Non-Voting Power

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Writes Maureen: “Regarding the blog on non-voting; several years ago, I was taking second level Anatomy & Physiology. I began in a class of approximately 30 students. I was certainly one of the oldest students at 40. The class was required for my nursing certification. I was a solid ‘A’ student, which caused my teacher distress, because I was very vocal when he encouraged science students to seek out government grants, rather than seek out private investors. Just prior to taking a test, in November of 2004, the teacher announced to the class that if they showed him their ‘I voted’ sticker, that they would get extra credit. I was, needless to say, livid. I raised my hand and said that this was wrong on many levels. He told me that I had no reason to seek extra credit, that my grades were good. I reminded him that he stated in writing and with verbal review during the first week of class, that absolutely ‘no extra credit’ work will be accepted and that we were tested on our tests and the practical lab exam. He said that he was the teacher, and it was his right to change his mind. I also suggested that mixing politics with a science class was not ethical, especially coming from a teacher that would soon be teaching an ethics class the follow semester. He then began yelling at me in front of the classroom, saying that people that did not vote did not belong in this country and he tried to use it as a put down towards me. I told him that in a free country I have the right to many choices, including not exercising my ‘right’ to vote for people that did not represent that freedom. The Navy pilot in my class agreed with me, as did others in the class, but no one had the nerve to speak out. The student next to me, whispered ‘just let it go, it is not worth it’. I couldn’t. I got up, left class and went to the lab, where I spent most of my time teaching myself. He than followed me into the lab and apologized. I told him that I accepted his apology for being rude, but I would not accept his way of thinking. I offered my hand and we shook.

“This was a moment for me, that I have run into more than once in school as an adult. When I was younger, I often sat in silence, knowing that I did not agree with what I was “learning”. That moment changed something in me. I was overwhelmed by the fear my teacher showed during his encounters with me. The first time I spoke up, I was nervous and shaking. Now, seeing how afraid people are of truth or of an idea that is not collectivist status quo, it just gives me so much more strength; their fear empowers me to have no fear. Nothing feels better that being free, absolutely nothing feels better than liberating yourself and being who you are, period. LRC has been a critical asset in leading me to this wonderful state of being. Thanks to Butler Schaffer and all of the articles on LRC.”

4:30 pm on June 29, 2008