The entire problem can be summed up in a single word. You

The entire problem can be summed up in a single word. You.

non voters are the problemI don’t want to point at anyone specifically but, the numbers suggest I can include everyone and be correct enough to get a B+ on the report. So strap yourself in and be honest enough to decide if you are a negative statistic. Chances are you are the one to blame.

Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill used to occupy the highest office in the land and from this position he humbled himself enough to understand that, to his constituents, what mattered was always local. He knew that what affected the individual citizen was not the global view. It was about what they saw and experienced where they were everyday.

Everybody likes to say they voted for so and so for President, however the facts don’t bear this out. The figures vary by different counting practices and different years but essentially they can easily be rounded off and certain conclusions can be made that are entirely credible. No you didn’t vote for so and so.

If you consider that about half of those eligible to vote are registered to vote, then with any single individual in a crowd my assertion would be correct about 50% of the time. Then, when you consider that about half of registered voters actually voted in any presidential election my assertion would be correct about 75% of the time.

Well, those are the round figures pretty much throughout my life. So start your soul searching and discuss your individual situation with no one. Your vote and voting status is not their business, it’s yours.

Now put on your helmet because this is going to hurt. I’m going to talk about how much of a problem you are and how much you are damaging our country and our global society and I have to do it in a short article that you have time to read and ponder. I’m only going to say two things.

The leader of one of the major political parties wants to only support a pro war president.

Local leaders of a particular stripe are actually writing and passing laws to extend and enlarge civil discrimination.

It makes my skin crawl. And it’s entirely your fault. You didn’t vote.  Even if you had the numbers get much worse when you consider what you’re voting for. The quadrennial presidential popularity contest has little to do with your daily lives. It just doesn’t matter very much.

When you start to go down the list of political hierarchy, remember local, you find that franchise participation declines in kind. Fewer of you actually vote for senate, even less for the house. As you approach the local level the numbers are both stark and dismal. Most voters only vote in presidential elections and even then we wind up with an office holder that, even in a landslide, represents maybe 15% of the constituents. Democracy, my backside.  And it’s your fault. You didn’t vote.

 

It is common in this country to have a school board member represent less than 3% of the electorate. These are our children that you don’t take responsibility for. You didn’t vote. I am well into my sixth decade of life and I have never met a parent of a public school child that knew who represented them on a school board. Forget about voting. It doesn’t factor in. These people are elected by petty little local political machines. The same players, the same voters. With our children and our grandchildren, our future in the balance.

A political machine’s work is not complicated. A few neighborhood functionaries organize to actually take people they personally have done minor favors for to the polls. Then they tell them who to vote for. They say vote for this candidate because “he prays” or “she’s a mother” or “they’re a Veteran”. My favorite was the guy that said the opponent was a “card carrying member of the A.C.L.U. and they’re communists”.

In that particular election (round figures again) about 11,000 people voted and the victor won by about 1100 votes. A 10% margin of victory. The candidate called it a landslide and declared a mandate. In a county of over 1,200,000 people that are eligible to vote. This guy’s mandate came from less than 1/10th of one percent of the people.

Say what you want about education (or defense or foreign policy or civil rights or the economy or the environment or whatever concerns you at any given time for any given reason) the presidential popularity contest is not where the power is. It is local. And you didn’t vote. And our democracy crumbles.

There is only one solution and it’s that you need to learn to play. The next revolution should be without firing a shot. The next revolution should be here in this country. The next revolution should be ours and ours alone because, it’s our country that is the only one the rest of the world looks to because of who we are. We are everyone from all over the world.

The next revolution is easy. Double the numbers. Not an organized effort. Your effort. Not a get out the vote movement. You. You know you didn’t. It’s time you do.

Double the numbers and everything locally, nationally and globally experiences revolutionary progress. I betcha  money.

I am

Max Oebulet

Social Philosopher