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.

Monday, October 17, 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 allowed 18 year olds to vote.
America has one of the worst voting records in the free world.  In the 2010 national elections only 37.8 percent of eligible citizens voted.  About 144 million Americans didn’t vote, which is more than the population of Russia. After the 2010 election the Democratic party became a minority in the House.  Republicans refuse to bring the minimum wage up for a vote.  They also defaulted on our debt, which cost our treasury $24 billion.
Since 2014, Republicans have controlled both the House and Senate. Congressional Democrats proposed allowing student loans to be refinanced, because it could save families $50 billion.  Republicans rejected that legislation.
State colleges should encourage students to vote by having a voting district on campus.  Historically, the purpose of multiple voting districts in Delhi was to make it convenient for voters.  Voting by SUNY Delhi students is being discouraged, by requiring them to travel two miles to find the County Correctional Facility.  If most students vote for Trump, that’s okay, because their vote is at lease as important as ours.
Voter suppression and a gerrymandered congressional district from Republican strongholds in 11 counties, shouldn’t be necessary for an honorable political party to win elections.   


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