A Joke We Are Playing on Iraq

Uncle Bill Warner

The turnout for the last election in Tulare County was a joke! 24.7% of the registered voters turned out. Now that is not 24.7% of the whole population, but only of those who deigned to register.

Tulare county has a population of about 411,000 (2005 estimate), of which 32.5% are under the age of 18. That means the adult population is about 277,000. Of these 133,147 registered to vote. That works out to 48% who even bothered to register. Now figure 24.7% of the 48% who actually voted, and the true voter turnout works out to be about 11.8%.

When you consider that 88.2% of the adult population could not be bothered to participate in the running of their affairs by voting, that makes us a world-class laughingstock. We are not even close to majority rule! This is minority rule pure and simple! And here we are pretending to bring democracy to Iraq! That is almost too ludicrous! There we are, pretending that WE have a system that is going to work for them, even though it is clearly not working here! Sort of like a car lot trying to sell you cars that don’t run.

Our founding fathers did not think Indians, poor folks, slaves, or women should have a say, so they limited voting to white male land owners. They even went further and set up the "Electoral College" system as a buffer between the people and the election of the president. The Electoral College can, in theory, totally ignore the will of the people and elect whomever they choose. Have we perfected the process over the past couple of centuries? I think not.

To this farce we call “democracy,” consider the tampering with the vote such as took place in Ohio in the last presidential election. Ohio is relevant to us because it was a key swing state. Its election was run by an active Bush supporter, Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell using electronic voting machines made and controlled by the Diebold Corporation – a private firm which also counted up the votes using proprietary software … (owned by another avid Bush supporter, who had told campaign contributors that he hoped "...to deliver Ohio to Bush"). Add to that the tampering with voter registration regulations, last minute reassignment of voting districts, shortages of voting machines in poor non-white precincts, resulting in 8-hour waits to vote in some places, ... democracy in America is, I fear, on death’s doorstep.

I suppose I am a dreamer who figures the price of living in a great country is taking the time to learn about the issues and candidates and then doing our civic duty to vote. Why not just quit pretending we have the slightest interest in democracy here at home, and quit trying to give this great "gift" to others. It is a joke we are playing on ourselves. Why play it on Iraq?

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