The US election is fast approaching. Have you registered to vote? Have you voted? Check that your vote was counted? If you are not going to vote, you will be part of the problem. If you vote for Republicans you are also part of the problem. What problem is that you say?
I voted this past week. I am out of the country for the duration so I was able to vote by email and fax. The supervisor of elections of my home county emailed me the ballot and I printed it out, filled it in, signed the affidavit, and then faxed it back. A couple of hours later I received an email back that my ballot had been received and counted. How easy was that?
Now my county official for elections is a Republican as are nearly every local elected officials in the county. But the population of the county is nearly 50-50 Republicans and Democrats. Go figure! My supervisor of elections is a Republican. It looks like he has done a good job. He may even deserve my vote for that. But he won't get it because he has an "R" after his name.
I was a registered Republican until just before the primary when I switched my registration to Democrat. I am really an Independent but my state is a closed primary state so you have to be registered in the party before you can vote in their primary. So you got to be something if you want to vote in the primary.
I have not voted for a Republican in a national election since 1988, and I voted for a decreasing amount of Republicans in local elections over the years. This year I didn't bother to look at the candidates or what they stood for or what their policy proposals consisted of. Didn't need to. I simply did not vote for a Republican or anybody who didn't have a "D" after their name. Why after 50 years of voting?
You see the Republican party has outlived its usefulness in a democratic civil society. It has become the party of lying, cheating, and thieving. It is mean, vicious, and lacks empathy. It supports racism, misogyny, and brutality. Quite simply the Republican party has become evil. It is not conservative.
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Now that doesn't mean that every Republican is even one of those things personally. Their only "sin" may be adding their name to what the Republican Party does, has done, has had done, or promotes to be done. That doesn't even mean that people with an "R" still attached to their name are even remotely evil themselves. So what's the problem? Why not vote for the good ones?
Edmund Burke is considered by many to be the father of modern conservatism. One of his most famous quotes is applicable here in this situation.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”― Edmund Burke in a letter addressed to Thomas Mercer
That's what most people with an "R" after their name have done. Stood by. Done nothing. Enabled a disaster. Do you think you are good? If you stand by while evil triumphs, then are you really a good person?
What This Election Represents
This election is certainly one of the most important in American history. It ranks in there with the elections in 1860, 1876, and 1932. The election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 was when Southern states seceded and the American civil war began in which more than 700,000 Americans lost their lives. The undemocratic election of Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876 ended reconstruction and ushered in more than 100 years of Jim Crow laws, lynchings, and systemic racism. And the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 brought us the recovery from Republican excesses of the 1920s and the Great Depression. If people hadn't voted for American values then we could perhaps have had Hitler instead of Roosevelt. There were many fascist-minded in America then as now.
Many well-meaning people voted for Trump in 2016 so he could shake up a government that had ceased to respond to the needs of the American People. That governmental failure was orchestrated by both Democrats and Republicans. That failure was begun by Reagan, aggravated by Clinton appeasement polices, and culminated in George W. Bush's destructive foreign and domestic excess. All these roads led to Trump. Yes he shook up government. Not for good but the near worst government could serve up.
The Republican party changed from doing evil to being evil on the night of Barack Obama's inauguration when Republican leaders met in a DC area restaurant and vowed to each other to block any and all legislation or programs or efforts regardless of whether they agreed with the specifics or not.
Donald Trump's lies, lawlessness, and failings in the last 4 years are legendary but they are not material now. His open threat to end democracy as we have known it, good or bad, is reason for young or old, left or right, white or black to come together to send "The Donald" gone. Nothing less than total removal from public life in disgrace.
This election will determine whether the election in 2016 or the election of 2020 joins these other pivotal elections in American history. If Trump returns to the White House as the election winner or its thief, 2016 will be when The Republic was lost. If Trump is voted from office then 2020 will be when The Republic was perhaps restored.
In 1787 Benjamin Franklin was asked what type of government was formed. His answer was: "A republic, if you can keep it." Can we now get it back and keep it? And if not, if you fail to vote in 2020 you will have been part of the problem. Are you sure you will not be part of the problem?? Let this final Franklin quote near his death tell you.
“Our new Constitution is now established, everything seems to promise it will be durable; but, in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes,”
What To Do
Don't be a 2016 anti-Clinton voter who protested with your vote or worse didn't bother to show up because you didn't like anybody. You were part of the problem that gave us this Trump train wreck. Don't like Biden? Don't like his polices? Tough! Save it for a President that cares. You owe your country extra effort. Once Biden is in office, then pressure can be put on him and his administration to do what's right. Unfortunately, this method does not work with a Republican administration.
This week will mark the last time you can register to vote in some states. And you most likely can do it online. For some of you, Republicans may have mischievously removed you from the voter rolls as part of their voter suppression efforts.
So check that your registration is still active. You can most likely do that online. You should make every effort to vote early or at least at the earliest opportunity. If you vote by mail or provisional ballot, follow up and make sure it was counted. You can probably do that online as well
And finally if you screwed up and lost your chance to vote then you owe yourself to go out and find someone, who can still vote but isn't planning to, to take your place.
About the Author
Robert Jennings is co-publisher of InnerSelf.com with his wife Marie T Russell. InnerSelf is dedicated to sharing information that allows people to make educated and insightful choices in their personal life, for the good of the commons, and for the well-being of the planet. InnerSelf Magazine is in its 30+year of publication in either print (1984-1995) or online as InnerSelf.com. Please support our work.
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