Aug. 18, 2016 By Jack Jodell.
“I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of the people. They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.” – plus –
“”We are different from previous generations of conservatives… We are no longer working to preserve the status quo. We are radicals, working to overturn the present power structure of this country.”
– Paul Weyrich, noted religious far-right conservative commentator –
Today’s post is directed squarely at those who may very mistakenly believe that “my vote doesn’t really matter” or that “Hillary has such a big lead over Trump that I won’t even bother to vote this election.” Sadly, far too many of our countrypersons hold these beliefs and are effectively taking what’s left of our democracy for granted. They are being what I will refer to as “lazy citizens”. If enough of them believe that way, and fail to vote, the end result will be the eventual surrender of all the rights we hold near and dear as Americans. We will become SLAVES, bullied about by whomever decides to grab and reconfigure the electoral, social, legal, and economic rights we now have. This is not the voice of a crackpot or alarmist speaking, for I am neither. Rather, I am a critical thinker who evaluates events based on a wide variety of sources: historical, philosophical, social, economic, and scientific, to name but a few.
While I am not an extremist or paranoid type, I do believe in a cautious and measured approach to dealing with problems I see facing us. I am more of an activist by nature, believing that an ounce of prevention is definitely better than a pound of cure! I would much rather err on the side of action as opposed to inaction or complacency, so that is why I am posting this piece today. I hope some of you will save or bookmark this post and will use it as inspiration to prompt your own action sometime in the future.
I will start by saying THERE ARE DEVIOUS, MISGUIDED PERSONS OUT THERE WHO WANT TO LIMIT YOUR RIGHTS FOR THEIR OWN SELFISH BENEFIT, OR BECAUSE THEY FEAR THE FUTURE AND WANT TO ROLL THE CLOCK BACKWARD. AND, THEY MUST BE STOPPED! The quotes I listed at the start of this piece came from just such an individual. Paul Weyrich rose to fame as the man who coined the term “Moral Majority” that was used by the very narrow-minded televangelist preacher Jerry Falwell to discriminate against those who did not share his authoritarian beliefs. While both Weyrich and Falwell are long dead, their perverse,anti-democracy and exclusionary ideas have existed since the 1980s Reagan years and are being resurrected by today’s backward-looking, Tea Party-infested Republican Party. As these are reactionary ideas which do not reflect progress, or what is needed NOW in the least, they must be overcome and repudiated once and for all, before they are able to enslave the lot of us.
The proof of this unsavory attemptt at resurrecting these backward beliefs is all around us, from the strong Republican efforts to disenfranchise as many minority (potentially opposition) voters as possible, to the attempt to cut short polling place hours and reducing their locations, to the attempt to limit registration of new (potentially opposition) voters, and on and on. These are deliberateefforts designed to discourage and exclude as many voters as possible: to increase the “leverage” and power of Republicans by limiting the number of voters who would vote against them. It is a typical strategy for a party that has become far more interested in delivering perks for the minority and wealthiest 1% of the population rather than for the 99% MAJORITY which sits, by their machinations, far below them on the income scale. They know that if ALL eligible voters were able to freely cast a vote, this wealthy minority’s agenda would be fully REJECTED by the 99% MAJORITY.
One pair of Weyrich enthusiasts who are firmly anti-democracy are the billionaire libertarian Koch brothers. These modern-day Pharisees prefer to sneakily work behind the scenes to thwart as many projects for the common good as they can. They cultivate a public image of friendly, successful, benevolent neighbor-next-door types, but in reality, are subversives dedicated to pursuing and obtaining as much profit for themselves as they can – regardless of the cost to everybody beneath them. These self-centered libertarians want NO government intervention in business whatsoever – NO input and definitely NO regulations. They want NOminimum wage and NO government-established safety standards at all. They don’t care one bit as to the struggles students now face paying back horrendously high student loans, or that your wages remain flat while theirsrise tremendously. They don’t care that many Americans must now work 2 or even 3 jobs to make ends meet. They push for even greater tax breaks for the wealthy, partly to increase their wealth but also to starve the federal government, which they view as their enemy.
One of the companies owned by these greedy billionaire brothers is the gigantic paper producer Georgia Pacific, which has been fined MILLIONS of dollars for repeated pollution violations over the years. These arrogant and extremely greedy brothers just pay the fine and keep polluting – they simply don’t care about public health. All they care about is their profit.
Many years ago, these ever-scheming scoundrels decided to funnel their money into a series of pro-business entities they created, each of which would either spread disinformation, influence public opinion to be in their favor, and /or completely subvert our government to further their aims – all at regular, everyday workers’ expense. They set up “think tanks” like the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute to send out position papers to magazines plus hand-picked “experts” to appear on talk shows to refute truth-telling scientists whose findings on environment and health would adversely affect their profits. They have invested heavily in Republican candidates whom they correctly believed could be bribed or manipulated into doing their bidding. THIS election, they are even spending nearly $900 MILLIONto produce TV and radio ads designed to fool the unsuspecting public into voting for Republican candidates they support, whose stances may actually differ greatly from what would actually be in the public’s best interest. The Koch brothers meet in secret with other like-minded billionaires to formulate new schemes aimed at further increasing their collective wealth, power, and influence, while shutting all the rest of us out of having any input in what they’re doing whatsoever. They have been remarkably successful in this subversion thus far, as it is easy to win when you operate in secret as they have done. THEY and their allies are behind voter disenfranchisement efforts and attempts to restrict new voter registration. They are actively trying to steal our democracy away from us right beneath our noses, and they are counting on voter apathy, disinterest, and inattention to help them realize their sordid goals. These types are not patriots in the least – instead, they should be considered economic terrorists who aim to transform our government from one of , by, and for the people to one which primarily serves THEM!
There is only ONE DEFENSE against these secretive, scheming, subversive billionaires, and that is for ALL of us in the99% MAJORITY to VOTE, especially in the “down ticket” races, and especially AGAINST their hand-picked reactionary Republican/Libertarian candidates! We must instead commit ourselves to replacing these stodgy do-nothing reactionary Republicans with pro-PEOPLE and pro-WORKER PROGRESSIVES! This is ESPECIALLY important at the LOCAL and STATE levels, where anti-labor and anti-progress Republicans like Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Florida’s Rick Scott, Maine’s Paul LePage, and Michigan’s Rick Snyder, plus their reactionary legislatures, have held a stranglehold on power for FAR too long!
We must UNITE to ensure that the next Congress and all subsequent ones end up passing legislation beneficial to US rather than acting as a rubber stamp for billionaires who want to enslave us, or block passage of much-needed bills through obstructionist tactics like filibustering. The key word here is, of course, UNITE. For while it is true that one vote means little, a bloc of MILLIONS of UNITED voters can and WILL run these Tea Party-infested, austerity hawk Republicans out of office at ALL levels and for all time!
THAT, my friends, is why it is so CRUCIAL for you to vote this fall, and next year, the year after, and EVERY time there is an election for your city, state, and federal government – do NOT allow yourself to be hoodwinked into slavery by billionaires – TAKE BACK the power that you still have while you still can! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!VOTE! VOTE! VOTE
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