Duty, Privilege or Right

OpEdThe other day I was speaking to a young woman I have been friends with and a professional mentor to for several years, during the course of that conversation she revealed she doesn’t vote. I was and remain stunned by her revelation; especially given her reasoning, which was, she did not trust our voting system or believe her vote counted. I believe I got a bit heated with her, Michelle Bachmann and her idiocy was invoked more than once during the remainder of our conversation as my friend is from Minnesota. I explained to her, the reason idiots like Michelle were elected because seemingly smart people like her stayed home with ignorant excuses like, “I don’t believe my vote counts”.

Heated might be the wrong word, I was passionate and inflamed. Men and women died for our right to vote. For any one of us to stay away from the polls, whether during a federal election or a local Milhousdrawingelection simply shows both our ignorance and our apathy. For any citizen to fail to get up off their ass during an election and spend the time it takes to exercise their duty as a citizen, yes I said it, their duty as a citizen and vote is why we have the dysfunctional government we have today. I say it constantly as do many others, when good people fail to vote bad people win elections; when Democrats / Liberals / Progressives fail to vote Republicans / Tea Party / Conservatives win elections.

The problem we have right now, in this nation today in Congress and in many States since 2010 is we believed what the media told us, we believed we had already lost the House, the Governor Mansions and we failed to carry our asses to the polls and vote. Because we were so damned apathetic, we lost the House, we damned near lost the Senate, we lost many states and we handed this President a Congress he could not work with, a Congress that would not work with him. We, the people of this nation, the so-called Progressives of this nation did this and we deserve what we got for sitting it out.

We, the Progressive / Liberal / Democrats of the United States of America voted twice to put Barack Obama into the office of President and then we hampered his presidency with this Congress. We are perfectly willing to whine about them, we are willing to sign petitions on the internet, we are willing to send Meme’s around Facebook and on our blogs, what we aren’t willing to do is exercise our right, our duty to vote when the time comes to do so.

We, all of us, every single last one of us must stop handing over our rights as citizens, turning away from brutality and ignorance and begin taking back our nation from those who would strip us of our rights simply because we are too apathetic to stand up and stand against them. We must never forget those who came before us and fought, even died to gain the right to vote, the right to have a voice for us. We must, especially those of us who were left out of the original Bill of Rights and Constitution, we must stand up, stand in line and do what it takes to VOTE every single time and in every single election. We must not spit on those who fought for our right to do so; we must not turn our backs on history forgetting what it required of those who laid down their lives, their bodies, their social standing to gain us all the right to VOTE.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We must not allow our rights to be stripped away, our history to be rewritten simply because we are too lazy to do our own research into how our government and voting really works. What voter fraud really is and thus we willingly believe our vote doesn’t count, staying home along with millions of others making millions of votes not count, millions of voices go unheard. The goal of those who would fix the outcome is achieved when good people stay home and don’t vote. Every single election cycle sees us losing ground to big money and nefarious agenda’s when we believe the hype, when we believe the race already won, when we believe our vote doesn’t count.

Make your voice heard; some of the races won in 2010 and 2012 were won by narrow margins and those uncompromising, unethical and directionless members of Congress are now out to destroy this nation for their own ends and without the least concern for you or me. The same will be said this year, 2014 will either see us taking back the House and winning a majority in the Senate, taking more Mansions in the states or we will sit it out because we will believe the hype and sit it out. I refuse to sit it out, I will vote.

One thing to consider, I hear this all the time and it simply yanks my chain even harder than I thought possible is when someone says the following:

It doesn’t matter, it is only choosing between the lesser of two evils.

No, dammit, no it is not and even were this the case isn’t it better to choose than to allow others to choose the worst evil for you, allowing you the opportunity to mitigate the potential for real harm, real evil and the fight for another day. Gad, how much ignorance, hate, bigotry and nastiness are you willing to live with before you say enough? Truly, if you are not willing to fight, with your voice at the polls than you do not have any cause to bitch at the results. You cannot complain when you are discriminated against in the workplace, when you are paid less, or don’t get the job, or lose your healthcare or don’t get a mortgage, or a car loan, or for that matter don’t get an apartment or a mortgage; you simply don’t have the right to complain. I don’t want to hear it when your taxes take your paycheck because your ass didn’t get off the couch to vote. I don’t want to hear it when your child is turned away from a school. I don’t want to hear it, not any of it if your life is harder because your rights and privileges are lost, when you failed to do what you should have done and fought to keep them.

Get your ass off the couch. VOTE

 

 

http://www.splcenter.org/civil-rights-memorial/civil-rights-martyrs

2012 Election Results: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/election-map-2012/house/

2010 Election Results: http://elections.nytimes.com/2010/results/senate

Voting statistics: http://www.statisticbrain.com/voting-statistics/

%d bloggers like this: