Democracy Is Not For Whiners

Ok, I am so tired of everyone’s facebook entries, tweets, etc., today. I can’t say how many people said, in essence, my vote doesn’t count.

What part of your vote always counts do people not understand? As a woman, all I have to do is think about how recent it is that women were allowed to vote. All I have to do is think of the suffering, the beatings and jailings, that brave women endured to give me the right. How dare I squander the privilege. But… There is a difference between winning and having your vote count.

I am a constitution defending geek. And in that tradition I say, and believe, that your vote is the most precious gift your democracy gives you. It is your voice, your chance to say “I disagree”. If one side won by 100% of the vote because the other half stayed home there would be no mandate for elected officials to think about all the electorate once they take office. When you win office by 1% of the vote you darn well know that there is power in the other 49%; that your political life may be short lived.

You vote to be heard, you vote to participate, you don’t always win. That’s the thing about majority rule… the majority rules. You speak your piece and then move on with the business of life, or governing as the case may be. The whole issue of gridlock and elected officials who don’t seem to get this currently is a discussion for another day. But this is the nature of the democratic process.

It is hard to say your piece and lose. It is demanding to accept the will of the majority, particularly when you deeply disagree with the apparent will of the majority. But there is no alternative. There is however, good news ~ there will be another election, another chance to speak, to vote, to win. But you have to wait and work for that day. Those of you who are like minded have to work together to convince another 3 or 4% (in the 51% scenario) that you are right. When that happens, you will win and the other will be the 49%, waiting for you to forget that they are almost half of those represented.

[tweetshare tweet=”Nobody likes to lose but all of us must, from time to time, in a democratic society. Clearly, democracy is not for whiners.” username=”@trienahm”]

Ok.. health care reform for god’s sake

I get it, I get it.  Health care reform is important to everyone and nobody understands it.  What strikes me however, is the level of hysteria reflected in the debates.  Everyone in the House of Representatives spoke as if the world would stop turning if… whichever outcome you didn’t agree with.  Although I am a dyed in the wool lefty, I agree with Boehner on one thing, it seems unlikely that anyone has read all the of the pending bills and the amendments that accomnpany them.  What I saw was democracy in action, and government run amok, all in the same room.  Seeing a democratically elected majority pass landmark legislation that was part of their campaign promises was a good thing.  Seeing legislators hurl epithets and generally act like animals with no manners was not.  It is not okay to express you beliefs in such a way that you lie to and generally scare the crap out of most ordinary Americans. We have lost the ability, it appears, to hold a civil debate. I find it most disturbing that the Republicans appear to have decided that no matter what they believe in, they will just vote no.  In some ways I thought it was heartening that there were a number of dems that voted against the bill. Our government was built the way it was so that nobody would hold absolute power, that’s a good thing no matter what you believe. Nobody is ever all right or all wrong and none of us have all the answers. Absolute power is the definition of fascism and the world has seen enough of that. Bless those few who seem to be trying to hold a real discussion in the middle of the maelstrom, on either side of the aisle. They are the true legislators; they might actually represent the voters in their district, not just the vocal majority no matter how slight. Whatever you think about the health care reform bills, the truth as always is somewhere in the middle, there is some good, some not so good and the world will not come to an end.