Monday, December 19, 2016

Democracy and manipulation—this is not what real democracy is supposed to look like

By SJ Otto
This week is a good time to consider the destruction done to our so called "democracy" here in the US, after Donald Trump won the presidential election with a minority of the popular vote. The idea of using the electoral vote to manipulate the system and win elections is now becoming the standard by which the Republican Party will now win considerable elections in the future of this country.  
First  we have to consider that our president, Donald Trump, won by the Electoral Collage and not by a simple majority of the vote. The truth is he is elected by a minority of the people in the US thanks to the Electoral Collage. In The Wichita Eagle, a letter writer, Gary Hanssen,  had it well figured out:

"One has only to look at two states for an answer why we must keep an Electoral College: California and Texas. In California, Clinton had 7.23 million votes to Donald Trump’s 3.84 million, a difference of 3.39 million votes. In New York, Clinton had 4.1 million votes to Trump’s 2.6 million, a difference of 1.5 million votes. Combining these two states gives Clinton a 4.89 million vote advantage over Trump.
Without an Electoral College, simply put, California and/or New York would determine the presidential race. The other 48 states would be irrelevant."

Basically he admits that the Republicans can manipulate the system and allow for a minority view from the middle of the country, to decide how the other majority of the people will live. And that is just part of what the Republican Party practices today. They have developed organizing techniques that allow them to win elections when they only about 48% of the vote in the polls. We saw these techniques at play in the last Kansas elections for Governor and some other close races for the US House and Senate. Republicans were significantly down in the polls and yet they won all of their close races.
From a national organization American Majority, which focuses on winning state elections races with training they bragged:

"We here at American Majority are thrilled at the opportunity to see those we trained have success. More than 250 of those we've trained have won their elections. You can receive that same training from AM Online or at an in-person event. Nate Nelson, our Wisconsin Executive Director, connected with Ashley Reichert, the new AM trained County Clerk-elect of Washington County Wisconsin." 

So we see the same scenario played out across the country where tight races for the house and senate are decided with the help of Republican organizations that show candidates how to win even when they are behind in the polls. At times  this group has actually admitted to be "cheating."

The Democratic Party needs to find out what techniques are being taught to freshman Republicans who seem to be able to win races in which they are behind. Some of these techniques may not be legal. Some may not be ethical. Either way the Democrats need to find out how these right-wing techniques work. If they are illegal, shut them down. If they are legal, we need to develop our own secret agenda. We already know that the Republicans are making use of lax laws over gerrymandering. They may have other dirty tricks up their sleeves. Let's find out. 

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