If you believe Barack Obama is the answer, then stand up and be counted. If you believe that Mitt Romney can lead us to prosperity, then stand up and be counted. If you believe Gary Johnson deserves to be heard, then stand up and be counted.
We, the people, can exercise power over our government, but only if we all choose to do so. If you don’t vote, you make it that much easier for the authoritarians in our government to transform us all from citizens to subjects.
But maybe you want to be a subject. Being a subject can be very comfortable. As long as you do what ‘they’ say, ‘they’ will give you what you need, or at least what ‘they’ think you should need. And if you don’t vote, you never even have to worry about who ‘they’ are.
Being a subject carries little risk. As long as you conform and don’t do anything to stand apart, you’ll be fine. ‘They’ won’t even notice you. And if by some unfortunate chance you bring their attention down upon you, well, that’s your fault for failing to conform. The rest of the subjects will keep their heads down as you meet your fate, and use your example to teach their children how to be subjects.
Being a subject carries freedom from worry. As long as you remain in ‘their’ good graces, you can expect to be maintained at a certain standard of living. And if you aspire to higher levels of comfort, you can always join ‘them.’
It really is an attractive proposition. You only have to give up your freedom.
In 300, Xerxes says to the traitor Ephialtes:
Unlike the cruel Leonidas, who demanded that you stand, I require only that you kneel.
A subject does not have to stand on his own; instead he need only bow before his ruler. This is why American Presidents, until the current one, have never bowed before foreign rulers. We do not bow before others. As citizens of America, we are every person’s equal, regardless of their station. It’s an idea that has come and gone throughout the centuries of civilization, that all men, be they President or King, are created equal. It has always been opposed by a loud voice, that says that people are not wise enough to decide for themselves; they must be led.
In The Avengers, after forcing a crowd to its knees, Loki says:
Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It’s the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel.
The crowd in the theater goes wild when the old man stands up, knowing that defying a man who would be king could cost him his life. They cheer because he stood up, and was counted. How many of those cheering fans will skip voting because ‘my vote doesn’t count?’ How many will kneel, accepting the rule of others?
Vote! Stand up and be counted.
Be a citizen of your government, not a pawn.
Related Posts, or ones I just like a lot!
Citizens or Subjects: What Role will your Children Play?
Doing It Right: Katie Allison on The Binder