Reblog: It’s Only Fashion — Thinking About Fannie Lou Hamer

In yesterday’s It’s Only Fashion, Cajsa Lilliehook writes in brief about the lovely green dress she’s wearing on Election Day; and it is a jewel of an outfit, so I’d encourage you to go and read the picture captions — if you’re only interested in fashion.

But more important, read the text, which is the main theme of this article.  I suppose it’s late for politics now, after the marathon yesterday waiting for the returns to come in, and the hangover today; but it can’t be emphasized enough why everyone, everywhere, in countries where democracy rules, should get off their asses and vote.  Not many people remember Fannie Lou Hamer; since I was 5 years old in 1964, and absolutely uninterested in politics at the time, I’d never even heard of Fannie Lou Hamer.  But she struck important blows for democracy, specifically because she fought to get the right to vote when it was denied her by the Mississippi power structure of the time.

For the Democrats too lazy to vote:  Obama won, but the margin could have been bigger.  For the Republicans who refused to use the right they shout about people dying to earn them:  imagine what might have happened if you’d gone out and voted yesterday.  For all of us, the truism is really true:  if you don’t participate, you don’t have the right to complain, because you surrendered your right when your time came to exercise it.  Even with a turnout of some 60% or so of registered voters yesterday, that added up in the popular vote to only a third or so of the American population.  That’s two thirds, not accounting for prisoners and minors, who didn’t give a bloody damn.  I gave a damn, and have for nearly 40 years now, since I reached legal voting age in 1976.  I’ve missed perhaps two elections in that time, and they were both when I was living in Pennsylvania and didn’t know what or who I was voting for.

If you really want to honor America, or Canada, or England, or where the bloody ever, then get out and vote on your election day.  For most Americans, that won’t be for some two years now, depending on local politics.  If you can vote before then, consider it not a privilege, not a right you choose not to use, but rather a duty and obligation to your city, your state and your country.

Posted November 7, 2012 by Harper Ganesvoort in Real Life

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