Sunday, July 8, 2012

Mexican protesters show how it's done

We can learn a thing or three from the Mexican citizenry's reaction when elections in their country are rigged in plain sight.

Tens of thousands of people are marching in Mexico City to protest widespread vote-buying and fraud that determined the outcome of Mexico's recent presidential election. Among other offenses, operatives with the PRI (the party that won) paid media outlets to give them favorable coverage. It's not unlike how the Citizens United ruling allowed right-wing superPAC's to pay off U.S. media organizations for good press - which is exactly what happened in 2010.

In fact, Republicans in the United States have rigged elections for decades - but what's been the usual response from the public? Crickets. Where were our marches?

What did the American public's inaction bring? In case you didn't notice, nothing good. When things finally started to change, the superPAC's were allowed to kick us down again. And it's all because people had sat on their hands and expected the system to fix itself.

Listless inaction was the rule in modern America until just last year. Although Occupy is nonpartisan, it's a fact that many folks were prodded into joining Occupy because of the Tea Party's electoral jailbreak of 2010. The question is: why did it take that long? I wanted to see Occupy in 1988! You can't languish in a catatonic state for years and expect the task of restoring democracy to get easier.

The lesson here: action gets results. If Mitt Romney steals the election, we will have these choices: 1) protest until he is held accountable; or 2) do like we did before Occupy - i.e., nothing. We know all too well what the second option nets us.

Cowards will cut and run. I, on the other hand, will fight.


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