Thursday, November 8, 2012

Voting - Is Only the FIRST Step

Saw this piece on Common Dreams this morning and it expresses pretty much where I am right now.  I am extremely happy about the election results here in Minnesota and with the re-election of Obama/Biden.


Based on quick research (more detail this weekend) of the election results from Tuesday night – even with the multi-award winning, dedicated work of the folks at ALECExposed, a timely and excellent expose' of ALEC by Emmy Award winning, Moyers and Company, researchers dedicated to exposing ALEC,  and other citizen journalists – the election results on Tuesday resulted in very few repercussions to ALEC.  I was hoping for more – got much less than I had hoped for – most ALEC members across the US were re-elected.  My early results show, across the US  – maybe 10% of ALEC-ers for kicked out – maybe, it looks like less ( a lot less).  In Minnesota and Wisconsin almost all the ALEC-ers were re-elected – this is NOT a good sign for the next four years.

So     What does that mean?
It means more education is needed on ALEC across the US.  We need to work harder than ever the next 2 – 4 years to educate our neighbors AND now, we HAVE TO watch our legislatures for the ALEC “model legislation” that is inevitably going to be introduced by ALEC legislators across the United States.

The American Legislative Exchange Council is a danger and a true threat to our democracy.  ALEC brought us blatantly racist immigration and Voter ID legislation , kill at will, horrible tort reform that takes away the rights of people, horrible public lands legislation, repulsive renewable energy mandates, horrendous labor legislation, terrifying right-to-work-for-less legislation, truly disgusting education legislation.

ALEC holds secret meetings, putting together secret legislation that is written mostly by corporate lobbyists and then ALEC legislators secretly bring it into our state legislatures and deceptively pass it off as their own.  It is out there - we have blogged it and tweeted it, over and over and over again  ...  and yet

  ...  Americans put ALEC legislators back in office.

It became evident to me very early Wednesday morning, while looking at the results that America doesn’t get it yet when it comes to ALEC.  The results from Tuesday showed that going into the voting booth is just not enough, yet.

Snips from Common Dreams

On Election Day, the editorial board of the Minnesota Daily published an opinion piece, “Fulfill Your Civic Duty,” encouraging Minnesotan youth to vote. “We understand that students are busy,” the editorial remarks read, “but on one day of the year it’s important that you put your civic life above all else.” Oklahoma’s Tulsa World editorial staff wrote a similar piece on Tuesday titled, “Vote Today; It’s the Most Important Civic Duty.” The editorial chastised non-voters as unthankful for the ultimate price paid by American service men and women: “These people showed up when it counted.  Please return the favor Tuesday and vote.”  Election Day sure gets a lot of civic duty-oriented attention, but what about the other 1,459 days of the four-year cycle?

Voting once every two or four years is not exercising civic duty, it is imaginative play that supports a particularly hollow concept of democracy embraced in America. As author and philosopher Howard Zinn movingly stated in a 2008 opinion-editorial for The Progressive, “Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens.”

Placing increased importance on the four-year voting cycle serves to accomplish two tasks.  First, such importance serves to over-emphasize the power of representatives in government.


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