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Columnists

To the Largest Political Party – The One That Did Not Vote

In a few days we will elect thousands of officials across the country including all 435 members of the House of Representatives and 34 members of the Senate. The winners will be those who turned out their voters. But what about the voices of those who don’t show up?

In 2020, 74 million voted for Trump, 81 million voted for Biden. But, about 85 million registered voters (and an unknown number of eligible but unregistered) did not show up. “I didn’t vote” outnumbered either Democrats or MAGA Republicans. That statistic alone should make us fear for our future. Britons now face the near-certainty that Brexit, which passed with 27% of eligible votes, seems likely to turn the UK into a failed economy. They can’t complain because half didn’t vote. In the United States, the MAGA ‘big lie’ exploits the existence of a huge non-voting population.

The media, the pollsters and the pundits tell us that the number of American voters who have not already decided whom to vote for is very small. They are wrong because they only count what the pollsters define as “likely to vote.”

In a few days you will have an opportunity to vote. This plea is not addressed to those who will vote, but to the plurality that will not. The future of our democracy and what we leave for our children hangs in the balance in every election. I make no bones about how I fervently believe you should vote.

The Democratic Party is not perfect and has a depressing inability to publicize their real accomplishments. However, even if you believe that Biden could have done better, the alternative, frankly, is too awful to consider.

MAGA, the new name for the once Grand Old Party, represents a determined minority led by populist politicians who seek to turn the United States into an amalgam of Iran and China, a permanent one-party theocratic state. They attack their opponents over inflation and crime but insofar as anyone can tell, offer no solutions. Instead, they openly proclaim that they want to wreak revenge on their opponents rather than fix problems.

The putative House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, has already stated that, rather than solve problems, he will devote the full time and attention of MAGA congressmen to (a) investigate the FBI, (b) impeach President Biden, (c) impeach the Attorney General, and (d) block a debt ceiling increase. If he carries out that last threat he will force the United States into an economic crisis that will make the Great Depression look like a market correction.

MAGA rallies its base attacking Democrats over real problems such as inflation, crime, and immigration and then does everything it can to make the problems worse.

The MAGA solution to inflation: lower taxes even more on the rich and undermine the IRS so that no rich guy gets audited. MAGA also promises to slash the safety net that keeps millions out of poverty. For example, Florida MAGA Senator Rick Scott announced a platform that would subject Social Security to a vote every few years. Scott’s constituents are rich retirees in The Villages, a retirement complex, who don’t need Social Security and will benefit instead from the promised MAGA tax cuts.

The MAGA solution to crime: put more guns on the streets. And for those who are put off by the wholesale slaughter of school kids, Texas MAGA Attorney General Ken Paxton assures us that those kids died as “part of God’s Plan.”

MAGA leaders cannot make up their minds whether they want to ban abortion at the state level or nationwide. They have not figured out which decision they can market but have promised their base (that does vote religiously) that they will ban abortion forever for every woman in America.

MAGA has revived the foreign policy isolationism that led to World War II and Pearl Harbor. MAGA leaders promise that they will force Ukraine to ‘compromise’ – a code word for surrender – with Vladimir Putin. MAGA‘s Pennsylvania senate candidate, Dr. Mehmet Oz, has a close relationship with Turkey’s President Erdogan. who daily threatens to attack Greece. Oz actually VOLUNTEERED to serve in the Turkish Army – once a disqualifying act for public office in the United States. Erdogan must be salivating anticipating Dr. Oz in the Senate.

MAGA candidates across the country seek to undermine belief in democratic elections by claiming wholesale fraud defeated Trump. (Every MAGA supporter I know – and I know lots of them – knows the fraud accusations are a lie but see benefit from selling them.) Florida’s MAGA Governor, Ron DeSantis, created a special ‘election police’ to jail ex-convicts (mostly black) who voted after MAGA election officials registered them – but when four retirees from The Villages were caught voting Republican in two states, they got a slap on the wrist. Across the country, MAGA politicians work to rig the electoral system and suppress voter turnout to ensure that they will win every election in the future.

Space prevents further discussion of MAGA’s dangerous positions on climate denial or stirring up violence against blacks, immigrants, Jews and political opponents (Pelosi?).  Not voting means that MAGA policies do not concern you – you therefore support, by omission, a party that thrives on misery and does nothing to solve problems.

If you don’t agree with me, I still want you to go and vote. Being confronted with a ballot may also force you to think about the future of your children.

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