The Pathos of Politics – Elections


What good fortune for governments that the people do not think. ~ Adolf Hitler

Representative democracy is not about citizen involvement in decision-making. It is instead about assuring the public that there is some feedback mechanism to governmental performance. Whence competitive elections, which are basically exercises in brand-name publicity, coupled with some shaggy demagoguery over issues. This is particularly true in presidential democracies, such as the United States.

Even where the guise of democracy operates, the world’s nations are ruled by an elite. Votes are effectively bought, as costly publicity is necessary to be elected. Hence, the politicians not already wealthy must have patrons to finance their campaigns.

Influence which is given on the side of money is usually against the truth. ~ English sociologist Harriet Martineau

If a campaign boat is not sailing on a sea of green, it simply cannot stay afloat. Lucre is the lubricant to avert the dry-dock of unelectability.

The campaign finance system is now a countervailing force to the way the actual voters of the country are evolving and the policies they want. ~ American political and demographic analyst Ruy Teixeira in 2015

The most manipulative livelihood that capitalism affords – making money with money – has been the dominant dynamic behind income inequality in the US, and the fuel for the ruling elite to finance political campaigns. The 1/10th of 1% of American taxpayers who have quintupled their share of the country’s income 1979–2012 did so via fiddling finance.

Of the 115.6 million families in the US, just 358 pay over half the tab for presidential campaigns. This tiny clique determines who can effectively run for office.

The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history – whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite. ~ Thomas Jefferson


Whatever one may think about democratic government, it has rough and slatternly foundations. ~ Winston Churchill

In contrast to presidential systems, parliamentary democracies are more hardscrabble, as the national leader is chosen from the majority party or coalition, decided in numerous regional elections throughout the country. Certainly, money always matters, but parliamentary democracy is a practical improvement over the presidential system when it comes to outright purchase of elections.


Moral anarchy is the danger we currently face. ~ Israeli American sociologist Amitai Etzioni

Owing to growing economic and societal schisms, democratic politics have become more divisive throughout much of the world in the early 21st century. This trend is particularly pronounced in the governmental dynamics of European parliamentary democracies.

Across Europe, politics is becoming more fragmented, and governments harder to form. Smaller parties, among them populists and single-issue outfits, pop up and steal support from traditional powerhouses.

One reason for rising fragmentation is growing inequality. Between the mid-1980s and 2008, the income of Europe’s richest grew 10%, almost 3 times faster than the poorest 10%.

As wages became more dispersed, voters’ preferences fragment, with the rich supporting the status quo and the poor opposing it. Polarization among the public begets fragmentation in parliament.

Simultaneously, the concerns of urbanites increasingly diverged from those of rural folk, creating distinct pockets of voters to which smaller parties can appeal.

Another factor is plummeting partly loyalty. Dissatisfaction has been the impetus for abandoning traditional parties, which are often seen as representing the status quo.

Some electoral systems are designed to keep smaller parties out of power, thus ostensibly discouraging fragmentation. But such mechanisms have proven ineffective in the face of growing alienation.

One adaptive strategy has been to form “grand coalitions” that range across the political spectrum. Such coalitions governed Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands in the 2110s.

Wide-spectrum coalitions can reinforce the divisiveness dynamic, as voters become frustrated with the stagnation of colorless centrism. This furthers a drift toward extremes and issue-oriented parties.

Coalition governments tend to be short-lived and often unproductive. Coalitions comprised of widely disparate parties struggle to pass laws.

Because coalition governments promise largesse to a greater number of groups, they tend to be expensive. From 1970–1998, adding a party to a European coalition government meant an increase in governmental spending by 0.5% of GDP. For economically weak countries like Greece and Italy, this has been a significant fiscal problem. (GDP is “gross domestic product,” a ridiculously rough measure of economic activity.)


There is one salient dysfunction in democracy, regardless of form: an inherent temporal corruption in its bias toward short-term performance. The frequent elections that characterize democracies are entirely of the moment in approval. There simply is no long view.

The societal effect has been profound, in creating ping-pong policies between successive parties in power. This short-termism has been a major propellant in the increasing divisiveness and dissatisfaction that has become the norm for democracies in much of the world.

Democratic Attitude

Direct democracy has an equitability in its approach: everyone has a vote on policies, which are proposed by citizens. Direct democracy encourages discussion and participation, thus engendering a sense of community. This partly explains the vibrancy in 5th century bce Athenian politics, and the relative societal cohesiveness in modern Switzerland, where direct democracy is still practiced.

The existence of an electoral system supplies a vivid, public, and continuous imparting of the moral lesson that the only tolerable authority is a deliberately chastened authority. ~ American political scientist George Kateb

Representative democracy evolved in medieval Europe from Roman inspiration. Representatives from estates were chosen to advise the monarch.

Monarchism gave way to democracy in Europe in representative form during the 17th century. Despite the antagonism that led to revolution, colonial America largely followed British tradition in selecting its polity.

The fundamental institution of representative democracy is the electoral system, where office holders face periodic potential chastening. This humbling by election is reinforced by arrangements and processes inherent in a representational democracy, most notably a constitution which delimits the powers that officials may exercise. No other form of government subjects political authority to such unremitting discipline.

Skepticism to authority naturally arises in representative democracy, abetted by the incompetence and corruption so commonly displayed by elected officials. This loosening of authority’s hold fosters an independence of spirit and sense of autonomy to which government officials bristle.

Reluctance to defer to authority stiffens the resolve of authorities to enforce their will. The obviousness of this is apparent in any encounter where a policeman is not instantly obeyed. From such encounters, division between authority and its subjects widens.

Representative democracy induces or encourages a general attitude toward all authority in society. ~ George Kateb

It is unsurprising that representative democracy and capitalism go well together. The dynamic alignment is such that the 2 systems essentially feed off each other: both in mutual regard between business leaders and political officials, and in the slosh of money which flows from political contributions by the wealthy and is returned in kind by government largesse toward those who need it least.

It is melancholy to observe how much, even in this free country, the course of public events depends on the private interests and passions of individuals. ~ John Quincy Adams in 1828

Authority figures in both the public and private sectors chafe at restraints on their will. In both sectors, fulsome use to the point of abuse of power is so commonplace as to be unremarkable.

90% of politicians give the other 10% a bad name. ~ American diplomat Henry Kissinger

Just as voters and workers learn to look with a jaundiced eye upon their leaders, so too those in power quietly nurture contempt for those below their elevated station. Few veteran politicians think much of the acumen of voters, just as any corporate executive takes “good help is hard to find” as axiomatic.

Lip service becomes a norm, furthering everyman skepticism against the system. Thus, representative democracy subtlety fosters societal division, and disrespect for the institutions of government. As Aristotle anticipated, the societal dynamic of representative democracy has shown itself to be self-erosive.

The vote seems to matter less and less, because nothing can be done. ~ American voter Eric Riehm

I’m so disillusioned over what goes on. All politicians are doing is slinging mud at each other. If they would just stop the squabbling and think of the people. ~ American ex-voter Lula Hill, who first voted in 1952, and gave it up in 1996

The world grew more democratic after the 2nd World War. In 1941 there were only a dozen democracies. By 2000 only 8 states had never held an election.

Since the financial crisis of 2008, the spread of democracy regressed as the masses realized that democracy is plutocracy in gauzy disguise. Immigration was an additional issue: xenophobia amplified by a feeling of competition for jobs.

Strongmen who promised muscular correction found favor with the rubes who make up voting majorities. Autocracy is appealing to the ill-informed and xenophobic. A father figure is something simpletons can understand.

Democracy and liberalism are separable. Whereas voters like the idea of democracy, they can be illiberal about its exercise, irrespective of ideology. Voters may elect a government that promises to censor speech they dislike, or support a referendum curtailing the civil rights of an unpopular minority.

Whereas democracy can be illiberal, liberal institutions can be undemocratic. Unelected judges may overrule elected politicians. Liberals view this as a crucial constraint on the government’s power: even the people’s chosen representatives must be subject to the law. In a liberal democracy, power is dispersed in a check-and-balances scheme to check corruption. Sometimes it works.

Democratic politicians are not just accountable to voters. They are also kept in line by courts, journalists, and interest groups. The loyal political opposition recognizes the government as legitimate, but decries many of its actions, and seeks to replace it at the next election. There is a clear boundary between the ruling party and the state.

The paradoxical system of illiberal democracy and undemocratic liberality is now under siege by voters who have been ill-served by it. They don’t understand the theoretics, which don’t really matter. What does matter is that the system is rigged against them. For those struggling to get by, a strongman promising to give them a break by breaking the system seems like something long overdue.

The transition from ostensible democracy to autocracy is becoming a well-worn path. As most people agree that democracy is a good thing, leaders do not openly admit their plan to strangle it. Instead, modern aspiring autocrats subvert the essence of democracy while maintaining its outward appearance.

There are 3 steps to felling a democracy. 1st, create a crisis if one is not already at hand. 2nd, cite enemies to overcome. 3rd, nobble institutions that might get in the way. By then, a state may pose as a democracy and be anything but.

Hungary illustrates. Prior to the 2008 crash, many Hungarians took out absurdly risky foreign-currency mortgages. When the Hungarian currency crashed and they lost their homes, they were furious. Fidesz, formerly a liberal party, won an election in 2010 by blaming the previous government and vowing to make borrowers whole.

The 2nd shock to the conservative Hungarian mind was the Syrian refugee crisis of 2015–2016. Hardly any Syrians settled in Hungary, but thousands passed through on the way to Germany, so Hungarians saw them on television. This gave Fidesz’s leader, Viktor Orbán, 2 handy enemies: the Muslim hordes and the liberal elite who wanted to let them in.

Pointing to foreigners as foul is a common ploy. Russia’s Vladimir Putin goes on about a Western conspiracy to humiliate Russia. President Nicolás Maduro blames America for Venezuela’s troubles.

Parties of the nationalist right learned from the left how to exploit identity politics. Both favor amorphous “group rights” over those of individuals, though for polar reasons: the left to empower minorities, the right to repress them.

The Hungarian nation is not a simple sum of individuals, but a community that needs to be organized, strengthened, and developed. ~ Viktor Orbán in 2014

In its potential for unleashing mass violence, stirring up ethnic hatred is incredibly dangerous, so rabble-rousers often use dog-whistles. Rather than disparage whites in general, South Africa’s former president, Jacob Zuma, denounced “white monopoly capital.”

Many leaders pick on small, commercially successful minorities. Zambia’s late president, Michael Sata, won power after railing against Chinese bosses.

As no one likes them, criminals make ideal enemies. Rodrigo Duterte won the Philippines presidency in 2016 on a promise to kill drug dealers and dump their corpses in Manila Bay, to “fatten all the fish there.” 12,000 extrajudicial slayings later, the country is no safer, but Duterte’s government has an approval rating of 80%.

In his bid for the presidency, Donald Trump concocted a combo of hate: calling Mexicans that come to the US criminals and rapists and vowing to build a great wall on the nation’s southern border to keep them out. As president, Trump ruthlessly targeted immigrants, barbarously tearing families apart for indefinite detention.

Would-be autocrats also posit a positive agenda. They often pose as defenders of an identity that voters hold dear, such as their nationality, culture, or religion. Poland’s ruling party waxes lyrical about the country’s Catholic way of life, lavishing subsidies on big families, who are likely to be rural and religious. In the US, Trump pulled a similar trick with white nationalist nostalgia: his campaign slogan was “make America great again.”

In a bid to stay in power, the autocratically inclined impede the independent institutions which uphold democracy. A prime target is the justice system. Rodrigo Duterte forced out the chief justice of the Philippines after he objected to Duterte’s abuse of martial law. Poland’s conservative ruling party – Law and Justice – shoved out 2/5ths of the nation’s jurists. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega commandeered the supreme court to abolish presidential term limits, and create shell “opposition” parties, to simulate a choice for voters while repressing genuine opposition.

Autocrats invariably attack an independent press. US President Donald Trump derides unfavorable media coverage as “fake news.” Despots such as Putin and Turkey’s Recep Erdogan slapped spurious fines or tax bills on the owners of independent media, forcing them to sell to loyal tycoons.

Getting the security forces on one’s side is essential. Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s former president, took their loyalty for granted and was tossed out. Savvier strongmen are less complacent. To keep the men with guns content, Venezuela’s president, Nicolás Maduro, lets them loot the national food-distribution system. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi turns a blind eye to the police topping up their salaries by robbing civilians.

With the courts, press, and armed forces in his pocket, a strongman can set about neutering other institutions of import. He can sideline the legislature, redraw the electoral map, limit voting, and bar serious opponents from politics.

Whatever ideology professed, autocrats are often opportunistic. Daniel Ortega seized power in 1979 as a revolutionary Marxist. He lost an election in 1990 partly because he was anti-Catholic. So, Ortega rebranded himself as a devout Catholic, and was reelected in 2006 against a divided opposition. In 2017 Ortega installed Rosario Murillo, his wife, as vice president, thereby establishing a dynasty resembling the dictatorship he once overthrew.

None of Ortega’s chipping away at democracy in Nicaragua sparked unrest. It was only when Ortega’s Sandinistas looted public pensions that citizens rioted. The regime clung to power only by shooting people.

The US used to promote democracy. With President Trump scorning liberal allies and embracing dictators, the timbre of American politics harshened well beyond the partisanship which already racked the republic. Any residual foreign admiration of America evaporated as Trump got in stride.

Most authoritarian regimes are filthy. Though dime-store by comparison in terms of raking, Trump was typical with his relentless self-promotion, profiteering, nepotism, and cabinet performing like pigs at a trough.

 US Voting Irregularities

Voting is the bedrock of democracy. Through the vote, citizens choose leaders, sway policy, and generally influence democracy. By contrast, citizens who don’t vote can be ignored. ~ American political scientists Zoltan Hajnal, Nazita Lajevardi, & Lindsay Nielson

The US runs an undemocratic regime. In many US states, convicted felons cannot vote: a disenfranchisement based on the idea that violators of society’s rules should not be allowed to help set them, irrespective of having paid their debt to society. This exclusion ensures that felons, most of whom are black, are forever the legal underclass, unable to ever recover their basic civil rights. Over 6 million Americans have been stripped of their voting rights because of felony disenfranchisement laws.

The United States is an outlier. Its suppression of voting rights violates human rights. ~ international elections monitor Aubrey Menarndt

Crystal Mason, a black woman, cast a provisional ballet at her local church in Texas for the 2016 election. Her vote was provisional because Mason’s name could not be found on the voter registration rolls.

Crystal’s name was purged from the rolls when she went to prison, but Crystal did not know that. ~ American attorney Alison Grinter

For trying to exercise her supposed right to vote, a Texas judge sentenced Mason to 5 years in prison. Meanwhile, a white woman who had fraudulently tried to vote twice for Donald Trump got 2 years probation.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote is a fundamental right. It is the duty of the Federal, State, and local governments to promote the exercise of that right. ~ 52 United States Code (USC) §20501(a)

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Computers have been used in US elections since the 1960s, when punch cards and computerized card readers and tabulators were introduced. Computer experts have warned all along about the hazards of computerized voting, to no avail. From all around the country for over a half century to present day, numerous instances have been documented where electronic voting systems went awry. The only response has been to intensify the computerization of elections.

 Florida 2000 Presidential Election

In violation of the US constitution, the 2000 presidential election was awarded to the Republican candidate, George W. Bush, by the Republican majority of the supreme court. The court did so by stopping a vote recount in Florida while Bush held a slim lead: 537 votes out of 5,825,043 votes cast.

The Republican-led government of Florida had already laid the groundwork by denying the poor and minorities the right to vote – the clear majority of whom would have voted for the candidate of the opposition party: Al Gore, a Democrat. At least 12,000 voters had been wrongly purged from the voter rolls. The election supervisor in a Florida county was one of them. Unlike the election supervisor, who knew in advance and had the mistake corrected, other voters had no idea they would be denied their right to vote until they showed up at the polls.

The election totals in Florida had been rigged, as 2 counties illustrate. At 10 pm, Gore led Bush 83,000 to 62,000 in Volusia county. An hour later Gore’s total had dropped 16,022 votes, owing to a negative vote at a voting precinct. There were other tallies in that precinct that showed that the vote had been jiggered. Another country, Brevard, posted results that lessened Gore’s vote by 4,000. Voting officials blamed the discrepancies on faulty memory cards which were used to electronically record votes from the fault-prone punch-card ballots used.

Florida is always a crucial state in presidential elections. In 2000, Florida’s governor was Jeb Bush, the younger brother of George W. Bush. In the run-up to the 2000 election, Jeb studiously ignored his duty to faithfully execute the state’s election laws, despite a known practice of irregularities in the voter registration rolls.

In the aftermath of the election, an investigative commission found “widespread voter disenfranchisement,” and concluded that an “overall lack of leadership in protecting voting rights was largely responsible for the broad array of problems in Florida during the 2000 election,” in violation of federal law. Nothing was done about it.


There’s so much trickery involved. ~ North Carolina resident Lee Jackson (58 years old), who doesn’t bother to vote anymore

The United States is unique in allowing state laws and officials to govern and run federal elections. The supreme court dismantled key federal protections against discriminatory practices in 2013. Since then, jurisdictions with a history of systematic racism, whose elections used to be subject to federal supervision, have shut down 20% more voting stations per capita than in the rest of the country.

Voter identification laws serve as an effective barrier that limits the legitimate participation of racial and ethnic minorities and other disadvantaged groups. ~ Zoltan Hajnal, Nazita Lajevardi, & Lindsay Nielson

Selective voter disenfranchisement has long been part of the American election landscape.

Concerted state efforts to prevent minorities from voting and to undermine the efficacy of their votes are a feature of our country’s history. ~ SCOTUS Justice Sonia Sotomayor

For decades, Republicans have vigorously disenfranchised voters through various measures, including making voter registration more difficult for those who don’t own homes, and not providing enough voting stations in poor and minority districts. They do so because Republicans tend to lose elections as more people vote. In one instance, a woman who had voted in elections since 1948 could not register to vote in 2016.

GOP senators were giddy about the prospects of suppressing minority and college voters. Elected officials planning and happy to help deny a fellow American’s constitutional right to vote in order to increase their own chances to hang onto power. ~ American Republican political aide Todd Allbaugh

(GOP is an acronym for “Grand Old Party,” which used to refer to Democrats until after the Civil War. The Republicans appropriated GOP for themselves in the 1870s.)

Like other Republican-controlled states, Kansas officials do their best to deny the right to vote to those who might vote against them. For the 2018 election, Republican election officials moved the single voting station for Dodge City out of town, citing road construction. Dodge City, with a population of 27,000, is 60% Hispanic.

There is barrier after barrier after barrier being created. It is just one example against citizen participation in our democracy. ~ American civil rights activist Micah Kubic

Voter suppression isn’t only about blocking the vote, it’s also about creating an atmosphere of fear, making people worry that their votes won’t count. ~ American politician Stacey Abrams

There’s a lot of liberal folks who we don’t want to vote. We want to make it more difficult. ~ Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith in 2018

In 2018, in a 5-to-4 decision, the Republican majority in the supreme court (SCOTUS) endorsed Republican efforts to purge voter rolls, and so improve their hold on power.

Congress enacted the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) with the express purposes of “increasing the number of eligible citizens who register to vote” and “enhancing the participation of eligible citizens as voters.” Congress acted against the backdrop of substantial efforts by States to disenfranchise low-income and minority voters, including programs that purged eligible voters from registration lists because they failed to vote in prior elections. The court errs in ignoring this history and distorting the statutory text to arrive at a conclusion that not only is contrary to the plain language of the NVRA but also contradicts the essential purposes of the statute, ultimately sanctioning the very purging that Congress expressly sought to protect against. ~ Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in dissent in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute (2018)

In contrast to rabid voter-purging states, 41 states use voter registration databases over a decade old that go without upgrades or security checks.

There is significant fraud in American voting, though the extent is unknowable, as partisan election officials run an opaque process. As states do not cross-check registrations, duplicate voting is easily accomplished.

(Perhaps the best-known contemporary case of voting fraud was the 1997 mayoral election in Miami, Florida, where diddled absentee ballots changed the outcome. Some other instances of asserted fraud were either well-done enough to elude damnation (St. Louis in 2000) or politics by other means (1996 US House of Representatives race in Orange County, California).)

What is known is that ballots are falsified or discarded on a whim, after the vote is known to election officials. (The author had his mailed-in vote discarded, ostensibly because the signature was disapproved, even though it matched the signature on his voter registration.) Especially in districts with a lot of poor voters, electronic machines tend to break down and votes go uncounted. States forbid recounting when recounts are most needed.

The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do. ~ Joseph Stalin

The US uses ~350,000 voting machines. All fall into 1 of 2 categories: optical-scan or electronic (direct-record). Optical-scan machines store digital images of cast paper ballots on a removable memory card – which may be altered or switched out, as is known to have happened in Florida in the 2000 election. All electronic voting machines are connected to networks which can be hacked. Regardless of voting machine type, states don’t conduct decent postelection audits to check whether the tallies are accurate.

Rigging vote counts is just one way to subvert elections. Another way is to target voters, by tampering the registration rolls. This too has been done, repeatedly.

The American voting-machine industry is an oligopoly of 3 companies with close political ties to the Republican party, and a revolving door between machine vendors and election officers. The industry provides electronic voter registrars as well as voting machines. The criteria for rational criminality are “means, motive, and opportunity,” all of which are ever-present for the people who run US elections.

Voting-machine companies have seized a central role in our democracy. But rather than recognizing that cybersecurity needs to be their top priority, they treat it as a public relations problem that can be dismissed with spin. ~ American US Senator Ron Wyden

14 states use electronic voting machines which leave no paper trail – there is no way to tell whether vote counts are accurate or have been altered. Georgia, which runs a thoroughly rigged election system in favor of Republicans, is exemplary. One Georgia voting precinct with 276 registered voters tallied 670 votes in a 2018 election. Georgia election officials discard absentee ballots when they don’t like the vote. This corrupt tallying comes after various methods to suppress voting by those not inclined to vote Republican. Georgia is merely exemplary of state elections systems run by Republicans.

There is no federal agency, such as the Department of Homeland Security, that concerns itself with the veracity of elections. State and local officials responsible for elections admit the process is subject to irregularities, but paradoxically insist the system is fundamentally sound. Efforts to investigate are roundly denounced as a threat to democracy.

For years, Republican leaders have pushed the lie that voter fraud is a huge issue. Interestingly, all that fraud seems to plague only urban neighborhoods, minority communities, college campuses, and other places where large numbers of people might vote for Democrats. The purpose of this manufactured hysteria is obvious: to delegitimize Democratic voters and justify Republican efforts to suppress their votes. ~ Elizabeth Warren

Unsurprisingly, Congressional Republicans have repeatedly voted against measures that might help states improve their voting systems, including refusing to provide funding to ensure ballot counting.

The ‘security’ of American voting machines is so bad.  ~ Dutch software security expert Victor Gevers

Without question, our voting systems are weak and susceptible. We also know that our foreign adversaries – including Russia, North Korea, Iran – possess the capabilities to hack them. ~ American software developer Jack Braun

There is no doubt that Russia undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere with our 2016 elections. The effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton. ~ US Senator Richard Burr (Republican) & US Senator Mark Warner (Democrat), heads of the senate intelligence committee

Trump lost the election, and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf. ~ US President Jimmy Carter

In June 2017, American government intelligence specialist Reality Winner was imprisoned for leaking secret government evidence that the Russians had hacked American electronic voting machines in the 2016 election. 39 states were affected, but no public disclosure was made about whether the outcome was altered. (There should be little doubt that Russia’s “extensive, sophisticated” effort delivered the presidency to Donald Trump, in that the outcome was determined by slim margins in only 3 states.)

The government is desperate to keep any information about election illegitimacy a secret, for public knowledge would rightly undermine confidence in the US election process.

We are not making our elections any safer by withholding information about the scope and scale of the threat. ~ Mark Warner

One should be skeptical over the manifest circle-the-wagons mentality to what should be a transparent process with open records. Further, systematic denial of voting rights is a matter of record and law, demonstrating that the US election system is corrupted. Finally, constitutional disregard of proportional representation in the construction of its powerful upper house (Senate), and indirect election of presidents, ensures that the US has an ersatz facsimile of democracy which cannot be considered legitimate.

American voter tolerance of its dysfunctional electoral system can only be chalked up to ignorance or indifference. American society is riven by inequities; its politics merely symptomatic. Yet Americans don’t revolt.

Politicians’ incentives conflict with voters’ interests, leaving citizens without any political remedy for their constitutional harms. ~ SCOTUS Justice Elena Kagan

Across the country, the 2018 elections were rife with voter suppression of minorities by various measures (e.g., long waits from insufficient voting machines, Republican election officials selectively denying the right to vote) and suspicious vote tabulations. Fraud is known to have occurred in North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia; in all instances, to the advantage of Republican candidates.

The real theft of American democracy happens through election fraud and voter suppression. And Republicans are the thieves. ~ American political scientist Carol Anderson

Mexico has a more secure and transparent election process than the United States, and Mexico is no pristine model of copasetic election practices.