Our political system has always been inherently, structurally vulnerable to D&C (Divide-and-Conquer). It's done like this:
Start with a tremendous false dichotomy (easy-peasy: Ds & Rs), and polarize them. The more polarized, the more votes are canceled out by their opposition. The two-party system is exactly that, right out of the crate.
They both cheat, of course, because they need to be equally matched for D&C to work. When it works as designed, no matter how many people are eligible, all but a handful of votes automatically disappear. Any third-party candidate is a "spoiler" when the deck is stacked that way.
Then all that's left do do is "persuade" a majority from among about 2% of the voters. This is done with honey or vinegar, or as in the present case, both.
Apparently it was less than a margin of error that tipped the balance in 2016. Well-documented (and still un-redressed) suppression tactics filtered out a much larger number of legitimate votes than that margin of error (these were not canceled by opposing votes: if those voters managed to cast their ballots, they were deleted or flipped electronically, rejected under pretexts like "hanging chads," stolen and destroyed, or never counted at all.)
Any day now, maybe a week or two out, imagine what happens if the admin suddenly conjures up a "stimulus package," blaming Congress for being blocked by them at every turn. Maybe they send a letter signed by the president with a check for say, a thousand dollars, to all the "undecided" voters.
And/or, if the Twitter in Chief is in a bad mood - I don't want to give them any ideas, but I really don't think my brain is that damaged. This may be why they continue to shock me even after these four years of relentless abuse. He'll think of something. Or that little nazi creep Miller will.
When a doubtful election is decided by so few votes, that's not a functioning democracy. When so many millions are spent to make voting difficult or impossible for financially strapped people, that is not a functioning democracy. When the process itself is so opaque, arcane, vulnerable to hacking and corruption, that is not a functioning democracy. When holders of the public trust are there to protect the obscenely rich from any accountability, that's not a functioning anything.
Ranked-choice voting could eliminate this whole mess. Of course that will never even be thought of until Wall Street is shut down and shut out.
This is one of those articles where I go on writing after the end. I can't help myself. Maybe cause I can't do this when I'm being paid.
A great many things need to happen that will never happen unless and until Wall Street is shut down, and shut out. Maybe that could be done. It would probably take a General Strike. I've lived through one of those. It can't be faked, though. It has to be the real thing.
But we're reaching a point where the pain involved will be trivial next to the pain that's coming if we don't change direction.
We have felt the hard knee of many financial strikes on our collective neck, shutting off our access to a fair share. In a Capital Strike the big players just disinvest in gerrymandered Congressional districts that aren't dancing to their tune.
Normally, actual Capital Strike is rarely used, it only takes the vaguest hint. "Nice district. Shame if something happened to that new [Amazon warehouse/munitions plant/sports complex/commercial prison/Walmart] they're talking about." Pick up your corporate subsidies and tax incentives and stamp your regulation compliance ticket at the door.
That's what "normal" was. But now we're under the knee, and no mistake. Where did that ten trillion dollars go, actually, that's now supposed to be part of the dreaded National Debt? Nowhere in actual time and space.
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