By SUSAN K. SMITH
Crazy Faith Ministries
I’ve heard so many people say that they are not going to vote, but I hope they change their minds.
Even if they do not believe in the system anymore, I hope they can garner enough faith to vote for people who are not outright liars and spreaders of misinformation, and I hope they flood the polls in their local elections. If people who are opposed to fascism and authoritarianism do not vote, we will give what freedom we have away. We will give away what has made people from all over the world want to come and live here.
It is important for us to remember that authoritarian governments don’t just happen. People vote the authoritarians into office, and in our present situation, these are people who will stomp on freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion – for starters.
If you are not alarmed by what is happening, you should be. All of us should be. In Germany, as Hitler came into power, his henchmen burned books. Why? Because they wanted to keep truth and knowledge away from people who might prove to be problematic for them if they read too much, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Our would-be leaders are on their way to doing the same thing here; to date, books have been burned in Texas and Tennessee, ABC News noted.
Again, if you are not alarmed, you should be. Politicians are telling schools what they can and cannot teach, and teaching about racism, sexism and gender identity is being banned, Education Week and NPR reported.
If you are not alarmed, you should be. The move to suppress votes is getting larger and people who are against “free and fair” elections are winning primaries. We cannot let them win. A Trumpian secretary of state in any state is a threat to all of us. What the right wing is doing is dismantling the federal government by putting people in power on the state level who will water down the capacity of states to influence elections that will be, in fact, fair.
It’s even worse. If you have children who attend public school, you should know that the Republicans are pushing to end public education. They have never been in favor of it, but now they see a hole that they can go through to end public education and set up a voucher system, revealed The New Republic. How will your child or children fare if that becomes the reality?
There are so many more “freedoms” that the right wants to eliminate, and if we do not vote, we will give them that victory. They are counting on us doing just that. They are counting on us losing hope and the will to fight, but we have to remember the words of Henry Highland Garnet who said that resistance to oppression is not an option; it is totally necessary, as listed on LibQuotes.com.
It is discouraging to listen to the lies, to be affected by the misinformation, and to see people in power seemingly getting away with what looks like treason. It is difficult to see people who are supposed to be lawmakers actually appear to be willing to ignore the law for some in order to hold onto power, while overusing and misrepresenting the law for “the least of these,” on whose backs the wealth of the wealthy has been built.
But we cannot give in to discouragement. Check your voter registration every month. Get your friends and families to do the same. Know who is running for office; do your research. Don’t vote tyranny into office by not voting. Don’t be a contributor to the tyrants who are walking and living in fear, and who aim to make everyone else suffer because of it.
Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith is the founder and director of Crazy Faith Ministries. She is available for speaking. And she is an award-winning author for her latest book, “With Liberty and Justice for Some: The Bible, the Constitution, and Racism in America,” available through all booksellers. Contact her at email@example.com.
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