Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Majority Isn't The Majority If It Doesn't Show Up

For the voting, that is.

I'm saying that now because, despite a spate of recent victories in the delegate hunt, and in part because of depleted funds in the pursuit of those victories, it appears that at some point, and certainly no later than the Democratic convention in July, Bernie Sanders is going to be forced to concede the Democratic Party presidential nomination for 2016 to Hillary Clinton.  Sanders seems, at this point, to be in no mood to make that concession, and his followers likewise are in no mood for him to make it, both arguing that their cause goes beyond the nomination itself and toward the building of a progressive movement that can effect lasting political change in this country.

That's all well and good.  But I have a pair of relevant questions, for both Senator Sanders and for his followers:



Those were the mid-term years of the Obama Administration that so many of your worked and spent your tails and credit cards off for in 2008 and 2012.  Those were the years that could easily have made the difference in making a great presidency an even greater one.  Those were the years that could have ensured the enactment of cap-and-trade legislation, and comprehensive immigration reform.  Those were the years that could have helped to undo ruinous Supreme Court decisions against voting rights and campaign finance reform.  And, speaking of the Supreme Court, those were also the years that could have helped to ensure a progressive federal judiciary at all levels of the court process for a generation to come.

Didn't happen.  Because you didn't show up.  You expected Obama to do it all, to somehow audaciously turn on his hopeful charm, and make all things bright and beautiful without the energy and voices of those who formed presidential majorities twice.  You forgot that we live in a system of divided power, designed to thwart major changes without approval of those changes across three branches of government.  Worst of all, perhaps, you forgot the most important lesson of the eight years immediately prior to Obama's arrival in the Oval Office:


I'll have more to say about this point in a subsequent post.  For the moment, I think it's enough to support it to remind the reader that the previous Administration used a national tragedy to lie us into an unnecessary war for which we are still paying the price--not only in lives and dollars, but in the complete destabilization of the Middle East (thanks, ISIS) for decades to come.

Please don't sit there and pretend your hands are clean.  You might as well have voted for the Tea Party.  You might as well have voted to put the future of the nation into the power-grabbing hands of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell  You might as well have helped launch the political career of Donald Trump, the founding father of the "birther movement."

Instead, try to imagine how different it might have been if you had shown up.  And how essential it is for you to show up.  And how you can make up for it this year.  Because you are the majority.  But only if you honor the sacrifices that have been made for your right to vote by actually voting.

If you don't like Hillary, I understand.  I'm not thrilled about her either.  But the lesser of two evils is still less evil, and still stands in the way of the greater evil.  And, even if you don't want to be part of helping women break the ultimate glass ceiling, show up anyway, and vote for Democrats, third-party candidates, and ballot initiatives that support progressive causes.  Don't let those people and causes suffer because of a fixation on the presidential race:  that's how we got into this mess in the first place!

Please prove you are the majority.  Please put the best interest of the nation ahead of your legitimate and justifiable disappointment in the outcome of the nomination process.  That process, in and of itself, badly needs reform to make it more sensitive to the will of the people.  But the best way to ensure that the process becomes sensitive to the people is for the people to show up in the first place!

So please show up.  The nation needs you.  It doesn't need Donald Trump.  It doesn't need the Tea Party, which is pretty much all that's left of the GOP.  And it doesn't deserve either one.

It deserves the majority.  Please help make sure the majority shows up, this year and every election year from now on.

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