American Views Abroad

Thursday, August 10, 2006
There seems to be stiff anti-status-quo winds brewing up an electoral storm back home. About time. Talk is about the 'record-shattering' 43% for a primary election in Connecticut with thousands of new voters wanting their voices heard. Statistics show that before last Tuesday only three senators had lost primary bids in the past 25 years. Since 2000 about 98% of all incumbents seeking re-election to Congress had won. This time it might not be so easy. A poll of voters in 68 of the most competitive congressional districts found that Iraq is the number one issue and that opposition to the war brings a significant number of independent and female voters to the Democratic side according to the Washington direction of

There was the long haul of why bother to vote in the 80s and 90s. It was almost a badge of honor claiming one had never voted. I can remember reading this in the poet James Meredith's obituary, for example. What was the saying: Well, they are all alike. Well, no.
In fact, it was very disturbing to attend a meeting of Americans in Europe opposed to pre-emptive war admitting in a discussion that many of them had never voted before. Anger at policies, yes. Taking part in the process of voting and holding elective representatives accountable, not necessarily. It's tedious trying to register and certainly from abroad and even more so trying to keep up with all the issues. This time around it might not turn on bread and butter issues or so-called moral issues. Of course, if going to war--- which should be an absolute last resort as a means--- is not a moral issue, what is? Thousands upon thousands dead, severely injured, uprooted, living in chaos, and resentment against us at an all time high. The winds of change for what government is supposed to be --- of, for and by the people --- seem to be more than just blowing gently. Let them keep gathering.

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