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The 2020 Election as a Triumph for Democracy? Hold the Hosannas

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/11/08/2020-election-triumph-democracy-hold-hosannas


Politicians in the United States of America, along with many of its citizens believe or claim that “The United States is the greatest Democracy in the World”. Under such conditions studies such as this are not as telling as they can be as the people will just conclude that “That is the way it is…”.

What would be far more revealing and conclusive is if these same studies, using the same methodology was transferred to other Countries . With such a study one would pick a variety of Countries and then apply the same study to each (As example Russia, Bolivia, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Japan , Botswana).

One should be able to see differences in the influence of Citizens on policy versus that of the very wealthy and contrast them Country to Country. If there NO noticeable differences then solutions to the problem may not be what we think they are. If there are notable differences then one can look at each Country and try to determine why.


Trump in 2016 received 47% of donations in amounts $10,000 and larger, Hilary C received 60%, Sanders received 5%, Mitch McC. received 90% and Nancy Pelosi received 80% – all 2016, from a report by Thomas Ferguson at INET, Working Paper No. 66., Table 3. – Industrial Structure and Party Competition in an Age of Hunger Games:— The Sanders supporters and the Trump low-income supporters need to work out their common issues and make a common pact.


The authoritarianism of the [ultra-] affluent has been gradually taking over “our” government for decades now, so perhaps “now” is superfluous in the above statement.   In any event, it is pretty hard to claim we have much of a democracy when we peons are allowed to choose only from a tiny coterie of the affluent’s carefully pre-selected candidates.

BTW, was the percentage turnout higher in 2020 than any previous election, or is the total number higher only be-
cause our [over-] population has become greater?


Turnout is higher, The extra votes over the 2016 elections is some 40 millions. Your population did not grow that much.


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I don’t know anymore.

I suppose democracy to me always meant the freedom to do as I pleased, rather than the rule of the people, which I probably never thought was anything but a fond illusion.

I was born lucky in some ways I’d guess - and so I could do a lot of unconventional things and get away with it.

But it has shocked me - seeing the volume of Trump supporters - which only increased with the higher voter turnout, and apparently it is the highest percentage wise = either in US history or since 1900 if memory serves. But that has proven to be discouraging - the dramatically enhanced voter turnout seems to be pretty evenly split - not left of center as so many had supposed.

Pretty disillusioned right now. When I heard Biden say he didn’t see blue or red states, only the United States - something snapped in my brain. It’s bullshit - for one. And in Biden’s voice I did not detect the leader we all need.

I think we’re hooped.

Now nature will take center stage.

The pandemic is showing us clearly the results from plutocratic leadership in the west anyway. Wise men do really seem to be from the east.

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I too am both surprised and disappointed.  I could forgive the many who voted for Tweetle-Dumb in 2016 as a protest against Hideous Hilliary and the DimWit-Rats abandonment of the middle class of which she was the ee-pitomization, and honestly expected that after das DrümpfenFührer had so clearly disabused all and sundry of ANY notion that he’s capable of leading the nation (or is even half sane) that far more people would at least recognize him as being clearly NOT the lesser of the two great evils between which we were forced to choose.  I’m tempted to give 10 to 15 percent of those who voted for him the benefit of the doubt and blame Covid fatigue . . .

Please show a bit more respect — that’s Mother Nature to us mere mortals, and we have no special exemptions from Her Laws.

I’m afraid I’m not into that Mother stuff. It’s nature, or the natural world - to me.

Man, what’s the secret in Minnesota? My state (CA) is 20+ points behind in turnout. Ok, we really can affect the presidential election these days, but I wish more of us would take downballot and propositions seriously.

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To each one’s own.   Personally, I prefer to recognize the natural laws of Mother Nature and Father Time in lieu of the made-up “laws” attributed to the innumerable false gods created by humans.

This is key, and some of us here have been saying it for quite a while now:

And who has the power to make that change, to shift our nation’s political dialogue off winsome narratives about America as democracy’s eternal fountainhead? On this key question, our most serious researchers — on the presence and absence of democracy in contemporary American life — seem to agree. Only mass mobilizations can beat back mobilizations of big money. …
… Elections do matter, [adds] Thomas Ferguson, but making real change like taxing the rich and passing Medicare for all requires a real mass movement not dependent on the good will of the super rich.

So it remains to be seen: will all those who exhorted the skeptical to “Vote Blue and hold their feet to the fire” actually do the latter? Will they be part of a movement to force changes from the bottom? Or will they retreat, convinced that all is now ok now that their team occupies the White House, back to the brunches from which they felt they were being so inconveniently distracted?

In any case, “holding their feet to the fire” will require far more commitment and personal sacrifice than we’ve seen in recent decades. It will also have to quickly rise above simple identity politics and be willing to examine with more depth just what the nation has been doing not only domestically, but globally; and be willing to apply principles of democracy universally; because the nexus between what is done at home and abroad, and between issues of economic, social and environmental equity is a tight one.