Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/11/03/election-proves-need-right-vote
Extremely important topic. A simple universal citizenship right to vote starting at age 16 for everybody, whether in correction institutions or in congress. It should also include permanent residents who at this time, pay taxes and are eligible to go to war, but are not allowed to vote. And no electoral system. This is such basic.
I do like these lines in the sand articles. Simplified, direct and concise. List the issue, solve the problem. All the history and problems comprehended and done. I guess the easier to digest, and meme, the better.
No worries, we still tune in for the full Hartmann.
Yes. Pretty much exactly where I was going to go. I clicked on the comments because I wanted to lay a baseline for participation. If you are affected directly by the actions of a government, especially for those who live under a government.
More than that, it should be a requirement of each citizen and optional for non-citizen residents.
The starting point is with everyone who is a citizen, regardless of status, such as regardless of whether someone ““is” a felon” or was in jail or is in jail. Taking away the vote for anyone jailed or convicted is really just extra punishment, and, for what? So called correctional institutions are about retribution, not correction. Participation in voting should be part of that “correction.”
Now, to resident “aliens” (especially Martians?). These people pay taxes, just like citizens, which means they are paying for the benefits they get. They should have a voice. Voting should be allowed, even expected or hoped for.
And then it would be good if “we” could have enough sense of the rest of the world, outside our little “American” bubble (I won’t get started on why of all the Americas, North, Central and South, the whole western hemisphere, it is the USA which gets to be the Americans).
We have long, long interfered in other countries, including coups, death squads, death-squad training, secret drug deals to support some of those operations and so forth. While this comes from the actual “deep state” (CIA, Allan Dulles, Reinhard Gehlen), whoever is president has a very direct affect on the rest of the world. We have to worry right now what we are doing to Palestinians, Iran, Venezuela and a full list. How to give those countries a voice in the presidential election I don’t know. That’s never been done before and I doubt it ever will but we should at least think of the rest of the world outside our near-sighted silos.
For many years Thom Hartmann has made his strong political voice heard.
Earlier, I saw a headline, “What to Do When Your Democracy is On Fire? Vote!” and immediately I thought: No, a big part of the problem is: too many people think showing up to vote every two or four years is the only way in which they can participate in a democracy.
In a truly-thriving democracy? People participate by becoming involved. This includes direct action: for example, going to the streets and making your voice heard. Or as the First Amendment specifies, “…petitioning the government for a redress of grievances.”
Onward to another, and more-important point.
I keep hearing people saying Joe Biden won the Democratic primary. That’s odd. I hadn’t noticed an entire primary took place. Seems more as if a handful of primaries and caucuses were held. Then the remaining candidates noticed something about a pair of absolutely-necessary elements for anyone seeking the nomination, those being: 1) a large and continuing stream of campaign contributions, and 2) the support of the Democratic National Committee. Both had been abruptly withdrawn from all candidates…all except for Biden.
Perhaps I’m not what you’d call a disinterested observer. But to me, it appeared the DNC and the elite donors had decided: a Bernie Sanders or an Elizabeth Warren presidency were considered—by the Democratic Party—unacceptable outcomes. Therefore, circumstances—withdrawal of both aforementioned crucial factors (other than votes) necessary to win the nomination—took place. At this point? Sanders and Warren realized they had no option other than to withdraw from the race, then endorse Biden. Simultaneously—behind the scenes—other candidates, who themselves had recently quit the race, were called upon to persuade all involved: make sure these events would happen, as the Democratic Party intended.
In the media, Biden is frequently referred to as “winner of the Democratic primary of 2020,” even though, in many states, voters had no ability to make a choice.
Is a system democratic merely because voters are involved?
Perhaps it is also a necessary condition that 1) all people must be allowed to vote, and 2) they must have a range of choices: at least one of which they would have freely chosen, regardless of whether he or she was a candidate given the imprimatur and support of the Democratic Party.
Obviously, we want to make sure Trump is no longer in the Oval Office. Anyone regularly reading these pages knows: after Biden and Harris become the new President and Vice-President? We the People still have a lot of important work to do.
What kind of a democracy do we have: when the Democratic Party would rather lose to Donald Trump, than to have either Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren win the election?
Right to vote? Absolutely!
But there are plenty of others we need too. Like a right to decent healthcare without paying an arm and a leg. A right to enough to eat. A right to having a roof over your head.
Even our so-called “rights” are really privileges of the rich: The right to spend millions of your own money to get yourself (or your personal elected representative) to get elected. (The Supreme Court has ruled that money=speech.) The “freedom of the press” that’s free to anyone who owns one (think Bezos and Murdock).
The article suggests “Our right to due process is still respected in America. If the government wants to put you in jail, they have to go before a jury of your peers and prove their case.”
Actually, this is generally true if you’re rich but not if you’re poor: 75% of those in prison are awaiting trial, mainly because they can’t make bail. And, of course, you get a lot more “due process” if you can hire 10 Clarence Darrows than if you are thrown on the mercy of a public defender.