Archive | November 13, 2008

Olbermann in the Neutral Zone

Keith Olbermann, mad strangler I got a giggle out of Keith Olbermann’s claim (conical hat tip to Lew Rockwell) that he refrains from voting in order to maintain his objectivity and neutrality – as though Olbermann’s relentless attacks (70% laudable and on target, 30% barking mad) on the Republicans haven’t provided far more help to the Democrats than his periodically marking a box or pulling a lever could possibly do. What is this mystique about the magical power of the ballot – which is actually one of the least effective forms of political action for an individual?

One reason I don’t embrace the agorist/voluntaryist anti-voting position (though I like its arguments a lot better than the pro-voting arguments) is that both the anti-voters and the pro-voters strike me as making the same mistake of vastly exaggerating the significance of voting. Whatever contribution it makes to the good result of getting the less bad doofus in power, and whatever contribution it makes to the bad result of helping to sanction and prop up the system, are both minuscule. (Mind you, I think minuscule contributions can be morally relevant. But public advocacy still has a heck of a lot bigger impact than either voting or not voting.)

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