“America Held Hostage” by GOP myth

Source, BillMoyers.com: America Held Hostage

A fine, clear article by Neal Gabler on the hows, whys and wherefores of the GOP’s control of our country, despite the indubitable fact that a great majority of us do not agree.

His opening paragraphs:

Of all the myths the Republicans have perpetrated, and there are a lot of them, perhaps none is more powerful or insidious than the foundational one that this is an overwhelmingly conservative country and that progressives are outliers in it, along with its pernicious corollary that conservatives are “real” Americans while liberals (and the minorities who support liberal policies) are somehow counterfeits.

It is a brilliant bit of propaganda. The only problem is that it isn’t factually true, at least for those who still believe in facts. While there are more self-described conservatives than liberals, in large part, I think, because of the conservatives’ success at conflating their brand with Americanism itself, the gap has been narrowing. And in any case, party identification is just about evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. What is more important: Most Americans reject conservative policy positions. Again and again, on issue after issue, the majority of Americans seem to tilt to the left: on immigration, including Trump’s border wall; on Obamacare repeal; on leaving the Paris climate accord; and on gay marriage.

So why then do conservatives control all three branches of government? More to the point, why do they control Congress and the presidency when Democrats got more votes? You might conclude that America is being held hostage by a minority group of conservative zealots. And you would be right.

There is an old saw that politics is about numbers, and in a true democracy that would be the case. But ours is not a true democracy. Even after addressing the fact that nearly 90 million eligible voters do not vote, our system weights some votes more than others, and these weighted votes almost always work to the Republicans’ advantage, giving some 35 percent to 40 percent of the electorate a disproportionate share of power.

Here’s how it works:

And now you’ll want to click on the link to read his full analyses under these headings:

1. Rural votes are worth more than urban votes.

2. White votes are worth more than minority votes.

3. Rich and middle-class votes are worth more than poor votes.

4. Old voters are worth more than young voters.

5. Single-issue voters are worth more than more general interest voters.

6. Republican primary voters are worth more than other voters.

7. Finally, big surprise!, an oligarch’s vote is worth that of tens of millions of ordinary voters.

Really, you do want to read the whole thing.





This entry was posted in Politics, The Facts of Life, voting rights and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.