It is therefore the duty of all freedom-loving progressives to counter the inertia towards the right. It is even more crucial for conservatives to constantly police their own kind. Since the founding of constitutional government in 1787 (after the failure of the Libertarian Free Market Utopia under the Articles of Confederation) we've had more than our fair share of overzealous or incompetent conservative leaders, who in their minds just Wanted to Do the Right Thing. The road to hell, etc.
It seems unlikely that conservatives have the emotional maturity or intellectual capacity to police themselves, and hopefully I'm wrong about this. But, big-picture-wise, conservatives have ALWAYS been on the wrong side of change. Valuing tradition and the status quo, they've had a consistent track record of opposing change for the better. They've, over time, been for slavery, for the oppression of women, for exploitation of weaker nations, against science and technology, against social experiments like capitalism, public charity, and education. Its only been as a last resort, and typically after a generation dies off, that conservatives come around to liberal traditions such as, oh, I don't know, liberty, freedom, and the American way (equality for all under the law, an equal chance at competition, and a level playing field).
A standard canard about participatory democracy goes something like "If you didn't vote, you don't have the right to complain about the results".
Really? I'm paying taxes, so I figure I can complain if I want to, regardless of what you say.
Anyway, it seems to me, not voting is the same as voting for None of the Above (NotA). I didn't vote in the last presidential election. I didn't do so because I didn't like either candidate.
Given a choice between a senile old right-wing throwback to the Austro-Hungarian style of imperial militarist rule with zero impulse control (McCain), and his batshit-crazy self-serving tiny-brained Half-Baked Alaskan running mate (Palin), or the right-center Closet Reaganite masquerading as a progressive (Obama, and come on now, does anyone over the age of 8-years-old REALLY think he is a progressive?), and his loudmouth running mate (Biden), I chose NotA.
And so, it seems I have a perfect right to say "Hey, don't blame me. I didn't vote for either one of them assholes!"
If you look at national voter turnout during presidential election years since 1968, the average hovers around 52%. Before that, it was around 60% or so.
You might think 52% is pretty good. Take, for example, 2008, with 56.8% of voting age population participating in democracy. Or 2004, with 55.3%.
But then, that means that, in the 2004 presidential election, 44.7% of eligible voters chose NotA. That's 98,961,953 people. Bush was elected by 62,028,285 people. And didn't Bush declare a"mandate"? Ah-ha-ha-ha!
Or take 2008, with 231,229,580 eligible voters, 98,611,000 people chose NotA. 66,882,230 people voted for Obama. 58,343, 671 people voted for McCain.
In fact, NotA has been winning elections since, wow, 1960. That's pretty good.
Well, I guess it's a sign of the direction this country is taking.
Right-Wing Dictatorship in 2020. Destruction of the Middle Class in 2021. Total Economic Meltdown in 2022. Canadian barbarians sack Washington DC in 2024. Russians buy Disneyworld, ship it to Siberia in 2080. Everyone looks Chinese in 2106.