June 16, 2006

Commentary:

What Happened to the Protestors?

Shame on those who did not Vote!

By E.A. Barrera

Roger Hedgecock loved this last election. All during election night as the votes were being counted and during his radio program the next day, right-wing sycophant Hedgecock exploded with glee as he and other conservatives realized liberal voters had stayed home. Barely a third of eligible voters bothered to cast ballots in this last election. The most pathetic turnout in recent history, what happened on June 6 spells potential disaster for progressive politics in America this November and beyond.

If the immaturity and apathetic nature of liberal voters continues this Fall, not only will Republicans and Conservatives continue to control the government, but racist politics concerning the border, and death in Iraq will last (at least) another two years. The George W. Bush administration will finish their term without having to answer for their crimes against the U.S. Constitution; and Arnold Schwarzenegger will run this state another four years - legitimizing a bogus recall that made California a national joke.

What happened to all those protestors, who only two months ago clogged the streets of San Diego and marched 100,000 strong in defense of human rights, freedom and immigration? What happened to the thousands of voices who have protested this war? What happened to the myriad of angry, indignant opponents of  Bush and his right-wing agenda to abuse the U.S. Constitution by limiting marriage rights; women‘s rights; health care rights; education rights; and the right of human citizenship this nation is supposed to embody?

Where were all the liberals?

The one place they were not was at a voting booth. Conservatives had a field day on June 6. Immigration bashers - the direct descendants and living heirs to George Wallace, Bull Connor and segregationists of the old South - dominated the race between Francine Busby and Brian Bilbray to fill the term of convicted criminal Randy Cunningham. The entire race was focused on the issue of immigration and border security from the perspective of a conservative ideology. Busby made one slip of the tongue and told a man he didn’t have to “have papers” to participate in the campaign, and an election that was supposed to replace a right-wing criminal with a person of ethics and integrity, instead replaced the criminal who took a bribe with a lobbyist who worked for the industry that offered the bribe.

Bilbray will now serve in place of Cunningham, and Busby will almost certainly never get the chance to cast votes in Congress in favor of women’s reproductive rights, against a deadly and incompetent war, or for universal health care… all because liberals chose to do anything other than the one thing that would have made a difference - vote.

There is no change without voting for change and using your vote in a mature and intelligent manner. I will say that again and again until the same immature progressives who supported Ralph Nader in 2000 or thought there was no difference between Al Gore and Bush are shamed into admitting that they have acted as fools. They have accomplished nothing with their protests and dancing in the streets except entertain themselves. They have allowed the power structure of this country to remain conservative. This is due to their failure to vote.

I will say it again and again until there is 100 percent turnout among Democrats, Greens, Progressives, Liberals, and any citizens of common-sense and humanity who seek to see this country live up to our American ideals. There is no patriotism without voting. There is no progress without voting. There is no change without voting. Republicans and Conservatives will always run this nation and sully the ideals of America as long as liberals refuse to show up at the polls.

If you voted on June 6th, then congratulations. You were one of a very few. You are a patriot and a citizen of human dignity.

If you did not - then this is what your laziness earned:

Cindy Sheehan’s dead son and every one of our fallen troops, plus the millions of Iraqi victims of this war are dead due to you;

Every AIDS victim or person who could benefit from stem cell research that died because Conservatives run this country, are dead due to you.

Every kid who cannot read because public schools are not supported;

Every man who cannot find work because the job has been outsourced to a country where slave labor is practiced;

Every woman who is treated as a second-class citizen;

Every racial slur uttered to a person seeking a better life;

Every time a piece of precious open space is ruined by developers;

Every time someone cannot find an affordable, decent place to live;

Every time a diabetic suffers kidney failure because there was no affordable healthcare available … it  is all due to you.

Shame on you if you did not vote. You did not make a difference for the better… you helped make things worse. For proof, just ask Roger Hedgecock… after he has finished laughing.

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