The power of voting 

The power of voting

I just read your article about "America's Worst Politicians" (July 3). When I read or hear about how terrible our politicians are I try to figure out just what it is that generates those complaints. Are those "worst politicians" really different from the rest of us? Our elected politicians must inevitably reflect who we are because we are the ones who vote for them and give them the opportunity to represent us. Of course, everyone isn't happy with the outcome of every election because only one candidate can be elected and not everyone votes for the same candidate. Nonetheless, all eligible voters have an opportunity to cast a ballot for his or her chosen politician. Of all the responsibilities we have as citizens of this American republic, voting for a representative in our government is our most valuable and vital one. If we have any spark of interest whatsoever in local, city, county, state or national government every eligible voter must vote every time he or she has the opportunity. We must never allow inconvenience or some temporary hardship to disenfranchise any one of us. It's easy to find fault with attempts to block voters from exercising our most vital right and to rail about the unfairness of it all. Such foolishness is no excuse for not voting. It's even easier to whine that your vote doesn't matter because someone else will just vote for the other candidate and "cancel" your vote. As Forrest Gump's mom told him: "Stupid is as stupid does." You are the only one who can "cancel" your vote and you do that every time you do not vote.

Perhaps you are disgusted with partisan politics and like to say you don't want to have anything to do with politicians. As a citizen of the U.S.A. you do not have that choice because citizenship carries responsibilities with it that must be exercised if you want to continue to enjoy your citizenship rights. Our country wasn't formed and our Declaration of Independence from British tyranny wasn't written by unanimous consent. Many more American colonists rushed to sign a pledge of allegiance to King George than ran to serve in the Colonial Army. We were born from extreme partisanship. The right to vote and have a representative government has always been the struggle of a few against the many. If you have any respect for the few who have carried that battle and passed its bounty freely on to you, you must take the easy responsibility of voting whenever it is offered. Hold your head up high; be proud of carrying out the most important and hard-won responsibility you have as a citizen of the U.S. Honor those who wore the bloody bandages and those who died for your right to vote. You don't have to be on the front line to be part of the struggle. Otherwise, throw away your flags and your fireworks and your "Second Amendment remedies" and crawl back into your spider hole and wait for those who want to keep you from voting to come for you. It won't be to give you a medal. As a bonus, you'll get to read more articles about "America's Worst Politicians" and shake your head in shame.

David Steadman

Damascus

The radical Christian right

Mike Huckabee knows exactly what he's doing. By casting the gay marriage movement in the light of a fascist group, he is attempting to deflect that very accusation from himself and his fellow Christian Dominionists.

I've read the Chris Hedges book, "American Fascists, The Radical Christian Right and the War Against America." I've read Jeff Sharlett's book, "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power."

Radical Christian conservatives like Huckabee are no joke. They are dead serious about taking control of all institutions of power: the government, the media, academia, the arts and the scientific community. They have a huge funding pool from the corporate world because, like most fascist movements, they support the suppression of the labor force and the protection of the corporate class. In America, this alliance dates all the way back to Fred C. Koch — father of Charles and David and a founding member of the John Birch Society — and his rabid support of the Mussolini regime for this reason.

Like fascist groups before them, Christian Dominionists have a long hit list of enemies: Democrats, feminists, intellectuals, artists, scientists, homosexuals, non-gender conforming people, those of different religions and Christians of other denominations whose ideology they disapprove of.

The Christian Dominionist movement is not a religion. It is a fascist political movement, a heresy that works in tandem with powerful corporate interests to achieve its goals. And it has achieved astounding success since the days of Jerry Falwell, one of its original architects. Representatives of this movement now occupy the highest positions of power in our government.

Any fascist movement can only thrive in periods of severe or prolonged economic drought. That's all that stands between the radical Christian right, which counts Mike Huckabee among its prominent members, and its complete ascendance to power. We ignore the threat these people pose to our democracy and our open society at our own peril.

Brad Bailey

Fayetteville

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