Outlaws we remain
Despite Prop 19 defeat, we've still come a long way
Published: November 10, 2010
The really ugly part of this whole equation is the pitiful percentage of registered voters who will take themselves to the polls or fill out an absentee ballot when it comes time to participate in a democratic election. In Michigan, the turnout was something like 46 percent, which is hardly an example of "hearing the American people speak" as the right-wing demagogues would have it.
The despised Richard M. Nixon mythologized what he called "the Silent Majority" as the bedrock of reactionary ideology and social practice, but, in truth, the silent majority is overwhelmingly made up of more progressive elements who — like the House and Senate Republicans of the past two years — simply refuse to participate in the democratic political process.
When great numbers of these people do turn out, as in the 2008 presidential election, the results are much more in line with the politics of the otherwise silent majority. When they don't, the right wing rules because their people always vote, in every election. Duh! Even though they're a minority in terms of the electorate as a whole, they can easily field more than half of the 46 percent of the citizens who bother to cast a vote.
Generally speaking, my autumn visit to the United States during the electoral season was like swimming through a toxic waste dump, and I'm glad to be getting the hell out of here for a while. I'll be in London when you read this, then in Amsterdam for the Cannabis Cup, and I'll report next from over there. —Detroit, Nov. 4-5, 2010
Former Detroiter John Sinclair is an author, broadcaster, activist and one-time manager of the MC5. He appears every other week in this space.
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