Re: [sixties-l] Bedtime for Democracy

From: Jerry West (
Date: 12/19/00

  • Next message: William M. Mandel: "Re: [sixties-l] Bedtime for Democracy"

    I agree with a lot of what Ted has to say but must take issue with a few
    Ted Morgan wrote:
    The electoral college's "over-ruling" of the popular "majority" vote
    pales by comparison with the fact that the real flesh & blood majority
    don't vote as a rule, with the primary reason for this being that they
    see nothing to "vote for" --i.e., non-voting is, in effect, a rational
    act on their part.
    JW reply:
    The rational decision not to vote is a decision to let others make the
    decisions.  The silent majority does not count, whether it be your's or
    Richard Nixon's.  Rather than saying someone has no majority support
    because most people did not vote, I would say that they have support
    because most people did not vote against them. (Either way in Bush's
    case he would have no majority support)
    TM wrote:
    This is a classic mainstream narrowing of language, narrowing of
    politics so that it excludes the real majority of human beings that live
    in this country.  And, as such, it is part & parcel of the whole
    narrowing of the spectrum of opinion the mainstream media has been doing
    at least since (if not during) the 60s, with the effect than any
    substantive criticism remotely radical is virtually invisible in the
    mainstream media --as are a host of ills produced by this very
    liberal-capitalist-imperialist system....
    JW reply:
    People may be excluded from the benefits of society and from adequate
    coverage in the media because that is the way the system wants it, but
    their exclusion from the polls is a conscious act on their part, even if
    it might be motivated by the perceptions fostered by the establishment.
    It sounds like you are preaching a doctrine of hopelessness here, saying
    that the system wants a large number of people to be marginalized, so
    they are and nothing can be done by them only for them.  I disagree.
    Things will change when people break out of this mindset and organize
    and get involved enough to change the outcome of elections.  Granted the
    reaction from the establishment may not be pretty, and the change may
    not be what one hoped for, but there would be change.
    Of course the real frustration here may be that people do not want to
    break out of this mindset or have the will power to organize.  Perhaps
    that is your real lament.
    Jerry West
    News and Views from Nootka Sound & Canada's West Coast
    An independent, progressive regional publication

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