If you currently live in the United States, then you probably pay your taxes. You probably obey traffic rules. You probably don’t spend all day breaking and/or ignoring the law or otherwise behaving in a manner wholly inconsistent with societal norms.

In other words, your behavior and actions are, for pragmatic reasons if nothing else, bound and restricted by the society you have chosen to live in.

There’s a school of thought — and I use the word “school” and the word “thought” here loosely — that suggests choosing not to vote is a valid way of expressing one’s rejection of the system of laws we’re bound by. Refusing to participate in the electoral process becomes a weapon against the corruption of that process and the government it is associated with. It’s a way of saying, “I won’t be bound by your petty rules!”

This is utterly wrong. Unless you have rejected your social security number, work only under the table for barter, reject the use of anything created by or for the government at any level, and so on, you are obviously bound by the government’s “petty rules.” Every time you wait for the light to change, drink municipal water, use money, make a phone call, email anyone, or engage with society in nearly any way, you are also engaging with that society’s laws.

By choosing not to vote, you are not rejecting the law. You are only rejecting your own ability to have any say in the law.

You are free to abandon this society completely, if you so choose. But as long as you live here, why not take a few minutes out of your day to have some input regarding the society that, like it or not, you are bound by?

Do yourself a favor. Vote.