Notes From America: Numbers

This is another article about politics and the 2020 election. Sorry if you don’t care about that, but this is my personal blog, and sometimes it is a public diary for me. Putting thoughts into words helps to process them. If you wish to only read about nature and see my photography, please follow my photo blog instead.

First Number: 5 Million

5 million more people have voted for Biden than for Trump. In the first two or three days after the election, it was already clear that Biden would win the popular vote – and then this all would have been over, already. Instead, we’ve been forced to (anxiously) watch the counting of votes in a handful of “swing states”. Which directly translates to: 10000 votes in a swing state matter more than 5 million votes countrywide.

This alone should tell you enough to declare the US’ “Electoral College” voting system undemocratic bullshit. But this isn’t even all: the “electoral votes” aren’t an abstract – they’re being cast by actual “electors” and that in itself is a complicated (and worrisome, in a disputed election) procedure.

I’ll spare you the details but if you’re curious, here are some articles that I found interesting:

Second Number: 67%

The turnout at the 2020 US election was ~67%. And that’s the highest recorded turnout in 120 years. In an election where so much was at stake, that was so decisive about which direction the United States would take, one third of eligible voters chose to not use their freedom to vote and perform this highest democratic duty.

A vote not cast is a vote for those you oppose. And it’s natural that voting almost always means picking those who you do not agree with as a whole, but still agree with more, overall. Some might say that it sometimes means choosing the smaller pile of dog poop to step into or, if you must, the lesser of two evils, I know.

Surely there are multiple different elements in play here, voter suppression and lethargy alike – but both can be overcome, if you only want to. If only two thirds of eligible voters choose to cast a vote, it says something both about the failure of this entire political system on the one hand, to make people feel like they’re heard and understood and taken care of, and about the thinking and expectations of those people on the other hand. I wonder how and if that can be overcome and improved.

Luckily, unlike the Electoral College, we can at least assume that those two thirds who did vote are a somewhat accurate representation of the population. But I really wish more people would vote.

*) I will continue to call this “GOP” Bananarepublicans because they’re a political cult full of crooks, cowards and opportunists that tries to further undermine this so-called American democracy, instead of making it better and more just.

2 thoughts on “Notes From America: Numbers

  1. In some places voting is a duty, enforced by law. Where I’m from, it isn’t, but the vast majority vote. I mean percentage in the upper 90s. Especially because we all know it’s usually very close. I’m afraid though that in some countries it’s not like that. In England, for example, where incidentally we also had the right to vote as members of the commonwealth, they use a first past the post system. Which means that if you live somewhere that is a safe seat for one party, you may as well not bother going to vote. And they still think it’s fair.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Dominoes – imho

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