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  •  Howard Zinn had this to say about voting: (17+ / 0-)
    Historically, government, whether in the hands of Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals, has failed its responsibilities, until forced to by direct action: sit-ins and Freedom Rides for the rights of black people, strikes and boycotts for the rights of workers, mutinies and desertions of soldiers in order to stop a war.

    Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens.

    "Electoral Madness"

    When you think about it, the idea the taking a few minutes to vote every two years will be enough to hold off the greed of the plutocrats, the bloodthirstiness of the warmongers, the narrow-mindedness of the wingnuts, the hunger for power of the autocrats and the carelessness for life of the polluters is not much more than a cop-out.

    None of the advances of our society were obtained by simple voting.  They all involved direct action that eventually forced politicians to trail along behind.

    You have to have more in the game than two minutes in a voting booth.

    •  Particularly when we're facing a trillion dollar (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sancerre2001, Philoguy, Marie, goinsouth

      election season in 2012.

      S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

      by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 05:46:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree 100% with that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Too many of us think we've done our duty if we show up every four (four!) years to pull a lever.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 06:38:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bumblebums, tmo, Leftcandid

      All those freedom rides, strikes, boycotts, etc. brought progress under Democratic governments. They got nowhere under Republicans.

      Exception: Vietnam.

      But most of the time, direct action will move Democrats but not Republicans. Because Republicans get elected by the people being demonstrated against.

      Which is not to say that Democrats will always be moved by direct action. Sometimes they won't. But sometimes beats hell out of never, or almost never.

      By winning the election, you make government more susceptible to direct action. Politics is not sufficient, but it sure as hell is necessary.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 07:08:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's totally true, but if you don't vote, then (0+ / 0-)

      you're wasting everything else you do.

      My issue is with the pervasive idea that voting is a way to express one's feelings or principles, when it it's far more than that.  And while it can't be the only way we participate, it must be the culmination of that participation, the goal of which must be to educate and activate every other citizen specifically to vote in order to seize power for the average working person.

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