Democracy on the Ballot

Very shortly, Americans will vote in the most important election of their lives. All elections matter, but rarely is Democracy itself on the ballot. Those who know some history will know that both Mussolini and Hitler came to power through elections. Many other countries have let their freedoms slip away like this. Elections are great—if people pay attention and put aside petty grievances for the sake of the common good…

Across the nation, some 60% of Americans will have an “election-denier” on the ballot. These are either insurrectionists or their quieter, but equally dangerous supporters. They will almost all be Republicans. Across the nation, Republicans have proposed, or enacted, hundreds of new laws designed to limit the rights of all Americans to vote. The people doing this pretend to believe the “big lie” that Biden didn’t win the 2020 election. There is no evidence to support their claims. Courts have thrown out their filings time and time again. Yet almost all the laws the GOP has supported to suppress voter participation are founded on the idea of widespread voter fraud. Their efforts are themselves a fraud.

Meanwhile, for the first time in modern history, a rightwing supreme court has actually taken a long-established right away from women—the right to control their own bodies. Most of these judges testified under oath that they believed Roe v. Wade was established law–until they got into power. A few lies and democracy disappears. It is easy to see where the Maga-Republicans are headed.  

As we head into the elections it is essential that voters understand what two much used terms really mean.

  1. To be “woke” merely means you have woken up to the historical reality of the inequality experiences by women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ communities. There is nothing sinister about waking up. It means you have learned something. The facts about inequality are facts and won’t go away even if you bury you head in the sand.  
  2. To be a “white supremacist” means you believe that white people should have rights (like voting) that other people shouldn’t have. This is what “Maga-Republicans” apparently believe.  It means that you are fundamentally racist, xenophobic, and anti-democratic. A supremacist ideology of any kind can not co-exist with a real democracy. This is also a fact that won’t go away.

So, you can choose between being an awakened person who can learn new things or being an ostrich who can’t face the world as it really is. I would take the first choice. Every election-denier is basically choosing the second. President Biden has rightly called out what he calls “Maga-Republicans.” The “Maga-Republicans” are in control; the rest are just lying low, not willing to take the heat, but willing to reap the benefits. It is hard to tell which is more reprehensible. It is virtually a distinction without a difference. The truth is, Republicans are trying to take away our most fundamental rights: the right to vote, women’s rights and minority rights. They are banning books and censoring what teachers can teach. It is hard to believe that the Republican party that spent years claiming to protect personal rights and liberty would so completely reverse (and disgrace) themselves.

So, I sincerely hope that all those who are eligible to vote will step up and take that easy step to protect democracy—vote! Democracy really is on the ballot. If you are new to politics, vote a straight party ticket for the Democrats. They may not have all the answers, but they are not anti-democratic election-deniers or insurrectionists.

Unless we impose a crushing defeat on “big lie” election-deniers and their insurrectionist goons, we will simply have more crisis, gridlock, and erosion of rights in the years to come. So please vote and vote as though Democracy itself depends on it. It really does this time.

5 thoughts on “Democracy on the Ballot

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      1. Gilbert, I tried to call you last night but realized I didn’t have your number. Send it to me if you feel OK about it.
        Stan Shell


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