Wednesday, February 23, 2011

sorting laundry

Alright, I'm going to stick to my state in an attempt to not offend anyone.

I've been following the protests in the upper Midwest and the Plains for about a week. I'm not in horribly deep, but I can see the battle lines even if I haven't done all the research. As a lib-Dem I have allegiance to one side. With that in the open, let's take a look at Virginia voting in the last two elections.

In 2008, with the Presidential election on tap, the voter turnout in my state was about 77%, or nearly 3.7 million Virginia voters. In the 2010 elections, sans Obama, the voter turnout was 45%, or about 2.3 million voters. (In our 2009 election cycle, which included the gubernatorial race, under 2 million Virginians showed.)

Here's the deal. If we don't vote, or vote in a manner that is reactionary to events that can take years, not months, to solve, then this is what we get. Boatloads of state houses, and even more state legislatures, controlled by Republicans. Unfortunately, we made our own bed.

The lack of interest in non-Presidential elections, where our local governments - and our daily lives - are up for grabs, we tend to tune out. And suddenly, it's too late.

The drop in the percentage of young voters, Democratic voters who were too afraid to stand-up, and moderates who once cared, but suddenly didn't in 2010, put us squarely where we are right now.

What's being done in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, etc. can be undone. But, it won't be undone until people pay attention to their own backyards.

Sounds harsh. Probably is.

That old saying, "if you don't vote you can't complain", which you hoped had grown up and moved away, just settled back into your basement.

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