BY JOE COURTER
Dr. Martin L. King Jr. said in his “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” “One of the great liabilities of life is that all too many people find themselves living amid a great period of social change and yet they fail to develop the new attitudes, the new mental responses that the new situation demands. They end up sleeping through a revolution.”
Suppressing voter turnout is but the mirror image to ballot box stuffing, same effect. Unfairly drawn districts, negative advertising powered by huge corporate donations, an election campaign process that keeps many great potential public servants from running, a news media focused on the shallow and sensational, and a right-wing talk radio industry all work to increase cynicism. These are forces that put us to sleep. People died to get the right to vote, and now we have a majority of voters sitting on their hands come election day. It is not a healthy situation.
Has Obama been a disappointment? Heck yeah. But do we give the steering wheel back to the ones who drove us into the ditch last time? Hell no! Three words: The Supreme Court. This is not a time to stay home to “send a message,” we did that in 2010; it wasn’t that the Rs came out big, it was the Ds who stayed home. I’ll take a disappointment over a disaster.
But there are other reasons to vote, and that is the power of the vote locally needs to be ready to counter the attempted Republican takeover of the Alachua County Commission. The voting in the primaries takes place August 14.
The Iguana strongly endorses Byerly, Hutchinson and Chestnut for the County Commission, and Wheeler for the District 20 State House seat, who faces a tough Primary race. You can find links to the candidates’ info through the Supervisor of Elections website.
If you’ve got the time or resources, plug in in any way you can; there are a lot of really good folks in this town who participate in the electoral campaign process regularly. And if you are a student, or a temporary resident, there’s been talk of suppressing your vote by some in the Republican legislature. You are representing the future waves of students, get registered and vote!