I have called this blog “The Myth of American Democracy” because, although history suggests that the Founding Fathers intended to create a democracy, the subsequent generations of politicians have tried every-which-way to circumvent it. The ideal of one man, one vote was always a lie. It was one landowner, one vote. Also, when the Constitution was written it contained enough elements of ambiguity and omission that it could easily be exploited by those who didn’t want the people deciding anything. Some pundits have suggested this was deliberate.
One of the first attempts at using these loopholes was a corruption of democracy that still exists today. It happened because the early Southern governors were able to successfully manipulate the system to keep power in their hands. In other words that structure was specifically designed to disenfranchise U.S. citizens: The myth of American democracy!
The structure was the Electoral College. It was created based on the blatant democratic fraud that Southern landowners could count each one of their slaves as two-thirds of a vote. The slaves, of course, had no right to vote themselves. This successful fraud resulted in the first half-dozen U.S. Presidents coming from the South and, mostly, being slave owners.
Today, and throughout American history, the Electoral College has been used to take the power of a vote away from the people. The President of the United States is elected by the “Electors” from each state, not by the people. Many state electors are appointed by state political committees, who are not themselves elected by the people, and, until recently, many of those electors were not even obligated to vote the way their appointment committees wanted. They could do what they liked, which opened them up to rampant bribery and/or partisan political biases.
Another trick that incumbent politicians have traditionally invoked to disenfranchise the people, is the manipulation of voting districts. An example, particularly relevant today, would be: Republicans have worked out that most poor Black voters will probably vote for the Democratic candidates. So they manipulate the borders of voting districts to corral all Blacks into one district. Since each district has a limited number of representatives, this effectively concentrates the democratic vote into one district resulting in less democratic representatives in the state. Not illegal, but certainly immoral, if you can even use politics and morality in the same breath.
The next step in the disenfranchisement of the people has been at the center of a massive move of many state Republican parties recently. They have abandoned all pretenses at democracy by passing legislation that allows the state legislature, where they control it, to summarily invalidate any election, at any level, and appoint their own candidate: Again, the myth of American democracy.
However, they haven’t stopped even there. They have cultivated the myth of a stolen election to galvanize their own people into believing that, since losing is impossible to accept, if they do lose, it must be because of voter fraud….AND….that people should resort to violence to “take back their country”…..and physically put their candidate into office.
This last step was really brought home to me by an article written by a BBC reporter, who toured the U.S. this past summer. She interviewed Republicans in Arizona, Wyoming, Georgia and Pennsylvania and the results were consistent. They believe that: Joe Biden is not America’s legitimate president; that the last presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump; and, if Trump doesn’t win next time, it will be civil war. In fact, they will start a civil war.
One seemingly normal and delightful couple in Wyoming clearly stated that “When Lincoln won, that triggered the South” (The Civil War). The couple said they have discussed it between them, and they will take up arms if their candidates don’t win.
Conservative calculations indicate that approximately one third of the electorate believe the last election was stolen; that’s 50 million people, and American has more weapons than people.
Tragically, this myth of a stolen election has now outgrown Donald Trump. Some sceptics suggest that, even if he came out tomorrow and announced he was wrong and Joe Biden is the legitimate president (obviously an impossible scenario), it wouldn’t make any difference. Civil War is apparently coming.
Unfortunately, this is just the culmination of a long line of American political shenanigans that clearly indicates Americans, particularly American politicians, do not believe in democracy.
The fact that the country actively promotes the myth of American democracy, and claims that they invented the concept, which is arrant nonsense anyway, and the idea that they are the world’s shining example of democracy, is supreme hypocrisy.
Maybe it is time for a civil war, but not for the reasons these anti-democratic people and their politicians want. As Sean Connery said in one of the last scenes in the film “The Hunt for Red October”, “A little revolution, every now and then, is a good thing, don’t you think!”