De-Manufacturing Consent with Guillermo Jimenez- Does Your Vote Really Matter?

Guillermo Jimenez Presents Sheldon Richman

On this edition of De-Manufacturing Consent Guillermo welcomes back Sheldon Richman, senior fellow at the Center for a Stateless Society, and author of the blog Free Association. With the 2016 presidential campaign season already underway, we discuss the issue of voting. Is it a duty or a right? President Obama believes voting should be mandatory in the United States, and Sheldon explains what such a law would actually look like in practice, and why it is a horrible idea.

Mandatory or not, does your vote really count? Is there any candidate out there worth voting for? Besides elections, are there issues, initiatives, or referendums worth supporting through the ballot box? And does any of it really make a difference, or do these good intentions actually serve to legitimize an inherently corrupt system?

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  1. Castillonis says:

    I agree with much of what is discussed about the current relevancy of our individual vote and the pre chosen candidates. Though, I argue that you must always demand your rights. You should protest what is wrong with the election system. Waiting for an election between two royal families to bring some aha moment to the uninformed majority will not suddenly change their resolve to do something. Women, African Americans, and non property owners had to struggle for decades to be able to vote. It is a poor strategy to allow special interests to seize what remains of this right to influence the elected representatives. Even if the status quo is a dog and pony show, do not give them an inch. These special interests will just seek more control and it will take us a long time to get any of these rights back. Klaus Marre recently wrote two great articles “An Open Letter to Our Readers: The Case for Democracy” and “Shining a Light on the Shadow Candidates” at Russ Baker’s These articles by Marre address specific grievances. I also agree with the philosophy of not asking for permission to take action advocated by Corbett and I believe Jiminez.

  2. RichCabot says:

    I think you do a huge disservice in counseling people that their vote doesn’t matter and that they shouldn’t vote. If you don’t vote the mainstream politicians can assert that you don’t care who is elected, you aren’t really dissatisfied. In most states, maybe all, presidential elections are not a choice between two candidates. Third party candidates stand for a genuine alternative to the system. If all the people who don’t vote instead voted third party it would send the message loud and clear that they do care who is elected and they don’t want either of the mainstream candidates. If all (or most) dissatisfied voters voted the same 3rd party that candidate would win.

    • I thought one company now owned all the voting machines in america, and that they’re all electronic with no paper trail. They’d just change the vote to make it look as though the third party got nothing.

      I kinda hope they do pass a mandatory voting law. Then people could really protest this system by purposely going to jail for not voting.

  3. Gerald Hines says:

    Even though what I’m hearing about a race between Hillary & Jeb, and this may be going around to the backdoor to enliven voters to get on board with a third party candidate, but I tend to see the same mistake of the American voter being optimistic. And let’s say a third party actually won the White House, he’ll get NOTHING passed through the Congress and the Judicial Branch will neither lend it’s hand. Money & deceit rules this game. The DS controls what shadows it tosses up on the wall of the cave.

  4. No, he’d just be assinated and his assassination used to ramp up the war on terror.

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