On Sundays, Gothamist runs opinion pieces on issues relevant to life in New York. The views expressed below are solely those of the author.

gothamist.jpgThis Tuesday Michael Bloomberg will be reelected Mayor of New York City. It is impossible, for all intents and purposes, for him to lose. But one can imagine a scenario where Bloomberg admits to, say, shoplifting all the time and the race becomes very close. One can even imagine looking into the future and finding out that the race is unsettled for weeks, with every ballot needing to be counted by hand.

In none of these scenarios will your vote make the slightest difference on the outcome.

The quintessential example used by Poli Sci profs is Bush/Gore, which “proves” that one vote can make a difference. One of the glories of being a professor is that you can say whatever you like, and your idiocy will be regarded as objective wisdom. They don’t have a giant Opinionist label at the tops of their talks; they are speaking as mentors to the uneducated. But if you think for a moment about the 2000 situation, even the dimmest among us can see that it proves the exact opposite. That election, the closest by far in US history, did not swing on one vote or even dozens. It was decided by hundreds, and hundreds that happened to be in one specific state. Even if I had, somehow, gotten everyone I knew to go to Florida and vote for Gore, the result would have been the same. My views would have been completely irrelevant.

I do hate to sound like a Marxist, but voting is perhaps a perfect example of self-indulgent bourgeois decadence. It would take, say, an hour for a person to go out and vote. Somewhere in the city there is a homeless man, maybe mentally ill but still a person, who is wondering where his next meal will be; somewhere there is an old woman who hasn’t gotten a phone call in over a year and would very much like someone’s company; somewhere there is a child who has never gotten a toy all his own; somewhere there is an abused dog who needs to be socialized or she will be put down. But none of them will be helped because some yuppies will be prefer to indulge in an antiquated political ritual.

People seem to think that it is important to make your voice heard in a free country. How anyone can hear you when you aren’t saying anything, I don’t know. How it is your voice that is heard when the ballot is secret, I do not claim to understand. Everyone votes in a dictatorship. When this country was at its freest, at its founding, virtually no one voted. There is not a positive correlation between suffrage and freedom.

I’m not saying that the alternative way to make your voice heard is to walk up and down the street with hundreds of other people, screaming. Nor am I saying that one cannot make a difference in politics. Obviously many, many people have done so. I’m merely saying that you probably won’t be one of them, and that’s perfectly fine. Nobody wants to think of themselves as irrelevant, but there are literally billions of people alive right now who will vanish from the world like evaporating water.

If you want to be a somebody, create something of great lasting value. Then take all the money you made from your creation—artistic, financial, or otherwise—and buy an office. Look at Corzine; he’s about to buy his second one. If being a Mayor or Senator is not your cup of tea, then take your fortune and buy a politician. Otherwise, do something productive with your time. The culture will thank you for it.

"Ego & Hubris: The Michael Malice Story" will be published by Ballantine in March. He will apear at The Rejection Show on November 15th.