Daily Kos :: Learned Helplessness and American Voters

Daily Kos

Like the Ukrainians, some Americans predicted our election would be stolen and even outlined how it would be done. Americans should have taken to the streets and stormed the federal and state capitols when they first learned that Republican-backing corporations would control the means and methods of tabulating their votes. Although several organizations and thousands of people took part in admirable efforts to require paper trails, it wasn't enough. Most Americans either didn't hear the message or didn't want to hear it. Among the progressives who did, much of their energy was consumed in the intensive campaigning process. Some Kerry activists naively hoped to address the looming threat by garnering enough votes to overcome the potential fraud and disenfranchisement.

Diaries :: Renee in Ohio's diary ::

Now that the predictable damage is done, Americans are amazingly more silent than before the election: like Seligman's shocked dogs, seemingly resigned to learned helplessness. Perhaps some are afraid of supporting or fighting for post-election investigations, concerned that, if they do not ultimately show that Kerry would've won, they will have been proved wrong and wasted energy and resources - what would be the point? This mindset, epitomized by Kerry's concession speech statement, 'we cannot win,' has carried over into defeatist post-election attitudes and action. What Kerry and many of his supporters don't understand is that the critical post-election battle is not about John Kerry. What is at stake is far greater. Democracy is not about men; it's about ideals. The battle which must be fought is one to save representative democracy from the final death blow that will be dealt by ignoring the widespread electoral problems of the past two presidential elections. "


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