Four in 10 Americans who were eligible to vote in 2016 didn’t do so.
That’s some 92 million U.S. Citizens.
These people weren’t purged from the polls.
They weren’t barred from voting.
They just didn’t bother.
So, the way I see it, the responsibility for President Donald Trump rests with you.
The United States has a Reality TV Show clown in the oval office.
He is a dimwitted narcissist who panders to racists, sexists and xenophobes to stay in power.
He is an incurious liar who constantly trolls the media and the public.
He is an admirer of dictators and fascists across the globe with no qualms about enriching himself and those like him at the expense of you and me.
Everyday he provides aide and comfort to anti-American regimes from Moscow to Riyadh by diminishing our international stature, withdrawing us from treaties and contracts, leaking sensitive information and otherwise pursuing foreign interests over those of American citizens.
And that’s before we even begin to examine his colossal impact on human rights – emboldening terrorists and white supremacists while his own administration throws children in cages and forcibly separates them from their families.
This is on you, non-voters.
You did this.
A democratic republic is like any other machine – it only functions properly if all of its parts are working.
You can’t have majority rule when 40% of voters shirk their duty.
A study by the Pew Research Center found that not only were non-voters likely to be younger, less educated, less affluent, and nonwhite, but 55% of them were Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents.
If more non-voters under the age of 30 had gotten their acts together in just a few swing states, we wouldn’t all be living through this national nightmare.
So if you think voting doesn’t make a difference, look around.
Look at your bank account for instance.
Wonder why your wages continue to stagnate while the rich pocket more and more of the economy?
Look at your neighborhood. Wonder why our schools, roads, bridges and other public services are crumbling into disrepair?
It’s because you didn’t vote.
I’m not saying everything would have been great under President Hillary Clinton. But Trump sets an awfully low bar for competency.
You think your vote doesn’t matter?
Republicans disagree with you.
They aren’t working overtime to stop people like you from voting because it makes no difference.
Robert Kennedy put it this way:
“The most significant civil rights problem is voting. Each citizen’s right to vote is fundamental to all the other rights of citizenship and the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and 1960 make it the responsibility of the Department of Justice to protect that right.”
Our courts have given up that responsibility.
Since 2013 when the Supreme Court invalidated a key part of the Voting Rights Act, millions of people have been barred from casting a ballot.
The federal government used to require nine states with a history of racial discrimination to obtain federal approval before making such changes. Now that they no longer need to do so, between 2014 and 2016 there’s been a 33% increase in voter purges in these states.
This isn’t just cleaning the polls of the names of people who’ve died. It’s actively preventing people – especially the poor and people of color – from having their voices heard.
In Arkansas, thousands of voters were erroneously flagged in 2016 under the guise of removing people who had been convicted of felonies. In Virginia, voters were wrongly deleted from the rolls in 2013 under the excuse of removing people who allegedly had moved.
And this election cycle more than one hundred thousand Georgia voters were removed because they didn’t respond to a mailer or there was a typo on their registration form.
To make matters worse, the purge was overseen by Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Republican candidate for governor. Since most of the people being removed from the polls are people of color, the poor and other Democrats or leaning Democrat voters, the move makes it harder for Democrat Stacey Abrams to challenge him.
Kemp and his Republican buddies wouldn’t be going through all this trouble if voting made no difference.
“Too many people struggled, suffered, and died to make it possible for every American to exercise their right to vote,” said civil rights icon and U.S. Senator John Lewis.
And people have died for the opportunity that millions of people decide not to exercise.
People like James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, who were murdered in 1964 while trying to register black voters in Mississippi. People like Viola Liuzzo, who was murdered a year later by the Ku Klux Klan during the Selma march for voting rights.
When you willingly give up an opportunity that was purchased so dear, you disrespect the memories of the dead.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt put it like this:
“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”
Our country is under attack. Our very freedoms are on the line.
Will you be a willing accomplice by standing idly by and allowing these miscreants to defecate all over the flag?
Or will you take a stand, do your duty and vote!?
“Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don’t vote.”
-William E. Simon
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