In the spring of 1996, I witnessed a brief exchange of words between Senator Bob Dole and a US citizen.
I was waiting for a friend outside a government building in Washington, DC shortly before noon when Senator Dole exited the building and walked towards his sedan surrounded by several Secret Service agents.
En route to his sedan, Dole did what professional politicos always do, smiling and greeting everyone that crossed his path.
One of the persons that Dole greeted seized the opportunity to start complaining about something that the Republican-controlled Congress had done which had rubbed the complainant’s rhubarb the wrong way.
About 30 seconds into this person’s rant, Senator Dole interrupted with a three-word question: “Do you vote?”
Dole’s question visibly surprised the complainant, who sputtered, “Hell, no. I’m not even registered. It’s a waste of time.”
Senator Dole shot back, “If you don’t vote, your opinion doesn’t count and I am not interested in hearing it.”
Yes, there’s a message to this anecdote.
I argued yesterday that the outcome of the 26 September National Assembly elections is irrelevant because, win or lose, Hugo Chavez and his gangsters will continue to trample to death what’s left of Venezuela’s democracy.
I also believe that Chavez and gang will never concede any defeat, and will do whatever they have to – including mass murder – to remain in power indefinitely.
However, anyone who doesn’t VOTE in next Sunday’s legislative elections loses, de facto and by default, the right to complain about what Chavez plans to impose on Venezuela by any means including murder over the coming months and years.
This could be your last real opportunity to voice your opinion about Venezuela’s fate, and your future.
Every individual vote counts. Don’t throw away your vote by choosing to stay home on Sunday.
Chavez and gang certainly will cheat somehow. He already has in place the new communal governance institutions with himself as self-appointed CEO for life, just in case he loses the legislature. But nothing lasts forever.
Miracles do happen, quite often. For example, I know two people who have survived pancreatic cancer. One of them lives in Paris, and the other one wrote this blog post.