Beyond Ferguson: It cannot be about just the injustice

The protests by themselves bring awareness of anger, but what is the anger about?  It cannot  be about just the injustice; it must also be about our government’s failure to act for justice with positive steps, with plans that can be implemented, with evidence of deep concern for the citizens it represents.  Ferguson protesters need to demand that those steps be identified.  Law enforcement has the obligation to use the courts as much as citizens do.  Instead they play judge, jury and executioner far too often.

This is laziness.  This is a failure to acknowledge human and civil rights.  This is a failure to acknowledge the elevated stature we give to human life itself, and to respect it above all else.  This is a complete breakdown of the processes that give the very fundamental purposes to law itself, which is to find and deliver justice wherever it is called upon to intervene, so that society can not only sanely function but be free from fear and experience the pleasures that are truly possible for the human being.  Why must life always be contentious, burdensome, and a terror for the common man?  Why is it that only a small percentage get to live above the fray?   Where is equality in the application of the law?

The Ferguson protests also need clear identifiable spokespersons who can enunciate demands for changes federally and at the state levels regarding both institutional policies and law that affect use of deadly force, which is key to the abuses suffered by minorities.  Various city groups need to come together through leadership and organize around specific demands.  And those demands need to be presented to appropriate law enforcement representatives, legislators, governors, and the President. 

If positive action is not shown immediately, then protesters must consider other options, but I will not venture to speculate at this time what those might be.  All the confrontations, the rioting and massive costs to the people of Ferguson should not go to waste.  For whatever it is worth, these must be the building blocks to something better, and not the harbinger of much worse that may yet still come. 

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How Progressives Could Win

Here’s the political sales job I see among progressives:  Get out and vote, you dumb fucks, or I’m going to unfriend you.  Someone on my friends list yesterday was making a concerted effort to unfriend anyone who admitted that they didn’t vote. I love these compassionate and congenial friends who declare themselves “progressive.”  Intellectually astute and into all the issues, they clearly know how to win over those who don’t quite agree.

Since I’ve long had it with the electoral system and didn’t vote, I also see clear evidence of a lack of faith in Congress rather than lack of faith in the President, which is expressed in low voter turnout during midterm elections, while voter turnout in presidential elections is usually twice as high.

Statistics on who voted and who didn’t are also demonstrating why Republicans won big in the recent elections and why Democrats were left holding their bag of weed. According to an MSNBC study, 37 percent of voters were 60 and older, while only 12 percent were between 18 and 30.

As a constituency for Democrats, this younger demographic is clearly where this party should be making an appeal if they want votes.  Millenials are about 80 million strong in the U.S., or about 25 percent of the population.  By comparison, those 60 and older make up less than 20 percent.   But when did you last see your favorite candidate standing outside the cafeteria at your local university handing out leaflets?   Why does it take money to buy elections when a simple grassroots effort can go so much further?  If you think buying big expensive ads on MSM is the way to go, you’re missing out.

In 2008, close to 70 percent of those who voted between 18 and 29 voted Democrat while only about 35 percent voted Republican.  The number of young people voting Democrat has since been gradually declining, however, showing a 55 percent turnout in 2014, while the number voting Republican has been increasing, now up to 42 percent.  Is this disappointment with Obama or simply growing awareness in the age of Facebook of massive corruption in government leadership?

Is it at all possible that promises, promises, and war and more war, endorsement of Israel’s savagery in Gaza, plain deceit and money that buys elections just aren’t a great turn-on for those who go into a lifetime of debt for a college education and then find that the plumber dropout is going to make more than they will?

I don’t buy the notion that the election was all about racism and a vote against Obama.  Well, maybe for the crowd over the hill who did get out and vote, but failure to go to the polls is also a vote:  a vote against a system that doesn’t represent you.   That’s where the biggest vote was.

I’m a supporter of direct democracy.  Let’s give access on the home computer to how we feel about the direction of this country.  Let’s give access on the home computer to the power of the common nerd.  With direct democracy, if the older set aren’t computer savvy, guess who’s going to win.