Why Can’t American Elections Be Called Democratic?

The US election cannot even be called democratic, let alone fully democratic. Voter suppression is fine-tuned by both parties. The Republicans do it in a far more honest way. They simply, openly, and without remorse, remove people from the voting rolls they suspect will vote for Democrats. We saw it most obviously in the 2000 election when they purged hundreds of thousands of black voters in Florida, the one state that most likely would have gone for Gore and give him the win. Many times they remove polling places forcing long lines to discourage voters, and always in urban, Democratic precincts. Today, they do it by removing mail boxes and mail sorters as those most likely to vote for the Democrats will vote by mail rather than risk contact with Covid carriers.

The Democrats are just as corrupt when it comes to voter suppression. For one thing, when voters are disenfranchised, they rarely make a big deal of it, to their own detriment. But the Democrats, more than the Republicans, are extraordinarily hostile to points of views that could conflict with their own, namely by targeting the Green Party, almost to the point of putting them out of existence. In 2000 they created a scurrilously false narrative that the Green Party cost Al Gore the election by taking votes away from him. Even to this day, they believe that people whose views are progressive have to vote only for the Democrats; that they own their votes, and to vote for another party is only voting for the Republican. They have mastered the art of ‘vote shaming’, but that is losing its cache ever since they nominated the only politician who could lose to Trump (Hillary Clinton) and twice now rigged their primaries so that the one person guaranteed to beat Trump in a landslide, Bernie Sanders, would be removed from the running.

Additionally, what the Democratic Party has done during this election cycle is to successfully sue in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, two states they lost in 2016, to remove the Green Party from their respective state ballots. The vast majority of Green Party voters vote for them, not to spite the Democrats, but because the Democrats do not support their values, interests, and hopes for the future.

Furthermore, the way elections are run, state by state, is further proof of them not being democratic. Each state’s Secretary of State, the one who sets the rules for elections, is controlled by one of the two parties and they make it extraordinarily difficult for third parties to even be on the ballot, depriving huge percent of its voting population from having their voice represented.

Another aspect of how undemocratic our elections are can be addressed by the numbers of eligible voters who are not registered, and that is nearly 50%. The reasons are obvious. The majority of these voters do not see the two main parties as competent and are unwilling to address their issues.

Lastly, we are a winner take all country. In a 51-49 percent election, nearly half the people who vote are not represented for 2, 4, or 6 years. That may not address the democratic, or not, nature of elections, but it does affect representation. There are many other examples of how we do not have democratically run elections.

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