Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Why Don’t Americans Vote? We’re Repeatedly Told Not To (video)

John Nichols

John Nichols of ‘The Nation’ addressed progressives and unionists at a recent Tucson event.

The United States is the world’s largest democracy, we spend an obscene amount of money on elections–more than any other country–and we have the lowest voter turnout. The trend has been: the more money that is spent, the lower the turnout.

Since the 2014 election– which had the lowest voter turnout since 1942– many people have been asking: Why aren’t Americans voting? When you consider thehorrible financial mess the Tea Party is making of red states like Arizona, there also been a lot of non-voter bashing and shaming. But does that do any good? I think not.

At a recent John Nichols event, hosted by PDA Tucson and the Pima Area Labor Federation, Nichols shed light onto the inverse relationship between money spent and votes cast.

Nichols told the crowd of approximately 130 progressives and unionists that Americans don’t vote because negative television commercials repeatedly tell us not to. Check out this excerpt from his talk below.

One comment on “Why Don’t Americans Vote? We’re Repeatedly Told Not To (video)

  1. Ted Downing
    March 23, 2015

    Why don’t American’s vote? John Nichols is kind of right, but mostly wrong. Go deeper. His message that the corporations are saying “don’t vote” is relevant to those who can vote in meaningful elections. Before looking a media funding, which is important, is that voters are prevented from having choices by gerrymandering and partisan primaries. A Republican in a gerrymandered Democratic district or al contrario is prevent from casting a meaningful vote by a wired structure. The majority of Arizona registered voters are independents. We are forced to vote a straight party ticket in a primary – another level of wiring. Look at election laws that protect incumbents (right and left) and leave so little competition that it is not worth going to the market place. TV commercials come much lower in the food chain – as is evident that most funds are spent on the remaining competitive districts.

    Ted Downing


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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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