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November 04, 2002

Vote for Peace

Here's a good idea from my email box:

Damu Smith, of Black Voices For Peace, has sent out a call to action to influence tomorrow's elections. Mr. Smith believes voting is an essential part of the American political system, and that people must vote as one way to affect change. To this end, he is mobilizing a Peace At The Polls action, encouraging people to go to the polls and vote for candidates in support of peace.

"Black Voices For Peace urges all people of conscience to go the polls tomorrow and cast a vote for Peace with Justice at home and abroad," says Mr. Smith. "That means, vote for candidates who are against war and who are for education, health care, jobs and human needs at home. Last week, thousands of us marched in the streets in scores of cities around this country, making known our opposition to war; now in the thousands, we need to march to the polls and make our voices heard for peace and justice. In the streets and in the voting booth, we have make our voices heard.

"Black Voices For Peace urges everyone to vote for those Senators and Congress Members who did not support Bush's latest war resolution. This will send a message to all that we support those who support peace and justice."

The email goes on to quote Michael Moore saying "the choice is no longer between the lesser of two evils, but the evil of two lessers." Funny, but also sadly true. Still, I don't see how not voting will improve the situation. Politics is usually a game of inches, not miles. If one candidate is just a hair's width better than the other, it seems to me the better candidate should get your vote. If we wait until we get a chance to vote for people we admire and trust and who we can support unconditionally, we'll be waiting a lot longer than we'll have the right to vote. So I encourage you to take Mr. Smith's advice (above) and Vote for Peace. As Jesse Jackson says, "We can go a better way." I hope you'll all do your part to see that we do.

Posted November 4, 2002 09:07 PM | general politics

I won't lie: this response is partly motivated by guilt. I didn't vote, and as much as counseled my wife to not vote. I wish I had taken the time to go to the polls and at least participate.

At the same time, I think it's worse to show up ignorant and vote for people and issues the details and history of which I'm ignorant. I know I'm a little bit lazy (and a little bit rock'n'roll), but I'm not *so* lazy that it should be as hard as it seems to be well-informed.

I have a family — my wife and I are raising our four young children as well as we can manage. Between two full-time parents, homework, and maintaining the household, we barely have time to relax. Sure, there is some time to spend keeping up with our public servants and the issues they're raising; but what time there is isn't enough that I think I'd be noticeably more comfortable going to the polls.

I think this is a significant factor in the apparently decreasing voter turnout year in and year out. Americans, at least, are working longer hours than ever before to achieve our standards of living. Families are especially hit logistically, I think, because there are all sorts of issues (child care, education, etc.) which affect them more directly, and this only makes the task of becoming an informed citizen that much more daunting.

Maybe it takes making time to read the paper, or even finding a variety of online resources to mine for information. But, when there's so much to be done before and after work and school, it's hard to make time for even the simplest of exercises. It can't be a blanket excuse, I know, but it's a factor nonetheless.

Posted by: Muraii at November 6, 2002 01:42 AM

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