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The U.S. Electoral System and the American Dream: April Fool!

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Remember that Martian who landed on the lawn of Our Nation's Capitol in my previous blog ("Some SCOTUS Photos," March 27, 2012)? The one who noticed that the people with dark skin were rallying for something different than the ones with the light skin wanted?

He asked me about other important features of our Western civilization that concern me. He said that on his planet people have every skin color imaginable, like the Muppets, and there is no discrimination on that basis.

I did not think to ask him if there were other bases for Martian discrimination.

I told him about the shrinking electorate and all those people, including bribed Democrats, who are working to disenfranchise underprivileged minorities. That those controlling this process represent a minute fraction of our population doesn't seem to make a difference.

I wondered what perspective he might lend to this atrocity.

He said that it seemed to him as though those holding the strings of our society want to pull us back to another era when only a few people had the vote.

One such era, it occurred to me, was at the dawn of our nation's history, when only rich people, with light skin, were allowed to vote--"rich" in this case meaning those with property, even an ass, as Ben Franklin liked to joke.

But this situation did not last long. Soon all taxpayers acquired the right to vote; then veterans, then immigrants, and then even former slaves, people with dark skin.

Then, when women began to agitate for this right, things started going downhill, despite the Fifteenth Amendment and even the Nineteenth Amendment, which took a while to come about thereafter.

So that the vote extended to the largest variety of people a bit past the middle of the nineteenth century, as the industrial age began to supplant the agrarian age.

The most varieties of people, and perhaps a higher percentage of the people, but I can't promise this.

What I can say with confidence is that there is a larger variety of ways to disenfranchise people in this country these days than there are varieties to discriminate against, and that's saying a lot, because there is such a multitude of nationalities and ethnicities who have arrived here recently, reaching for the good life depicted in reruns of old TV shows and old Hollywood movies that get passed around all over the world, even to people living under Stone Age circumstances in SubSaharan Africa.

iPods and iPads have come there, too. Their Stone Age really rocks [bad pun].

*****

"If only rich people vote, then only rich people will be in office," noted my green friend. "What will happen to everybody else? They'd be treated better on Mars, where there is no such thing as rich or poor. Every year we put all of our possessions together and split them up with complete parity, blindfolded. No one ever heard of money."

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www.wordsunltd.com; www.editingunltd.com

A jack of some trades, writing and editing among them, Marta Steele, an admitted and proud holdover from the late sixties, returned to activism ten years ago after first establishing her skills as a college [mostly adjunct] professor in three (more...)
 
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