Democracy Can Thank Trump For Making Voting Great Again.

Have seen and read many insightful minds discussing their concerns over the state of democracy, both here and abroad. Admittedly, Canada's southern neighbor and its post election chaos is where many point the finger.   

Trump left the U.S. with many scars, but I am not buying that he has hurt American Democracy. Trump is an exploiter, so whatever damage he inflicted was already an underlying condition. 

What Trump, well more likely his team knew is that with shifting demographics and immigration in the States, the Republicans were going to be hard pressed to win future elections.  You remember the stories prior to the 2016 election that said as much.

So the Trump team decided that in order to win, they had to court what Hillary famously referred to as the "deplorables". They figured this disenfranchised group that few would shill, were a greater percentage of the population than many wanted to believe.  Trump dog whistled his way through the 2016 election campaign and rode the support of these new, now engaged voters. It was their suffrage that put him over the top in many battleground States. 

Fast forward to the 2020 election and the Democrats countered,  and put on a full court press to get their vote out. The result was the greatest voter turnout in U.S. history and one of the highest percentage turnouts of eligible voters in recent memory. For all his faults. Trump certainly did make voting great again. 

It wasn't too long ago that I sat in poly sci classes as professors lamented the apathy of voters and dismal election turnouts.  So in many ways the 2020 election should be celebrated, and certainly because democracy also won.  The pressing issue now is how to build on this engagement and make sure this opportunity is not wasted.  

It is quite shocking actually, that in a country of endless consumer choice, Americans really still have to pick between only two parties or candidates.  This inadequacy of voter choice was tolerated by the voting class for years.  Going forward, this will no longer be the case. 

The divisions within the Republican party are clear to all that follow U.S. politics. The party that expanded its tent to include those deplorables. must now decide what to do with them.  Currently, regardless of what many on the left would have you believe,  the vast majority of Republicans are not extremists. They do vehemently dislike the nanny state and the policies put forth, by what they believe are out of touch liberal elitists.  The decision they now face is clear to all who bother to look. Republicans either denounce the liars and haters, or through association become them.  The impeachment trial of Trump will be that line in the sand that the Democrats are all too eager to draw. 

My hope is the deplorables start their own party rather than gain legitimacy and cover as members in the G.O.P. . This way they are out in the open and can have their ugly, marginal say. Once isolated and removed from the shadows a period of reckoning and enlightenment can begin. I believe we are seeing this process beginning to unfold in  Canada with the emergence of the PPC Party

The U.S. Democrats are not immune to divisions in their ranks too. If  President Biden doesn't appease the radicals in his party, it could split as well. Again this division should be embraced as it lets the voices of  new voters be seen and heard, rather than silenced. 

It is the number of clear, political choices that Canadians are currently offered, that I believe puts our democracy on stronger footing than the U.S.. Choice will only get Canada so far, however, if it doesn't come with results that reflect voter intent through electoral reform. 

Thankfully, democracy in both countries has reawakened.  This energy can be a power for good.  It is now time, governments and political parties to make needed reforms to ensure this energy is not wasted or turns against the system.  If that happens, then it would be time to worry.   

By: Gregory Cawsey 


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