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"We have met the enemy and he is us." I have used Pogo's quote from 1970 often in this website. We can find all kinds of reasons (excuses) why we elected Trump or why our elected Republicans so cater to the rich. We can cry and rant about oligarchs, corruption, lawlessness, flawed election systems and a whole bunch of other stuff, but just remember that we the people elected these corrupt politicians into office. We did it by voting for them or not voting at all or casting protest votes.
Democracies are hard work. Democracies require an informed electorate. Democracies require participation by all of its citizens. Democracies require that the people think critically and not get carried away with emotive issues that divide us. The expression, "we are what we eat" could also be applied to our government. Our government is a reflection of the electorate...those who choose to participate and those who choose not to...in effect "we are what we eat".
I have been knocking on doors for the past few months for my Democratic candidate for governor. I have met some very informed people, some less informed, some misinformed, and some cynical "don't give a shit I'm not voting types". We can have an informed electorate who can disagree on issues, and I certainly enjoy engaging them in conversation. However, the most difficult ones are the misinformed. They cannot be swayed easily.
The most ignorant voters (and some are highly educated) are prey to the demagogues who opportunistically tell them what they want to hear...casting blame at the "other". Trump is successful at it, but to a lesser extent Bernie also engaged in divisive rhetoric...casting blame in the wrong direction.
It doesn't take a college education to vote or even a high school education. All people need to do is self educate on the few key issues that matter the most to them and then seek out candidates who align with those views. And maybe participate more by engaging with others in a productive way.
I knocked on 101 doors yesterday talking face to face with both Democrats and unaffiliated voters. It broadens ones perspective on who we are as a country. Unfortunately, though, less than 50 percent will like choose to participate in our state election. The others will be content to sit on the side lines and bitch. They do not contribute to our democracy and are part of the problem rather than the solution.
We the people are the problem. I blame us.