Friday, April 11, 2014

We Should Indeed be Enraged

It's been awhile since I've reposted something from one of my favorite writers, Charles Blow.
His recent column on the plight of American democracy and what ordinary citizens should feel and do to demonstrate real patriotism and get out the vote is a strong one and bears repeating.
You can read the full text of the column here.
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'"“Voters under the age of 30 were 19 percent of all voters in 2012, but just 12 percent of all voters in 2010. Likewise, voters 65 and up were 17 percent of all voters in 2012, but 21 percent of all voters in 2010. Herein lies the biggest danger for Democratic candidates in 2014.”"
"Now we hear murmuring that Republicans hold a slight advantage going into 2014, not strictly because that’s the will of the American people, but because that may well be the will of the people willing to show up at the polls."
"There is an astounding paradox in it: too many of those with the least economic and cultural power don’t fully avail themselves of their political power. A vote is the great equalizer, but only when it is cast."
"The strategy here is simple: Break the spirit. Muddy the waters. Make voting feel onerous and outcomes ambiguous. And make it feel like a natural outgrowth of tedium and bickering, and not a well-funded, well-designed effort. Make us subsist on personality politics rather than principled ones."
"The greatest trick up the sleeves of the moneyed and powerful is their diabolical ability to render themselves invisible and undetectable, to recede and operate behind a front, one relatable and common. Our politics are overrun with characters acting at the behest of shadows."
"These are the politicians to whom we have become accustomed — too much polish, and too much beam — which is precisely the reason they should warrant our suspicion and not our trust, the way one cannot trust a cook with pots too pretty and not burned black on the bottoms."
"And yet too many people shrug or sleep when they should seethe."
"We should be in a rage over the Roberts court’s seemingly implacable drive to vest corporations with the rights of people and unleash the full fury of billionaires to bend our politics to their will."
"We should be in a rage over the widespread attempts to disenfranchise voters, from the gutting of the Voting Rights Act to the rise of the Voter ID movement — a near-naked attempt by conservatives to diminish the number of Democratic voters."
"We should be in a rage over Republican efforts, particularly on the state level, to drag the range of women’s reproductive options back to the 1960s."
"We should be in a rage over the extraordinary pressures facing ordinary families. According to The New York Times’ Economix blog, college costs have risen over 500 percent since 1985, medical and gas costs more than 300 percent. And, thePew Research Center reported Tuesday that “in inflation-adjusted dollars, average weekly child care expenses for families with working mothers who paid for child care” rose 70 percent from 1985 to 2011."
"And yet, a report last week from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that “some 69 percent of the cuts in House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s new budget would come from programs that serve people of limited means.”"

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