The RAP Vote: From A Silent To A Voiceless Majority – OpEd


After two intense weeks of quadrennial Olympic sport events, London emptied itself of 906 medals –302 gold; 302 silver; and 302 bronze – and declared the Olympiad a great success regardless of what that “idiotic” presidential candidate from America, Mitt Romney, had said during his recent visit to the city. And at the closing, we, vociferous Americans, let our chant resound all over the planet after we harvested more medals than any other country (104): We’re No. 1. We’re No. 1. We’re No. 1. Devil may care to the logic that relative to our population, our per capita resources and investment per athlete, we were mediocre at best relative to ALL industrialized nations in the world.

Being vociferous in a prideful or jingoistic cry for what we perceive to be success in sports, or other human endeavors, does not imply that we have a voice at all in how we are being governed. That, we have to accept, is a horse of a different color!

If the majority in a society stays silent long enough, it becomes voiceless. And, a priori, democracy cannot exist in a society with a voiceless majority. As much as we may wish to deny it, it’s beginning to look as if we, in the United States of America, may be reaching that voiceless stage, assuming we are not already there.

In the 19th century the term “silent majority” was used as a euphemism for all the people who had died; but in late 1969 President Richard Nixon made the term popular in an entirely different context.

The war in Vietnam was at its height of intensity, and America had a military presence there well past the half million mark. The antiwar sentiment in the US was also at its peak, well intertwined with a counterculture rebellion – peace and music… often mixed with drugs and sex – manifested in large gatherings throughout the nation, the most famous being the Woodstock music festival northwest of New York City which drew between 300,000 and 500,000 people in mid-August. Then in November, a few days before 250,000 antiwar demonstrators were to march on the capital, President Nixon gave a speech asking for the support of the “silent majority,” the “good people” who didn’t join in large demonstrations against the war in Vietnam, or were part of the counterculture… just about everyone who did not participate in public discourse or challenged the sacred culture and politics of God’s favorite nation. After all, we were still basking in glory for having put the first men on the moon just a few months before.

America’s silent majority of the past four decades have been content to let the political duopoly of Democrats and Republicans run the nation’s affairs in a fast-changing world. Whether in economics-international trade (globalization) or privacy issues (new technological-social structures) people-power has been absent… with only an obscure right to express an opinion, all too often muzzled by ignorance and the call to patriotic sacrifice by those holding the wealth and power, the masters of an enslaved nation.

We, Americans, may be voiceless in how our nation is economically and politically run, and we make it up by being vociferous with the jingoistic yell of… We’re No. 1! But… shouldn’t we, instead, be asking to have our voice back in how this US of A is to be governed, instead of voting on November 6 for either Tweedledum or Tweedledee?

Will there be a RAP (Repudiation of American Politics) vote in this coming presidential election that will bring America’s voiceless majority to be vociferous enough on their own behalf and say, enough! “We are casting our vote of disaffection,” our RAP vote, and the start of a new day even if, for now, there’s lack of top leadership in movement. The leadership will rise at its own time once the numbers in such movement are there, thus creating an abiogenic hatchery for political life that is free and democratic.

Next column we will continue establishing the blueprint for the creation of a movement of politically disaffected, and how their vote should be cast in this coming presidential election so that democracy in America can be revived, and not be the empty word that it now is. Let’s be vociferous so that Washington, not London, can hear: We [the people] are No.1.

Ben Tanosborn

Ben Tanosborn is a syndicated columnist. Over a decade ago he started writing a weekly sociopolitical column, 'Behind the Mirror,' hoping to bring new perspectives that would allow us to see ourselves with borrowed eyes. He can be reached at [email protected]

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