When you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice (an encore post)

I wrote the following post four years ago. It remains relevant today. Make a stand, march or picket, contact your leaders, and vote.

If you have followed this blog for any length of time, you will know that I love cleverly worded song lyrics. The above title comes from an unexpected source (if you don’t follow the band) – a song called “Free will” by the rock band “Rush.” I find this lyric, penned by drummer Neil Peart, compelling as it speaks to people who choose to do nothing in the face of obvious problems. Martin Luther King saved some of his criticism for the silent people who did not condemn Jim Crow actions.

People choose not to vote because they do not like the choices. But, “none of the above” is not an option and one candidate tends to be worse or represents worse. If you did not vote because you did not think Brexit or Trump would win, you water down your right to protest. And, I would add there are seven white supremacists running for office, empowered by a US President who won’t condemn racist actions and has made racist statements. So, your vote does matter.

If you witness a daily assault on civil rights, women’s rights, truth, media, science, allies and environment and don’t speak up, then you condone the actions as acceptable.

– It is not OK for leaders to lie multiple times a day.

– It is not OK to have governmental websites delete data that run afoul of unsubstantiated opinions by leaders.

– It is not OK to demean people because they dare criticize a leader’s point of view.

– It is not OK to promote violence toward these same people, as some people act on these suggestions and the assaulters and/ or the targets get hurt or go to jail.

– It is not OK to demonize groups of people or exaggerate causes of problems, as it is hard enough to solve real problems with real data.

– It is not OK to ignore real problems or have faux efforts to address them. Gun deaths, poverty, health care access and costs, infrastructure deterioration, increasing debt, environmental degradation, climate change, etc. are real problems.

Please do not remain silent. Speak up. Call or email your representatives. Attend marches and protests. Share diplomatically your opinion, but listen to theirs. Find a way to get your opinion heard and heeded. Calling someone a name is not the way to be heard.

The other day as I was looking for a new battery for my cordless mower, a store clerk and I chatted about the need to move toward renewable energy. While he supported the eventual move, he said renewable energy is “seven times” the cost of fossil fuel energy. I responded and said that is a ten-year old argument. The costs are now more on par. In fact, there is a city in Texas who chose to be 100% renewable energy powered as its CPA mayor said financially it is a better deal. Did he hear me? I don’t know, but he would not have  if I had not listened to his argument and responded.

Do not follow the words of the song lyric. Choose to decide.


6 thoughts on “When you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice (an encore post)

  1. Well, it is true that when you don’t make a choice, you’re still making a choice. Or … someone else is making the choice for you. A choice is being made, one way or another.

    But yeah, the song does “allow” some people to think they don’t have to do anything, as does Jerry Garcia’s statement that voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil. Lots of people decided that there was no point to voting after hearing that.

    That said, I am a huge Rush fan & a Grateful Dead fan 🙂

  2. Renewable energy is something we have to invest in first. But in the end, it is about the result we want to achieve: saving our world! And that should be the motivation to invest!

  3. Note to Readers: There is another powerful line from the Rush song “Subdivisions” which is highly pertinent. “Conform or be cast out.” In any group, but in particular the US Republican Party, to garner votes a candidate must embrace and repeat aloud a bald-faced lie promoted by the ego-centric former president that the 2020 election was stolen from him. 2/3 of Republicans believe this bald faced lie which the former president cannot prove or offer evidence in over 65 court cases, winning one small one, and losing every recount, audit and review of election results. His Attorney General called his claims BS and the head of election security said it was the most secure election in our history. But, if a GOP candidate does not actively support the bogus claims of a person notorious for being untruthful, their lack of conformity gets them cast out. That is terribly unfortunate, in my view. How do these candidates who conform to a lie sleep at night? I recognize Democrat candidates stretch the truth, but we are talking a mainstream party prevarication to be a Republican candidate.

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