We understand what the Tea Party did, and the full ramifications of their actions because what is the House of Representatives but Town Meeting writ large?
What they did was throw a temper tantrum of gigantic proportions regardless of the consequences or impact on their fellow citizens because voters approved a law, ~ to bring it into the analogy I am making, approved a Warrant Article , which a small subset of voters disapproved of so vehemently that despite elections and challenges and being affirmed by the Courts was on it’s way to being enacted.
For those that need a concrete example, I will turn to my hometown of Hingham: voters approved at Town Meeting last year the construction of lights and the refigurement of the High School fields. The construction project has not been without it’s problems and controversy, and while it it is near completion, it might not be completely finished if the weather decided to throw a spanner into the work, delaying a ‘finished project’. Say, an early consistent ‘winter’.
Imagine for one moment that the side that ‘lost’, the side that did not want the lights or reconfigurement of the fields decided to attend the next Town Meeting and refused to approve the budget for the WHOLE TOWN unless the half finished project was stopped.
( For this analogy to work, one has to pretend for a second that the advent of cell phones has never happened – bear with me -thanks)
Enough organized voters show up to Town Meeting and literally say: stop this project or there will be no government in Hingham: no police , no fire department, no library, no schools in session, no recreation commission, no Highway department, no transfer station – NOTHING will be funded.
Naturally, some of the other voters who are present at Town Meeting are appalled. Possibly some who may have not supported the project, but who respected the ‘process’ which saw the approval of the project, who are faithful Town Meeting attendees, even THEY are appalled. But they find they cannot stop this crazy train BECAUSE those that are determined to stop the project organized themselves and showed up.( No cell phones to call friends and say”get over here, we need you! – let’s pretend it’s 1960) and those that got the project passed in the first place decided not to attend Town Meeting the following year – well that’s what happened in 2010.
In 2010, Democratic voters stayed home, and didn’t bother to vote.
2010 wasn’t just ANY election year, it was a ‘redistricting’ year and those agitated, upset,voters, the voters who literally hate the law and the President who proposed it so much that they would destroy the government itself to strip it away – The “Tea Party’ ideological loons, got themselves elected and they have zero respect for the process of government.
They have an ideological agenda and they literally do not care who gets hurt in the pursuit of it.
But the other side is not guiltless in this because, by not voting, by staying home in 2010, that decision of apathy produced a vacuum which the Tea Party filled. And we have to deal with the consequences for years because of the impact of redistricting: they gave themselves nearly perfectly safe districts which we all saw when the votes were counted in 2012 – the Democrats received a million more votes for House politicians but control still rests with the GOP with their subset of loony Tea Party Congressmen.
The moral of the story is: show up.
Show up to vote.
Show up to Town Meeting.
When apathy sets in, rot seeps in.
We are seeing the rot in action.
If you, or someone you know didn’t vote in 2010, only shows up once in awhile at Town Meeting, this it the nightmare result…or could be locally.[There is a mechanism to correct something this crazy locally - a Special Town Meeting, but even if one were to be called, there are still effects to shutting down government even for a short time: crime could descend, fire break out, heath issues could arise if the transfer station were closed for a length of time;....there is no comparable mechanism aka "Special Town Meeting" at the federal level]
Those that didn’t vote in 2010 need to acknowledge their role in this disgusting spectacle.
And I haven’t even mentioned how this same rot is working feverishly to deny people access to voting – that, denying and limiting voting is working hand and hand with gerrymandering to lock in this rot.
This is a sad day in America.
We should all realize that voting always matters, respecting the process is vital, and nihilism has no place in America.