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.


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