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Life Arts    H3'ed 6/26/14

Clete Wetli: An Alabama Liberal on Mass Incarceration's Steep Price Tag

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CW: These are issues that I bring up regularly and I find that many people are woefully uninformed about politics and public policy. I think people tend to be swayed more by partisan rhetoric and fear than by facts, but I try to help people understand that many of these issues are nuanced and complex. I really believe in FDR's Second Bill of Rights and the concept of community. Perhaps, the greatest issue we face in America is a toxic mixture of ignorance and apathy. Folks don't want to vote, get involved, or raise their voice until something directly impacts them personally. It's tough being a liberal in a deeply conservative state, but I think people are listening to what I have to say and they are realizing that many problems require pragmatic solutions, instead of partisan spin.

JB: What haven't we talked about yet, Clete? Do you have anything to add before we wrap this up?

CW: I guess the thing that I would encourage people to do is to simply get involved in their community and speak out against injustice. We live in extraordinary times and the challenges we face are enormous, but not insurmountable. People need to understand that their involvement in politics is necessary for our democracy to work the way it was intended. Right now, too many people are just sitting on the sidelines.

JB: Thanks so much for sharing your views with us, Clete. Keep spreading that alternate vision as to what our nation can and should be. I like it! It was a pleasure talking with you.

CW: Thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with me.


photo credit: Elizabeth Dawson

email Clete at

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

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