Democracy is dead, voting results prove. It was a slow death, a cancer of alienation that waved warning flags all the way down the tracks. The warnings made no difference, and no cure was attempted.
by David Stone
Is Local Democracy Breathing Its Last?
Posters still visible all around the community suggest that the main beneficiaries of local elections are printers. Voters couldn’t care less, it seems.
The turnout for the June primary, including votes for governor in both parties: 9% of registered voters. 9% isn’t just apathy. It signals the death of democracy.
Think about it this way. In the Democratic primary, incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul won in a landslide, winning 70% of the votes. This makes her the choice of only 6.3%. Almost 94% of voters chose None of the Above.
Voter apathy means that 94% don’t participate in the political process. They have no say. The 6.3% make all the decisions that affect the 94%. This is not democracy; it’s oligarchy.
But Why Are Voters So Apathetic?
National general elections show better with around 2/3 voting, not great, but better. It’s local democracy, though, that most affects everyday lives, and apparently, it’s over.
In a consequential election with a mainstream politician challenged by a popular progressive in the governor’s race, turnout was so low, it hardly counts.
But why don’t more people vote? In a word, alienation.
The American people are alienated from the political process. They have good reason to be. They see little difference between the two major parties that control the process. Millions feel unrepresented and unheard. The system is rigged against them, they believe, and they may be right.
And it’s not so much that the parties or divisions within them hold similar views. It’s that none are drawing power from the public. That’s crucial. Voters don’t believe their votes make a difference because they see the same unsolved problems every day.
Homelessness remains out of control, although every politician under the sun promises to fix it. And here in New York City, public schools are a decades-long mess of segregation with minority children getting less investment. The list goes on.
But why vote when changes are only made when emergencies force the matter? Even then, it’s often bandaids as much as cures.
In 2018, the progressive candidate in New York’s primary, Cynthia Nixon, made a serious run at Andrew Cuomo, the establishment candidate. She didn’t win, but she got almost 40% of the vote against a well-funded incumbent with the full support of her party.
That’s significant. It suggests that voters are looking for something different, but they don’t know what that is or how to find it. The Democratic Party isn’t listening, and the Republicans are even worse.
The Two-Party System Is Failing
The two-party system is failing. It’s an anachronism in a country that celebrates diversity. The two main parties don’t represent the people; they represent themselves. They’re interested in power, not democracy.
The solution is a new political party, one that represents the people, not the special interests. That’s the only way to revive democracy in America.
It won’t be easy, but it’s essential if we’re to save our country from oligarchy. Voters must take back their power and create a government that represents them. Otherwise, democracy is dead.
Democracy is not just about voting; it’s about participation. It’s about having a say in the decisions that affect our lives. When only 9% of voters participate, democracy is dead. We need to revive democracy in America by creating a new political party that represents the people, not the special interests. Otherwise, an oligarchy will rule.
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