November 14, 2018 by Anders Ingemarson
Against the backdrop of 2018 midterm alleged election fraud and recounts, the 2020 election season is kicking into gear with presidential hopefuls jockeying for position. Are you feeling excited? Or do the never-ending election cycles make you exhausted to the point of tuning out?
Maybe we should ask ourselves how we came to be in permanent campaign mode? Why is it that so much money is pouring into elections? How come a recount seemingly becomes a question of life and death? Why does some not shy away from obtaining votes by fraudulent means? How come redistricting that used to be at the complete discretion of state lawmakers merit U.S. Supreme Court attention?
The underlying answer to all these questions lies in the fact that our government is involved at every level and with every aspect of our lives. This means that come election day we, the people, whether exhausted or not, sense the urgency of having a say in how that involvement is being carried out. If we don’t vote, if we don’t ensure the voting process is fair, we’ll be run over by others who do vote, who may game the system, and who think they know what’s best for us. Our right to vote becomes a weapon in the high-stakes game between political parties and their armies of special interest groups fighting over the tax, spending and regulatory bounty that goes to the winner.
But it shouldn’t have to be this way. In a truly free society—a society with total separation of state and the economy—the right to vote would be a marginal issue. How so? We simply wouldn’t have that much to vote on.
Let’s say you’re going to the polls to protect your hard-earned Social Security check. In a truly free society you would be in charge of your retirement without government involvement. You would plan for it from the day you entered the work force (or not, in which case you have nobody but yourself to blame, and be at the mercy of the benevolence of your fellow men). Neither you nor your employer would pay social security taxes, most likely leaving you with a higher paycheck and more money to invest towards your golden age. And a truly free society would not tax your capital gains and dividends meaning that your returns would be substantially better than today; with just a minimum of savings discipline it would be close to impossible not to retire comfortably. Hence, without government involvement there would be no need to factor in retirement planning in your voting considerations.
Maybe you are casting your vote to ensure that your children get a good government (public) education? In a truly free society you would not be at the mercy of your local school board and the state and federal Departments of Education. You would be in control of your children’s education. Think it would be too expensive? Only with the government in charge does education get more and more expensive over time. If left to the free market, education would become cheaper, shorter, and of better quality year after year just like other products and services; the Walmart of education would be in your neighborhood before you know it. And with property taxes for education a thing of the past you would control more of your own money. With education left to the marketplace, your vote would be of no consequence for your children’s education.
Does access to affordable healthcare factor into your voting decisions? In a truly free society the government would not be able to force a healthcare scheme on you—Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid and the like. You would be empowered to manage your own health care with the marketplace offering you a plethora of health insurance options for catastrophic events, and doctors and other healthcare providers competing for your business with both quality and price. All of healthcare would go the way of Lasik surgery: cheaper and of better quality year over year. And with lower costs would come lower health insurance premiums. As a result of the government leaving you alone, your health would not depend on your vote.
This pattern repeats itself in every area of the economy. With government involvement removed your vote becomes a lot less important.
So what would be left to vote on? Only issues related to the proper role of government of protecting our individual rights: defending our country from foreign aggressors, policing the country domestically, and maintaining the rule of law through the court system. No doubt critically important areas, but nothing compared to how much is determined by your vote today.
If you are concerned with perpetual election cycles, with the amount of money being poured into lobbying and elections, with voting fraud and redistricting, and with the excessive power of our politicians, then work to reduce government—cutting taxes, cutting spending and repealing regulations at the federal, state and local levels. With no tax, spending and regulatory spoils to fight over, the incentives for those who lust for office and those who supply the money to get them elected would be radically curtailed, and your right to vote become a lot less important. No, it won’t happen the next election or the one after that. But as a “shining city on a hill” 2020 vision it will serve us well in the fight to retake control of our lives from our rulers—from the smallest county seat to our nation’s capital.