Re: Too stupid to vote? (was: Will you VOTE? Why or why not?)

Tom Boland (
Mon, 9 Nov 1998 22:12:02 -0400

Some people say that non-voters are apathetic.  I think not.

Many people care very much what happens to them and their neighbors and our
Earth, but are discouraged about our prospects for change, expecially
change in government policy and practice.

So people's eeming "apathy" might well be a sense of "futility".  Part of
our job as civicly responsible neighbors and as nonviolent activists for
social justice, is to share our "faith" that we humans can treat each
other, and the life-web that sustains us,  more kindly.

A better world, I think, requires more power and wealth for those of us who
have little or none.  Government could be part of that progressive
redistribution, but instead for two decades, the rich are getting more
while everyday people get less.  And with the welfare safety net shredding,
it's killer-harsh at the bottom.

So maybe we need, as one person wrote on Food Not Bombs list, to
_challenge_ the idea that "government can do nothing" for everyday people.
Just because government is mainly beholden to business interests today,
does not mean that must always be.

Civil rights, wage and labor laws, sanitation systems, Social Security -
these boons to everyday people came from lifetimes of organizing, with many
casualties.  If these organizers from the ranks of everyday people had not
been willing to engage and change government officials, we'd all have less.

Of course, some would argue that a world without government would free us
to assist each other unimpeded.  I fear that no-government could leave
business unimpeded to trample the enviroment and our rights.

Their populist rhetoric aside, big business seems to  want more government,
not less  -- government by and for the richest, who own the multinational
corporations, but not for the rest.

The way out of these dillemnas?  I'm stumped.  Any suggestions?

No nonviolence, no justice. -- Tom

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