I encourage everyone to use the voting system in the comments section to:
- Vote up comments containing facts with sources.
- Vote down ad hominem attacks directed at anyone.
We all share the same goal of minimizing the amount of suffering in the world. Name-calling is completely unproductive. Ad hominem attacks cause to the emotional limbic system to steal the cognitive reins from our rational pre-frontal cortices. This process makes primates out of philosophers.
Note that I am not encouraging anyone to vote in an actual election. Many people vote for the for the lesser of two evils with the belief that their vote will be more likely to affect the outcome of the election. However, it really doesn’t matter who you vote for. There’s less than a 0.00001% chance that your vote will be the tiebreaker that decides the outcome of a national elections.You are more likely to be injured in a car accident driving to the polls (0.002% chance). Hence, if you are trying to make a practical improvement in your life and those of your loved ones, it is much more rational to just stay home on election day.
However, if you have an relatively informed opinion on the ability of the candidates to reduce suffering in the world, you should exercise your irrational desire to vote. At least then you can say that you’re part of the solution rather than a part of the problem. But if you do this, you should vote based on your civic duty to express your opinion about who would be the best person for the job. It’s quite likely that this person will either be running on a third party ticket or (most likely) will not even be on the ballot.
So write the best person in, if necessary. But do not vote cynically and pragmatically for someone who you do not believe will make our country a radically better place. Because, I assure you that your vote will not influence the outcome of the election and only serves as one opinion in a public opinion poll.
Many people will vote for a Republican or Democrat with the full knowledge that someone else would actually do a better job at reducing suffering in the world. These people are lying in this public opinion poll we call an election. They are violating their civic duty and they are contributing to the destruction of their country. If that doesn’t fit the definition of treason, I don’t know what does.