Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18, 1920 The Day Women Won the Right to Vote. Today, Will We Need to Fight for Our Rights Again?

"Something is happening here, What it is...is not exactly clear. There's a Man with a Gun over there, Saying You Got to Beware..."

They Sell the Catch Phrase
                   "Everything Is Fluid" 


I received an email forwarded by a cohort espousing this date in history as one when the Women’s Right to Vote won approval as the 19th amendment to our Constitution. It is more of a timeline and summary of the events leading up to final vote.  However, I do not believe many of us know of just how emotional and physical impact for the activists. The movement or fight was prolonged and bitter over decades! Women were abused, incarcerated and force-fed because of their Activism. 

The fight for Women's Rights began July of 1848 with the formation of a Women’s Rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. The battle persisted first in our Nation’s Congress where it barely passed both House and Senate. Now, the Women’s Right to vote moved to the battleground of each State for their passage. It all came down to Tennessee where the State Legislature was deadlocked at a vote of 48 in favor and 48 opposed. There was one vote yet to be cast. Harry Burn, a 24 year old and youngest member of that body held the deciding vote. The all male opposition believed Harry would vote with them. However, the wisdom of a mother was overlooked when she cleverly constructed a note for Harry.



"Dear Son: Hurrah, and vote for suffrage! Don't keep them in doubt. I noticed some of the speeches against. They were bitter. I have been watching to see how you stood, but have not noticed anything yet. Don't forget to be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt put the 'rat' in ratification.
Your, Mother."

Note to Jan and all readers: This ends my condensed version of my statement from this my White House. What follows is the complete narrative. Therefore reader, beware.

I began early that morning in reply to the e-mail and faced an unidentified force that repelled my every word. Literally, I could not enter or type an email reply. Nor could I access my blog to report the event remembered and the events surrounding my reply! Now, people thought I am crazy when I mentioned this going back to the year 2000; my personal computer became compromised or hacked.

Whatever blog or letter I was writing, I came to feel every word is being noted; every sentence logged and analyzed somewhere, by someone. At times when submitted to a particular political website, it mysteriously disappeared. Later, the invasion of my privacy intensified. There were times where a “hacker” was in control of my mouse, froze the keyboard and gave a “new   direction” to which website or page I attempted to visit.

I referenced this phenomena a few times over the pursuing years, the last being the day President-Elect Obama visited the college across the street, I knew he was there by the interference in my internet use and perhaps the Secret Service flying helicopters and circling above was a strong hint.

It does sound overly suspicious or my own paranoia back then and now. With the interruptions morning this paranormal event has extended the time to compose more than four hours. I am aware with my own compulsion to edit and re-edit, but with all due respect, to my detractors, this is very much possible with our enlightenment by the plight of Eric Snowden and the underhanded invasion of privacy by the NASA. Until I come to have known knowns and known unknowns, I will keep to my story. The disruptions are due to the mysterious force not with me, but the laser-like precision that abetted my best strokes.

Thanks Jan for forwarding the entry from Garrison Keillor Writer's Almanac she receives daily. she receives from the e-mail reminding us of this historic legislation. What stands out to me in is that "Women's Suffrage" evolved as a battle fought over decades of political debate from Washington D.C. to every State Capitol. 

One can only imagine how small squalls erupted on every American Main Street and the asinine arguments presented by the opposition that defies logic. The Right to Vote for other minorities as we know continued beyond 1920 up to where it should have ended in 1965 Civil Rights Legislation.

Women’s Suffrage was a long battle won primarily everyday women through their organized opposition, persistent peaceful protest and perhaps by withholding from men what they deemed their unalienable right.

As a student of Politics and History, I remind myself almost every day of how naive at times I must be. Today it seems that challenges to the Right to Vote, denial and protection of basic Worker Rights and to the history of the Labor Movement is not only vehemently opposed but that the "bloodied" movement fought is no longer mentioned in high school history textbooks. 

We the People may now need go beyond a passive vigilance to see our rights and our freedoms remain intact. However, there is sufficient warning and troubling events where a new grassroots movement will be thrust upon us. We will need to educate ourselves to bear knowledge and witness to events past. It may call to order to re-fight battles already won.

When a person such as one Karl Rove fails to see injustice (for fear of voter fraud) where a 105-year-old black woman must stand for five hours in a voting line, you and I are at risk.

Political figures (more as caricatures) as Rove, Cheney, and Palin are menacingly and overtly dangerous to the sanctity of Our Constitution. The long progression of the Woman's Right to Vote is as important today as when you cited it began in 1848. For how far over the horizon will these basic human and voting rights come under fire and threat of repeal? How is it that these demagogues continue to "rove" under the guise of public debate? Their agenda is not to protect our Liberty, but rather roll back the clock to a Pre-Tea Party era. In my mind, elected and appointed authorities have dismissed the "Oath of Office" they pledged to uphold. 

When a Harvard graduate of Constitutional Law as President threatens, a "veto" of the largest military appropriations bill if Congress does not retain specific language, it is contrary to our course of history and raises a red flag. These are alterations to Homeland Security and the parameters under which they will conduct business as usual at the whim of the Secretary of Defense. When and if, the Department of Defense believe "security is at risk" the governing body (police force) has the authority to "detain any citizen without charge[1]" or legal recourse. 

Our Individual Rights and Equal treatment is inherent within the words of the greatest "living" document known to man. The document is the Constitution of the United States. It is a “living” document as over time many debates, hard and bloodied battles fought, were resolved by rule of, or its interpretation. In the instance of Women's Suffrage, Constitutional Rule was adhered and the 19th Amendment adopted by the States. It was now the law. 

However, in recent decades we see the erosion of Laws and gains made in Labor, Civil, Gender-based Human Rights. Among the most Powerful and Rich they seize every opportunity to reverse our Constitutional and Rights gained by blood and tears. They are already on a quick path to repeal or prohibit the Laws to which they disagree. Worse, they ignore the Constitution and the moral and ethically appropriate means to their end. They believe through power and money that nothing is sacred! Healthcare, Social Security, Medicare, Labor Laws, National Labor Relations Board and so on are "all on the table" to be downsized, privatized, abolished. They insult ordinary Americans when they say it is for the better, "trust us."


Now I can clearly define that I and thousands of government employees heard over and over, 

"EVERYTHING IS FLUID." But, it is certainly not transparent. 


Revised August 19, 2014


[1] (Put that in your pipe Justices John Marshall and Oliver W. Holmes and smoke it! I added this barb because these Chief Justices are considered to have presided over the best Supreme Courts in Our History. Our Nation needs Attorneys that are not only schooled in the Law, but the very fabric of our American life where not one person is "disposable."