The Power To Choose

Blog 2535 – 10.06.2022

The Power To Choose

People often use the excuse, “I had no choice” but our ultimate power is that we do have a choice, in what we believe and whom we allow to affect our choices. In a little less than a month will be the mid-term election in this country. A big turn out usually favors the more progressive candidates, but mid-tern elections do not usually energize large voter turn out.

I recently saw a picture quote attributed to Mark Twain that read, “If voting made a difference, they would not let us do it.” Indeed there are some who forever seem to be trying to marginalize and dilute the votes of minorities, women, and the young vote. Originally only property owning white guys were allowed to vote and even then state legislatures decided the important matters, like the U.S. Senators who have to approve all Presidential nominations for cabinet posts, and all federal judges including those who sit on the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court.

Over time more and more decisions have been transferred to majority vote. Even still the antiquated Electoral College persists with it’s obvious inequities i.e. three large Western States, Wyoming and the two Dakota’s with a smaller population that our smallest state, Rhode Island, who only qualifying by population for only one U.S. Congressman, but nevertheless still get two Senators each and therefore a greater say and sway in national politics. The system was originally instituted because Southern States with fewer property owning white guys wanted a bigger voice in who was elected to federal office. They even counted slaves as two-thirds of a person when determining population for the purpose of determining how many Congressmen each state was entitled to select. Slaves and women had no choice, only free white property owning white guys. Women and slaves were considered property.

Virginia Slims cigarettes, aimed at women, once advertised in the nineteen seventies when hopes of ratifying the ERA, Equal Rights Amendment, were high: “You’ve come a long way baby.” The Voting Rights Act, The Civil Rights Acts of the sixties and the 1973 Roe v. Wade Abortion Rights Supreme Court Decision had many hoping a “more perfect Union” with liberty and justice for all was becoming a reality.

But those old white guys in the guise of Make America Great Again, a phrase coined by Ronald Reagan and code for going back to a simpler time when freedom of choice and the vote were only for old white guys, have been working not only to stop ERA in it’s tracks, but to reverse any strides toward racial or gender equality.

Their five point secret platform or agenda has always been the same: two steps forward and three steps back. Voting could make a difference if all who have a stake in these issues quits making excuses and exercises their franchise. Brave men an women fought and die to guarantee this most American of ideals: One person, one vote. Rather than Roe the more recent ruling of the Supreme Court in America United, that a corporation is a person entitled to all the rights of a person i.e. to make unlimited contributions to political candidates, is the one that should be reversed. That sounds suspiciously like an Electoral College style finger on the voting scales maneuver to me.

An overwhelming majority of people still believe in freedom of choice, that the vote is not only a privilege but a responsibility, and that the governed must give their consent to the government for it to be of the people, by the people, and for the people and not just a few old rich white guys.

I am encouraged that we still have a chance to let our voices be heard. While you still have a choice, exercise it not to make America Great Again, but to help her continue to make strides for all her people, not just the chosen few.

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White

What A Wonderful World (Sung By Emily Elaine White)

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