Yes, we have the “freedom” to vote, the same way we tell our children they have the “choice” to obey. It’s presented as freedom, and as a choice, but it’s really not. It’s a false dichotomy that is self-supporting and self-perpetuating. If every election is “the most important election of our lifetime,” then we can never “sit this one out.” We can never not vote. We can never vote for a third party candidate because doing so, according to left and right, only helps the opposition. So we can and should and have to vote for a candidate that, all things considered, we don’t really like or want, but because we live in a “democracy,” he is the best we have. And this is freedom? There’s more freedom in choosing a coffee creamer than choosing a president.
A single vote does not influence an election. As I’ve suggested previously, voting incurs an opportunity cost, which, while potentially small, necessarily means we can’t do something else while we’re spending time voting or toward the election process. If one works on a campaign, or at a phone bank, or puts up signs, or anything else beyond just voting, their opportunity cost goes up even more. Maybe to some this is worth it, but if voters confronted the reality that their single vote doesn’t matter, I doubt any opportunity cost would be worth it.