An archival article by Former State Senator, Mike Blackbird
Following is something I wrote in my journal many years ago that pertains to the American Redoubt. I've long forgotten what I-993 was about, roads I suspect, still the overall point of the story isn't topical.
Growing up, Election Day was an event to be respected in my working class family. Though my mother was a poll worker for as long as I remember my parents weren’t political in the least. It was just that voting was a citizen’s obligation and not to be ignored. So it’s like fingers being dragged down a blackboard when somebody tells me they don’t vote. It makes my teeth hurt. Recently at a dinner party someone brought up Initiative 933. The host’s son, a bright young man of 21, announced in the middle of the discussion that he’d never voted and never intended to. To his way of thinking politics and politicians have no impact on his life and he wasn’t going to be bothered. I asked him what his interests were. He wasn’t the least convinced when I pointed out that some of the things he cared about needed a reasonably good road to enjoy. In fact the middle class life that he enjoyed was because of a stable infrastructure that a stable government guaranteed. If all Washington citizens felt as he did and chose not to vote in November allowing I-933 to pass unopposed then the stability he known all his young life would be replaced by chaos at its most extreme or at least uncertainty dragging down a healthy economy, disrupting his contented life. At this point Florence poked me in the ribs, a long established signal that I was getting preachy. She was right as I noticed the young man’s eyes were beginning to glaze over. And I was just getting warmed up. I wanted to tell him and anyone listening about the story of the Australian James Michener wrote about in “Rascals in Paradise.” It’s a great story making the point that we are involved in our community whether we choose to be or not. I didn’t get to tell the story that night so I’ll tell it now.
In the 1930’s there was in Australia a learned gentleman who clearly foresaw that a great war was about to break over the world. He had no desire to participate in this foolish war, but he had to conclude from his studies that Europe was going to explode and that the resulting fires would involve Africa and much of Asia. With extraordinary clairvoyance he deduced that Australia, left unprotected because the military men were preoccupied with Europe, would surely become a temptation to Asia and would probably be overrun.
Wishing to avoid such a debacle, he spent considerable time in determining what course a sensible man should follow if he wanted to escape the onrushing cataclysm. He considered flight into the dead heart of Australia, but concluded that although he could probably hide out in that forbidding region, life without adequate water would be intolerable. Next he contemplated removal to America, but dismissed this as impractical in view of the certainty that America would also be involved in the war.
Finally, by a process of the most careful logic, he decided that his only secure refuge from the world’s insanity lay on some tropical island. He reasoned, “There I will find adequate water from the rains, food from the breadfruit and coconut trees, and fish from the lagoons. There will safety from the airplanes, which will be bombing important cities. And thanks to the missionaries, the natives will probably not eat me.”
Fortified with such conclusions, he studied the Pacific and narrowed his choice of islands to the one that offered every advantage: remoteness, security, a good life, and a storm cellar until the universal hurricane had subsided.
Thereupon, in the late summer of 1939, one week before Nazi Germany invaded Poland, this wise Australian fled to his particular South Pacific refuge. He went to the almost unknown island of Guadalcanal.
In reality when an individual chooses not to vote it’s actually a vote against his or her self-interest. The decision not to vote in an election where the defeat of I-933 is imperative is actually a vote for this fraud against public interest. When I think of people who choose not to participate in the political process I think of the lady that told Adlai Stevenson that every thinking person would vote for him. He replied, “It won’t be enough, we need a majority.”
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