Rocking the Vote Boat
Maya Angelou’s email for the Obama campaign was great. It warranted much more coverage than it received (Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Breitbart) if not only because liberals are often so snarky about ‘artists’ selling out through mass medium. And it doesn’t get any more massive than a campaign email blast. Angelou:
I am not writing to you as a black voter, or a woman voter, or as a voter who is over 70 years old and six feet tall. I am writing to you as a representative of this great country — as an American.
It is your job to vote. It is your responsibility, your right, and your privilege. You may be pretty or plain, heavy or thin, gay or straight, poor or rich.
But remember this: In an election, every voice is equally powerful — don’t underestimate your vote. Voting is the great equalizer.
A parody of platitudes. They are so platitudinous that a response would be filled with just as many platitudes of its own: battleground state votes are worth much more than Red/Blue state votes; if something is considered a job but I don’t get paid for my time, doesn’t that make me a slave? – is Angelou saying that we are slaves to the system?
And if voting is the great equalizer then the various social justice movements have just been wasting their time. By pushing the vaunted vote we see just how undemocratic our system actually is. Voting should not be the highest goal of the democratic process. Becoming informed is more important and holding politicians and bureaucrats accountable equally so. But when it comes election time, when only votes matter to the candidates does voting get boosted up as such a noble thing. When and if that candidate gets elected, the other exercises of democracy aren’t all that important. Call it cherry-picking democracy.