Why We Vote: To Keep A Republic

Robert Koehler, Huffington Post, Keep The Republic, <read>

The ground feels a little soft, but we’re going to stand it.

Premise one: Having a fair election — all votes counted, all who are eligible and want to vote allowed to vote — is far, far more important, even in 2008, than who wins.

Premise two: Fair elections are not a given. They never have been, but things are worse now than ever before because of a perfect storm, you might say, of factors that have converged in the new millennium: officialdom’s seduction by unsafe, high-tech voting systems; the seizure of power by a party of ruthless true believers who feel entitled to rule and will do anything to win; a polite, confused opposition party that won’t make a stink about raw injustice; and an arrogantly complacent media embedded in the political and economic status quo.

The result: Benjamin Franklin’s worst nightmare.

“Well, Doctor, what have we got — a Republic or a Monarchy?”

“A Republic, if you can keep it.”

“This really is the serious business of our lives,” said Ion Sancho, election supervisor of Leon County, Fla., a fair-elections hero and one of the participants. “My goal is waking people up. My tactic is to put myself in the middle of the road and say” — to anyone who would suppress or interfere with the vote — “hey, you’re going to have to hit me.”

These are just words unless you sign on with your life.


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