Is Trump A Threat To Democracy? Au Contraire.
I have voted in every Presidential election since 1968. I have also voted in every off-year election since 1966. Which means I have voted in 28 national elections. In each election I probably voted for 10 candidates, every single one of them running on the Democratic Party line.
I don’t keep track of how much money I have donated over the past 54 years to the Democratic Party, but between primary campaigns and general elections I’ve probably put up more than fifty grand. And by the way, I have also voted in probably 20 primary elections because I have always been a registered Democrat, whatever that means.
Know what it means? In terms of being a member of the Democratic Party, it doesn’t mean anything at all. The United States is the only functioning democracy in the entire world which isn’t structured around a Parliamentary system based on alliances of multiple parties which share some common goals. The United States is also the only functioning democracy in the entire world in which party affiliations are based only on what individuals say is how they voted the last time around.
I have lived in three other countries which are functioning democracies — Israel, France, and Spain. In all three countries, you don’t just say you like the Socialist Party, or you support the Labor Party, or you vote for the Conservative Party. You not only vote for the candidates of a certain party, you are also were enrolled in that party. You get a membership card, you go to party meetings and functions, you’re involved.
I can’t think of a more accurate or tellingly important way to judge the degree to which a country’s political system is truly democratic than by the percentage of eligible voters who turn out to vote. After all, in non-democratic countries, nobody votes, or they can vote for one candidate whether they like him or not. The Israelis tell a great joke about Hafez-al-Assad, the founder of the current Syrian regime and father of Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad.
One day, Hafez al-Assad says to this Interior Minister, “Let’s hold an election. The United Nations loves elections. But just make sure that I’m the only name on the ballot.”
So, they hold the election and the next day the Interior Minister reports to Hafez al-Assad, “Mister President! Mister President! You received 99.9% of the votes. Only one-tenth of one percent didn’t vote for you! What else could you want?”
“Their names,” was the response from al-Assad.
In 2016, the voter turnout in the U.S. Presidential election was 30th lowest of 35 countries which held national elections that year — we were at 55.7 percent. Countries like Estonia and Lithuania did better than we did, even though only 4 countries have a higher percentage of eligible voters who are registered to vote.
Last November, it seems likely that 66.5% of registered U.S. voters either mailed in ballots or showed up at the polls, the greatest voter participation in the last 120 years. Meanwhile, all I hear from every liberal pundit and political expert is how our democracy has eroded, or is in a state of crisis, or even worse.
Now we all know who’s to blame for the beacon of democracy being dimmed and ultimately shut down. It’s the guy who’s now sitting on his fat rear end in Palm Beach and doesn’t even have a Twitter account.
Meanwhile, when a local reporter walked up to Trump in the Mar-a-Lago dining room and asked him what would come next, Trump let it be known that he’s thinking of forming a new political party — the Patriot Party — although his mind isn’t yet fully made up.
Now if Trump were to change all those MAGA hats into PATRIOT hats, register his Patriot Party in all 50 states and begin holding some super-spreader rally events, he will actually succeed in doing the two things — more voters, more political parties — which are usually considered the proof that a democratic political system is alive and well.
Think that any of my liberal media friends would admit that to be true? Yea, right.