by Alex Symington…….
I made a pact with my self that I would reserve judgement on the POTUS candidates until after the primary. The primary is long over, but confusion still reigns. Questionable behavior by the DNC and it’s now-disgraced leadership by Debbie-Wasserman Schultz has left a stink on Hillary Clinton’s legitimacy. Bernie Sanders graciously acquiesced to the supremacy of the Clinton machine and urged his supporters to throw in with his, here-to-fore, political nemesis. It made me think back to when Al Gore acquiesced to the Supreme’s selection of Bush over Gore when Gore was the presumptive legitimate election winner. Makes one ponder the imponderable, but I digress.
As I mentioned in an earlier essay on Hillary Clinton back in May the trump card, if you will, of a Trump presidency is the greatest asset of all to the Clinton campaign. If any one of the other hundred or so republican candidates vying for the republican nomination had beat out Trump, her chances of winning the White House would have been sketchy at best. Send in the clown, Trump. Voilà! HRC looks viable. Trump is HRC’s secret Santa, her savior and her gift from God all rolled into one very small package. A conspiracy theorist could understandably believe his run was engineered by Clinton. Crazy, right?
However, I don’t want to talk about Donald or Hillary or even Bernie, for that matter. I want to address the American voter, or to be more on point, the American non-voter. The latter is the root cause of our misrepresentative form of government. As I recall we had a revolution back in the latter 18th century to redress our lack of representation in government. Between our political slackers and our charade of a two party system we get the likes of the aforementioned “choice” of which seat on the Titanic we prefer.
I came across a very disturbing New York Times interactive graph on-line. The attention grabbing headline was, “Only 9% of Americans Chose Trump and Clinton as the Nominees”. Well, these two don’t represent me or millions like me, so I read on. The graph breaks it down so even I could understand the sad absurdity of our elective process.
Here goes… “The United States is home to 324 million people. 103 million of them are children, noncitizens or ineligible felons, and they do not have the right to vote. 88 million eligible adults do not vote at all, even in general elections. An additional 73 million did not vote in the primaries this year, but will most likely vote in the general election. The remaining 60 million people voted in the primaries: about 30 million each for Republicans and Democrats. But half of the primary voters chose other candidates. Just 14 percent of eligible adults — 9 percent of the whole nation — voted for either Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton will be working to win the votes of these three groups; People who do not vote, People who do not vote in primaries and voters for other parties or candidates.”
The power elite like it this way. Our government of the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation is solidly ensconced in Washington and wants absolutely nothing to do with that pesky will of the people claptrap.* Here’s the thing, if a minority of citizens are deciding who will lead us, how is that a democracy? Short answer; it isn’t.
What if, as is practiced in some democratically ruled countries; we citizens of the US of A had automatic voter registration on our eighteenth birthday (works with the draft), mandatory voting on election days and those election days were designated holidays or weekends. No excuses not to vote. What then? I can envision our Teapublitarian friends frothing at the mouth and blithering about tyranny and freedomz. Whatever.
What if every single eligible American voted? What would happen? Maybe the do-nothing congress would be inspired to do something for fear they would lose their cushy jobs if they don’t. Maybe it would counteract the excessive use of gerrymandered voting districts. Maybe voter suppression and manipulation would become pointless with the sheer numbers of new participants in the election process.
Taking the idea of true representation a bit further, maybe third and fourth and fifth parties would emerge offering true representation instead of watered down “better” of two evils. Of course, the anachronism of the Electoral College would have to be eliminated, ending the combative winner-take-all-retaliatory current system which is the mother of all gridlock. Again like most democratic governments on the planet (we are the odd ones) the winners of runoff elections would come closer to actually representing the people.
Who could possibly object to a fully involved citizenry? What patriot wouldn’t support full participation in our God-given right to democratic self-rule?
More from other sources: