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Voting has already begun for the 2022 midterm elections, and if the polling trends are right and the middle-of-the-night junk-mail ballot drops don’t do for the country what they did for New Jersey Democrats last year, Republicans are in a position to take a majority in the House and have an outside chance of taking the Senate.
It seems the people are dissatisfied with the policies of the party in power and, through the power of the ballot, will express their dissatisfaction by electing greater numbers of what passes for an opposition party. According to a lot of people who proclaim themselves “pro-democracy,” the expression of political power at the ballot box is a threat to democracy. We will start with Washington Post opinion columnist Max Boot.
If the current trends hold up, Republicans are likely to take over at least the House and quite possibly the Senate, too, along with many state offices. This is how democracies die, both at home and abroad.
Democracies die when … the people vote in elections. But the one-party state Boot would prefer is the essence of democracy; that doesn’t seem to be winning over voters. Boot is not alone in seeming not to understand what democracy is or how it works. He is joined by his good friend Tom Nichols, who is appalled that Americans are worried more about dumb things like the cost of food than the dire threat posed by electing Republican politicians who can be voted out in two years poses to democracy.
The Democratic Party has been running on the theme that electing their opposite number would imperil democracy. And why would they not? Their leader famously said Republicans (excluding Democrat-adjacent Republicans like Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney) “pose a clear and present danger” to American democracy.
The Washington Post (a news service owned by a billionaire autocrat), of course, aligns its editorial stance with Democrat campaign rhetoric and laments that their “voting for one-party rule is essential to democracy” theme isn’t landing. The New York Times, likewise, laments that Democrat efforts to frame the election as an opportunity to save democracy are only making their own voters feel sad and discouraged. Funnily, most Americans don’t see the Republicans as a threat to democracy. But 59% of us say the media are a threat to democracy.
Politics in this country has just taken a very Bizarro-world turn. The same Democrats who frothily declare that “election denial” is a threat to democracy spent tens of millions to help “election deniers” primary Republicans who were on the same page with them. The leader of the Senate Republicans is undercutting a viable Republican challenger in New Hampshire to help out a barely-Republican senator in Alaska beat back in a race where both candidates are Republicans (and Murkowski endorsed a Democrat for Alaska’s house seat, by the way).
Also, the president sat down with a man in a dress to talk about women’s issues last weekend. It sounds like a Monty Python skit, but that is politics today.
Sidebar: There was a really, really dumb quote from The Orville that made me cringe when it came out of Seth MacFarland’s plump, vacuous mouth.
But the one thing you can say for democracy is that all other forms of government are even worse. Over thousands of years and on countless planets, it’s the best system anyone’s ever come up with to ensure the strong don’t dominate the weak.
Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no… No. Pure democracy enables the strong to dominate the weak. Democracy is what enabled Jim Crow, the Trail of Tears, and the internment of the Nisei. Protection of the weak requires strong protections of human rights like free speech, self-defense, and freedom of conscience. All of these are currently under assault by democratic forces, most notably in America’s hat.Published in