Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Right to Protest is not Lost When a Person Chooses not to Vote

   Protesting is a form of expression, a manner of free speech, a way of displaying opinion. All of those things suggest protesting is wonderful, but if you leave it there, you sell protesting short.
   It is more.
   I think of how is has been said, we should wear out our lives bringing hidden things of darkness into the light. Those who see something wrong, who seek to remove social injustice, often turn to protest as their way of fighting against the wrongs.
   This is not to say they are always right. The cause they pursue can be misguided. Still, it is good that they wear themselves out fighting against what they perceive to be wrong. It is a greater virtue to stand up for what you think is right, even though it might actually be wrong, than to stay sitting down and say nothing when the cause is actually right.
   I think of all the protesting going on in America. I think of the Trump rallies. This is not a moment I choose to protest Trump. Though I protested before he was elected, I am rather inclined, at this time now that he has been elected, to give him a measure of support and have at least some attitude of, Let's wait and see. But, I do not fault those who protest. I hail them for expressing their opinion.
   Some suggest that some of them did not even vote, and if they didn't vote, they have no right to be protesting. What is the expression? If you don't vote, you have no right to complain.
   I disagree. You always have the right to express your opinion, That is not taken away just because you choose not to vote. The right to vote implies you also have a right not to vote. Freedom is freedom. Don't force a person to vote.
   And, in a way, protesting is a form of voting. It is a way of standing up and being counted on an issue. It is a vote without a ballot, but with a placard instead.

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