Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Mock the Vote?

IIRC, one vote made all the difference in terms of Hitler's willful rise to power (when he headed up the NSDAP that would eventually create a nightmare which, for some, still continues). Mr. Shenkman may be on the right track; but, I think he needs to be treated with the respect his book deserves by a reviewer willing to jump aboard a more positively moving train of thought. A vote, a say, a voice, a privilege, IMO, ought to be respected (despite the party one favours).

In this review of Just How Stupid Are We?: Facing the Truth about the American Voter, Gerry Donaghy adopts a kind of cavalierly dismissive tone that, if nothing else, suggests voters need hand-holding and amount to nothing more than sheep in sheep's clothing; I beg to differ. Some of us take the issues very seriously, perhaps because our parents and grandparents (or other friends and family members) actually fought for the freedoms he seems to so blithely take for granted. (And, when did "trend" become a verb?)

Despite the fact we are, of course, more and more free to do as we are told, we still have the privilege to exercise our voice and choice at the polls; anyone who abdicates or negates that option really breaks my heart, given the fact Robert, my father, flew three tours of duty during WWII and was twice decorated with the DFC. (He passed away September 2000 at the age of 74.) I am very proud of him; and, by the time it fully dawned on me just how much he'd endured, I was overcome with emotion that he had resorted to NOT discussing his experiences because his children simply didn't "get it" for so much of our lives.

During my years at uni, I did attempt to make amends. He'd stashed his medals in the bottom drawer of his catch-all dresser; the ribbons were faded and tattered; the medals were tarnished; but, I found a woman who restored, mounted, and framed them in time for Christmas one year.

It was the only time I saw my father cry.

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