With a Presidential Election year coming into view, America’s democracy is in jeopardy as we continue to allow The Minority to rule. To put The Majority back in power and protect democracy we need to listen to voices like Heather Cox Ricahrdson who encourage us to wake up to democracy. I believe we need to eliminate the Electoral College and gerrymandering, defend the liberal consensus, stop doomsday media and remain a pluralistic secular nation.
Get rid of the Electoral College
The current Republicans and the Electoral College have essentially given power to The Minority to rule all of us. We need to get rid of the Electoral College. The Arguments to preserve it do not hold up in modern politics. Here’s why:
1. Disproportionate Influence: The Electoral College can give disproportionate influence to smaller states, as each state's number of electoral votes is only partially based on population. This means votes in less populous states carry more weight than those in more populous states. For example, Wyoming and California have the same number of Senators for vastly different populations.
2. Winner-Takes-All System: Most states use a winner-takes-all approach, where the candidate who wins the majority of the popular vote in a state wins all of its electoral votes. This can result in a candidate winning the presidency without winning the national popular vote.
3. Reduces Campaign Focus to Swing States: Presidential candidates tend to focus their campaigns on a handful of swing states, neglecting states where the outcome is more predictable. This can lead to national policies that cater to the interests of swing states at the expense of others.
4. Discourages Voter Turnout: In states where one party dominates, voters who support the minority party might feel that their vote won't impact the outcome, potentially decreasing voter turnout.
5. Possibility of Faithless Electors: Though rare, there is a possibility of "faithless electors" who do not vote in accordance with the popular vote of their state, which can undermine the democratic process.
6. Undermines the Principle of Equal Representation: Critics argue that the Electoral College violates the democratic principle of "one person, one vote," as it creates an inequality in how votes are counted and represented.
7. Complexity and Lack of Understanding: The system is complex and not well understood by many Americans, which can lead to confusion and a lack of trust in the electoral process.
8. Potential for Constitutional Crises: In very close elections, the Electoral College can lead to contested results and constitutional crises, as seen in historical cases like the 2000 presidential election.
9. Encourages Partisan Manipulations: The system can be manipulated through gerrymandering, where state legislatures redraw district lines to influence electoral outcomes in their favor.
10.Resilience to Demographic Changes: The Electoral College can be resistant to demographic shifts in the population, potentially leading to a government that does not fully reflect the current demographic makeup of the nation.
These arguments reflect concerns about fairness, representation, and the practical functioning of democracy. They support the effort to give power back to the Majority.
Defending The Liberal Consensus
We have a history of The Conservative Manifesto existing in our country before we dismissed it to fight against fascism in World War II. Our country then made the swing toward FDR and the Liberal Consensus. This is, as Heather Cox Richardson states in an interview on the podcast Democracy Paradox, the “idea shared by Democrats and Republicans alike that the government has a role in regulating business, providing a basic social safety net, promoting infrastructure and protecting civil rights.”
She continues, “What I am contending is that Americans still share the liberal consensus, not everybody, but the vast majority of us are not on the far right or the far left, both of which challenge the concept of democracy.”
Yet, the Radical Right or The Extremist Movement is back, trying to destroy democracy. The Christian White males feel that they should be in charge and they want to tell you want to do in all parts of your life. They market to emotions. Followers believe them instead of considering the objective truths. People have bought into the lies and cannot even admit that they are wrong.
The Liberal Consensus is the majority but loses its voice to the cries of Radical Right and their media outlets.
The conservative media is reinforcing the message of the Radical Right. It’s hard to blame people for buying into “doomsday” media as they try to paint the picture that the economy is not doing well under the leadership of President Biden. We are not in a recession, nor is one inevitable.
Yet, Claudia Sahm wrote on substack, a recent poll (now vs. when Biden became president in 2021) revealed that only 14% of American voters believe they are better off now than they were prior to Biden’s Presidency.
In fact, they are.
The media echoes “Debbie Downers” about the economy. What the reality is:
-Wages are up -- people have more financial cushion
-Inflation is down
-Jobs have made big gains - unemployment is below 4% for more than 23 months
There are millions more jobs, bigger paychecks and spending is back with increases in wealth (even at the bottom) and lowest debt burdens on record.
In addition, the media bashes economists like Paul Krugman who use all of the data versus cherry-picking stats that fit their narratives.
We need to broadcast the truth about the economy because it influences the upcoming Presidential election. The truth is that it is projected that inflation will be down for years.
Monthly CPI numbers are nearing their pre-pandemic lows. Fed Rate hikes appear to be over and Fed signals interest rate cuts for 2024.
We are seeing positive movement
A shift is starting as we head into this election year, but it is going to alot more to keep democracy in tact. So far we’ve seen:
There is admission of guilt as Fox News agreed to pay $787 Million in damages, setting the defamation suit brought on by Dominion Voting Systems.
The Supreme Court voted 8-1 that there is no immunity from leading an insurrection as a President (or former President). While this seems obvious, questions have to be answered legally because we are a land who obeys the rule of law.
But, we still have work to do. We need civil rights, women's rights, and we need to count everyone’s voice. Democracy Awakening by Heather Cox Richardson inspires me and will hopefully begin to awaken the voters in America, too.