ASININE, IDIOTIC, CALLOUS – AND DESTRUCTIVE TO DEMOCRACY
Or – THE DOMINION POST: DESPERATELY, INTENTIONALLY STUPID
Or – THE DOMINION POST: TOO INSANE TO DO ANYTHING BUT ACCUSE AND BERATE THE PUBLIC FOR WHICH IT CLAIMS TO ADVOCATE
Or – THE DOMINION POST: TOO INCORRIGIBLE TO EVER CHANGE?
Today’s latest utterly repugnant editorial from the Dominion Post – “No shows have lost their voice” – concerns the Morgantown City Council Election of two days past in which a mere 12.5 percent of registered voters cast ballots.
Brutally rationalizing, the Dominion Post states that non-voters should shut up.
Those “14,542 registered voters who did not vote…in Tuesday’s election” opted to have, ostensibly, no “say” in the election, and therefore the Dominion Post concludes, “they should not have anything to say now.”
The DP’s position is repellent and destructive. And, once again, in a separate vein, it’s also stupid.
Some of the problems with the DP’s repugnant conclusion, or position:
- it further discourages citizen involvement in democracy (accusing and berating the public is not much if at all conducive to encouraging the public’s democratic participation)
- it seeks no understanding of causes of low citizen involvement in democracy (not voting actually “says” quite a lot that the Dominion Post pretends away and ignores)
- it is wholly arrogant, asinine, and contemptuous toward the public (recall, the Dominion Post proclaims itself to be “the public’s advocate”)
- it offers no remedies either for increasing voter turnout or for increasing participation in greater democratic activity (the Dominion Post disdains even to recommend the obvious partial remedy that worked well in the prior election: vote by mail, which helped nearly double the turnout, as compared to this election)
Vote by mail helps to make the small bit of democratic activity that is voting significantly more user-friendly, citizen friendly, public friendly. If the Dominion Post were not so intent upon contemptuously denouncing the vast majority of the public who did not vote, this modest suggested improvement for casting votes might have seemed front and center obvious.
Main causes of low voter turnout are well-known and understandable, including the general sense that in a typical election year, one or another selection of candidates or likely winners would probably not effect change that would greatly affect the lives of most people, or that one or another selection of candidates or likely winners would not effect change that would be much better or worse than any other selection of candidates. The DP editorial either pretends to deny or is contemptuous of these common views, and instead goes into hysterics telling people either to vote or to shut up.
If the KKK ran a slew of candidates to try to take over the city council in this day and age, then you can bet that awareness of the election would be massively heightened and turnout would be overwhelming to defeat such candidates. But the KKK is not running, nor is any progressive Sea Change Coalition. So apparently, there is not a tremendous amount to fear, and not a tremendous amount to get excited about here in this rather typical city council election. In fact, most all the candidates sound a whole lot like more of the same old same old, so to speak. Given such candidates, no one can reasonably expect that any momentous change in the conditions of life for the vast bulk of citizens of Morgantown is in the offing.
Of course there is some difference between the candidates, and in this election some difference between the two slates of candidates: “Morgantown Together” and “Victory for Morgantown”. Thus, it’s well worth voting. Nevertheless, it was to be expected that many would not vote, because the electoral possibilities were so minor. There was not a major voice or major vision or major organizational capacity associated with any one slate of candidates, or even with any one individual candidate. These were both and all relatively status quo slates and candidates. Why, again, bother to vote to basically reaffirm one version of the status quo or another? Once again, the status quo was basically running unopposed, while the KKK sat on the sidelines, fortunately, and the Sea Change Coalition was nowhere to be found, unfortunately.
Before anyone can expect, let alone insist upon, much greater involvement from the public in city council electoral activity which scarcely appears capable of making a wrinkle in the status quo, much greater and coordinated work by the public, the bulk of the work of democracy, has to happen in the years leading up to the election. That means work building strong coalitions, work nurturing fertile ideas, and work developing strong organizations with deep and widespread roots in the neighborhoods, for there to be greater turnout on election day. A democracy that is not active prior to election day is not likely to be active on election day.
Of course, people ought not be told to shut up. The public should instead be encouraged and assisted in anything it can do to further democracy and its fruits.
So, good for the Dominion Post when it plugs for not raising tuition on already badly overburdened WVU students, or when it pushes for increased and improved health and welfare services – but when it comes to power and control, to political issues in general, in relation to the public, the Dominion Post editorials typically lose their bloody minds, that is, loose their bloody mindsets, spewing a raw sewage of contempt for the public upon the editorial page.
The Dominion Post editorial board needs to get help for its too often stupid and pathological excretions.
Fortunately, for everyone involved, most people correctly block out or quickly dispose of such shit.