How Can Things Be Fixed? I

The mariner has laid out a despairing image of the United States political culture. Will there be a culture crushing tsunami? Are the citizens to wait until another Maximilien de Robespierre leads us to cast out the plutocrats?

Must we wait until a Robin Hood raids the coffers of the wealthy and distributes the wealth to the commoners? Will a shift in the wealth of nations leave the United States as an also ran country? Must we wait election after election after election until the government functions again?

The answer to all is “no.”

Each of us, one person at a time, represents a powerful political force. Each of us is bound to do our share to right the ship of state. This is not the duty of our representatives, though it should be. Each of us must become active defenders of a functioning, efficient, caring, and free United States. Each of us will contribute financially. Each of us will be informed citizens ready to voice our opinion to government, corporations, and bankers that we do not approve of sloth, greed, and inequality. We have the right to bear arms, not with bullets but with conscientious, firm, educated resistance with our vote.

By what means shall we begin this task? By far, the most powerful weapon each of us has is our vote. Look at the following list. Can you find the United States?

 

Country Turnout
Australia   (House) 96%
Turkey 92%
Belgium 91%
Italy 89%
Luxembourg 87%
Sweden 86%
Iceland 86%
Austria 84%
New Zealand 83%
Norway 83%
New Zealand 83%
Denmark 83%
Netherlands 80%
Germany 79%
Germany 79%
Greece 77%
UK (Commons) 76%
Finland 72%
Spain 70%
Canada (Commons) 70%
Ireland 69%
Portugal 68%
France 65%
Switzerland 47%
USA (House) 39%

 

To be kind, it is a poor showing for the leading democracy in the world. Authors who have written on the subject have a common theme: a voter votes for one reason – civic duty. If a person is willing to pay $2.00 for a Power Ball ticket, at 175,000,000 to 1 odds to win even four hundred million dollars, why not vote to influence a government budget of 2,450,000,000,000 with much better odds of influencing the outcome? Because they lack civic duty.

Therefore, your duty as a voter goes beyond casting a vote. Your duty is to participate in your party’s activities and actively inculcate civic duty in your fellow citizens.

To be a responsible voter, educate yourself about who your representatives are, how they voted on legislation and what is their platform for the future, spun as it may be?

For this post, the answer to our largest issues is to vote for the appropriate person rather than the convenient one. Vote for the candidate who says more about what he stands for and says less about how nasty his or her competitors are during a campaign. Negative advertising aims at sentiment; look for advertising that aims at your intelligence.

Ancient Mariner

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