With the November election more or less around the corner, we are coming up on one of those traditions that should be stuck away in a kitchen drawer where we all keep pieces of string and out-of-date supermarket coupons. I’m referring to those crusades staged every four years by talk show pundits and editorial writers to shame us all into voting.
They love to remind us of all the brave men who have bled and died so that we would be free to cast our ballots. What they inevitably overlook is that millions and millions of people who never had the slightest bit of actual freedom have been free to vote. Joseph Stalin regularly won elections with a plurality of 99.9%. So did Saddam Hussein. Dictators can always win elections, but sometimes they simply decide they’re not worth the bother. The real distinction between people who are free and those who aren’t is that free men have the option of not voting.
O ponto crucial foi o que eu grifei em vermelho. Se você não pode optar por não votar, então você não é verdadeiramente livre. Por favor não me venham com a lenga-lenga de que eu posso deixar de votar - basta pagar a multa no tribunal eleitoral. Isso é jogo de palavras.