A common ad for Lotteries reads “You can’t win if you don’t play.” Now that is true, but odds are against you actually winning the huge Jackpot for the investment of your dollars.
When it comes to voting, your side can’t win if your side doesn’t vote. Unlike the Lottery, each vote cast for your side increases the odds of your side winning.
Its common knowledge that voter turnout for “off year” elections is lower than the Presidential elections. In 2008 voter turnout was 63%. The following 2010 midterms had a 42% voter turnout. The following 2012 Presidential election had a 59% voter turnout. Today all signs are pointing to an even lower midterm election turnout of less than 40%.
For the oldest and most powerful “democracy” in the world the voter turnout ratios for the United States is an embarrassment. Comparing voter registration to actual turnout from 1945 through 2001 the United States ranks 120 out of 169 nations. How can you expect election results to represent the majority views of a nation if the vast majority of the nation won’t take the time to be heard at the ballot box?
It is not uncommon to hear the same tired old complaints each election cycle, “my vote doesn’t count” “the system is rigged” followed by complaints that the government elected to office doesn’t represent the views of the people they’re supposed to represent. You can’t have it both ways.
If you cede your right to vote and be heard, you can’t then turn around and complain you’re not being represented and heard.
Low voter turnout is the result of several factors; complacency is among the top reasons. However, so is active voter suppression. It is true that if small organized groups of fringe thinking ideologues are the only ones to show up and/or be allowed to cast their votes on Election Day, that fringe element of thinking will determine how your government operates.
2010 proved that beyond all doubt. Due to the low voter turnout brought on by complacency, suppression and even commentators from the “liberal media” telling their listeners to teach Obama a lesson by not voting in November, the Tea Party fringe of the nation; clearly organized, funded and motivated to turn out, ran the show. As a result, they took the State Houses and Governor Mansions of several States and the U.S. House or representatives.
By doing so they were able to enact further voter suppression acts as well as obstruct any legislation State or National, that would help the American people. They call it “austerity” but in reality it is an effort to hurt Americans to make the Executive Branch and the party who controls it look bad so you will vote them out in the next Presidential election.
It’s an organized effort for power by the financial backers of the GOP and Tea Party. You know who they are, their incomes are in the 1% and they control multinational corporations operating in a growing monopolistic anti “Free Market” mode for greater profit and control at the cost of the well being of the people.
So as Paul Weyrich, founder of ALEC and GOP operative famously boasted for his party that they do better when voter turnout is low, and they’re doing very well.
It is common knowledge that support for the GOP is at record lows because they clearly don’t represent majority American views.
The nation doesn’t want Austerity, voter suppression, cuts to the social safety net, lower taxes for the 1% and corporations. Yet the GOP remains in power in several States and has enough power in Congress to impose all those things the American people don’t want because the American people won’t take the time to register and vote. What is worse, based on 2010 and projections of lower voter turnout nationwide for the midterms, they are expected to not only hold the House, but to take the Senate and keep control the States they currently have. Not because that is what the majority of what the American people want, but because the majority won’t vote and a majority of the minority who will vote, will do only as they are told, or fooled into believing.
This isn’t how a democracy is supposed to work.
So what is at stake if voter turnout in November is below 40% as predicted? Well we can expect the U. S. Senate to go to the GOP and the House to go under full control of the Koch Brother Tea Party faction, despite the fact that Tea Party ideology support is at record lows in this nation.
Below is the true Libertarian Platform from 1980 that David Koch ran on. They were soundly defeated but the beliefs of the Koch’s never changed. Their front organizations like ALEC, Heritage Foundation, and Americans for Prosperity all openly support this agenda and for their candidates to get funding and support, they must work for everything this agenda says, and more:
Elimination or cutting of the Department of Energy would permit the big oil and fossil fuel corporations (of which the Koch’s earn their wealth) to consolidate control of the nation’s energy supply and agenda. KeystoneXL will be completed. Green energy technology will continue to be placed on the back burner or eliminated resulting in continued exposure to the poisoning of our air, water and ground and increases in CO2 emissions contributing to Climate Change and what that results in.
Elimination or cutting of the Environment Protection Agency as stated above will result in continued poisoning of our air, water and ground by big oil and fossil fuels (Koch brother’s main source of income). Nothing will hold these people back from doing what is already happening in West Virginia, Texas and other States where the water supply has been poisoned by the waste of the process of transporting and processing fossil fuels.
Elimination or cutting of the Food and Drug Administration will eliminate proactive measures to ensure our food supply is safe and medications don’t result in causing more harm than good. Rather than deal with the effects of being poisoned, wouldn’t you rather not be poisoned at all?
Elimination or cutting of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration will take more protections away from the working class in order to increase the profits of the corporations. People will become more expendable for the profit margins. More on the job injuries and deaths will occur.
Elimination or cutting of the Federal Communication Commission will complete the ongoing process of big money conservative control of the media. The monopolistic control of on air and print media will be complete and censorship of anything not part of the rightwing ideology will be complete. Censorship is no longer a concern of government imposition, it’s now corporate imposition.
Elimination or cutting of the National Labor Relations Board will be the final nail in the coffin of the rights of workers to combine and fight for what’s in their best interests. If democracy is something we strive for in this nation, then why would we support not allowing workers to use democracy to join together and bargain with their employers?
Elimination or cutting of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Though many would probably support this, let’s be pragmatic. Who is to monitor and deal with organized crime and terrorism on a national level? The corporations who maybe violating the RICO laws?
Elimination or cutting of the Central Intelligence Agency. Again, though some may support this, who would monitor the world wide threat against Americans home and abroad?
Elimination or cutting of the Federal Reserve. Though I like Bernie Sanders support an audit of their operations, the economic fact remains that the existence of the Fed is what kept us from slipping into a greater “Great” Depression. Worldwide economics requires some control of our money both domestically and internationally. It should be reformed, but not eliminated.
Elimination or cutting, or privatization of Social Security would be devastating to millions of Americans both elderly and disabled who rely on it to survive. This is heartless and has no support of anyone who thinks and has an ounce of humanity. Privatization only benefits the Banks, not the account holders. There is over $3 trillion in the Social Security Trust fund that the banks have been salivating over for years.
Elimination or cutting of Welfare is the most despicable un-American, inhumane and economically ridiculous platform out there. When you are impoverished, you need assistance to get out of poverty. Money spent in that endeavor pays the society back both economically and socially. No doubt reform is required to deal with waste and fraud, but not elimination because poverty is growing in this nation due to the wage disparity imposed by runaway corporate and 1% control of our nations’ economy.
Elimination or cutting of Public Schools. This is completely un-American. The founders new that for a democracy to thrive and survive, the population must be educated and able to think for itself. Perhaps this is why those on the right want to take money away from Public schools and place it in Charter and private schools only affordable to their kind. Keep the people stupid so they can be controlled.
Elimination or further cutting of Taxation. Well government of by and for the people gets to be more expensive as the population increases. There are services we rely upon to survive. Government should control the “commons” the roads, power grid, water, sewage, city services, police, fire, military etc so they’re answerable to the people. If they were all privatized, they would only be answerable to the stock holders, who aren’t the people these institutions are there for.
Besides, the elimination of taxes is only for those who can easily afford to pay them. They actually want to increase taxes to maintain government services on those with less or no ability to pay, the middle class, working class and impoverished. It’s the basis of the Libertarian Ayn Rand Society that the Koch brothers live for and want to impose upon the entire nation.
Beyond the above, if the rightwing is successful in 2014 you can expect more voter suppression laws, more denial of hard earned rights won in the past, more of an Oligarchy that the 1% who funds the GOP has been fighting for.
As I mention, very little of the agenda pushed for by the Republicans garner majority support by the American People. They play to a small fringe element of their extreme base, who are in fact controlled by the 1% and don’t even realize it.
It is class warfare and by not voting, you surrender without fighting.
The higher the voter turnout, the greater the odds you end up with people in office who will do the bidding of the majority of the American people.
Things like equal rights for all Americans regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or sex, sensible gun laws to deal with gun violence, improved and enhance social safety net for those who truly need and rely upon, higher taxes for the wealthiest among us, higher taxes for corporations, better paying jobs and higher minimum wage, environmental controls to prevent poisoning of air, water and ground. These are things supported by the majority of all Americans, but when only a minority votes, you don’t have any chance in getting them.
Below is a link to a blog post I did a while back regarding registering and getting help getting out to the polls: Please review and implement this for yourselves, family and friends and let’s do what hasn’t happened in generations, have a better than 50% voter turnout for the midterms, the higher, the better for this nation.