Over the course of my life, I’ve belonged to many organizations, and held offices in a number of them. When I was 15, I was elected to the board of directors for my church (no, I didn’t seek it), and at 16 I was a delegate to the state convention. I’ve been on committees, boards, and even President of hobby clubs, professional organizations, and social groups. I’ve been “just a member” of many of them, and happy to do just that. But the one thing they all had in common was that you had to be a member to have any say in what the organization did, and who they elected. It’s a simple concept, and one that apparently is lost on a number of people these days.
Tag Archives: Rights
There was a story in Wednesday’s NY Post about potential issues at polling places. Mainly, that independents are suddenly realizing that New York has a closed primary, and they’re not going to be able to vote in the upcoming primary. That means that only those registered as Democrats or Republicans are going to get to vote in their party’s primary.
Over on Salon, there’s an opinion column by a self-described “leftist feminist” who spends a lot of words justifying her “principled stand” for not voting. Seriously? It’s all the same garbage I’ve ever heard from every so-called leftist who thinks that not voting sends a message, and that will lead to changes and conversations. Why is it garbage? As I’ve said often here, if you don’t vote, you don’t matter. No politician or political party will care about your principles, no one will be “starting a conversation” with you. You have removed yourself from any conversations. It’s only by voting that you get to do all that. But in reading through numerous screeds over the past few years touting making a “principled stand” by not voting, I notice that they’re taking certain things for granted. They shouldn’t.
In numerous posts here, I’ve hammered on the importance of voting. Regular, every single election, walking into the polling place, voting. I don’t just do it here or elsewhere on the internet, I do it in person as well. You see, if you want political action, if you want politicians to listen to you, if you want to be considered “the base,” then you have to vote. Otherwise, all those things you want don’t happen. But here’s the thing I keep running into, the biggest excuse: “I’m not excited.” Usually followed by a complaint that the party should pick someone who would “excite the base.” Mind you, except for presidential candidates they frequently can’t name who they think would be exciting enough for them. The result is that they usually end up not voting, and then reappear to complain because whatever they were advocating before the election isn’t happening.
Over the past several months the news has been full of stories about police violence and protests against it. Ferguson, and Michael Brown. Cleveland and Tamir Rice. New York and Eric Garner. There have been protests around the country, and a lot of discussion about not just police racism, but racism in society as a whole. We can point to the amount of use of deadly force by police around the country, often as a first resort, not a last. The protests and discussions have finally made it clear that “Things aren’t right,” even though they haven’t been all along. People are fed up, and they have every right to be. The protests are a first step. They’ve called attention to the problem, made it clear that it’s not just a “fringe issue,” and that action is required.