Well, since I seem to have launched myself into the occasional confession of difficult personal experiences...
Today I am depressed. I’m finding the GOP assault on democracy — bought and paid for by the Koch Bros and their ilk — deeply offensive, even attaining levels of horror. It contradicts the essence of my beliefs in life, society, sanity, basic human decency and intelligence, progression toward an ideal civilization.
I am so troubled, I’ve begun to wonder whether the amoral beneficiaries of Citizens United, who must be really shaken by Doug Jones’s win in Alabama and the astonishing Democratic wave in Virginia, have taken to actual bribery of congressional Republicans such as Bob Corker, Susan Collins and Jeff Flake. Are the Kochs offering some sort of fat “pension” package for anyone giving up a seat or losing a seat in Congress? And if they are, what government oversight mechanism is there to look at their post-congressional bank accounts and investments?
That’s deeply dark, for me. By tomorrow I’ll feel better. That is, my depression will have transmuted into a constructive emotion: towering anger.
I can act when I’m angry. When I’m depressed, all I can do is sprawl on my couch and watch endless re-runs of Foyle’s War.
Two things to say before I get to tomorrow’s cleansing rage:
As you all probably know, I have spent a considerable amount of time reading both sides of the Koch Bros “libertarian” stance. And of all the absurd vacancies in this fake philosophy, one tiny little worm squirms away in its gut: the word “infinitesimal.”
Infinitesimal. It shows up as a mantra in virtually every “libertarian” article. And how is it applied over and over again, as if to hypnotize the reader into subsiding as an active participant in government? By describing each democratically cast vote as having an “infinitesimal” effect on any election.
The essence of democracy, as I see it, is that every eligible citizen has the right to cast a vote. One man/woman, one vote. There is no promise made about the outcome of each election. The only promise is: I am a citizen of this democracy and I am proud and grateful to vote in every election.
Without going into the depth (insofar as there is any depth) of the “libertarian” fraud, one particularly vile aspect is right up on the surface: democratic voting is bad. The People (that’s me, that’s us) don’t know enough to have the right to vote. We shouldn’t be granted that power.
And so the “libertarians” do everything they and their money can to suppress votes, to buy state governments and perpetuate gerrymandering so that only their white, primarily male tools can vote.
We all know that, right? But please, please keep that sly and contemptible word “infinitesimal” in your head, because by wielding it they’re trying to diminish the sense of individual power democracy and universal voting conveys upon all of us. They are saying we are nothing, our votes are nothing, each of our votes is “infinitesimal” in its effect upon an election. The subtext to this is: you have no power so why bother to vote?
Then today, this, from 538 (properly named) Significant Digits (and many other places):
It appears that Democrat Shelly Simonds, after a laborious recount, has won the election to serve as the next representative of Virginia’s 94th House District. Republican David Yancey had led by 10 votes going into the recount, but when it was all finished, Yancy had 11,607 votes to Simonds’ 11,608. As a result, the Virginia House of Delegates is tied 50-50, and Democrats and Republicans will have to enter into a power sharing arrangement. Don’t let anyone tell you that your vote doesn’t count. [The Washington Post]
I’m feeling better.
UPDATE 12/21/2017. Well, hang on a minute.
Remember that decisive statehouse election in Virginia that had been decided by a single vote? More intrigue has happened! A court ruled an additional vote in favor of Republican David Yancey, making the race a 11,608 to 11,608 tie. The winner will be selected by lot (a game of chance). [The Washington Post]
Actually, 538 is not reporting with precision. As I learned from Rachel Maddow last night, as well as reading other stuff, Virginia does indeed have a lottery system for tied election results, BUT — for anyone who saw the ballot which had been originally tossed but upon review (a too-late review, it seems) turned over to the Republican…the Democrats have a substantial case for rejecting this decision. The ballot is a mess. X-ed out votes all over the place.
Let us recall hanging chads. Nah, let’s not. But still, if the Virginia lottery comes down against the Democratic woman who won by 1 vote, I suspect things will happen in the area of massive protests.