WHEN GOOD VOTERS CAUSE HARM

By Richardt Stormsgaard

 

A current poll in the Arizona race has a Green Party delegate getting 4% of the vote, making the hope for a surprise victory for Democrats over-all in the 2018 senate races more unlikely since Kyrsten Sinema already is the underdog against her right-wing opponent in a red state. With continued Republican control after the 2018 election we can expect the flood of right-wing, life-time judges to continue infecting our judicial system for at least two more years. By the time the 2018 November election rolls around Trump and McConnell will have appointed almost 100 right-wing judges, infecting our federal judiciary and perhaps permanently dismantling the one person-one vote principle that our country has struggled to establish for good.

During the 2000 presidential election flawed votes in heavily Democratic districts were thrown out by the many thousands due to the Katherine Harris/Jeb Bush intervention on behalf of George Bush. Disregarding this lamentable episode the fact remains that Al Gore would have thumped GWB if it hadn’t been for the Green Party candidate Ralph Nader. He received almost 3 million votes nationwide and 100,000 vote in Florida. Apparently to many voters Al Gore’s credentials on protecting environmental policies were not sufficiently strong.

I believe it is safe to assume that if elected Al Gore would not have fabricated reasons to start the Iraq War and eliminate proper controls on financial institutions, thus avoiding a costly unwinnable war with hundreds of thousands dead and the global collapse of the world economy in 2007 and 2008.

This first stolen election led to GWB appointing John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, and these judges were instrumental in the disastrous 2010 Citizens United Decision and the 2013 dismantling of the clearance requirement in the Voting Rights Acts, leading directly to the stolen election in 2016 of Donald Trump in which massive voter prevention in about a dozen Republican states prevented many millions voters in heavily Democratic districts from voting.

For the first time the Republicans admitted in the 2016 Republican Party Platform their intent to subjugate our democracy to their long-term control, and two more right-wing judges Gorsuch and Kavanaugh have been elevated to the supreme Court during the Trump regime. Conservative senators representing almost 40 million less voters than the liberal ones that voted against them have appointed judges committed to right-wing ideals. We can fully expect these conservative judges to erode our social safety net, work to ban same-sex marriage and a woman’s right to choose to be outlawed or even criminalized, cement harsh voting restrictions to permanently keep right-wing politicians in office, and to work to dismantle environmental regulations and programs not just in this country but around the world. The US today is not just neglectful but is an active and powerful agent for accelerating dangerous and disastrous climate change.

Our voting system is antiquated and fundamentally flawed. On the senate side tiny states have as much power as much larger ones. 171,153 voters in Wyoming elected two red senators, and 4,333,028 voters in California elected two blue senators (figures from the 2014 election).

Local control of elections for state legislatures and the House of Representatives are a state matter, and until the Voting Rights Acts was passed by moderates from both major parties massive discrimination existed throughout the US not just against blacks and Indians, but even poor whites. The 2013 SCOTUS decision to invalidate the pre-clearance requirement implemented with the passage of the Voting Rights Acts in the 1960’s immediately led to wide disenfranchisement of Democratic groups in at least a dozen Republican states and led to many millions of Democrats not voting because of a dozen or so different voter prevention measures, newer version and more sophisticated versions of the old Jim Crow laws.

The final huge flaw of the US voting system is the winner-take-all system which by definition means that new ideas have great difficulty being represented because very often most votes are lost.

The election systems of other advanced countries around the world have not been spelled out in minute details by a constitution written more than 200 years ago so these countries have been able to make changes to their constitutions and their voting systems reflecting the changing times with relative ease. They have not had huge obstacles placed legislatively to moving toward the one person one vote that true democracy requires.

As a result the green parties are a political force in the various legislatures of almost all of our traditional allies around the world with anywhere from 5% to 15% of the seats, and wield great power while in the US the Green Party followers because of our deeply flawed election system have been instrumental in reducing our environmental protections, contrary to their intent.

In this country if we hope to have any chance of stopping the deterioration of our democracy we cannot just vote with our hearts and our convictions. We need to be mindful of the effects our votes have, and the effects they will have for the rest of the country.

One Comment on “WHEN GOOD VOTERS CAUSE HARM”

  1. Well said, Richard! Our votes matter, and have consequences. Essentially requiring the left to have a substantial supermajority, or live with rule by the 25% of the nation’s voters who are registered Republicans, is a huge barrier. Demanding the near(er)-to-perfect instead of going with the good, is part of what has brought us here. Or, another way of looking at it is that
    a factionalized left is just another symptom of increasing tribalization.

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