Earl Long on Not Voting
By David Henderson
I have friends who refuse to vote because their vote doesn’t matter. I understand that. I have friends who make voting a moral issue and say it’s wrong to vote. I kind of understand that. But what I don’t get is people who proselytize fellow libertarians not to vote. To the extent they succeed, they make libertarians a target for politicians or, at least, a group that politicians do not need to worry about upsetting.
Which brings me to one of my favorite quotes from one of my all-time favorite books, The Earl of Louisiana, A. J. Liebling’s book about then Louisiana governor Earl Long. Here’s the paragraph, which is Earl Long’s speech, punctuated by Liebling’s comments:
“I’m so glad to see so many of my fine Catholic friends here–they been so kind to me I sometimes say I consider myself forty per cent Catholic and sixty per cent Baptist” (this is a fairly accurate reflection of the composition of the electorate). “But I’m in favor of every religion with the possible exception of snake-chunking. Anybody that so presumes on how he stands with Providence that he will let a snake bite him, I say he deserves what he’s got coming to him.” The snake-chunkers, a small, fanatic cult, do not believe in voting.