The votes are in and they have been counted. The great red wave that everyone expected never materialized. The expectation going into the election was that the Republicans would score an easy victory, picking up about forty seats in the House and enough Senate seats to gain the majority. Because America is a haplessly corrupt society, we may never know the final results, but someone will assign final numbers and it will be a slim victory for the GOP.
Of course, the flash analysis will come pouring out of the media, most likely blaming the results on Trump and the insurrectionists. You see, just as the media warned, democracy was on the ballot and this time democracy own. The Republican side of the uniparty will happily go along with it. They will expedite their plans to keep Trump off the ballot in 2024 for the good of our democracy. The whole thing is ridiculous but we are ruled by ridiculous people so this is to be expected.
The main question out of this election is about the legitimacy. Should we believe that the brain damaged hobo was the people’s choice in Pennsylvania? This is a good bellwether for this election, because John Fetterman is as close as we have come to putting a horse in a Senate. His opponent is ridiculous by normal standards, but in comparison to Fetterman he is Cicero. We are now required to pretend that a brain damaged hobo won the Pennsylvania Senate race.
The reason this particularly race is key to the legitimacy question is that there is no answer that supports the democratic system. If everything was above board and the people did vote for a brain damaged hobo, then this is proof that the public should never be trusted with such decisions. The openness to voting for a brain damaged hobo should be a disqualification to voting. On the other hand, if the vote is rigged again, then there is no reason for people to bother voting.
Of course, you can shift the question further up stream. What kind of political system produces a brain damaged hobo and a Turkish carny as the two options? Before you even get to the question of election integrity, you have to see that the system has problems far deeper than vote rigging. This turns up all over the ballot. In Georgia, the choice for Senate was between a brain damaged former football player and guy who used to hustle old black ladies for donations.
In Massachusetts, they are celebrating the first openly lesbian governor. Before Maura Healy was famously gay, she was famously stupid. Given the centrality of Massachusetts in the American empire, it is a good representation for how our democracy actually works. Politics in that state have been dominated by drunkards, perverts and degenerates for generations. The system they have imposed on the country selects for increasingly ridiculous candidates.
If we accept wholesale vote rigging is now a feature in many states, there is a limit to how much can be done. Historically, the Democratic machines used to be worth about five percent in the areas they controlled. That is enough in reasonably close elections, but not enough to overcome a wave election. All of the polling and history said this should have been a historic blowout of the Democrats, even when adjusting for the shenanigans that are now a feature of our democracy.
In other words, the results speak to something more than shenanigans. Either people skipped the election, seeing no point in it, or we are now locked into a partisan divide that makes elections pointless. Going back to Pennsylvania, either Oz lost because people thought he was just as ridiculous as Fetterman or partisanship has made elections in the state meaningless. After all, elections pivot on the ability of people to change their minds from election to election.
The current vote totals in Pennsylvania say that about five million ballots were counted in the Senate race. The governors race, which got far less attention, garnered the same number of votes. In 2020, 6.9 million votes were counted. What this says is that close to 30% of the entities that filled out ballots in the 2020 election decided that they had no reason to fill out a ballot this time. This strongly points to the conclusion that voters were given no reason to vote for either party.
Put another way, the polling shows that people are angry about the economy and the culture, but they did not see hope in either party. They were not even moved to strike out at the ruling party. Harry Truman famously said “If it’s a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time.” In this age, given the choice between a uniparty zombie and uniparty opportunist, people will choose the zombie.
The people endlessly yapping about democracy will no doubt claim that democracy won this time, but the turnout numbers suggest otherwise. The uniparty offered up a series of ridiculous choices and 30% of the voters stayed home. They refuse to follow the script because the directors showed no interest in the drama. Neither party offered a compelling reason for anyone to vote, so they were left with the partisan zombies and civic nationalist dead enders.
For the people hoping democracy lost the election, this is a good result. The exit polls show that over 75% of the vote was white. Outside of the freaks and crazies, that cohort currently has little or no representation in our democracy. The best thing they can do is boycott the process until they have a party that will represent their interests. Perhaps the midterms were the start of quiet quitting leaking into politics. Turn off, tune out and drop out of a system that has nothing to offer.
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