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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Observations: Disenfranchisement

We are one nation, indivisible under our flag. The ideal of an American democracy is for every citizen to have a fair share of influence upon their government, and recently this nation has seen the birth of a movement who believes they have been disenfranchised from this ideal. They believe that agents of our federal government have consistently acted without regard for the citizenry and they have begun to demand reform. Their love of our country’s democratic processes & ideals of the freedom of speech has spurred them to peacefully assemble & manifest the roar of their masses to influence the course of this country away from what they see as the destruction of our American ideals. Their efforts have changed the American discourse.

In the beginning, they had to fight for attention from the mainstream media. At first they were ignored. Then they were laughed at. Finally, the potential force of their movement upon our American democratic system was realized by the media, and they are now a common topic of discussion in houses across America; they have successfully altered the American discourse. I am talking of course about the Tea Party; an assembly of democratic citizens manifesting the collective roar of their voices to sway our governmental representatives.

Regardless of personal politics or perspectives on economic reform, both the Tea Party and Occupation share this one belief fundamental to both movements: control over society needs to be returned to the electorate. A lot of people in either group object entirely to the idea of comparison between the two, but this is a common thread which can be built upon to bridge connections between the two largest sociopolitical movements emerging from the American discourse in the past decade. They both have very different ideas of how government should look, but to both the democratic process is held to the highest regard.
Across our entire political spectrum there is a sense of disenfranchisement, that no matter how many activists gather on the National Mall, our heads of state have developed a filter to keep their voices from entering the walls of their compounds. Not that the Occupation is a leftist movement, but this is is something that both the left and right can agree on. I believe that this demand for a voice will potentially reunite the two groups together under our single flag.

A member of Occupy Cincinnati sings a solidarity chant at the top of her lungs after being arrested for refusing to obey Cincinnati Park Board regulations.

Discovering what it means to have a voice, to be enfranchised in a democratic sociopolitical system, has been my primary focus through the lens of cybernetic theory. Through a combination of my readings of theory, my upbringing in humanity’s new digital era, my studies of journalism and my experiences with political activism I have come to hold a number of very precise beliefs and theories in regards to the systemic control mechanisms which govern the path of our nation and lives.

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