Monday, September 19, 2016
Clear on the Concept
So here we are with the familiar lesser of two evils situation for a Presidential election. So many people feeling the pull of "been there and done that." Except that the done that part is different because they don't want to "do" anything. They don't want to vote.
Dangerous thing. Very dangerous thing.
If we have a "both candidates suck," situation, shouldn't we work on how we got this way? Shouldn't we realize that whether we vote or not, someone...one of the evils is going to be the next President of the United States?
Third parties are tempting. They will siphon off thousands of votes this time, like they always do. But they will probably do nothing to ease our dilemma. Still, I hear, more and more, "Im not voting this year.
So what exactly happens when an individual surrenders her/his vote? This time around, it makes possible the first candidate in a good while that is truly unfit for the job. It makes the forces of all this evil easily able to propagate their questionable agenda. It disrespects democracy.
Let's look at that last point. When I taught U.S. Government, we were able to register 18 year olds if we had any in class. Many would probably not make the effort themselves, but our on site registration would occur only after studying the history of voting rights struggles in this country. I think many folks who are eagerly abandoning their vote this year could do with a review of this history. It's almost impossible to sacrifice your vote when you know about the poll tax, the grandfather clause and, of course, the literacy test. Those three were effectively used to deny Black Americans the right to vote for decades. The documentation is all there. "How many bubbles are there in a bar of soap?" really was on a literacy test. Of course, if that didn't do the trick there was always outright violence as a form of imitation. How many lives were taken or permanently ruined all for the desire to do a little voting. To acknowledge this and to learn from it means voting...every time. Period.
Today we have what one writer recently termed a "National Emergency." That's a direct reference to the Trump campaign. He would ask people to vote for Clinton if only as a way to acknowledge this threat our democracy as the number one priority. Cue flashing lights and sirens. Some, no doubt, will do this. Sadly, others will not. In the end, we will get what we deserve.
I'm reminded of a couple who lived in rural Kansas. He was a Republican and she a Democrat. Each election day they would drive for 3 hours to vote, and then 3 more hours after a lunch break to get home. Though their votes always cancelled each other out, they never missed voting. Now that's being clear on the concept.