The winners of tomorrow’s ballot can and should boil their reasoning and excuses down to one word: turnout. JP, it is not true for the left that being more extreme will launch them into office. Regardless of which party gets power, the WRONG thing to say is “we should stick to our guns more.” Combat is not the answer, though it is what we’ll get regardless of who is in the Oval Office. Nor is actual compromise on the right going to be the reason Romney might be office tomorrow.
Who shows up at the polls is the reason. And it is the backbone of democracy.
White, older voters do show up, and they are represented disproportionately as a result. Voter suppression– shortened voting days, identification requirements, advertisements and poll workers that intimidate – these are tricks of the right and could make a real difference. The left could mitigate this malicious legislation by agreeing to “clean up” voter registration rolls. However, the whole matter is the creation of an issue where none exists. There are more important things to occupy anyone’s time. Gerrymandering is another evil of partisan politics that changes voter influence and consequently voter turnout.
Any person on either side of the political spectrum who stays home or does not vote – for any reason – harms our nation. Inflamed and enraged voters are not better voters; educated and empowered voters are.
If the populace of voters were to increase, even by 10% (historically, about 65% turn out for presidential elections, much less in “off years”), we would see that most of us are not ideologues. Our low turnout is simply a slap in the face to our own freedom, and it serves to lower any global image of this country being exceptional, or even great. Most of us simply want to see actual results and productivity from our government. The vast majority know that genuine deliberation over issues will get us there.
Furthermore, the platform of the democrats is clearly the platform of the present majority of voters. And the right’s agenda will see a shrinking number of supporters. The left’s agenda will gain supporters. Polling and research back this up. The agenda of the right tends to be a wish list, and the left’s is more of a rational plan for public improvement.