Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Encouraging Young Voters

During the Vietnam War the draft was a major source of resentment among college age students.  The age of the average soldier serving in Vietnam was 19, seven years younger than in World War II.  Young Americans were legally old enough to fight and die, but not permitted to vote.  Only after 58,000 Americans died in Vietnam, and four students in the vicinity of an anti-war protest on the campus of Kent State University were killed by National Guardsmen in 1970, did Congress pass the 26th Amendment in 1971, to allow 18 year olds to vote.

Today, America has one of the worst voting records in the free world.  In the 2010, national election, only 37.8 percent of eligible voters voted.  That means about 144 million Americans, which is more than the population of Russia, didn’t vote.

After the 2010 election the Democratic party became the minority in the House.  Democrats had to deal with the “Hastert Rule,” and prior to 2014, they had to deal with a record number of Senate filibusters.  Since 2014, Republicans have had control of both the House and Senate.

Speaker John Boehner and his Tea Party Republican House caucus was the least productive House in recent history.  House Republicans refuse to bring the minimum wage up for a vote, and defaulted on our debt, which cost our treasury $25 billion.

They could have helped the economy by rebuilding our nation's infrastructure and creating  jobs instead of giving companies tax cuts to send jobs overseas.  They could have allowed students to refinance their student loans, and save families $50 billion.

Area colleges and community leaders aren’t doing enough to encourage students to vote.  SUNY Delhi should have a voting district on campus instead of two miles away at the County Correctional Facility.


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