothing would change. You are asking me to quit my job and likely be homeless (as you can tell, unlike yourself, my writing will not make me much money) for no possible positive outcome. Asking someone not to vote is fine. It’s not a sacrifice at all, and if enough people did it, it could have a positive result. Asking me to quit my job and be homeless for no possible benefit is unreasonable. It is bad advice, and I will not take it.
You ask me to make this sacrifice and be homeless when I am working in an industry whose purpose is ultimately to help people. I would not ask someone that works at Raytheon to make that sacrifice. It is not reasonable.
You are one of my favorite writers, but please stick to writing satire and stop giving advice.
Also, I read your book. It was pretty good, but human caused climate change is nonsense. It was very hard to read through the endless weather reports.
[…] Other questions, like whether to invade or just strategically bomb Iran or Syria, or some other non-ball-playing Middle East country, or pour billions more in military aid into Israel, or sell billions in weapons to Saudi Arabia, or foment a coup in Venezuela, or maintain almost eight hundred military outposts in over seventy foreign countries all around the world, are questions that do not require your input. The global capitalist ruling classes, the corporations they own and operate, their friends in the government and the intelligence agencies, and the corporate media will take care of all that. Same goes for those Wall Street banks, and the next looming global financial crisis, and those mass extinctions, and this wacky weather. The grown-ups with the fancy suits and haircuts are handling all that complicated stuff. You just worry about all those other issues, and get out there and vote for somebody! – via consentfactory.org […]
“…which pronouns law enforcement officers are required to use to refer to people whose homes they barge into and unintentionally murder…” All this moral indignation about words from precisely the supporters of war crimes and crimes against humanity. American values in action.
Eloquent plea, but you unfortunately still don’t get it. The ruling class gives Americans a coin to flip every two years where they win regardless of which side it lands on. That’s why you shouldn’t bother participating. You shouldn’t vote because they’re asking you to consent to one of their preselected puppets that will do their bidding and work against the interest of the people. In other parts of the world, including Europe, it’s the same game. But, instead of one set of controlled cunts to choose between, they give you a party full of controlled cunts to choose between. Yippee, choice!
Understand that it’s all a construct. With the right hand they give you the theatrics of politics so you can waste your time pontificating about this policy, that personality, or whatever doctrine you happen to agree or disagree with. With the left they continue to poison the air, water, minds, bodies, and spirits of an increasingly dimwitted populous more concerned with fictions than facts. The democracy isn’t all that’s simulated…