If you feel like the current conditions of political life in our country are pretty much a matter of the greater number of us being in thrall to a much smaller number, whose will to do bad acts seems to grow perceptibly, you’re not alone. Sometimes it feels like the situation of our physical selves being in thrall (and certainly at threat of finding ourselves in such a condition) to microbes (or even smaller… viruses are very much smaller than bacteria, for example) about which little seems to be able to be done.
But there’s a significant difference, however compelling the analogy and however helpless and bereft you may feel. Like the body’s own immune system, of which, let’s face it, we remain substantially unaware as well, we have it in ourselves to take action against even a sea of troubles.
We can vote at the very absolute least.
Remarkably little of the electorate feel the power of their right to vote. Despair unhinges us. Disgust, frustration, anger, ennui, whatever the erosive demotivators we suffer, there seems less and less hope left in this most fundamental of American rights. But it remains the key to collective empowerment. In part this is what we mean when we speak of democracy, and we mean it with the connotations of good, and ethical, and right. Individually, we have, each of us, our one small bit of command, of entitlement. This is what substantiates our agency as citizens. The power of the ballot.
Enough votes at once will effect change. We’ve seen it in the lifetime of the current generation. Changes in administration. Changes in the majorities of Congress. Changes in laws, including at the highest, the constitutional level.
Inherently our system still works, even as we plod on, seemingly limping and bleeding from what has come to seem not merely a chronic, but a continuous assault on our fundamental humanitarian principles, uncertain of not if, but when, our sense of belief will give out completely and we submit, if not surrender, utterly. All it takes is a vote. And as the actions of key leaders among those who hold power over our behavior as a people and a nation seem to portend that we will crash on in defiance of other of the world’s sovereignties, in defiance of nature itself—utterly despite the collective will, at the deepest level, of the greater percentage of our entirety as a nation—the power of that vote we still have seems to have less and less reason to enact it effectively. But repeatedly, we have proven as an electorate, that this is not so.
We still have, remarkably, another chance. In the most primitive of assessments, it’s down to basics. Almost a Manichean choice of a duality facing us. Possibly as simple as right and wrong.
Gratefully, the choice is even simpler, because there is only one wrong choice. And many right ones, with nuances and more blatant differences for sure, but any one is right in this electoral challenge. Just don’t give up. Just don’t vote wrong. Just vote.Copyright © 2020 Howard Dininby
I certainly agree with your conclusion….however (you knew there’d be a “however”, right?), our country’s immune system is compromised – simply trying to remove the infection is blocked by the virulent disease – the secondary infections from voter disenfranchisement, gerrymandering, brainwashing of the electorate by Russian bots, and lying tweets from the infection-in-chief make the antibiotic value of a vote much less than it was before….so, in fact, your conclusion is even more valid, if we are to survive this virulent disease…
Well, mon brave, you do keep your hand in… My personal feeling is, extending a metaphor, a fairly obvious one at that (if I say so myself), can be as vitiating a gesture as mixing it with another… kind of what you were doing, but this is not the subject at hand. You do seem to be saying, in a way that belies the factual foundation of my assertion to begin with, that what I say is right, but in the end, even with your clever interpolation of equally blatant conditions (in place since long before the current administration), it doesn’t matter, because what I say is right… And how can I possibly disagree with that? The preponderance of the electorate is not a supporter of the disease, primary or secondary, or tertiary, etc., down to the lowliest magistrate in the smallest precinct’s electoral poll. The fault we suffer is not in the contributory factors that facilitate the spread of the disease (mechanisms part of a larger strategy that’s been in place for 30 years, if not longer), it’s in the inaction of a sufficient potential electoral majority. I’m not talking about the election of wardheelers. You know what I’m talking about, and, I daresay, so does everyone else who reads this.
Disease was routed in smaller venues in very recent elections than the totality of the country voting for the sole national office holder, even when every factor you cite (disenfranchisement, gerrymandering, voter manipulation, and misdirection by mendacity) was in play in force. But why should I argue, as I say, when your point is, I’m right in my main thesis (which remains a lot simpler than yours).
I will say though, in defense of my rhetorical bona fides, that the thing you mainly get in error (if I may allow myself to speak in such terms) is the substance of the innate metaphor… pretty straightforwardly stated. Our residual right and power to vote is not an antibiotic. It remains (and it saddens me to say it) our sole remaining aspect of an immune system. As Mike Bloomberg in particular knows, the antibiotic is money. Sad to say as well, as this is also the vehicle for contagion.
But keep the cards and letters coming. They are surefire antidote (believe it or not) to something more personal to me. My anxiety.