The November elections are now less than two months away. If you are a Republican, it is easy to get excited about your party’s mid-term prospects. Ditto, for the 2024 presidential election. But this optimism presumes honest elections, an assumption that seems increasingly strained.
The image to the right is common around election time. However, increasingly the question that arises these days is beyond your vote counting. Instead, the more appropriate questions seems to be: did it count for the person I voted for or the other guy?
The bedrock of the US government is based on citizen rule. Abraham Lincoln’s famous phrase, “of the people, by the people and for the people,” while arguably one of the greatest propaganda phrases ever created, accurately described the design ideal of governance. Individual states accepted this “representative democracy” when they joined to form the United States of America.
Conceptually, it was simple. Democratic methods would select representatives who would then represent the positions of their constituents on issues. The system provided citizens their influence via proxy and streamlined democracy by using full-time elected officials to make policy consistent with the wishes of their constituents and within the constraints of the Constitution (which Joseph Sobran colorfully described as “an anti-trust act for government”).
In theory, it was a remarkable achievement. However, theory applied is often less satisfying than designed. The Founders underestimated influence-buying, at least to the magnitude it occurs today. Modern morality and honesty did not exist when they lived. Yet despite these and other flaws, the US system of governance arguably worked better than any other, before or since. It rapidly transformed the country from a back-water, third-world colony to the world’s superpower and a place where individual freedom flourished. America’s success in governance became the envy of the world.
Two-building blocks supported the structure upon which government rested. The first was the novel concept of democratic representation; the second, The US Constitution. Unfortunately, the political class effectively neutralized many areas of the Constitution where they felt they deserved more power.
Few have dealt with the integrity of elections. I do not intend to do so regarding specific events. However, free and fair elections are the source of America’s success. They make democratic representation possible! To the extent voters lose faith in the integrity of elections, the system, at least as designed, collapses. Even if government intended to do harm, pretending the integrity of elections still existed, would seem to enhance their opportunities,
Yet our government, or at least the party in current control, is disinterested in the rather widespread claims, beliefs and evidence that the last election was dishonest. Regardless, it would seem natural that government address these these citizen concerns. To blatantly ignore them is irresponsible, even if the elections were tampered with. How difficult would it be to show even feigned concern. Surely government holds enough Soviet-style show trials that this one could have been handled in that fashion. After some proper time and consideration, the committee could proclaim they found no evidence of illegalities. Isn’t that normal operating procedure in Washington?
Two possibilities come to mind for ignoring these claims:
- The current ruling party considers it unimportant or perhaps too threatening to their hold on power.
- Both parties wanted the election outcome that was pronounced (and likes the idea of removing election choice from the masses).
In either case, it appears at least one of the political parties believes they had (have?) enough power to flaunt it. Have things progressed so far that the input and will of the people is no longer considered necessary?
Regardless of which of these possibilities you lean toward, there is no happy ending. Interpreted in the fashion I laid out, government apparently believes it no longer needs the people to select representation. (That doesn’t mean the ritual of elections won’t continue except that they become more touristy than meaningful.)
Perhaps there are other reasonable explanations, but this Occam’s Razor approach works for me until a better alternative surfaces. Government everywhere is interested in the support of its people, unless and until they have enough power to make that unnecessary. Then tyranny ensues. That government is so disinterested in these election claims suggests we already be at that point.