01 November 2010

Day of Decision

Tomorrow is a day of decision for Americans and a day of history.

It is a day we vote for our representation in our National government in the Legislative Branch, and for the past four decades and more we have become lax in this exercise of our franchise right.

Congressional Election cycle graph percent

Presidential Election cycle graph percent
Source: US Census

Our ancestors who founded this Nation fought hard so that we the people would get the franchise so as to be able to have a say in our governance.  To have that say we elect representatives to Congress, so the Nation may know about itself via those who represent us.  Voting is not about parties 'winning' nor about ideology, but a simple means for the Nation to know about itself in its National government so that all the views of the people can be heard and given airing for the people to know about.  This is the role of any government, but is particularly the case in a representative democracy in a republican form of government: we get wide say in our representatives and our government comes to reflect us in our voting for representatives at all levels of government.

We crossed the boundary of 50% for Congressional elections in 1974 and only approached that, once, in 1982.

Worse is that our turnout for Presidential years has been in a steady decline, as well, so that we passed the point of claiming even a plurality support for government, that being over 35% support via 'winning' of the entire population, some time ago.  Not voting is not a vote to support any 'party' or, indeed, our form of government and counting only those who do vote have left out the plurality, turning into a majority, that do not do so.  Winning even 50% of 60% turnout is 30% National support of all those eligible to vote and that was last seen in 1984 with 1992 being a 3-way race.  It follows then that the actual plurality that does not vote is sending a message that they do not support our government enough to exercise the right that so many around this planet give their lives for: a simple say in their government.

When such small segments of the polity come to power there is great trouble in any form of government as the oversight of the few with that power diminishes.  The history of this is such that we can no longer claim the necessary validity that some tyrants have had coming to power based on far larger turnouts, with even more parties to contest elections.  That history is not inevitable, however, as it is the people who give legitimacy to representative government, not the government that takes it or assumes it for itself.

America turned away from the regular cleansing of government when the Progressive movement took hold so as to concentrate power and slowly distance the people from their representatives.

Courtesy: thirty-thousand.org

It is a set of graphs that we will all come to rue if we do not assert our will as a people upon our government and, instead, feel that our voice has no say and that those in power will forever be re-elected to the point that they rarely concern themselves with those they represent.  Distant governors are tyrannical ones, as they have to stake in those they govern and thus feel that they are fit to rule, not govern, over people.

Thus tomorrow is a day of exercising our hard won rights, fought and died for, marched for, and that has left a bloody trail behind it so that we can, indeed, have a say in our own government.

Tomorrow we the people can make history and vote in more than a mere plurality but in a majority, and begin to place legitimacy back into government of, by and for the people.  To get a government for the people it must be supported by the people and consist of representatives from the people.

Voting for a candidate that reflects your outlooks on life, your viewpoints and who will protect your way of life is paramount at all times.  A people willing to govern themselves will hold their government accountable to the same high standards they hold themselves to, and change that government when it fails to meet those standards.  If you can find none in the parties to represent you, then your own name needs to be written in on the ballot so that you, at least, vote for someone who can speak to your needs, wishes and wants in life so as to be free to exercise liberty and create a better society without the interference of others to tell you what to do, how to live and what is right and wrong.  You had parents for that, and government is no fit parent to anyone, especially you as an adult.  Your vote is never 'wasted' even if cast for yourself: you have done your duty to your neighbors and our Nation and honestly voted for a better representative.  No matter who 'wins' your vote is the right one to cast because it comes from your own hand, guided by your mind which is governed by your heart.  There is no 'wrong' vote in voting as the act itself is good and necessary to protect ourselves from the tyranny of government.

I encourage all citizens of the United States who are eligible to vote to do so, as their voice is necessary for all of us to hear.  In our multitudes we come together as one Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Only you can form this Nation by taking part in our governance so that you may be free to govern yourself.

May we be the most civil people on this planet able to guide ourselves so as to hold this Nation's honor as our very own.

I thank you for your time.

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