Delusions of Democracy
It's not apathy that will keep a hundred million Americans from the polls a few weeks from now. It's futility. A big portion of the general public understands that elections are fixed, and they derive more democratic satsifaction from declinng to participate than they ever have from casting a ballot.
History tells them that the winners, regardless of party, must do whatever's necessary to safeguard the wealth and power of the wealthy and powerful. Among voters and non-voters alike, expectations are nearly as low as the quality of the candidates that are selected for them to choose from. It's not easy to find competent, responsible people who are also willing to engage in corrupt practices. Every so often, a decent person gets on the ballot, but that sort doesn't last long in politics.
Pity the people who will be compelled to vote. Pity the Republican voters. Their presidential candidate, the incumbent, is nuts. A rich, draft-dodging frat boy, a parody of a character, cowardly and bullying, he's a creation of our mass media, a TV personality, whatever that is. He touches women, and he does it openly. He brags incessantly. People who ought to repudiate him are compelled to idolize him.
Pity the Democratic voters. Their presidential candidate, decorative fixture in an ineffectual administration, is senile. A draft-dodging jock, a parody of a character, once a big man on campus, now a robotic presence controlled by unseen others, he also touches women, and he does it openly. He also brags incessantly. People who ought to repudiate him are compelled to idolize him.
Pity the protest voters. Their candidates never win. Their votes are always undercounted. Their ballot spots typically go to white-haired, off-the-grid cranks. They seldom get enough votes to affect an outcome, much less qualify for public discussion.
Pity the hapless victims of our elections. For Americans, an epidemic couldn't have come at a worse time, as political manipulators experiment with public policy to extract the greatest political advantage from their power over public health. Pity the sick and the idle and the dead election victims across the USA.
For people in faraway lands, war and the threat of war are a convenient refuge for incumbent politicians at election time, regardless of party. Drop a missile on somebody or confiscate a cargo at sea, and a cheer will go up in newsrooms and government offices across the country. If we didn't kill a dark-skinned enemy somewhere this week, it wasn't because some newsman or Democrat or Republican made an objection. Ptiy the victims of American democracy.
Compare the vindication of the none-of-the-above (NOA) crowd. They don't have to violate their principles by voting for a rapist, a war hobbyist, a narcissist, and an idiot, categories of villainy for which both presidential candidates qualify. They're confident that neither contender is competent to handle the basket-case that is the USA, and they're simply not disposed to guess which crime family will do the most damage.
NOA's face pressure, and they could fold. Still, it seems the more the nation's discredited news-suppliers tell NOA's they must, must, must cast a ballot, the harder they resist. Among non-voters, newsmen are widely regarded as lying sacks of Trump, and their publications as reeking piles of Biden. The whining of Crats amd the howling of Pubs is music to NOA's, as they turn their backs on the din.
The vain hope among the NOA plurality is that they'll be counted this year. They're as big a contingent as the 40 million or so that will vote one way and the 60 million or so that will vote the other. Nobody ever asks, but if asked, NOA's will tell you they'd like to vote, but not for anybody that's running. Every so often, the system coughs out a candidate responsible citizens can vote for, but between smears by media hacks and cheating by political manipulators, good guys never make the ballot. On the upside, with this sort of system, you don't need as many ballots, and you get finished counting them sooner.
It would be interesting, even beneficial, to find out who is staying away from the polls and why, but it's a topic that's never discussed. You do often hear unsuccessful condidates blaming NOA's for their losses, but they don't speculate on what motivates election drop-outs. They never say, "Gee, if we'd had a better candidate maybe people would have turned out for him." What are the chances anybody will be saying that this year?