Letter: Porter says Republicans abandoning democracy

Published 4:03 pm Thursday, March 11, 2021

A Democracy is defined as follows: Government by the people; the rule of the majority; a government in which supreme power is held by the people; the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privilege.

Usually a democracy exists when two or more parties compete for governmental leadership. This competition is marked by free and fair elections and agreed upon “rules of the road” and behavior in campaigning. When two parties dominate the political landscape and one of the two refuses to abide by the rules and, in fact, recognizes no rules it is difficult to say that a democracy exists.

Republicans have decided that they can no longer win elections fairly so they have to cheat. They do as well as they currently do because they dominate thinly populated rural states.

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Each state has two senators. Currently there are 50 Republican senators and 50 Democrat or Independent senators. The population of the United States is 330 million so with a 50/50 split you might think that R’s & D’s would each have 165 million supporters. But actually the Democrats represent 187 million voters and the R’s only 143 million so Democrats represent 44 million more voters than the R’s do.

Democrats currently control the House by a thin margin but, once again, they represent many millions more voters than the R’s do. This is because of systemic Gerrymandering by the R’s. Democrats also Gerrymander but they have not done it so systematically and brutishly as Republicans have.

President Biden won the presidency in 2020 by more than 7,000,000 votes! In fact the Democrats have won the popular vote in 5 of the 6 most recent presidential elections. The only reason that R’s win is because of the vagaries of the Electoral College, which is an artifact of slavery days.

Republicans have proposed almost 250 new laws in 43 states to make voting more difficult for ordinary people. These laws reduce early voting days, eliminate no-excuse early voting, require specific voter ID’s, reduce polling locations, take away vote drop-off boxes, and many other measures.

Columnist David Frum once said; “If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism, they will abandon democracy.” And that is what is happening.

Republicans no longer believe that their beliefs and positions on issues will win a majority of the electorate but rather than change their positions, they are abandoning democracy.

Jim Porter