Whenever it comes time to vote, I start to think about the purported benefits of democracy. I do believe that having a say in how and by whom we are ruled is better than having no say, as it was in days of yore, and as it still is in some backwaters like North Korea. And democracy is certainly preferable to violent coup as a means of transferring power. But why do we have to be ruled at all? Why should some individuals have power over others in the first place?
Even if democracy worked well, I don’t see how the mob should have the right to tell you how to live or decide how to spend money that you earn. But of course, there are plenty of reasons why democracy does not work nearly as well as we might hope, from voter ignorance to special interest group lobbying to regulatory capture.
It’s not that I would trade democracy for dictatorship—but I would trade it for freedom. Instead of letting the majority, or its representatives, decide things for everybody, why not let individuals decide things for themselves?
By all means, if you know for sure that one candidate is better than the rest and will wield the reins of power more conscientiously and with greater wisdom than the rest, go out and vote for him or her on Sunday. But you might also give a thought to what the world might look like if we kept that power for ourselves.