Is voting still a powerful tool for change? | The Tylt
Is voting still a powerful tool for change?
Voting is one of the fundamental cornerstones of the United States. Our country's history can be framed as a series of fights over who had the right to vote, and a continuous trend to expand that right to be inclusive of everyone. Yes, it is clear that the system is broken and that things must change. However, as history has proven, it is through voting and democratic, peaceful change that brings the most productive and long-lasting developments. If we do not vote, others will, and their opinions will stand unopposed. In a world in crisis, voting is one of the most important things we can do.
Here's how Stacey Abrams put it in an op-ed for the New York Times.
Every night for more than a week, we have witnessed the anguish and anger of demonstrators, their cries punctured by politicians urging them to vote their power. Both are right. Protest to demand attention to the wrenching pain of systemic injustice. Vote because we deserve leaders who see us, who hear us and who are willing to act on our demands.
Voting will not save us from harm, but silence will surely damn us all.
However, some people have become disillusioned with the process—the fact that some cities have Democratic mayors and governors made no difference to the police response—almost universally, governments met peaceful protest with repression and violence at the hands of police. The fact that many Democratic strongholds suffer from the same issues around policing and race suggests that there's a larger problem here. It's not a matter of who's in charge. Rather, the whole system is broken and voting won't fundamentally change the system.
In order to get radical change, radical action is required.