As Joel says, sometimes you need to v*te.
Of course I know all the principled and practical arguments against v*ting. I’ve made many of those arguments myself. I admire Wendy McElroy, who famously wrote that she would not even have v*ted against Hitler.
I don’t knock anybody who chooses to v*te — or who chooses not to. I’ve been on both sides and see both points of view.
I was born to a v*te-worshipping mother, raised to politics, and gave it all up mostly out of futility after the one “victory” I took part in turned out to be the worst sort of failure, a total betrayal.
But in the last couple of years, I admit I’ve once again resorted to v*ting — this time solely as a self-defense measure.
I never v*te for anything; it’s as much an exercise in futility as I learned after the Great Betrayal of 1994. Freedom never comes from supporting government and governors. Governing systems are inherently tyrannical and are designed to get bigger and nastier over time. Putting energy into them is diverting energy from real freedom efforts.
But damn, sometimes …
I-1639: Major Anti-Gun Horror.
This year, in Washington state, there’s an initiative on the ballot that’s the very devil itself. I-1639 is such a lie, such a horror for gun rights, safety, and liberty in general that it’s hard to describe its badness accurately.
This is an initiative, almost entirely funded by billionaires, that would, among many other Very Bad Things:
- Criminalize defense of home and family by forcing all firearms to be locked away, unavailable for rapid use;
- Deny people between 18 and 21 all gun rights;
- Insanely, absurdly reclassify even such classic firearms as the Ruger 10/22 — often a child’s first firearm — as “assault rifles.”
… and about a dozen other outrages. Even the way this mess got on the ballot was crazy and corrupt. Its billionaire backers could pay hugely for signatures ($5-$9 apiece). But they couldn’t pay for competence. The initiative was printed on the petitions in ways that violated state law (print too small to read; no use of strikeouts and underlines to indicate changes to existing law). In the end, only a biased, excuse-making state supreme court allowed this total botch to go to a v*te.
If Seattle rules — as it so often does — Washington will have probably the worst gun law in the country. And this in a state that until a few years ago managed to balance blue with gun-friendliness.
Carbon Emissions? Ha! Just Another Environmental Scam.
Also on the ballot is a lesser horror called I-1631. This is Washington’s second attempt to impose a state level carbon tax.
It’s got an odd backstory. Not long ago, there was a “good” carbon tax initiative, I-732, on the ballot. No, you and I wouldn’t think it was good. But it was revenue neutral and actually dealt with the question of pollutants. Surprisingly, it was defeated by the very people you’d think would support such a thing — The Nature Conservancy, The Sierra Club, and the other usual environmental suspects.
Now, with I-1631, those same groups have come back with an initiative of their own. It has no plan at all to deal with carbon emissions. Any “plan” would be decided by an unelected board. But while raising the cost of living by $440 in its first year (with no limit in the long run) it would funnel a great deal of money into the pockets of its sponsors and supporters.
So naturally, they’re claiming it’s vital for ending pollution and only Big Oil opposes it. (Big Oil, they say, would cover all the cost; they seem unacquainted with the concept of corporations invariably passing costs on to customers — in this case clobbering low-income people where it hurts most, in fuel costs and all the daily necessities like food that are affected by fuel costs.)
You can read about it here from Cliff Mass, the area’s most respected meteorologist (and no biased right-winger).
If you’re a registered voter in Washington state, you already have your ballot by now. I hold my nose and hold my breath and say: “Use it.” Although online registration is closed, you can still register in person until Monday, October 29.
I also thank our own faithful Commentariat member Comrade X, who has been one of the main public voices against the victim-disarming horror of I-1639. Today he’ll be debating the chief spokesthing of the gun banners.
There’s hope that both initiatives will fail. Comrade X reports that the yes on I-1639 crowd often doesn’t even send a representative to speak for it in debates, and that he’s seeing anti-I-1639 lawn signs at the homes of people who have no other political signs — indicating apolitical gun owners rising to the occasion. The pro-disarmament campaign is so badly managed that they even lost control of what should have been their own natural domain names — which as you see from the above links belong to the pro-freedom side.
It’s all about whether Seattle turns out more v*ters than the Washington hinterlands.
OTOH, even some liberals are waking up to the fact that the I-1631 carbon tax initiative is basically a money-making scam being pulled in the name of protecting the environment.
So we shall see.
But yeah … I’m sorry Wendy. I agree with you in theory. And I know it’s a delusion to imagine we can v*te our way to freedom.
But sometimes a v*te is as necessary as any other self-defense weapon.