Tuesday, August 26, 2008
American Elections: The Skinny
A'murka--We are a nation of apathetic voters. Granted, after Watergate, it's been hard to believe the system here is anything but utter bullshit, a joke. Agreed. But the subsequent voter apathy hasn't made things any better, has it?
That's how Ronald Reagan and the rest of the jackapes that have come afterwards (and before that) have gotten into office . When Reagan ran in 1980, the voter turnout was in the 20-percentile range. Reagan won less-than-half of that, which means that less than 10% of eligible voters elected him. That's not a mandate at all, and calling it "the Reagan revolution" was apropos--then-and-now.
The 2006 midterms show some hope that things can change: we reached the 30-percentile range of voter turnout. That's still not very good, but it's going to have to do. Only the American people can bring about the loss of the franchise (the right to vote) now. When you have that range, a candidate like George W. Bush is only getting 10-15% of the actual range of eligible voters. No mandate there, which is OK with the Republicans, though they never let that stop them. That should tell you something about them and their attitudes towards democracy.
The GOP and the DNC feed on your poor response to your own cynicism of our political and economic system. There is nothing more irresponsible than not voting in a democracy. If you don't really care, why hang around? Why have children? Why not stay in bed and eat ice cream all of the time?
But enough about Mississippi--we all need to vote. And that's not going to be enough: you must start to and remain active in the political process for life. It's the most responsible thing to do. Otherwise, you have no credibility whatsoever. Part of the current crisis is all the dodging of responsibility and accountability we've all engaged in over the last 30 years.
This situation must--and will--end. Responsibility isn't just for the rest of us either: it means everybody, or democracy and reasonable law and order and vacant words without meaning. If you don't understand this, you don't understand democracy and why it's preferable to other systems of government. So, what are you supposed to do? Get off your dead-asses, get informed (decide for yourself), demand accountability of politicians and yourself and your neighbors, and REGISTER TO VOTE.