The United States: An Imperfect Electoral System in a Devalued Democracy

The September 11, 2001 the territory of The United States is no longer invulnerable. Two decades later On January 6, 2021, the assault on the Capitol showed that their democracy is not infallible either. Neither virtuous, nor exemplary, nor as its think tanks paint it. Donald trump and the blind cult of his overwhelming personality, helped to bare what was – and is still today – the structure that orders his internal relationships. Which in turn explain its foreign policy. That cornerstone of a system of domination that many nations suffered. By weapons or by economic suffocation. As John Quincy Adams, its sixth president, said in 1821: “The United States does not go out into the world in search of monsters to destroy: it wants freedom and independence for all, but defends and vindicates only its own.”

This year that is beginning to pass, it will not break the linear history of its domestic affairs. The high concentration of resources accelerated in a pandemic. In 2020, 1% of its population accounted for 35% of the new wealth created. It is a data from the Federal Reserve as of March 2021. Amid apocalyptic speculation, 2022 hardly brings encouraging changes. Although interpretations of a possible civil war have given way somewhat – as Noam Chomsky assessed in September 2020 – the country continues to be cracked.

With the aggravating circumstance that it has the world’s highest per capita arms index, its unresolved racial conflict is still latent, inflation soared after 39 years and remains at the top of infections (54.9 million) and deaths (825 thousand) by Covid-19 repowered by its last two strains: delta and omicron.

Trumpism without Trump The Republican Party is already being considered as an alternative to contest the hegemony of the Democratic Party in both houses. The electoral calendar establishes that the November 8 there will be midterm elections. Statistics show that in 75 years a new president only won the legislative elections in 2002 for the House of Representatives. It was when George W. Bush had the sum of public power and a high level of approval for his warmongering speech after the attack on the Twin Towers. Before and after, two Democratic leaders lost by knockout. In 1994, Bill Clinton saw his party’s bench reduced by 54 seats and Barack Obama fared worse: he was left with 64 fewer in 2010. Despite everything, both were re-elected two years later.

The excess of the former president magnate and his most fervent followers, a mix of nostalgic slavers, the Tea Party, QAnon and adherents of the National Rifle Association (NRA, for its acronym in English), allowed what is not often seen to be seen. go from voting system in USA

Trump came close to snatching victory in the Electoral College from Joe Biden in November 2020, as he had already done when he beat Hillary Clinton in 2016, despite the fact that the Democratic candidate won an additional 2.8 million popular votes. The indirect system makes these political tricks possible. He even allowed the Supreme Court to intervene when it ruled in 2000 in favor of Bush (h) and against Al Gore in the state of Florida. Clinton’s vice president had won – like Hillary – by the sum of direct votes, but not in the Electoral College. The current regime defined that controversial vote in one of the democracies with the lowest participation in the world. Voting is not mandatory and national elections are held on Tuesdays.

The Gerrymandering

The complex plot to decide candidacies At all levels in the US it is even more problematic when gerrymandering is considered. What does this very specific and unknown concept mean? It comes from Elbridge Gerry, signer of the Declaration of Independence, vice president and governor of Massachusetts. Every ten years, when the population is census, the voters are redistributed in all the districts: federal, by state and in each town or city. Potential voters are grouped based on a system that emerged in the United States in the early 19th century. A district map is drawn to allow one party to benefit to the detriment of another when representatives are elected.

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This formulation was taken to the Supreme Court in 2019 for challenge, but the court decided not to intervene. It is still used and more attributed to Republicans, even though Democrats also used it at certain times.

Rich Robinson, a Silicon Valley lawyer and political consultant, writes as a columnist for the Californian media San Jose Spotlight. His opinion on the electoral system of his country is eloquent: “In 2018, the national vote for the United States Senate was 53 million for Democrats and 35 million votes for Republicans. Republicans won two Senate seats to increase their majority. Therefore, the idea of ​​democracy in the United States is currently a sham. ”

Last December, the state of Texas was sued by the Department of Justice because it had redistricted so that the Latino, black and Asian minorities – with the fastest demographic growth – lost their electoral potential. A month earlier, in November, a Texas law validated by Republican Gov. Greg Abbot with his signature, hindered the right to vote for people who are elderly, disabled or do not speak English for this year’s legislative elections.

This type of electoral gimmicks – which the current president denounced as “undemocratic” – escalated because of what will be at stake in November: the 435 seats in the House of Representatives are renewed and 34 of the 100 seats in the Senate whose leadership the Republicans lost in simultaneous with Trump’s electoral defeat. Texas is the state that increased its population the most in the last decade. Its new residents are basically Democrats. On December 7, the Mexican newspaper The Day Title: “gerrymandering-shame-of-democracy / “> EU: gerrymandering, shame of democracy”From the San José Spotlight, specialist Robinson compared that system to Apartheid.

Foreign policy

The State Department’s Office of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor says on its official website that “a central objective of the United States’ foreign policy has been the promotion of respect for human rights, as reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human rights”. Something went wrong or it is a set for other purposes, such as the OAS. Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has engaged in seven wars as a planetary police, toother interventions of less intensity. The soft or institutional coups that it encouraged in Latin America under different governments, Republicans or Democrats, in recent years do not count. Neither did those that cost – only in the region – thousands of victims since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, which turned 63 on January 1.

A nation that does not respect the Charter of the United Nations does not seem the best promoter of human rights. That 1945 document establishes that the use of force will only be legitimate in self-defense or if authorized by the United Nations Security Council. The United States was never very interested in what the rest of the world thinks of its interventionist policies. This is proven by the blockade applied to Cuba since February 3, 1962, signed by John F. Kennedy. It is thirty years and twenty-nine consecutive diplomatic victories for the island at the UN, with the only interruption in 2020 due to the pandemic. Biden, a Democrat like the former president assassinated in Dallas in 1963, does not seem inclined to change anything. The world will remain unsafe and America’s historical responsibility is well documented.

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