So we are a democracy that put a man on the moon but we can’t make voting machines that work?
Our elections are run differently in every state. Recently, Wisconsin voters waited in long lines, absentee ballots went missing in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., and more long lines and confusion plagued Georgia and Nevada.
The political parties could solve this with a simple bipartisan agreement or uniform act, but they seem to thrive on discord.
A few years ago, even our presidential election hung in the balance because of faulty voting and “hanging chads” in Florida.
The founders were pretty much universally in agreement about political parties. Alexander Hamilton called political parties “the most fatal disease” of democratic institutions.
Maybe voting doesn’t matter to the political parties anymore?
Are they more interested in representing themselves?
If you have any doubt, consider gerrymandering.
Gerrymandering does nothing for democracy. It is all about gathering power for one party at the expense of the other. It divides and polarizes us.
What if both parties are like that old joke about lawyers? “If you’ve got one in town she will go broke but if you have two they both get rich.”
The parties are very powerful in our county. They have defined the issues for us, and get funding and perks and benefits for their legislators, such as healthcare and retirement (which is always better than their constituents) and somehow they retire millionaires as “public servants.”
But in exchange for the perks, benefits, and campaign funding, the parties have demanded absolute loyalty to follow their agendas, such as near-unanimous Republican Senate votes on Trump’s impeachment. They have even discouraged open and free public disagreement among their members. Is that good for a democracy?
But it does make sense. Everybody benefits from polarization — except the voters and our democracy.
The polarization is great for advertisers on Fox, MNBC, social media and political fundraising.
Maybe your vote is less important than your political contribution.
Our American genius has always been that we are all very different, but we talk and compromise. That is our genius! Our genius is not factions and polarization.
Madison wrote it is the duty of “well-constructed unions [democratic governments]” to “break apart and control the violence of faction.”
If we really want to call ourselves a democracy, perhaps we should listen to the founders and at least start by protecting our vote.