Facebook Bitch: Why America Doesn’t Deserve Democracy


America simply does not deserve good government. We fulfill our civic duty of whining to our virtual friends, retweeting #occupy solidarities and Liking Obama’s fan page, but when it comes to the one opportunity to directly change the system — voting — we simply… uh, what’s on The Daily Show tonight?

On Tuesday, the country saw an insanely low turnout for the US Congressional primaries, with California being no exception. Case in point: the winner of District 2 had just 48,001 votes, second place 19,636 and third place 18,257. That’s $26.50 spent per vote (plus an embarrassing $68 per vote for self-funded fourth-place finisher Stacey Lawson), plus countless volunteer hours of blood, sweat, and now a whole lot of tears.

Results? In November, Californians will have to choose between a PAC-funded Democrat, and a Republican stock broker with literally no specific plans for what he’d actually do — there’s not even an issues page on his site — and whose community engagement is so low that he highlights Morgan Sports Car Club on his list of association membership.

“Apathy Party 2012: Because voting is for suckers”

The people had the rare opportunity to vote in someone like Norman Solomon, who actually has an understanding of national and world issues — written thirteen books, one of which was made into a documentary — and a strong track record of standing up and doing something on the issues of civil liberties, environmentalism, corruption, unjust wars and more. Organizations from MoveOn.org to Progressive Democrats of America all sent emails urging their members to turn out for Solomon. Californians blew it.

So much time, money, and effort goes into elections, so much at stake at the just the beginning of our world ecological, energy and economic crisis, yet too few care enough about themselves, their families, fellow citizens and habitat to vote.

Blame it on America’s corporate-backed culture of complacency. Blame it on some biological phenomenon that states democracy isn’t a proper governance format for humans. Blame it on Internet access, hair-color appointments, socio-economic blah blah blah.

Face it: When it comes to responsibility, Americans suck.


1. Your vote really does make a difference.

2. Get-Out-The-Vote activism does not make the difference, be they positive, negative, pretty, ugly, or from this post.

3. Voluntary voting does not work. Perhaps it’s time for compulsory voting or the opposite extreme — have a benevolent council decide for us; maybe the latter is already happening in our current voting participation, but the results are typically not benevolent.

4. Lobbying is quite necessary, as there is no mandate from the people. The only way to affect government is to get a bunch of good or evil friends and force the government to do something; evil people are better at it.

Wake up America!

Just kidding. All the venti mochas at your local quad-corner Starbuckses combined aren’t enough to pry open your eyes, get you out of bed, and vote this year. Go back to sleep and dream of a dreamy tomorrow, because when your circumstances finally jolt you awake, you won’t like your waking world.

This was commentary that does not necessarily reflect the opinion of OccupyEducated.org. What do you think?

About OccupyEducated


  1. Josh A. says:

    You’ve conflated the ability to vote with democracy itself. America doesn’t deserve a democracy you say? America doesn’t *have* a democracy, which is part of why people are so loathe to make the investment of voting. You assert that our votes matter, without backing it up, in direct contradiction to the conclusion so many Americans have come to… that voting is meaningless in a government that is captured by corporate interests. Voting will not solve our current problems; those problems must be solved first in order to make voting worth it again.

    • OccupyEducated says:

      Thanks Josh,

      The conclusion that voting district elections is meaningless is lazy at best, and idiotic at worst, unless you suggest that all elections are rigged, which certainly many of them are. Even if they are all rigged, is that reason to stay at home or take further action to make sure votes count again? The latter is not common, as far as we can tell.

    • OccupyEducated says:

      Not to say you’re idiotic, of course, but the idea of boycotting elections — with no other action plan for change — is shameful.

      Thanks again, Josh.

  2. Robert G. says:

    Of course, even if your vote matters: there’s still a difference between a democracy and a republic. And in good times, we live in a republic, not a democracy.

    Setting that aside, the author makes an important point, even if we should weigh it against the reality that government has already been captured by most special of all interests: transnational corporations. That still does not excuse American apathy towards voting and *all other political responsibilities*. It’s not just that Americans don’t vote: Americans don’t care. Very few conservatives or liberals, even in the Information Age, bother to track down the primary sources of what they parrot from radio, tv, the internet, or elsewhere. Very few radicals do so either.

    We criticize or advocate legislation that we never intend to read. We parrot economic factoids that we never intend to look up and compare against other relevant data. We don’t look at maps, and we don’t know where the hell our military is involved. We don’t care.

    No wonder government has been captured by transnational corporations. We’ve been too busy following self-flattering illusions to leave anyone but the wolf in charge of the hen house. Indeed, we have lattes and soda to sip, pornography to spank to, videogames, movies, gossip … and that’s why every American election comes down to Propaganda We Can Believe In. All we’re looking for is the right type of slogans to lull us back to sleep. Reality sucks.

  3. Bill says:

    The first comment made was intelligent and expresses many occupiers and non-voter’s views yet gets slammed by the occupyeducated author. I didn’t know this site was run by such vitriolic antagonists.
    Not voting can be a positive decision to take up other actions and not just an expression of apathy. You are attacking people for not taking action and lacking care, but the action of voting you promote doesn’t do nearly enough to face the dire problems we face.

    • OccupyEducated says:

      intelligent, yes. As stated, it is not the commenter who was declared idiotic, it is the notion that not voting without other action is idiotic. Most Occupiers we know are anything but bystanders. No one said voting is enough. Have you seen this site, on which you commented?

      One has no right to decry the results of a participatory democratic system (constitutional republic) if one does not participate, through voting, taking to the streets, petitions, lobbying, running for office, prepping, etc.

    • For every person who says it is an intelligent decision to not vote, see through it to what it really is: http://www.facebook.com/KarlRoveAndOps

  4. If you think voting does not matter, think again. See this: http://img826.imageshack.us/img826/6571/scotusromneyobama260dpi.jpg

Speak Your Mind