Today’s post is full of disappointment for me folks. It will be split up into two stories, but really there is only one: our own political laziness. Bare with me as events of the last week have me more than a little angry and sad.
President Obama Holds On To Power
There was a great concern last year with the passage of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. Hidden not so well within the act were provisions that allowed the President the authority to hold suspected of terrorism or giving aid to terrorists indefinitely without charge or trial. The provisions actually require the President to do so for non-resident, non-citizens and allows him to do so with all others. Many people, myself included, railed against this blatantly unconstitutional provision. The President signed the act anyway, but promised to never use the power himself.
Last week, the provision was overturned in a Federal Court. I had great hope that our commander-in-chief would prove his worth by doing with this ruling what he has done with the Defense of Marriage Act: refusing to defend it. After all, he could now say he was forced to sign a horrible provision into law just to make sure we still funded our military but thankfully a judge saw how horrible the idea was and struck it down. The President, folks, has let us all down.
We now live in an America where young people can be charged just for owning objectionable literature. The fact that the FBI has gotten involved with a vandalism case shows you just how far down the rabbit hole we have gone. This would happen whether there was a Democrat or Republican in the White House. Indeed I have decided to vote for Obama on November 6 (on the Working Families Party line, hoping it sends a message.) Voting is the one power we still have, despite the GOP’s efforts to take it away from us this past year. Getting out there, in numbers, is how we make sure these guys know we will hold them accountable, which brings me to problem #2…
Idiots that want to boycott the vote
This is hands down the worst idea I have ever heard. Yes, be angry with how our system disenfranchises large groups of us. Why, though, would you express that anger by giving up the little franchise you have? What fool would even suggest this? Well, these fools for starters.
There are a few immature people of all ages and all political stripes that want revolution, period. They don’t want to work within the framework of peaceful assembly or the electorate to make the change they want. I sometimes doubt they want any real change to begin with. Some of them, not all mind you, I suspect just like the sound of their own voice.
They will tell you how voting doesn’t do anything. This is an assertion that begs the question: how would you know? Seriously, how would any of us know? How can we say we have really tried to change things through the electorate when we are lucky to get a sixty percent voter turnout for the Presidential Elections? Any other year we are floating around the low forties, sometimes even the high thirties. Do you know what the voter turnout is in France? They get ninety percent. Think about that.
To those of you who think getting out in the streets is the only way to get things done, I want you to look at that country. Actually, I want those of you who think getting out in the streets is a bad idea to do it to, because you know what? In France they do both, and they get results. Almost all of them get out to vote and when the state, or corporations do something they find wrong, they take to the streets, in large numbers. They do their job as responsible citizens and then let their public servants know, loudly, that they expect them to do their jobs.
So this year let’s push our involvement way past the numbers it has been at. There is still a week and a half to register to vote. Election day is just over a month away. Send a message, and send it clear, that we, the people, are the sovereign, and that those people in DC (or Albany, or Sacrament, or Austin, or where ever else) are our employees, sent to do a job, and we damn well will make sure that they do it!