FishDreamer scribbles, one page at a time

Friday, 16 January 2004

Democracy

I found a quote today that so perfectly stated why I think you're a coward if you don't vote, and why I think less of you (unless, of course, you live in a place where you're not allowed to vote). It came via Libertarians for Dean (my people!) from someone named Charley Reese. Here is the link I found, and here is the source of the quote. But I will also copy the actual quote for you, because it needs to be repeated.

"It's easy to be cynical about politics, but, folks, if you give up on politics, you are giving up on democracy. There are basically only two choices for choosing leaders bullets or ballots. I much prefer ballots. There is not a candidate in the race who takes all the positions I would like to see a candidate take, but we have to live in the real world."

And that, my friends, is why I am accompanying my Dean friend down to Washington Dean headquarters next week and offering my services for free. Because it really, truly, completely matters. I don't want to persuade people to vote the way they don't believe. Not at all. I want people to vote, period, because it is the most important thing in the world for each of us to do our part, however small or large that part may be, to help shape the future of our world. I also want people to think, and to read, and to see that there are consequences to action, and there are consequences to inaction, and we all bear them no matter what we do.

Whether or not you vote, you are still liable and accountable for the politics and actions of the country in which you live (given, as before, that you are actually allowed to vote). If all the people who didn't vote had voted for alternate parties last time, do you really think things would be the same as they are now? Trust me, they wouldn't.

I learned something in my time abroad, when I lived in the UK for a year and then when I lived in Germany. The whole world holds every single American accountable for every single action of the American government. You ARE responsible, whether you like it or not, whether you participate or not. You are still responsible. Think about that for a minute.

I'll do you better. I'll give you overnight to think about it. I have a party to go to, and more people to talk to. The technology manager for the Dean campaign here is going to be there. Other people, including Republicans, will be there. I have some socializing to do, and some fun to have. You sit in your little fortress of "I don't vote because the process is corrupt and individual votes don't matter and we have shitty candidates" and think about all the influence you could have, all the power you could help wield and direct, and think about what really matters to you.

Because if we end up with the same result as last time come November, you can kiss good-bye to all reproductive choice, any religious freedom, all personal constitutional rights, any hope for economic recovery, and the future of your children. And you'll have to live with the reason why.

This rant not directed at voters or non-Americans.

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