Saturday, December 17, 2016

Is Donald Trump a Threat to Democracy?

Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt wrote an article with the above title that was published in the New York Times, 2106-12-16 at

I was surprised that a day later it was still open for comments with 1667.  I just had to put in my two cents with my the following comment.

"Let's stop blaming the system for the embarrassing low turnout, among the worst in the world, especially for a nation that regards itself as the greatest democracy in the world.

"Sure, many blocks to voting have been put up by corrupt, self-serving politicians. Sure, the "media" has spread many distorted stories that have discouraged many potential voters. But too many people willingly choose not to vote.

"What would the result have been if half the no- shows had actually voted? We really don't know. Maybe Clinton would have won. Maybe Trump might have done better than third to a defacto none of the above.

"Whatever elections come up next where you live, remind your friends and neighbors 'The only way You throw your vote away Is to stay away!'”

After I posted the above, I searched for “The only way You throw your vote away.  One of the top hits was  Justine posted a lot of right-on comments:

“If you fail to vote, you have only yourself to blame."
“Bad politicians are elected by Good People who don’t vote”
"If 99% of America showed up to vote, it wouldn’t matter what the 1% wanted.”
“Vote as if the future depends on it.  It does.”

She had a link to “HP Lovecraft Historical Society — Why settle for the lesser evil?”  As I had recently listened to a “To the best of our knowledge” podcast on HP Lovecraft  I thought I would check the link out.  Unfortunately, it was broken.  But I did find  Among the pictures is hooded figures holding signs for “Cthulhu for President 2016, Vote best evil”.  Cthulhu was a deep sea monster in one or more of Lovecraft’s stories.

What would have happened if there had been a massive vote for Cthulhu?  If Cthulhu won, the election would have to go to the runner-up because Cthulhu doesn’t exist?  But what if somebody had adopted that name?

I think this kind of tomfoolery indicates that we should have far better candidates running: people who truly want to make the U.S. a country for all of us rather than stoke their own egos or be in the pockets of the 1%.