I say something along these lines every election year, but I feel that this year and 2016 are truly the years to make this happen, so let's lay this
In 2012, Barack Obama won the election with 51% of the vote. (Which worked out to 61% of the electoral vote)
In 2012, 58% of eligible voters cast ballots.
NOTE: This is NOT a post about the possibilities of voter fraud. I am working with the official numbers for illustration purposes.
In 2004, George W. Bush won the election with 50% of the vote. (Which worked out to 53% of the electoral vote)
In 2004, 60% of eligible voters cast ballots.
This means that, on average, 30% of eligible voters are selecting our president.
Numbers for Congress and State Legislatures are similarly dire (though gerrymandering does help Congressmen look a bit more popular).
And when you consider that turnout in mid-year elections hovers at around 40%, you realize that Congresscritters elected in non-presidential election
years are basically being elected by numbers so small they could practically be nothing but people who know the politicians personally.
But wait, there's more! (And yes, I know you folks are aware of this stuff, but I am laying out the fundamental problem to put forth an appropriate
solution.) Many voters out there who cast a vote "for" one party or another are not voting FOR "their" candidate. They are voting AGAINST the
Now I don't have official stats to back this one up, but think about the conversations you have with people around elections.
"I'm not thrilled with Romney, but I'm sure as h3ll not voting for Obama."
"Obama seems unqualified, but I don't want Sarah Palin one heart attack from the Oval Office."
Then there's the bumper stickers: "Anyone but _______ 2012"
The election game is as much (if not more) about mobilizing "your" voters against the Other guy as it is about putting forth a compelling argument
that makes people want you in government.
SO. Compound this with the horrid turnout numbers and you have our leaders "elected" by 30% of eligible voters of whom maybe 1/3 don't actually
LIKE the candidate they're supporting. This means we have a nation run by people who at the time that they are elected MAY have 20% of eligible
voters who actually agree with their policies and think that they will do a good job.
So what are we to do about this grotesque clusterforniction of a political system?
We must advocate for "third parties." And let me stress this fact: THE POINT OF THIS PLAN IS NOT TO GET A THIRD PARTY CANDIDATE ELECTED IN THE SHORT
TERM. I am well aware of the fact that the Republicrat Duopoly is too well entrenched to be ousted in a just a couple of election cycles. I ALSO
realize that the big money interests that control government will most likely sink their fangs into anyone and everyone who ascends to power. What I
am talking about here is the humbling of our "elected" figureheads.
The most powerful word in the arsenal of a newly elected official (or controlling party in Congress) is "Mandate." These scumbags love to act like
they have been issued a divine writ by We the People blessing their every action and whim. The party that "wins" an election acts as if ever plank
in their ridiculous party platform is a sacred and special because they have a so-called mandate.
Every president since Reagan has said it. Republican. Democrat. Makes no difference. Bush and Obama both swaggered into the White House on "waves of
popular support" (the math of which we know to be FUBAR) and started acting like they knew what was going on. Likewise, every obstructionist
sociopath in Congress has convinced himself that he anointed by God and the People.
If the 40-45% of eligible voters who stay home (presumably out of well justified disgust at the sorry options on display) came out and voted for a
third party, ANY third party, we can start to take away the illusion of a mandate. I'm not crazy enough to think we can unseat the entrenched swine
so easily, but I would love to see them slink into office with their tails between their legs admitted to winning with only 35-40% of the vote.
Long game? As the other parties raise their profiles, we might start to see people breaking out of the two-party mindset and starting voting their
actual conscience. People can stop voting against those they find slightly scarier than the mainstream candidate they throw their vote to.
This is how the game can be changed from within.
So this election season, if you tend to stay home, hit the poles. Don't passively withhold your vote. Let the major parties KNOW that you are
actively taking your vote and giving it to someone else: Libertarians, Greens, Communists, Constitution Party, a write-in for yourself or your
neighbor. Make them account in the election numbers for all the people who DON'T want them in power.
If you do vote, free yourself from the lesser evil mindset. Vote outside the box.
If you evangelize to non-voters, don't try to sway them towards a specific figurehead, talk to them about actively voting for non-traditional
Let's make the numbers reflect reality. Let's take away the illusion of the "mandate". Force the swine to acknowledge points of view beyond the
Republicrat Kabuki Theatre. Politicians who must admit to sneaking in to power with a minority of the vote will have little choice but to compromise.
They will be forced to listen. It won't change the system overnight, but it just might diverge us from the current path towards oblivion.
NOTE: A humble request. IF you feel the need to tell me why this idea is so futile that it shouldn't even be attempted, that's fine. Just follow
up your nay-saying with a clear explanation of what you are ACTUALLY going to do to try an improve our situation. By which I mean, I don't need to
hear another masturbatory screed about an armed revolution you people are never going to actually start. I put this suggestion forward as something
that can be useful and absurdly easy to actual execute. Urinate all over the idea if you must, but try to have something better to put on the table in
its place. Cheers.