George Graham

No Substitute for Taking the Trouble to Vote

Everybody knows by now that the American economy has been hijacked by an international elite which controls the financial system known as “Wall Street.” Everybody knows these financiers are a major source of funding in American politics. And everybody knows American politics has been corrupted by the influence of the elite’s vast wealth.

It is a vicious cycle. By controlling the financial system, the Wall Street elite have the meansĀ  to dictate government policies that make them richer, so they have more money to buy more power… and on and on.

(Click on illustration above to see some of the big donors.)

So I’m sure that almost everyone understands why disgruntled Americans are “occupying” cities to demonstrate their disgust with the inequities that prevail in today’s society.

What nobody knows is how this widespread – and growing – protest will affect next year’s general election.

Liberals like Rachel Maddow seem to think the protests could give the Democrats a shove to the left. But after listening to Senator Barney Frank on her MSNBC show last night, I wonder if her hopes will be realized.

Undeniably, the protests will have an impact on the collective consciousness – and the collective conscience – of America. Politicians would ignore the movement at their peril.

But – as Senator Frank emphasized last night – the bottom line is the vote.

He pointed out that the Tea Party dominates Republican politics not because they hold demonstrations and carry slogan-bearing placards but because they vote.

And they persuade other voters to go to the polls and support their cause.

The result is that Republican candidates dare not oppose the Tea Party for fear of losing in the primaries.

In contrast, progressives seem reluctant to get out and proselytize. Embarrassed even.

They prefer to stay home and cheer the protesters on instead of organizing grassroots support for their favorite candidates.

And while the protesters are willing to throng the streets and shout rebellious slogans, when it comes to voting, many of them tend to shrug off the democratic system as “bourgeois.” At least that’s what Barney Frank thinks.

I hope he’s wrong. I hope the protesters took the trouble to register before they set off to occupy the cities. I hope they’ll take time out from their protests to go to the polls.

And I hope their protests will inspire the stay-at-home progressives to get out and vote. They could round up a few neighbors and take them to the polls while they’re at it, too.

Click here for more on the Rachel Maddow program.


About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for