So many people I know (mostly on the left) complain about politics, but refuse to vote or realistically participate in the electoral process. Some believe that protesting (without voting) is sufficient. I think that's silly. Generally, protesting is a way to show elected politicians (or businesses) that a large number of their constituents (or customers) are angry and want things to change. Its a basically a short-cut, a way to tell stakeholders that they will suffer serious consequences unless they change their ways. If you protest, but don't vote, you are basically throwing loud, empty threats at stakeholders. They know you're mad, but they don't change their ways, because they know you're not going to do anything about it.

Others believe that all forms of political activity (voting, protest, writing) are useless, yet they incessantly complain about the system and claim that it's rigged. Nothing bothers me more.

It reminds me of when I was 10 years old and refused to eat dinner. Whenever I refused to eat the food that my hard-working, single-mother prepared for me, she yelled at me and told me that it was my own fault that I didn't like the food, because I refused to help her compile grocery lists, go to the supermarket with her or even help her prepare or plan the meals. As a result, she told me that I needed to "suck it up" and eat what I was served.

Like many of the radicals out there, for some reason, I thought that if I refused to participate and only complained about my mom's dinners during dinnertime, that my mom would notice my protest, be moved by it, and either fix me a brand new dinner to my liking or make sure that only my favorite meals would henceforth be served in our home. It didn't quite work out that way and I quickly grew up and learned that life was a two-way street.

If you refuse to play a role in picking the groceries, or preparing the meals, you lose the right to seriously and credibly complain about dinner. Same with politics. If you don't participate, don't whine like a mule when nobody listens to you.

Views: 25

Comment by Ron Powell on November 8, 2018 at 4:07pm

Amen!

Comment by alsoknownas on November 8, 2018 at 8:43pm

I understand the sentiment but disagree with the premise.

Voting is a privilege, not a requirement to use the 1st Amendment.

Comment by Rob Wittmann on November 9, 2018 at 2:35pm

actually, it’s a constitutional right, subject to restrictions. 

obviously, it’s not a condition prevedent for exercising one’s first amendment rights. those exist irrespective of voting. 

that said, the speech of folks who vote and protest and write letters to their relresentatives carries far more weight than those who don’t do these things, but only bitch and whine

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