We Just Witnessed One of the Saddest Days for Democracy We’ve Seen in Decades

barack-obama-sadSince election night Republicans have been on cloud nine. They’re walking around like a proud peacock strutting its feathers for all the world to see. And all I’ve seen or heard from many conservatives is how this election was a “clear message from the American people” and that “it showed just how powerful democracy can be.”

That’s all bullshit.

This election was one of the saddest days for democracy in quite some time. Not because Republicans won so many elections, but because voter turnout was abysmal.

Take this chart, for example, that shows we just had the lowest voter turnout this election than during any other midterm election year since 1982 (that’s as far back as the chart goes). Not just that, but turnout was down in 40 states.

Even a survey done by Gallup showed that voter interest this year, especially with those classifying themselves as independents, was drastically down from previous years. In fact, when it came to independent voters, only 41 percent said they were definitely going to vote. That’s down from 60 percent in 2010.

Now some people might say to themselves, “Well, those could be flawed results. You’re just mad that Democrats lost and now you’re trying to make it seem better for your side!” You’re right, any poll or survey has the potential to be extremely flawed. But then I’d simply encourage those folks to do a quick Google search for “low voter turnout 2014” and see the plethora of articles from South Carolina, New Jersey, Hawaii, California, Texas, Vermont, Indiana and a whole host of other states reporting embarrassingly low voter turnout.

This election wasn’t some kind of “celebration of democracy,” it was the mourning of it. Millions of Americans have become so frustrated with our government that they didn’t even try to vote. To them, what was the point?

While I absolutely disagree with that sentiment, it’s true nonetheless.

Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2010 and since then our government has accomplished practically nothing. That’s been the goal of the Republican party, to obstruct and sabotage everything so that President Obama can’t accomplish anything. And that’s exactly what they’ve done.

It’s been a masterful 1-2 punch. First, they convinced tens of millions of Americans to irrationally fear the president so much that no matter what kind of crap they pulled, it was “justified to stop the Obama agenda.” Then they proceeded to do just that.

Just think about the reality we face right at this very moment. There are literally millions of conservatives who hate Obama, and detest the thought of “Obamacare,” who are benefitting from the law. People whose lives are better because of a law that they want repealed. You know how good you have to be at propaganda to get people to behave so irrationally?

Then we can’t forget about the millions of everyday conservatives who rely on Social Security and Medicare to survive…who claim to be ardent opponents of any and all socialism. That level of hypocrisy and irony speaks for itself.

But there’s a reality Republicans love to ignore that still exists regardless: Their widespread victories this election year weren’t a result of a massive and passionate showing of democracy by Americans – but the absence of it.

Democrats acted like cowards, liberals were apathetic and independents were disillusioned with both parties.

And when that trifecta happens, the party that benefits most is the Republican party. Like good sheep being led to the slaughter, conservative voters will blindly follow their Republicans shepherds no matter what ridiculous propaganda they try to sell them.

So one of the greatest victories the Republican party has experienced in quite some time – came on one of the saddest days for democracy that we’ve seen in this country in decades.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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