What Shall We Do?

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?

 

Turnout in national lower house elections, 1960–1995

Country

Compulsory

Turnout

                                                                       Malta N 94%
      Chile N 93%
      Austria N 92%
      Belgium Y 91%
      Luxembourg Y 90%
      Italy N 90%
      Iceland N 89%
      New Zealand N 88%
      Denmark N 87%
      Germany N 86%
      Greece Y   (not enforced) 86%
      Sweden N 86%
      Czech Republic and       Slovakia N 85%
      Venezuela N 85%
      Netherlands N 83%
      Brazil Y 83%
      Argentina Y 83%
      Romania N 81%
      Costa Rica N 81%
      Norway N 81%
      Australia Y 81%
      Bulgaria N 80%
      Israel N 80%
      Portugal N 79%
      Finland N 78%
      France N 76%
      United Kingdom N 76%
      South Korea N 75%
      Ireland N 74%
      Canada N 74%
      Spain N 73%
      Poland N 71%
      Japan N 71%
      Estonia N 69%
      Hungary N 66%
      Russia N 61%
      Pakistan N 60%
      India N 58%
       Switzerland N 54%
      United States N 48%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even as this post is written, many states, especially the most conservative states, are gerrymandering their districts to minimize black, Hispanic and liberal districts to the point that they are not represented. These states are actively in violation of the spirit of the Constitution, doing everything they can to discourage voting by those who would fare better were the white plutocrats not in office.

These states are in the minority among other states. Today, those elected members without compassion or interest in their constituents dominate the Lower House and almost dominate the Senate. If one of these spiritless representatives represents you, vote them out. It is that simple. Vote. But more than that, you must join with your party in an effort to register everyone who has the right to vote – many who are not even aware that their vote makes a difference. Be active in your local party activities.

There are other things we citizens can do, but there will be sacrifice – far less than if we waited for the tsunami.

Ancient Mariner

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