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Voter apathy is conditioned, most people have a yearning to participate.
Stop Telling Voters It's Over
Regardless of who you personally support in this election, until that person folds their campaign, the race is never over. The amount of super delegates (more on them in a few moments) nor the early results from only part of the country is going to determine who the candidates are, if we honestly champion democracy and the democratic process.
Yes, I am aware we are a democratic republic, and our system of elections clearly gives the power to the states to determine how best to go about electing officials, and how much democracy is allowed to influence those choices.
But, when we constantly bombard the public with the message that their vote doesn't count, even before they vote, we do our country a great disservice.
One powerful narrative started a couple weeks ago, was that Hillary Clinton is going to win the election, regardless of what her competitor does, because she has locked up the super delegates. For those unsure of what a super delegate is, it is a person (either an elected official like Representative Grayson, or a party-leader or shaker, not elected into office, like Howard Dean), who at the party convention later this year, can place a vote for any candidate they want to be the party’s choice to run for President.
Super delegates can even endorse a candidate for months, only to vote differently at the time of the convention, and in close elections, they can decide who is best to represent the party.
You’ll notice the party and super delegates represent a largely unjustified hierarchy of insiders, not always representing the citizens wishes, but their own, as illustrated in Dean’s tweet above. The unintended consequences of teaching citizens that we are a free and democratic nation, only to minimize their democratic voice, can result in further voter apathy.
Voter apathy is conditioned, most people have a yearning to participate. Telling democratic voters, especially the double-digit influx of democratic voters, who are voting for the first time for Senator Sanders, that their voice does not count, and that Hillary Clinton won the primaries before they get to place a vote, is a great way to turn off voters.
We need to practice voting, not discourage the practice. Voting has to become a discipline in order to create a more viable society for all people, and the only way to shape a discipline is via repetition. For without the people participating, eager folks wanting to wield unjustified power will continue to drive us off the cliff because they want to, and not because we the people want them to.
Claude Morton, Column Editor: Claude Morton is an independent contributor, who mostly writes articles on politics, Veganism, philosophy, or local events. Claude has contributed to a variety of print and online outlets including Yahoo!, MovieMaker Magazine, and the Ann Arbor News. From Claude; I’m in the 1%, no, not that 1%. I’m a vegan, indie filmmaker, libertarian socialist, and a pacifist. I champion freedom as much as equality, and love discussing solutions about our country’s biggest dilemmas. ... (more...)