Wanted 120 Million Voters

Who was the big winner in this month's national elections? George W, right? After all, his autocratic, plutocratic, anti-democratic regime grabbed a 51-47 majority in the U.S. senate.

Well, that's definitely a powerhouse number, but it's not actually the real majority, nor is it the most significant statistic to come out of the election. The big number was 61. That's the percentage of American voters who chose not to vote -- about 120 million voters. Basically, this American majority declared that the whole money-soaked, issue-avoiding, corporate-driven campaign run by both Republicans and Democrats was a load of horsehockey.

Indeed, the campaigns were somewhere between dismal and disgusting. There are issues galore affecting the people -- the lack of good jobs, the corporate looting of our pensions, health care for all, energy independence, etcetera -- but these were mostly ignored.

Elections these days are not about people, but money. There's not even any real campaigning; instead of getting out with the folks in the neighborhood, in cafes, in rallies and such, the candidates do staged photo ops, pretending to be with people, but avoiding actual voter contact, except with those who can write campaign checks of $1,000 and up. Political parties, which used to work the grassroots, now are nothing more than aloof banks. They collect money and throw it at television sets. Tons of money. This year was the first billion-dollar tv campaign -- that's how much was spent on ads, the preponderance of them nasty and untruthful.

So, since the candidates didn't stand up for the people, the people mostly didn't stand up for the candidates.

There's a minefield of disaffection all across the land. When nearly two-thirds of the people feel shut out of the system, democracy itself is endangered. Yet, this same dangerous exclusion offers an enormous opportunity for a progressive political movement with the gumption and savvy to organize a democratic home for the disaffected.

Sources:
"True meaning of election can't be gleaned from polls," USA Today, November 6, 2002. "Slim GOP margin reflects divided country," USA Today, November 6, 2002. Center for the Study of the American Electorate. "GOP bucks history, retains House majority", USA Today, 11/6/02.

#story_page_post_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.