The positive value of symbolic protest, beyond the self-expression of the individual, is hard to measure. But the impact on the vote is easy to figure: one Democratic vote lost equals one Republican vote gained. I'd like to focus on an analogous group of protesters. Most of us know people in this group, I'm guessing. And they may be more open to rational argument than the non-voters above.
I have in mind those who are eligible for citizenship but are not busy becoming citizens. More...
But then there are those people truly analogous to the protesting Americans, above. They don't want to become American citizens. Who can blame them, really? Well, I can, for one. Unlike the rest of the world, they can actually help do something to change this country back to what it wants to be. And I damn well will blame them and all other non-voters (who don't have a sufficiently good excuse), if we don't see plenty of that change when we have the chance. We do not have the luxury of symbolic protests that cost votes, anymore.
There are perks to just doing it already other than helping to re-claim America:
1. Lower risk of detention and deportation;
2. The questions on the citizenship test are only getting harder. Well, the questions stay the same, but answering them is increasingly difficult: How many branches are there in our government? Who selects the Supreme Court Justices? What is the legislative branch of our government?
Yup. I should have taken that test a few years ago...
(This is a revised version of a diary I posted a number of days ago.)