From this week’s Sojourners newsletter:
We recoil from nonviolence at our peril. Dr. King rightly saw it at the heart of democracy. Our nation is a great cathedral of votes — votes not only for Congress and for president, but also votes on Supreme Court decisions and on countless juries. Votes govern the boards of great corporations and tiny charities alike. Visibly and invisibly, everything runs on votes. And every vote is nothing but a piece of nonviolence.
– Historian Taylor Branch, in a recent op-ed, “The Last Wish of Martin Luther King.”
How is voting, particularly in government, nonviolent when every act of government is back up with the threat of violence? Votes are cast for those who support a certain sense of morality so that those who transgress that morality will be threatened with violence. As long as there are prisons, police, judges and soldiers then voting will be a violent act.