Someone recently posed a very shocking and worrisome question, “Did the Ron Paul supporters stay home on Election Day, and were their non-votes enough to throw the election to the liberals?” I found the idea frightening but worthy of consideration. Did they?
My thoughts first carried me back to my youth. In my mind’s eye I could review the lessons that I had learned about moving on with life following disappoints; about finding a new focus once an old one became unworkable; about wanting the best for my/our self identification group, be it family narrow or nation wide.
I thought about how we students at Central Elementary School were absolutely convinced that we were better/smarter/more capable than kids at any of the several elementary schools in town…that is, until we became 7th graders blended into one of the two junior high schools. We assessed the new situation and soon met the challenge of bonding with those “others.” Soon we concluded that East Junior High was obviously superior to West Junior High. The opposing sports teams battled with conviction while we put energy into earning the best grades, decorating for the coolest dances, participating in the smartest science fairs.
That state of affairs only lasted until we finished 9th grade because as 10th graders we were forced to blend with “those enemies from WJH” to attend the one and only public high school. I am proud to report that yet again, we rose to the challenge, joined forces, and proudly became the Braves of Ypsilanti, Michigan! Oh, my, but life was wonderful then. We had winning times on the sports fields; wrestling teams that year after year won state championships under the coaching of Burt Waterman; and wonderful times inside the school building. We had great teachers in the classrooms and our very own Joseph Sobran on stage in the theater. (And in debate. And in the band. In orchestra. In chorus…well, any of you who knew Joe, knew Joe.)
Of course, our neighborhood was better than the next; our town was more prosperous than others; our state was better…and our nation is the best…and so life reorganizes and proceeds as times and abilities call for changes in focus; goals; attitudes; groupings; loyalties; missions; energy levels. Change, and realignment of self identification, are part and parcel of Life in general.
I do wonder if, indeed, the diehard members of the Ron Paul movement are refusing to realign their focus so as to work with others to regain America. Or, as my friend, Hilary, explains, “to at least stem the tide.” Might people have lost sight of the most important goal of all? With sadness I must admit that I do believe this to be true. I doubt that Ron Paul encourages his followers to stay struck in time; mourning his defeat in the primaries; waiting for the day that Ron will rise again to take the presidency (despite his upcoming retirement). Even more worrisome is the fact that others besides Ron Paul supporters are also choosing Inaction over Action.
I recently read a blog post from a “highly intelligent” person who sounded completely delighted to report that he had stayed home on Election Day. I pictured him with buttons popping from his shirt. I suppose he expected applause but instead I wept. If Inaction is the way that intelligent people “act” to preserve freedom, how can we ever expect the masses educated in public schools to make decisions with wisdom?
I very much worry about this growing trend which in reality ends up delivering definitive acts of support to the worse candidate. I worry that pied pipers, who seem to have developed tunnel vision and near sightedness, are leading the fray. Yes, I do wonder how many actually participated in the 50-state “Keep Your Butt Home on Election Day” movement. I seriously fear that their numbers were great enough to have put the Other Half into a position from which they can throw Our Half over the cliff.
We needed positive action instead of negative inaction. We needed the support of those stay-at-home would-be-voters. We need individuals to coalesce and seek viable ways to save America…at least what was left of America…if only to buy more time to develop better strategies for restoring America. I am deeply disappointed in the “Hey! Look at what I did didn’t do!” movement. Seriously, we are at the point where we absolutely must realign our identity groups, our missions, and our actions before we lose our country.
I was impressed to read that Judge Napolitano, despite and in contrast to his rhetoric in the weeks leading up to the election, is also having “unsettled” and “sinking” feelings following the disastrous outcome. America needed to be pulled back from the brink of destruction. We failed. Maybe we failed because too many stood back, cleared a path to the edge of the cliff, and waved Evil through. Others encouraged them.
Actions have consequences but so too does Inaction. By staying home, far too many…maybe just enough… actually did end up voting…by default…for Obama. Why, even little school kids know better than to do things like that.
I, too, once believed that “one individual’s vote does not matter” but I have since developed more wisdom and clearer insights. I now realize that “a single vote” is much like “a single raindrop.” Each seems small and insignificant when evaluated superficially. However, when like minds…or adjoining raindrops… gather with a mutual goal, massive storms, providing innumerable opportunities for change and realignment, are made possible. Anyone who doubts the truth of that should talk to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. While in the area, also find someone who can teach you about the cumulative effect of single snowflakes…
Submitted to the Federal Observer for publication by the author, Linda Schrock Taylor, November 9, 2012.
~ About the Author ~
Linda Schrock Taylor, M.A. [send her mail] taught special education for 40 years in public schools. Now retired from teaching, she is slowly writing her first book on remediating reading skills.