Democracy Is Not For Whiners

Ok, I am so tired of everyone’s facebook entries, tweets, etc., today. I can’t say how many people said, in essence, my vote doesn’t count.

What part of your vote always counts do people not understand? As a woman, all I have to do is think about how recent it is that women were allowed to vote. All I have to do is think of the suffering, the beatings and jailings, that brave women endured to give me the right. How dare I squander the privilege. But… There is a difference between winning and having your vote count.

I am a constitution defending geek. And in that tradition I say, and believe, that your vote is the most precious gift your democracy gives you. It is your voice, your chance to say “I disagree”. If one side won by 100% of the vote because the other half stayed home there would be no mandate for elected officials to think about all the electorate once they take office. When you win office by 1% of the vote you darn well know that there is power in the other 49%; that your political life may be short lived.

You vote to be heard, you vote to participate, you don’t always win. That’s the thing about majority rule… the majority rules. You speak your piece and then move on with the business of life, or governing as the case may be. The whole issue of gridlock and elected officials who don’t seem to get this currently is a discussion for another day. But this is the nature of the democratic process.

It is hard to say your piece and lose. It is demanding to accept the will of the majority, particularly when you deeply disagree with the apparent will of the majority. But there is no alternative. There is however, good news ~ there will be another election, another chance to speak, to vote, to win. But you have to wait and work for that day. Those of you who are like minded have to work together to convince another 3 or 4% (in the 51% scenario) that you are right. When that happens, you will win and the other will be the 49%, waiting for you to forget that they are almost half of those represented.

Nobody likes to lose but all of us must, from time to time, in a democratic society. Clearly, democracy is not for whiners.


3 Responses to “Democracy Is Not For Whiners”

  1. Joan Burns Says:

    Great! Very well said and timely as well.

  2. Bob the Chef Says:

    Democracy isn’t for whiners?? Hahaha! It was invented by whiners! Whiners who bitched and moaned about how powerless they were. And now the same whiners complain because what they’re been given isn’t enough, or they realize that voting, ultimately, is not the ultimate arbiter of power politics, but a tools used by those in power to leverage in their game, against opposition and against the populace. “Hey, you voted for me, it’s you’re fault you’ve got what you’ve got.”

    Snap out of it and stop romanticizing the notion of democracy. It’s a hack like anything else. Whether it’s a hack that works in your favor more than something else is of course a matter of point of view, and a matter of realizing what is good for oneself. It is not a self-evident fact that it is the absolutely best solution *always* (Hitler used democracy to get into office), or that it is the teleologically natural product of the Lord of Progress like some Marxist-Hegelian pile of steaming crap thought.

    If an argument can be made in favor of democracy, it is that it adds more forces into the power balance so as to temper the more extreme impulses for power. But not always, and democracy is no guarantee against emerging totalitarianism. Just look at what has been accomplished in the name of the war on terrorism.

    Yay mob rule.

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