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Abstention: The Unexpected Power of Withholding Your Vote

As much as this election has largely turned into a race between the Clinton’s rise to the White House and the awakening of the American people, Trump is not separate from the corruption within this process. He is quite the opposite of this anti-establishment role he is attempting to play. 

The American people need to realize that being a successful politician in the US only happens if one knows how to play the game; and it is a wildly corrupt game, and they play it well. An American politician knows that the goal is to get elected, at all costs. After that, it only matters what the party thinks, and the people become irrelevant, and this Princeton study actually quantifies that irrelevancy:

One could make the argument that Trump is not a politician, never has been, and is truly out to buck the system and bring about an era of change. While that is debatable, it is also quite possible, as the real danger has reared it head within the Clinton household. However, as we at The Last American Vagabond remain steadfast in our belief that an abstention is a legitimate political stance to take in the face of such overwhelming collusion and corruption, it is important that every American honor this nation’s true values by following their heart and voting for who you truly believe in, even if that may be no one.


The concept of abstention dates back to the Founding Fathers and the creation of this country. An extensive paper written by Grant M. Hayden entitled, Abstention: The Unexpected Power of Withholding Your Votebreaks down this idea and shows how this practice has been used throughout history in just the type of situation Americans currently find themselves. 

“In some cases, people abstain when they are indifferent among the electoral choices, or when they judge the benefits of voting to be outweighed by the costs. In other cases-when, for example, a potential voter has a conflict of interest-an institution may actually compel one of its members to abstain as a kind of “forced” indifference on the matter. The underlying assumption in both of these cases is that abstention, unlike voting, is neutral with respect to the outcome. But while the contours of the right to vote have been the subject of a tremendous amount of scholarship across many disciplines, abstention, despite its obvious connection to the right to vote, has been almost completely ignored.” – Grant M. Hayden

Abstaining from a presidential election, or any for that matter, is indeed one’s right in this county(for now), despite the clear label currently placed on the stance. When confronted with all the damning information about not only the two State-mandated choices, but the system in its entirety, the entire facade begins to come down. Once the eyes begin to open it’s easy to see the two-faced nature of this political game. A great example of this was recently highlighted in video by HighImpactFlix showing Obama, who is clearly a supporter of Hillary Clinton today, playing the game while running against Clinton in the past. So which does he really believe? Neither? Both? Or is that in the current election, he is simply falling in line


At the end of the day, when you feel that pressure that is indeed being placed on every American, to go out and vote, regardless of your understanding, your passion or your desire, realize that you are being manipulated to fall in line and further legitimize what has become no more than an elite run selection process, framed absurdly as “democracy in action.” And if history is any judge, regardless of the outcome, Americans can hope for things to remain the same at best, and at worst … well, I would bet that is becoming very clear to everyone. 

Sources: http://scholarlycommons.law.hofstra.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1561&context=faculty_scholarship, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNo-jhvv03E

Ryan Cristián
"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see." - John Lennon Driven by a desire for accuracy, chef and independent news stalwart Ryan Cristián has a passion for the Truth. As a recent recipient of the Serena Shim Award For Uncompromising Integrity In Journalism, he understands that Americans want their news to be transparent, devoid of the opulence frothed out by today's corporate media. A cultured and insightful man with a worldly sense, Ryan's unjaded approach offers common sense to the individual racked by the ambiguous news cycle - a vicious and manipulative merry-go-round that keeps trenchant minds at a manageable distance from the truth. Avid writer & editor by day, Truth seeker by night, Ryan's reality defines what it means to be current.

3 Replies to “Abstention: The Unexpected Power of Withholding Your Vote

  1. I came to this same conclusion, I knew I would not vote for Trump; however, when I entertained the notion of voting for Hillary, being somewhat pressured by others, I quite literally could not bring myself to vote for her. My heart and my intuition told me that at the least I should do not harm. I cannot participate in a system that is completely corrupt and does not represent me in any way. The choice is between a psycho and a career criminal obsessed with her own ambition. I feel so conflicted, but could not in good conscience cast a vote this year.

  2. To not vote is to allow the corruption to continue. To cynically say all politicians are only out to be elected and forget the American people is a very dangerous position. If you take tgat position then you can simply say all politicians are scum bags therefore i do not need to pay attention to what is going i can simply throw up my hands and remain ignorant. Meanwhile, the fringe voters who consistently vote, vote in those people who continue the corruption. Because no one is out to stop them. Ted Cruz, senator from Texas and former presidential candidate was voted in because less than two percent of the electorate in texas voted. Our system is dependant upon us. If wedo not actively participate then it does not work for us. Those who did not vote in this election gave a tacit agreement that a racist, xenophobic, serial sexual abuser should be our commander and chief, and now people like me live in fear of trump supporters because of the validation of this white supremacist ideology. My ancestors died so that i could be given the opportunity to participate. I used to believe that i should not participate in a broken corrupt system. Then i considered that maybe the system is broken because too many of us do not work to keep it maintained. Politicians are not all terrible people out to screw over voters. I know this because my uncle is a politician who sees public service as his duty as an american. I have come to agree, which is why i intend to run as well. And if more conscious people who worked for the good of humanity ran for office then maybe we could start actually solving the problems of governance. Like it or not this is the system we have been given, it is up to us to fix it. Abstaining isn’t an option at this point, people’s lives are at stake.

    1. While I respect your opinion, and that your heart is in the right place, I feel you are extremely incorrect. And that is a wild over simplification, there is much more at play here. The system is broken, so to participate, is to legitimize it, and abstention is a right dating back to the founding fathers for just this reason, its not about not caring, its about protest, the article lays this all out.

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