Friday, October 3, 2014

Last Call For Voting Your Conscience

An instructive lesson on voting, political power, and influencing elections: first, the reaction of the black community reaction in Missouri to police brutality and mass incarceration, a place where Democrats have notably failed and Republicans have no intent to make it better...

Voter registration jumped 30 percent in Ferguson, Missouri between August 9 — the day unarmed teenager Michael Brown was fatally shot by Officer Darren Warren — and September 30. As protests and clashes with police continue, the town’s residents want to see more race representation in their local government in the near future. 
Approximately 3,300 citizens in the town of 21,000 registered to vote after Brown’s death, totaling two-thirds of new voters in St. Louis County. Currently, 5 of 6 Ferguson council members are white, but roughly 70 percent of the city’s population is black. And Ferguson’s mayor is white Republican James Knowles.

Recent voter registration is due, in large part, to community efforts to boost civic engagement. Organizations like the NAACP and League of Women Voters, in addition to sororities and fraternities, are actively involved in registering the city’s residents. Other community members are handing out registration cards for voters to mail them in.

Second, the reaction of the Latino community in Arizona to immigration and deportation, a place where Democrats have notably failed and Republicans have no intent to make it better...

Sandra Bernal plans to boycott the upcoming midterm election. 
“It’s a peaceful way of protesting,” she told ThinkProgress in Spanish, “It’s saying, ‘We’re here and we’re tired of so many broken promises.’” 
Bernal, a US citizen from Mexico who has lived in Phoenix for nearly 20 years and raised three children on her own, said her views on politics were shaken to the core by two recent events: the arrest of her undocumented sister, andPresident Obama’s decision to delay a planned executive order to stop some deportations. She said the mostly-Democratic Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s decision to go along with the President’s new deadline for action alienated her even further.

“I think they’re doing nothing more than dragging this out, giving us false hope so that we keep voting for the Democratic Party,” she said. “They’re using us like puppets, thinking we’ll go along with their game. Unfortunately, many Latino groups are working right now to get out the vote. But I think it would be better for us as a community, as a people, to boycott, to not vote. Then they’ll learn that without the Hispanic vote, they’re not getting anywhere.”

One group is trying to see the issues important to them fixed by voting and taking part.  The other group is trying to see the issues important to them fixed by not voting and not getting involved.

If you're still pondering which approach is more effective, you're the reason why these issues aren't going to get fixed anytime soon.


RepubAnon said...

Refuse to vote, and you have voted. As the Tea Party has proven repeatedly, primary challenges in which a constituency formerly taken for granted puts up their own candidates is the best way of scaring politicians into voting your way. Sitting out elections in disgust means that the politicians in your district will listen to someone else.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

Amen, brother! The contrary is even stronger: if you make a big noise about not voting for the party that is and has been your natural ally, and you set home to the extent that elections are thrown to your natural predator then the party will - rightly - conclude that you are unreasonable and unreliable and go looking for votes from a base they can count on. When you then start parading and demanding that your voice be heard, you will be told - again, rightly - to shut the fuck up because nobody cares what you think.

That is simple democracy in the context of a nationwide coalition with severe regional divisions. Democracy is great, but it does not guarantee that you personally get everything you want. The endpoint is substantially advanced if you use your head and show a bit of savvy.

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