Disgruntled blogger calls for voters to sit out 2012 following Netroots Nation
From my Politics of Raising Children blog over at The Communities at The Washington Times
WASHINGTON, June 22, 2011 – Voting is more than a symbolic gesture. When voters are informed and concerned, it’s an exercise of power. It’s a means to social ends. Voting isn’t the only way to be politically engaged, but it is a crucial step to getting people to care more about their government and the laws and policies that affect them.
This point was brought home at the Netroots Nation 2011 conference last Saturday in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There I sat on a panel encouraging 2008 voters to vote again in 2012. Interestingly, our panel was both the most diverse and the only all-black panel at a conference that was 97% white.
Youth and African American voter empowerment was the panel’s focus. A blogger at FireDogLake, a very popular, uber progressive site took issue with our presentation.
In a post published the same day as our panel, the blogger said he or she found our remarks, urging the 23 million youth voters and the five million new black voters of the 2008 elections to come out and vote again, disingenuous. Blacks have fared the worst among all groups when it comes to unemployment, home foreclosures and other effects of the recession.
Voting in the next election won’t make things any better for them, and telling them to hold on and vote anyway ignores reality. He called us “apparatchiks” accusing the panel of being career Washington insiders, simply repeating administration sound bites.
I understand the author’s frustration with a man he thought was going to accomplish a 100-point laundry list of items. A lot of people thought that, notwithstanding the political and constitutional limitations on the presidency. Congress shares power with the President, and so shares the blame for their disappointment.
My job is not to defend the Obama administration, and at no point did I do that. My objection to our critic’s comments is the insinuation that there is no value in voting when you are hurting at home, when your problems remain unsolved, or even when you think your leaders have reneged on their promises.
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