What If Nobody Showed Up To Vote?

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Dan Sanchez via AntiWar.com,

What if a presidential candidate threw a political rally, and nobody came? What if a government held an election, and nobody voted? What if that same government started a war, and nobody participated, whether in body or in spirit?

These questions are related.

Election season is trudging on, as are the wars. Many fans of peace hold out hope that if the former turns out a certain way, the latter may at last be mitigated.

Some are terrified of Hillary Clinton. And who can blame them? As Secretary of State, “Dick Cheney in a pantsuit” was midwife to so many of the disasters that wrack the world with bloodshed and chaos to this day. Many anti-war folk of a left-leaning persuasion are flocking to Bernie Sanders.

Others are more concerned with finally toppling the neocons from their perches of power. And who can blame them? The roots of our geopolitical plight reach back to before Clinton’s executive tenure, when the Bush administration neocons were launching their plans to remake the Greater Middle East. Many anti-war folk of the right-leaning persuasion are looking to Donald Trump to be their neocon-slayer.

But is this really the best we can do?

At the end of the day, Sanders is a moderate foreign interventionist who isn’t all too interested in foreign policy in the first place. Must anti-interventionists really settle for that in order to oppose hyper-interventionist Clinton?

And Trump actually out-hawks many Republicans when it comes to torture, the security state, civilian casualties, and blood-for-oil. Is such a man really to be the anti-war movement’s appointed champion against the neocons?

Thankfully, there is no need to support lesser warmongers in order to oppose greater ones.

Imagine if all the anti-war progressives now supporting Sanders, plus all the America-firsters now supporting Trump, were to stop flooding the internet and social media with electoral polemics. What if all that passion and digital ink was redirected to the message of peace.

Imagine “Stop the War on Yemeni Babies!” blazoned across the web instead of “Stop Hillary!” Or “Don’t Let the CIA Arm Al Qaeda in Syria” instead of “Don’t Let the Establishment Steal the Nomination from Trump.”

An intense focus on policies over personas could really turn public sentiment against the actual combat of war, and divert public attention away from its obsession with the theatrical combat of political Wrestlemania.

You may wonder, what about the consequences of the peace camp abandoning its stations in the electoral battle against the worst war hawks? What if as a result Hillary or Ted Cruz’s neocon allies sweep to victory?

A clique may seize office, but the new administration will not govern in a vacuum. All regimes must strive to preserve public legitimacy. And no regime can afford to flout too blatantly the prevailing spirit of the times. The new president may have won a majority of votes. But if only a small proportion of the country actually voted in the first place, that translates into a rather shrunken mandate.

And if the non-voting bulk of the public is stridently anti-war, that especially diminishes the president’s foreign policy mandate in particular. Faced with a sizable segment of the public intransigently opposed to war, even a militaristic president will be constrained, and may even need to draw back.  Even Richard Nixon ended a war when public opinion demanded it.

Throughout history, most reductions in tyrannical violence have had nothing to do with the ideology or virtue of office-holders. Instead, such reforms were the result of shifts in public sentiment. Under such conditions, to be a “reformer,” a politician need no redeeming quality other than being self-serving enough to shift with the wind. And if Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, or any other politician are anything, it is self-serving.

I’m not saying we should hope Hillary or Ted will win. I’m saying that who wins doesn’t matter nearly as much as the public’s attitude toward war and toward the Washington war machine itself.

On election day, if fewer people lined up dutifully to choose between aspiring elective emperors, and more people assembled defiantly to decry the empire itself, peace would have much better prospects.

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sunny's picture

Silly question.  Someone will be selected as president and they will declare a decisive victory and a mandate for their program.  2 votes is all it will take.

remain calm's picture

GS will vote, they have their whore.

pathosattrition's picture

if a president won with 2 votes, (s)he would be impotent.

uhland62's picture

It would still count as duly elected, and they'll do what they want, or what the interest tell them. Peace, like advocated in the article does not have a mandate from a sizeable chunk of the population, I don't think. Too many jobs depend on defense.

It's a variation on the saying from a European play: "What if the Emperor calls for war and nobody turns up?"

Nice dream, never going to happen. 

Paveway IV's picture

The founding fathers did not want the U.S. president elected by either a popular vote or a vote by Congress. They created a compromise mechanism in the U.S. Constitution for electing the president.

In the U.S. today, 538 electors of the Electoral Collage vote for the president of the U.S. - the one that gets 270 or more votes wins. That is the only way a president is duly elected here. The members of Congress are prohibited from being electors, but anyone else can be one. Guess who choses the electors in each state? The political parties, not the voters. Today, the electors consists almost exclusively of state politicians loyal to either political party, a party lackey or a friend of the party's presidential candidate, NOT smart, critically-thinking independent individuals that would see through all the red/blue BS.

What the founders never anticipated was the particular way the selection of electors would become corrupted by political parties - that was NOT part of the design. There were no political party mafias when they wrote the Constitution. The idea was for each state to pick intelligent, independent, critically-thinking electors to decide. Political party mafias wormed their way into the process and today, the Democrats and Republicans simply pick lap-dog sycophants to vote their parties candidate. The popular vote in each state (with a couple of exceptions) is NOT FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. Whether your ballot says so or not, you are ONLY selecting a political party and, by default, their chosen candidate AND THEIR CHOSEN ELECTORS. It's winner-take-all. The party that wins by simple majority is the only one that gets to send all their chosen sycophant electors from that state to the electoral collage to vote for their candidate. 

The president of the U.S. is selected through the two-mafia system and has nothing to do with the most qualified or popular candidate.

Voting for the U.S. president has been usurped by political parties (Democrats and Republicans today) to ensure they will eternally control the Electoral Collage by forcing states to chose ALL Democrat or ALL Republican electors, not independent electors. This is the mechanism they have created to ensure no third party will ever threaten their choice for U.S. president and the job will simply rotate back and forth between lapdogs for the usurped Democrat and Republican whores. 

So if only one single individual votes in a state, the party they chose will send its chosen electors to the Electoral Collage. By the Constitution of the United States, 50 individual voters - one from each state - are enough to produce an Electoral Collage of 583 electors to duly elect the president and vice president.

Sorry, but voting is too horribly broken and usurped. A boycott is useless. If you don't like the two-mafia system, then string the bastards up that force you to use it.

laomei's picture

The people have the right to vote for their federal representatives (and now senators) as well as their state legislatures.  Eligibility to vote for state races is what determines eligibility to vote for federal. States however are allowed to determine who is eligible or not.  They are not allowed to discriminate by race or sex, but that's about it.  They can just say "no voting at all" and that is entirely legal unless the state constitution guarantees a right to vote.  For president though, yep, the votes mean nothing.  The parties can decide who will be running with zero public input and then the electors decide.  The people have the right to influence the electors by way of voting for representatives and senators.  Originally of course, senators were simply appointed by the states.  Bluntly, meaning that if you really wanted to change things, you had to focus on the state and local level.  Federal change comes as a result of that, not the other way around.


If you don't like the way the system is running, then vote for independents in your state and for your reps and senators.  That is where all party power is derived from

0b1knob's picture

< If no one voted then Diebold would decide the election.

< Diebold decideds the election even if EVERYBODY votes.

Tigermoth's picture

Paveway, thanks for the straightforward explanation, I never could quite grasp this in Civics class. I'm reading a book on JFK, while he won the presidency, he was really pissed off that he only beat some slimeball like Nixon by about 100,000 votes in the popular vote!

Another interesting incident that couldn't happen in today's world, was that he had helped negotiate a settlement between the steel companies and the labour unions that prevented a wage increase in exchange for no steel price increase. This was to help the economy recover. Well, the ink wasn't even dry and the steel companies raised the steel price 3.5% anyway. To put it mildly he was shafted and the unions were shafted! JFK said F..K this and unleashed the FBI, IRS, etc. on the CEO's until they rolled the increase back as agreed.

Today they own the president.   

Winston Smith 2009's picture

"The president of the U.S. is selected through the two-mafia system and has nothing to do with the most qualified or popular candidate.

Voting for the U.S. president has been usurped by political parties (Democrats and Republicans today) to ensure they will eternally control the Electoral Collage by forcing states to chose ALL Democrat or ALL Republican electors, not independent electors. This is the mechanism they have created to ensure no third party will ever threaten their choice for U.S. president and the job will simply rotate back and forth between lapdogs for the usurped Democrat and Republican whores."

Well put. With the protest candidacies of Trump and Sanders, I think this is the LAST election where a significant number of people don't FINALLY realize that.

Here are just two segments from a great half-hour show on TruTV. What's hilarious is that after he showed the many ways the vote is rigged, at the end of the show he implies that we should VOTE to fix this. Must give the sheeple hope ya' know!

Adam Ruins Everything - Why the Electoral College Ruins Democracy


Adam Ruins Everything - Why Rigging Elections Is Completely Legal


The ONLY way to overcome this? Vote for the popular candidates that your party machines obviously DON'T want.

“Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare, they have become the tools of corrupt interests which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government, owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.”*1912* platform of the Progressive Party, founded by former president Theodore Roosevelt

HardAssets's picture

I appreciate the author's sentiments -

but wasn't the movie "American Sniper" a huge box office hit ?

Americans don't want to give up their empire (wrapped in the flag & with shouts of "We're #1 USA USA USA ! " ) quite yet.

The poor fools don't even know the country is broke and they sure as hell don't know what a democratic republic is.

American Liberty was lost in the classrooms and in millions of living rooms across the country - filled with the mindless drone of t.v.s. pitching ads for useless sh*t. Most Americans give more thought to the condition of their suburban lawns than what it takes to be free.

Theonewhoknows's picture
Theonewhoknows (not verified) HardAssets Apr 18, 2016 6:14 AM

Even this thinking is 'ok'. There is nothing bad in loving your nation (history, people, NOT government) the problematic thing is that they identify those two different things (nation and state) as one. Then politicians use all kinds of bs to get through policies that they allege will make everyone a part of better nation. Namecalling start - some is not a patriot when he doesn't want to blow up terrorist, or someone is islamophobic racist when they think unrestricted immigration is not the best idea. 

When you understand that nation =/= state then you are able to make a leap in your mind enabling you to oppose government and still defend your self-esteem as a good American but identifying patriotism with government is the one biggest misconception in history of manking. 


Just one thing - think abotu the debt. It is money stolen from future generations - what patriot would have enabled this idiocy to happen to the extent we see now. The debt - good that we talk about it. Especially when you connect the dots about war on cash, gold being repatriated or sold (Germany or Canada) according to wisdom or stupidity of regimes and continuation of Bubblenomics (the train started in 2009 by the FED, then BOJ and now ECB). These are the ingredients and the result? Inflationary escape from debt. http://independenttrader.org/war-on-cash-a-piece-of-a-bigger-puzzle.html


One World Mafia's picture

Low voter turnout is the norm.  It's routinely attributed to apathy and contentedness.  Disgruntled voters are forcing the GOP mafia to resort to cheating openly to stay alive and that's waking people up. Sanchez takes issue with waking people up.

PTR's picture

We're talking about electing President of the Corporation known as the "United States of America."  Act of 1871 and a quiet declaraton of bankruptcy in 1933 is appearantly how that came to be.  


Perhaps a quorum is not required?


Motasaurus's picture

Anywhere without compulsory voting, this fails. 

If you have compulsory voting (such as Australia), turning up and refusing to vote for anyone sends an actual message that the people will no longer legitimize the charade.

In the United States, where voter turn out is at best in the mid 60% range anyway, simply lowering this turn out does nothing to change the system. If you want to change the system, get more people to show up and vote for someone not on the official selection lists. 

agNau's picture

Time to vote with rope.

AngrySparky's picture

Not a silly question at all, but the outcome would be silly... let's imagine an election and out of 100 voters? Only ten show up, two of which are the contenders in the running who vote for themselves of course and then eight other people vote... out of one hundred... so now ninty people will be governed by the will and the decision of ten.

Sure you can argue that those 90 people should have voted... but what if those 90 people don't fucking care and wish the other 10 people that voted would just die and stop trying to make decisions that affect everyone's lives? I personally have questioned this often... I mean how can a government justify it's legibility if only 10% of the population voted? Did they really win a majority? Or are they now essentially a fascist government ?

Johnbrown's picture

"How can a government justify it's legibility if only 10% of the population voted?"

I asked Dr. Robert Murphy that exact question:

Go to 20:00

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

In the last presidential election, about 1/2 the eligible voters voted.  And of those, slightly more than 1/2 voted for I'll Bombya; meaning that only a quarter of eligible adults voted for the winner.  Put differently, three quarters did NOT vote in favor of the "winner."  That's not a mandate for jack squat.  It's a smoke screen of illusion designed to convey faux legitimacy to killers and fixers. 

Distilled to its essence, Sanchez's article is, "dont vote, it only encourages them."  A sentiment w/which I heartily agree. 

Our problems run much deeper than politics.  So how could a politial process be expected to fix them?

HardAssets's picture

The 'vote' is a sham, a pacifier for the populace.

Between the oligarch owned mainstream media slanting all political 'news', the political party insider selection of candidates & manipulation, and electronic 'voting' machine fraud . . . you'd think the American people woulda figured it out by now.

Unfortunately, they've been subjected to a system of 'education' over the last 100 years that has made them ignorant & stupid. Choosing to not vote has as much relevance as choosing not to walk outside your door, flap your arms, and fly to work this morning. In both cases, your choice is irrelevant.

dizzyfingers's picture

You know the last is true, right?

ebworthen's picture

Better question: 

What if everyone showed up to the "Hang the banksters and corrupt politicians" rally?

rwe2late's picture

 Better to vote third party (e.g. Green, Jill Stein)

And also

protest government policies.





TORNasunder's picture

What if a large % of the population voted, but instead of voting for any of the bought for puppets they did a write in vote? And all wrote the same thing; PROTEST VOTE

What if a huge % did this? What if the winner of the election was a Write In called; Protest Vote?

I think that would get some attention.

I'm seriously considering doing it... but it still doesn't address the issue of systemic goverment corruption throughout the USA. Actually just make that systemic corruption... worldwide.

Quebecguy's picture

Town Clerk

Town Hall


New Hampshire




April 17, 2016


          My name is ***********. I am a resident of NH currently in ****** ********. I recently came back **** to New Hampshire to vote in the New Hampshire state primary. Please remove my name from the voter registration, as I will not be participating in the general election, since I do not participate in rigged elections, by governments in interregnum.       

          Hopefully one day a legal, legitimate, government that doesn’t abuse it’s citizens will come into power, there will be tribunals by a specific legal authority, and certain former “officials” will swing from a rope.


[Art.] 10. [Right of Revolution.] Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind. 

IridiumRebel's picture

"The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind."


Omega_Man's picture

dumb.. why do people waste their time writing crap

Fish Gone Bad's picture

peace would have much better prospects.

Peace comes from a gun.  Guns are used to silence the opposition.


nmewn's picture

Absolute truth and it works both ways, negative & positive.

We've experienced the negative peace where the state employs the gun, I wonder what the positive side looks like ;-) 

Cabreado's picture

Ah, not even a peep about Congress.

Ignorance rules the budding punditry,
and is a convenience to the controllers.

It is not hard to see how it devolves,
and swirls down...

HardAssets's picture

The People did their 'vote' for Congress. Remember how they voted in new people to try to get rid of obummer care ?

Kinda like the Greek vote to not get further shafted.

People still don't seem to realize that 'voters' are irrelevant in a Technocracy scientific dictatorship.

Erratic Visionary's picture

This is absurd.  You're recommendation is an effective defererence to an alien force in Washington to the degree of 100%.  People such as Elizabeth Warren et al will suddenly have zero support.  Where are these people?  They're in your fantasy land decrying the empire and ready for the flames of revolution.  Here's my problem with this op-ed: you're ignoring the very crowds that you want to see.

Right now, there's this 74 year old geezer bringing out people in droves to break up the banks, start another New Deal, and all these 'good' things.  He has brought figures such as Stephanie Kelton and William Black onto his ship.  And yet all we hear from the people who do matter is: oh no, Sanders is simply another soldier of the Master Squid just like Obama.

Have you considered that the very crowd that you want to see already exist and they are working hard for a peaceful revolution?  Sanders have made it very clear that he has no fantasies that voting him in is the end of his path.  You spit upon your fellow citizens who share your goals but the difference lies in doing something about it, peacefully.

Revolution is great.  Lovely romantic thing.  It also comes with abundant bloodshed of the innocent, opens the door wide for misanthropy, and leaves the nation open for foreign interference.  Why do you think the CIA absolutely loves to generate these Arab Springs?!  Yes you got cancer, but you'd rather cure yourself with a bullet to the head instead of chemotherapy.

As governor Nix said in that shitty Tomorrowland film: you want to sink... you've already given up.  The crowds are out there already.  The system is rigged?  Well guess what, Colorado citizen are demanding superdelegates to change their vote and Sanders is slowly advancing against the forces.  If it was Elizabeth Warren in his place, I am fully confident that many will also accuse her of taking orders from the Master Squid.

You abandon Sanders.  You abandon Stephanie Kelton and William Black.  The banks continue to run amok.  And then you can continue to bemoan that the system is rotten.  Because it doesn't ask anything of you today.

This is not a path to a better tomorrow.  You are just as complicit in the ensuing suffering as those who wants to vote Hillary.  You can tell yourself: oh I didn't vote so I'm not responsible and I can bemoan the failing nation.  And when the flames come, you'll be the first to flee.  Because death doesn't discriminate and the evil empire have made many enemies abroad by its retarded foreign policies.

Rant end.

TradingIsLifeBrah's picture
TradingIsLifeBrah (not verified) Erratic Visionary Apr 17, 2016 9:40 PM

Sanders is a 30 year vet of the Government, vote Trump if you want change

Erratic Visionary's picture

Yeah, Sanders is a part of the establishment but he isn't part of THAT establishment.  And he's been saying things for a long time.  If we assume that Sanders is a planted soldier from decades ago with instructions that predict all those policy positions decades before they show up, the Master Squid isn't doing anything else that approaches that level of competency.  Powerful yes, but not almighty.

Trump is a long time great friend of the Clintons.  And he lies way too much.  As a humanist, I cannot approve of his misanthropy but I fully support him blowing up the Republican Party from within.  The probability is much higher that Trump will step aside when the time comes if Hillary is driving the Democrats.

One World Mafia's picture

Ron Paul: Bernie Sanders “Sold Out,” “Gutted” Audit the Fed (That's Bernie's way of thanking Ron for picking him to sponsor Audit the Fed in the Senate)

Ron Paul: "His “compromise” is what the Adminstration and banking interests want..."

The White House would not have gone to Sanders if they’d been able to peel off the votes to tank the amendment. But with 68 Senators having voted for it or cosponsored it in the past year, that was a heavy lift. Bernie was the weak link.


TradingIsLifeBrah's picture
TradingIsLifeBrah (not verified) Apr 17, 2016 9:40 PM

If no one showed up to vote, the news would still have interviews with people coming out of the polls and the election results would show 75 million votes tallied.  You figure it out

Frankie Carbone's picture

That still doesn't justify participation in a ruse. 

Agstacker's picture

"You know, comrades," says Stalin, "that I think in regard to this: I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this — who will count the votes, and how."

tarabel's picture



I always wonder what the real motivation is for those who suggest that you do nothing in the face of growing evil.

The Bernie phenomenon is the clearest possible warning that you had better stand up and be counted RIGHT FUCKING NOW rather than playing these passive 60s headcase games.

Here is a brilliant three minute film clip that perfectly captures the danger we are in today by showing what happened the last time a society let its children take the lead over their elders. 



Then out spake brave Horatius, the captain of the gate:

To each man on this earth, death cometh soon or late,

And how can man die better than facing fearful odds

For the ashes of his fathers and the temples of his gods.


Fuck you, Dan, and the Do Nothing, Surrender Now, Communist Luciferian horse you rode into town on.



stock market loser's picture
stock market loser (not verified) tarabel Apr 17, 2016 10:55 PM

Looks like the good old days of the reich. What do you prefer brown invasion rape land? 

One World Mafia's picture

No, this is the real Bernie:

"His “compromise” is what the Adminstration and banking interests want..."

The White House would not have gone to Sanders if they’d been able to peel off the votes to tank the amendment. But with 68 Senators having voted for it or cosponsored it in the past year, that was a heavy lift. Bernie was the weak link.



Twee Surgeon's picture

Absolutely right, but I still find myself like many others, not voting 'FOR' something or somebody but voting 'AGAINST' things like Hitlery and Bernie the skid-marxist.

I will vote for Trump but I do not have high hopes, I think he will win but I do not think much will change for the better. Nixon's interference with my afternoon cartoon schedule certainly drew my attention to politics, I think the USA is due for a break from all the scumbags, I certainly hope so, there are a lot of still decent people in the U.S. and other places too, that will benefit greatly from a change of direction. Somebody has to lend their weight to the reset button and I do not see how 'not voting' is productive, that is just the Gandhi option, sit around in your bed sheet and wait for the Imperialists kick yer teeth in so everyone will be disgusted ? That's not going to work in the USA.

Frankie Carbone's picture

It is better to throw gasoline on a burning fire than nothing, because at least gasoline is a liquid?

Sometimes nothing is the best option, and also requires the most wisdom and patience to undertake. 

"Doing something, anything", is a predictable behavior that can be exploited, which is what I believe is going on with this Trump ruse. 

dizzyfingers's picture

Lovely sentiment, but there's no way to stop the growth of d.s.

dizzyfingers's picture

Lovely sentiment, but there's no way to stop the growth of d.s.

cpnscarlet's picture

Get ready for backlash...3..2..1..

Trump is an amoral bombast. Ted Cruz is an accomplished and brilliant Consititutional Lawyer - literally top of the class. He also has something Trump doesn't have - a moral compass. If you want a man with no foundation (remember ol' Bill), then Trump's your man.

As for me, I will reclaim my Republican affiliation long enough to vote for Cruz, and then go independent again.

beijing expat's picture

I have valuable real estate to sell and you seem like a guy who knows a great deal when he sees it.