July 24, 2015 by Thomas Hauber
Prior to last November’s midterm election, I received a warning from the Hathors, interdimensional intergalactic beings connected to ancient Egypt. The voices cautioned that “chaotic nodes” might disrupt otherwise normal functioning. I feared the worst knowing in off-year elections the electorate does not function normally anyway. Cosmic shifts took place in at least nine states where Democrats lost Senate seats.
Without competing national figures to energize the electorate, voters are less likely to pay attention in off years. To the disinterested add the disgruntled, those who have had quite enough of a President (and his Party) they elected just two years before. President Obama’s highest approval rating of 67% occurred a week after he was inaugurated in 2009. Just before the 2014 midterm election it stood at the all-time low of 40 percent, a recipe for disaster for Democrats, whose numerical registration advantage is cancelled out with a low voter turnout. Apparently the under 30 crowd didn’t get the cosmic message.
Of all Americans eligible to vote only seventy percent bother to register at all. Less than half of them, only 40% routinely vote in Presidential elections. An even fewer number, 30%, bother to vote in off-year elections. Do the math. The number of voters who actually voted in the 2014 midterm election is a fraction of a fraction or about 20 percent of all eligible Americans. Only twenty out of every hundred Americans walking the street decided public policy for their states and in large part the entire country in 2014.
Is this anything close to a functional Democracy? A recent illustration on the cover of the NYer depicted Congress as a collection of cartoon characters portrayed as clowns, jokers, tycoons and fools. Congress has its share of odd personalities, elected and loved by their constituencies but despised by the rest of the country who shake a collective head and ask: Where do we get such men, and women? The simple answer is they are elected, but often by a surprisingly small fraction of the population who then come to love them for reasons they don’t completely understand. Checking the seating chart on the current Republican clown car reveals many current Presidential hopefuls have already slithered into office virtually unnoticed? Still other con men, charlatans and unlicensed hypnotists sullenly lurk under bridges or shoot their mouths off with impunity.
In most elections a vast majority of voters, as high as 80%, (the party faithful) already have their minds made up. A clever campaign quickly concludes they need only convince a fraction of the already tiny undecided vote to win an election. It doesn’t take much to convince the least informed and least engaged voter your opponent is a pedophile, adulterer, liar, stooge, traitor or tax cheat. With short little spans of attention and brains occupied, addled or otherwise plugged into the current version of the American Dream, today’s voter need only recall the last steaming pile of horseshit thrown at him or her. What other profession can you legally defame someone else’s character with a stunningly inane campaign of fear, loathing and outright lies while you spend other people’s money on your own shameless self-promotion tour? It’s some racket politics… it’s the best there is.
H. L. Mencken’s apparently fulfilled prophecy that sooner or later the country will elect a complete moron comes immediately to mind. We elect them every chance we get. And if they are clever, charming and/or witless lackey puppets of their wealthy friends they move up the ranks and eventually run and win statewide or national office, even run for President.