Can democracy survive the loss of faith in its elections?

watu05

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Actually the title raises another question: Do we place a higher value on our party controlling the government than we do democracy itself? Four years ago, or may even two years ago, I've have said "no", we value our democracy the most. Until recently the pattern seemed to be that both parties would be involved in running the elections, and people accepted the outcome. If the outcome was close, there would be a recount involving both parties. That was it. Now it seems more like a quaint idea similar to big tail fins on cars.

Multiple states are placing reviews into the hands of their legislatures to review elections which is necessarily partisan, as Arizona is proving now. Whatever those results are, because it's partisan run, fewer people will trust them.

Our Democracy is based on the assumptions that our elections accuracy convey the will of the electorate and we will support the results...like them or not. If we lose that, what is next?
 

shon46

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We could have avoided all this back in Dec had the Supreme Court done their job. There should have been a federally mandated recount for every state run by the Mil. One side would not have a leg to stand on had that taken place!
 

watu05

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We could have avoided all this back in Dec had the Supreme Court done their job. There should have been a federally mandated recount for every state run by the Mil. One side would not have a leg to stand on had that taken place!
Regardless of how we got here, we're at a place where confidence in electoral outcomes has been replaced by another layer of partisan wrangling. If people no longer have faith in elections, can a democracy survive?
 
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aTUfan

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the extremes are dominating the conversation with a "my way our the highway" mentality, thinking everyone agrees with them.
 

noble cane

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Regardless of how we got here, we're at a place where confidence in electoral outcomes has been replaced by another layer of partisan wrangling. If people no longer have faith in elections, can a democracy survive?
A democracy never survives... thats why we are a Republic.
 

aTUfan

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Much of our voting system is based on the honor system, whIch can be exploited by dishonorable people.

provIng voter fraud is like trying to prove some one is speeding, if you don't have radar.
 

astonmartin708

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A democracy never survives... thats why we are a Republic.
A democracy never survives... thats why we are a Republic.
I think that there have been very few pure democracies ever attempted much less ones that failed to survive.

Both prime examples of pure democracy and pure republic failed miserably (Athens and The Roman Republic) Switzerland is probably the closest example we currently have to a direct democracy. Besides Venice there hasn’t been a large republic that’s lasted any exceptional amount of time. The Romans officially lasted 450+ years, but they were nothing more than a city state for much of that. The Dutch Republic only lasted 200 years. We’re close to 250, but we’re about as close to fracturing as we have been since the mid 1800’s.
 
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watu05

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The Brits have spent 400 years developing the system they have now. What little I know about British history does not include disputed elections. Even Brexit which was close was accepted as a fair result. Has anyone heard of key figures spending months saying the count was rigged?
 

watu05

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Conflating partisan election fraud with the initial time implementing ranked voting is another indicator of how successful the big lie has reduced trust in our elections. If it continues and no one trusts any election outcomes, what does that do to the country?
 

aTUfan

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there have been problems in most election since I can remember.

voting machines dumped in Lake Michigan in Chicago.

long voting lines for Reagan and bho

accusations of intimidation at the polls

missing ballot boxes

polls running out of ballots

hanging chads

uncounted mail in military ballots

voting machine malfunction

provisional ballots

networks calling the election before west cost polls closed
 
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watu05

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Sure, lots of problems, but there has never been an attack on the entire system the way there is now.

Contrast the difference between Gore and Trump in contested elections. Gore publicly accepted the outcome in large part because not doing so would be destructive to our system of democracy, even though he won the popular vote by 500,000 votes. Contrast that with Trump who lost popular vote by 8 million votes.

Gore in 2000: “I accept the finality of the outcome, which will be ratified next Monday in the Electoral College” he said. “And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession.”
 
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lawpoke87

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To be fair, Gore waited until the US Supreme Court ruled against his challenge of the election results to concede…ie….he had exhausted his legal challenges.
 

watu05

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Exactly. Gore followed the system and then conceded despite questionable elements because otherwise would have been damaging to the country. The court could have decided differently and Bush would have done what Gore did for the same reasons. Gore's points were not laughed out of 60+ courts, his attorneys were not disbarred for making spurious claims, no billion dollar lawsuits followed, he was gracious in the transition and did not try to raise hundred of millions of dollars to continue to contest the election afterward. There was no equivalent to January 6..

The contrast is stark.

That's a side issue anyway. If the US continues down this path of losing trust in our electoral system regardless of who does it, will it undermine democracy itself?
 
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lawpoke87

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My post was not a defense of Trump or Jan 6. He needs to fade into obscurity at this point. I was only pointing out that Gore exhausted every legal remedy he had available to him to contest the election before conceding. As such, I found his statement regarding unity a bit hollow. That said, I do agree the contrast is stark between his actions in the end and those of Trump.
 

aTUfan

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never before has a POLICTICAL PARTY spent 4 year, wasting taxpayers dollars to try to remove a dully elected president, by spying on his campaign, by enabling a bogus fbi/doj investigation, conjuring up two kangaroo court trials,

dems can dIsh it out, but they sure can't take it.
turn about is fair play
 

watu05

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Perhaps the better question is whether democracy can survive the loss of trust in government itself. Recent studies into voter behavior that theorize two characteristics shared by voters in both parties that are corrosive to democracy, Both help explain our current polarization.
One is taking joy in the pain of others. The claim is there substantial groups in both parties which take real pleasure in the pain felt by those in the other party. One example would Dems who feel some vindication when those who oppose masking and vaccination get Covid.
The other is a general lack of trust in government itself. Trump‘s authoritarian appeal was based on claims about a deep state, an undrained swamp, etc which had failed Americans (particularly white christians) and that only he could fix it. Elements among the Dems claimed that system was controlled by the wealthy and rich and is unfair to minorities. IOW in both parties there substantial elements that do not believe our democracy is working and take some pleasure in the losses of the otherside — a poor basis for creating an agreement on how the country should move ahead.
 

astonmartin708

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the presidential campaign lasts too long; about 2 years, and costs too much; billions.
You’re right so instead we could do away with first-past-the-post. Congressional voting, mandate proportionately representative congressional districts, drawn to represent the overall senate vote of the states. And then make pick the President like a prime minister... or.. we could just suck it up.
 

aTUfan

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maybe we need to create two autonomous systems.
the red states will adhere to the constitutIon. encourage free private enterprise. and promote individual liberties and freedoms
the blue states will interpret the constitution for their agenda of the gov is the answer and group think.
 

watu05

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Lots of complaints about elections and the 'other' party. But still wondering about whether the US can survive as a democracy if people don't believe the outcome of the elections?

If, as some claim, the POT's sole goal to permanently keep power by restricting voter access and claiming that no election result is free of fraud unless they won, the US could keep going, but would it be a democracy.

The POT demands for recounts in Arizona, Wisconsin and Georgia were only for counties that they lost. So if the won the county, the vote must have been fair.
 

watu05

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How about if every time one part loses an election, they use the unending Arizona clown show as a model for contesting the outcome?

 

TUMe

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The Party of Jackson wants to get as many illegal aliens in as possible who will be behoding to Dems and vote that way. There in even talk now that there is no reason limit voting to citizens.
 

aTUfan

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the problems are always the the members of the other party, so having red states and blue states eliminates the other party
 

aTUfan

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The Party of Jackson wants to get as many illegal aliens in as possible who will be behoding to Dems and vote that way. There in even talk now that there is no reason limit voting to citizens.
surprising the majority of of legal immigrants dont support our open border and think we should be more diligent in deporting illegals.

before you ask, this result is from my soccer association which represents 29 foreign countries .
 

goldfan83

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We could have avoided all this back in Dec had the Supreme Court done their job. There should have been a federally mandated recount for every state run by the Mil. One side would not have a leg to stand on had that taken p
Based on what? Trump's total BS. The recent evidence is that he was just openly telling people to lie about it because he could not admit that he lost. The emperor had no clothes so he tried to destroy everything around him to make it happen. He had the deputy AG drafting letters saying the DOJ recommends that they have states overturn their elections etc... It is functionally insane. Nixon didn't know about the break-in until it occurred. He just tried to cover it. Trump was ordering the stealing of the election. He was calling elected officials, telling them to lie about it, take unlawful actions by threatening them like a mafia boss and having his employees drafting letters beyond dubious legal reasoning. There were no legal grounds for the SC to order recounts in every state. You are insane. The emperor had no clothes, and his cult couldn't realize it either.
 
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astonmartin708

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The Party of Jackson wants to get as many illegal aliens in as possible who will be behoding to Dems and vote that way. There in even talk now that there is no reason limit voting to citizens.
I don’t think many democrats these days identify as being heir apparents to Andrew Jackson.
 
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aTUfan

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Based on what? Trump's total BS. The recent evidence is that he was just openly telling people to lie about it because he could not admit that he lost. The emperor had no clothes so he tried to destroy everything around him to make it happen. He had the deputy AG drafting letters saying the DOJ recommends that they have states overturn their elections etc... It is functionally insane. Nixon didn't know about the break-in until it occurred. He just tried to cover it. Trump was ordering the stealing of the election. He was calling elected officials, telling them to lie about it, take unlawful actions by threatening them like a mafia boss and having his employees drafting letters beyond dubious legal reasoning. There were no legal grounds for the SC to order recounts in every state. You are insane. The emperor had no clothes, and his cult couldn't realize it either.
i just find it hard to believe that mr milktoast who couldn't fill a phone booth during the campaign got more vote than bho. heck in some places he got more votes than voters. in other area where all the rep won handily; biden won? follow the math. the statistics tell the story

how quick you forget 2016 and all of Hrc whining about the election.
 
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Gmoney4WW

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No where did more voters than are registered vote. But go ahead. The bs is discounted, so at least you didn't get taken.
 
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aTUfan

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there was testimony by statisticians, not politicians, that crunched the numbers from the election, about all the anomalies and the astronomical odds that they would or could happen.
 

TUMe

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I don’t think many democrats these days identify as being heir apparents to Andrew Jackson.
True, that was in response to WATU's goofy use of POT. The same WATU who talks working together in one post then attacks in the next.
 

watu05

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I don’t think many democrats these days identify as being heir apparents to Andrew Jackson.
Republicans today have an interesting choice as the party seems to be split in two: the smaller Republican Party composed of traditionally conservative, establishment group and the larger and apparently growing Party of Trump. IOW Lynn Cheney/Mitt Romney on one side and President Trump on the other. For me that divide seems as large as the gap between the traditional Republicans and Democrats. At least traditional Republicans and Democrats do not confuse insurrection with patriotism and will try put country before (Trump's) party

Take the infrastructure bill for example. Trump lobbied hard against its passage in the Senate because he couldn't get one passed while he was in office and everyone has known the US needs it. I'd consider the senators who passed it as being Republicans and those who are still operating in fealty to Trump, POTs. In the House the POT is clearly dominant with Lt. Col Adam Kinzinger and Cheney now pariahs.

Perhaps we need new terminology: TINOs (Trumpists in Name Only?) instead of RINOs. Anyway, Trump is calling the shots for the POT which stands in sharp contrast with former Presidents Reagan, Bush, Bush, Clinton and Obama. Next year will be ugly.
 

watu05

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How to read this? Is Trump betting ready to swallow another loss, so he's conjured up another lie? Or has he given up on elections completely and decided that he will take over control through a non-electoral process, a la Jan 6?

 
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