So, yesterday the Chair of the Select Committee started off by saying that American democracy was ‘in danger’ because Trump tried to pressure public officials in swing states to change the results. And by saying that losing an election means the election should be cancelled or reversed is nothing more tantamount than putting an end to the electoral process altogether.
This narrative goes right alongside the idea that Trump’s nothing more than a Fascist, or an autocrat, or some other anti-democratic guy who needs to be kicked in the ass and gotten rid of one way or another.
This is all fine and well, and as an unbreakable blue team voter for the last fifty-four years, I’m happy to see Trump and every other POS/GOP adherent take it up the gazoo, except there’s only one little problem. When it comes to making our system as democratic as possible, Trump’s been the best friend that American democracy has ever had.
How can I say something so ridiculous, so absurd? I’ll tell you how.
I think the best way to figure out the actual state of a democracy is to analyze how many people participate in the system, i.e., how many people vote.
Guess what? Until the 2016 election, we never had more than 125 million voters show up and cast a vote for President. Then in 2016, the first time Trump was on the ballot, the total was 130 million. Then in 2020 it was 157 million, which was 67% of all eligible voters in the United States.
We never had 67% of all persons of voting age participating in a national election before the 2020 turnout, not even close. There were elections, like 1988, when the percentage of voting-age persons who turned out barely hit 50%. For that matter, the percentage of voters who showed up in 1996 wasn’t even 50%. Did anyone accuse Bill Clinton of being an autocrat back then?
The United States happens to be the only Democratic country whose voter turnout for a national election is less than 50%, less than 60%, less than 70%. Of the 35 countries who held national elections since 2017, thirty had higher turnout percentages than the United States. Our voting percentage is down around countries like Chile and Slovenia.
Where the hell is Slovenia? I never even heard of Slovenia.
How come the House of Representatives has never put together a Select Committee to hold hearings on why so many Americans don’t show up to vote? If the definition of an autocrat is someone who doesn’t want the political system to be determined by a popular vote, shouldn’t we be saying that both major parties have been running autocratic candidates over the past fifty years?
I also don’t buy the idea that we had such a big turnout in 2020 because states made it easier for people to vote by mail or to do early voting before the actual election date. What difference does that make? People still wanted to vote and wouldn’t have voted no matter how easy it was made if they didn’t have someone they hoped would win or really wanted someone else like Trump to lose.
Last weekend I drove past a corner in my own town and about ten people were standing there holding Trump – 2024 signs and wearing MAGA hats. I thought of giving them the finger but held off because maybe they weren’t just a bunch of racists and jerks. Maybe they were actually doing what I couldn’t be bothered to do.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to pretend that I want to see anyone voting for the red team. As far as I’m concerned, if you consider yourself to be a POS/GOP voter, as Grandpa would say, you can ‘chob en drerd’ (read: shit your pants.)
But if we want our side to keep control of the Congress for the next two years or the next twenty years, we’re not going to do it except by making sure that everyone comes out to vote the way they did the last time around.
I give these guys $100 every month no matter what. How about you?