Do You Think It May Be Time to Try Democracy?

Today the New York Times offered a video interview with folks from UK, Australia, South Africa, and Germany on the subject of voting in America compared with the way they do things over there. They were appalled at the tricks some Americans have used to keep other Americans from voting.

It is almost always Republicans trying to stop Democrats from voting, but not always. Democrats have also had their day when it comes to gerrymandering, but never resulting in anything quite like the crazy quilt Republicans have created in various states to water down the Democratic vote in urban areas.

And today the Republicans in Texas are trying to have 127,000 ballots thrown out charging that curbside voting is illegal as it is being administered in Harris County. Not just stopped. Thrown out.

Clearly, the people who are in charge and calling themselves Republicans today have no respect for your opinion. They are not just anti-Democrat, they are antidemocratic, if you get the distinction.

The constitution offers no guidance to the states on how they are to allocate house seats, so they use the process to sustain whichever party is in power. We do not have to tolerate that. Any clever high school student equipped with a little knowledge of the constitution and an understanding of democracy could draw fair lines that equally represent a state’s voters. Surely we have Harvard and Yale educated people who can handle the job so high schoolers don’t have to waste their time while they should be paying attention to their on line classes.

And the electoral college just needs to go. I am tired of the years of being ignored in presidential elections because Texas has been considered so safely in the Republican column that the candidates invested no time or money here. (Ah, but they were more than willing to take the money out.) In fact, three of the nation’s most populous states have little bearing on the outcome of presidential elections (New York, Texas, California) because they are balanced against oppositely aligned “safe states”. That has the effect of lowering the level of interest in those states and, over time, the slow death of meaningful democratic participation. So, dump the electoral college. There are other ways to see that minorities are not overrun by majorities. You don’t address that problem by rendering meaningless the votes of the majority.

This presidential election year has very nearly rendered me silent. I have freely expressed my opinion but there seemed little point in spelling out my reasons in these little op-eds. If you read from America’s rich resources of real journalism, most of what needs to be said is being said. There is not much I can add that doesn’t look like a low form of name-calling.

The trouble is, it would all be true. He really is an idiot, coward, bully, narcissistic thug, etc. All those things. And so are his accomplices in the senate. But I demean myself when I offer that as my contribution to political discussion. Alas, there is not much more that can be said of the folks in power on the Republican side of the aisle.

I have watched horse-race reporting on news channel political talk shows and they appear intent on making the race as exciting as they can. So I have lately tuned them out. I will watch the returns on Tuesday night and all the way through January 20 if it takes that long.

Unfortunately, DJT has almost sold me on the proposition that the only way the other side can win is if the election is rigged. He has said it so frequently that we all come to believe it and, now, if he actually won, who would ever believe it? Certainly there is a great deal more evidence of pro-Republican fix than anything the Democrats could pull off if they were so inclined.

So why not give democracy a chance? It’s time after 231 years and a civil war.

We were once held out as the gold standard of democracy. Now they laugh at us. Think about that. Germany and South Africa are laughing at the America that stood as the model for hard won democracies in those countries.

Author: Lake Jackson Citizen

I volunteer as a photographer for our local community theater. I have opinions about politics and believe it should be every American's duty to become informed and participate in the discussion of issues. I began this blog to be able to stay in touch in ways I used to on Facebook. I deleted that account recently and hope to be able to share photographs and information relating to cultural and political events in our community. I am retired after a career in social work and post-secondary​ education.

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