Americans are in love with democratic elections. At least in theory. In practice, our choices have so discouraged us, that many, if not most, Americans have given up on the political system, or tried to work around it.
For those who still harbor fantasies that elections reflect the Will of the People, read on.
The election means much less than it seems. Why?
- Nearly 2/3 of the potential electorate didn't, or couldn't, vote. This means that as little as 1/6 of the electorate (1/3 split mostly evenly between two or more candidates), gets to decide who's elected.
- Winner-take-all elections means that a third party candidate can siphon off enough votes to tip the balance to the candidate to those the people LEAST want. This happened in England, with David Cameron who got less than 40% of the vote in his first election. It happened here, with Bush II and Clinton both actually getting less than half the vote, due to third party choices. We need instant runoff voting to prevent this.
- Unverifiable voting machines have been shown to flip votes, curiously, more often to Republicans. Read Brad Friedman's Brad Blog. It's full of verifiable examples. And poll workers no longer have the capability to check these complicated machines.
- The poor, young and even women (through name-changing when they marry) are disproportionately discriminated against through tough new voter ID laws that are also a back-door illegal poll tax.
- Money in dark pools guarantees a skewing of voter exposure to right-wing Koch Brother type ads. Fox TV does the rest. Even so, actual polls of American attitudes shows stubborn centrism, not right-wing ideology like what comes out of Washington. They don't represent us.
The election in no way represents the majority will. Give that American Democracy fantasy up or work to make it a reality.