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The act of a single voter picking from one of two corrupt political parties at a voting booth is not revolutionary, but enabling people to vote who are normally disenfranchised by our society is revolutionary.  There is a reason activists were willing to put their lives on the line for the right to vote in the South during the civil rights movement.  There is a reason the suffragettes were willing to repeatedly go on hunger strikes for the right to vote.  For Occupy to discount the power of voting is to ignore one of the most powerful tools at our disposal for revolutionary change.

Some say that if voting changed anything, the elites wouldn't allow it, but this discounts the fact that activists had to fight tooth and nail for every expansion of enfranchisement in history. We wouldn't have near universal enfranchisement now without all the activists who risked life and limb running direct action campaigns that make occupy look like child's play, for our right to vote.  Nor have the elites given up on eroding our right to vote; they know damn well the ballot box is one of the most powerful weapons we can use against them.  The current attacks on voting rights come in the form of voter ID laws, restrictions on voter registration, and harassment of organizers running voter registration drives.

When you hear about "voter fraud" from the corporate media, what you're hearing is part of a coordinated attack by the elites on our right to vote.  The effect of these non-credible allegations are two fold, it allows them discredit, smear, and imprison anyone who has the balls to register voters, while giving them political cover for passing laws that restrict voting rights across the board.  The Bush administration verifiability and under-handily put in new US Attorneys to further trumped up charges of voter fraud to disenfranchise Americans.  Despite the fact it would directly benefit Obama to do something about this, he hasn't had the balls to do it, and he's left Bush's US Attorneys in place, even when they were throwing friends of mine, who worked their asses off for him, in jail after monkey trials (no surprise you didn't see that covered by the corporate media).

It's par for the course that the same Supreme Court which ruled on Citizen's United also approved restrictive voter ID requirements (add this the reasons I'm proud to have been arrested on the steps of the Supreme Court); both decisions follow the same vein in giving corporations rights at the expense of individual rights. At this moment in history most Americans are so brainwashed by the corporate media into complacency that they aren't aware of the coordinated attack on our right to vote, however the elites who are behind the attack know exactly what they're doing.  They know the harder they make it for the poor, the disabled, and the invisibles in our society to vote, the more entrenched their power is, and that is exactly why we need to OCCUPY THE VOTE with all the people the corporate elites don't want to see.  The 99% has much more power in our democratic republic than the elites would like us to believe, and it's up to us to use that power by voting and encouraging others to vote, even when our choices of candidates are downright awful.

I do not believe we can change the system in a day, or that any candidate will do it for it for us.  Without direct action, we have no hope of creating a better world, and that's why I Occupy.  Direct action goes hand in hand with voting in the revolutionary's tool box.

Originally posted to Futuristic Dreamer on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 06:25 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.

    by Futuristic Dreamer on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 06:25:28 PM PST

  •  Good point (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Futuristic Dreamer, Jeff Simpson

    about elites never having "allowed" the expansion of the franchise; it has always been fought for and won.

    That's a reminder we all can use.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 06:53:56 PM PST

  •  A couple points here (0+ / 0-)

    First, it isn't revolutionary, it's reform.  It's really good, and it's necessary, but it isn't revolutionary except in the weakest sense of the term.

    Second, while it is true that people fought for enfranchisement, it's arguable that it was also given.  It isn't as if people just showed up and started voting and it worked.  Unless they did do that and I don't know about it, which is entirely possible.

    There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

    by AoT on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 08:01:33 PM PST

    •  Don't know what you mean by "weakest" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Futuristic Dreamer

      If you can come up with something that has allowed more people to participate in power than democratic elections, then I might see your point.  Without elections, revolution is purely about replacing one despotic regime with another.  Expanding the voting franchise has proven by far the most effective way to challenge power and is as close as we have come to permanent revolution a la Trotsky.  That's not the weakest sense of revolution.  I would argue it's the most radical.

      •  Broader participation in a system is not (0+ / 0-)

        revolutionary, it's a slow change that integrates people into the system as it exists not a sudden break and a reorganization into a new system, which is what a revolution is.  It certainly pushes change forward bt it isn't revolutionary.

        There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 08:58:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It can be slow or fast. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Futuristic Dreamer

          The 1998 elections in Venezuela ushered in the most rapid period of radical change to that country's political system in its history.  Far more has changed for the average Venezuelan in the years since then than Bolivar could have dreamed in his time.  In 1999 they elected a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution which completely changed the structure of the government, and then approved it by popular vote.  Again, if you have an example of a more effective revolution than that, I'd truly love to hear about it.

          •  It's both. Statistics. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Futuristic Dreamer

            Elected government is a synthesis of revolution and stasis. Before democracy, the only way people could change their government was by violence. Democracy gives them a non-violent choice. But they can still change their government 180 degrees, if they choose.

            Some numbers to ponder from 2010:

            GOP's Rick Scott beat Dem Alex Sink in the FL governor race, 2.62 million to 2.56 million. Population of FL: 14 million.

            In Arkansas, Blue Dog Blanche Lincoln beat progressive Dem Bill Halter in the Dem primary runoff, 135,000 to 124,000. Then Lincoln lost to the GOP's John Boozman in the general election, 288,000 to 452,000. Population of AR: 2.9 million. That's right, not even 5% of Arkansans turned out for Halter.

            I could go on.

            Better government is there for the asking, no revolution needed. But people can't be bothered.

            "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 Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 11:39:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  FL population 19 mil., not 14 mil. Sorry. (0+ / 0-)

              That makes the turnout stink even worse.

              "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 Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 11:49:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Just because something has led to big changes (0+ / 0-)

            doesn't mean that thing is revolutionary.  It's simple, more people voting is good because it expands rights.  It isn't revolutionary because it integrates them into the same system whereas a revolution is a radical change in a system.  Certainly voting can, and obviously has, be used to bring about radical changes, but that is external to expanding the vote.  There weren't radical changes immediately following women's suffrage.

            There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

            by AoT on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 12:57:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Internet voting? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    I've been listening to competing arguments about this.
    I can't help but think if you can bank online with huge amounts of money, safely, you can vote online, safely.
    LOTS of problems would arise to be sure, but it seems most people would be able to vote, and of course, exit polls could point out fraud. What do you folks think?

    "But Brandine, you're supposed to be in Iraq stopping 911!"

    by leftyguitarist on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 08:09:33 AM PST

  •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 08:47:43 AM PST

  •  If voting were revolutionary (0+ / 0-)

    then Occupy wouldn't be using consensus process.

    "I think the Obama campaign would be taking this populist-sounding tack even if Occupy had never happened." -- Paul Street

    by Cassiodorus on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 08:49:48 AM PST

    •  ...because Occupy is now the definition of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Futuristic Dreamer, Jeff Simpson

      revolutionary? Please.

      Anyway, even the consensus process relies on voting. Voting isn't really the issue--the real issue is representative government.  THAT is why Occupy uses the consensus process.

      But consensus works for Occupy because it is made up of people who generally share similar values. Consensus doesn't work when society is polarized. Then, consensus just works like an extraordinarily onerous supermajority requirement. And requiring a supermajority in order to get anything done tends to result in stalemate. If we are going to expect government to be a counterweight to corporate power, stalemate is the last thing you want. Corporations and the wealthy already hold almost all the advantages. A government that does nothing is FAR more useful to them than one that actually tries to reign in their power.

      You can tell Monopoly is an old game because there's a luxury tax and rich people can go to jail.

      by Simian on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 10:39:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  All 99% should get out and vote (3+ / 0-)

    Thank you for your article.  It is very nicely argued, and I agree wholeheartedly.

    While I am convinced the only sure winner of the 2012 election will be the corporatcocracy, I will vote in 2012, and I urge  everyone to do the same.

    I don't think I will be voting for any members of the corporatocracy (and that includes both dem. and repub. candidates), but I might vote for a Bernie Sanders, a Dennis Kuccinich, a Ministry of Truth, a Bill Maher, or someone else I think best represents my thoughts about government.  Those who feel the dem. or repub candidate is the best candidate should surely vote for their champion

    Voting is indeed very powerful, and I urge all to participate.

    As someone wiser than me once told me: I am responsible to take action and do the work - but I must let go of the outcome as that is in the hands of a greater power.

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 10:33:21 AM PST

  •  Voting is revolutionary (0+ / 0-)

    when you organize voters to vote only for candidates pledged to pass comprehensive airtight legislation to get money out of politics. Those incumbents who don't pledge, get to do something else for a living.

    •  If we had near universal turnout (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      It would be much easier to get money out of politics.

      When people recognise their power instead of letting corporations tell them they're powerless, we'd have much better politicians.

      I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.

      by Futuristic Dreamer on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 01:19:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, because no matter how cynical I am I vote & (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Futuristic Dreamer

        so does my family.

        We are powerful. We just don't know it.

        The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

        by a2nite on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 03:23:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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