The Actual Problem

August 08, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: 2016 Election

As much as I despise Donald Trump and his infestation of the White House, he’s actually not the problem.  As much as I opposed Hillary Clinton’s candidacy (twice), she’s actually not the problem.  Barack Obama’s presidency being blocked from greater accomplishments is actually not the problem.  All of the screaming heads on cable TeeVee are not actually the problem.  The idiots in state houses all over the country trying to strip people of their rights and places to go to the restroom are not actually the problem.  All the other nonsense going on in politics around the US is not actually the problem.

The actual problem?  It’s the Did Not Vote vote.  Did Not Vote wins most every election.  Have a look at this map:

Of eligible votes in 2016, Clinton received 28.43% (65,845,063) of all votes compared to Trump’s 27.20% (62,980,160) and Did Not Vote received 44.37%(102,731,399).  Did not vote won, and the American people lost.  Again.  This is how you get nut jobs like Dan Patrick, Sid Miller, Greg Abbott, and Rick Perry elected to statewide office.  When half of eligible voters can’t be bothered, this is what you get.  If voters actually voted, Russian hacking wouldn’t matter.  Gerrymandering would have much less effect.  Politicians would be driven toward compromise and making government work, rather than barricading themselves in their extreme corners heaving molotov cocktails at the opposition.  They would stop holding Americans hostage over budget squabbles, healthcare, Social Security, and energy policy.

If the majority of Americans actually voted, we would have a government that actually worked.  As it is today, while people sit around watching America’s Got Talent eating their Cheetos and drinking their Diet Coke, evil and/or crazy people make decisions that damage our democracy, threaten Americans’ lives, and make us the laughing stock of the world.

This is the actual problem.  This is what actually needs to get fixed.




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20 Comments to “The Actual Problem”

  1. Andrew Zachary says:

    Could not vote, was prevented from voting, was afraid to vote, gave up after standing in line for hours – all four together represent a decent percentage of the “Did Not Vote” crowd. What percentage would be a good question to answer, and certainly the Republicans in their effort to suppress the vote provide an important clue – that suppressing the vote works well at keeping them in power.

  2. Well. Something that is finally and totally right on the button!! Excellent analysis! And…short and to the point!

  3. We need a new standard, 50% plus 1 of all ELIGEBLE voters HAVE TO VOTE OR NO WIN.
    Alternative suggestion, failure to vote, or at least sign in at the polling place causes a $50 re-embursement fee to maintain the voting infrastructure.

  4. Sorry I meant to win should require 50% plus 1 eligeble voters to win.

    Presently it seems to take 25% , given the population of the great plaines states that is like the upper 10k of society running the country.

  5. someofparts says:

    A good place to start would be prisons. How many voters do our astronomical incarceration rates kick out of the picture? How many of those who are released are denied the vote in perpetuity because in some jurisdictions they do that to anyone with a felony conviction in their past?

    Beyond that, if we want to reach others who could vote but don’t, maybe someone could find out who ditched Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy and ban those people and their minions from the party. Maybe if the party were seen to be clearly repudiating Vichy Dems, people might start to trust them again.

    You may disagree, but I find this encouraging –

    Folks currently running the party complain that we can’t afford such lack of unity. My gut reaction to that was best given voice by the kids at Chapo Traphouse, when one of them yelled that these leaders who are trying to manage us don’t even win elections anymore. So we keep trusting them to lead us why exactly?

    Honestly, this is what I expect to see any day now –

    If anyone can figure out how to persuade people to vote for that … well, they would have a big future with the Party I guess. Others don’t have the stomach for it and we call them new Canadian citizens – if they are lucky.

  6. JAKvirginia says:

    THIS!! Yes…and thank you El Jefe for pointing out a real problem in American politics. We gnash our teeth a little too much here about things that don’t really matter. Not voting really matters. Thanks again. Nice job.

  7. Marge Wood says:

    Embarrassing isn’t it. Maybe we need to walk neighborhoods, or go in wheelchairs, and talk to everyone at their door and get them to vote while we wait.

  8. I have found over the years that people who really believe they have a dog in the fight are the ones most likely to participate.
    Question: how do you convince the unbelievers?

  9. Somewhere along the way, the logical progression “you, Grasshopper, have a RIGHT to vote” lost connection with that RIGHT is a theory until you exercise it, by voting. And IM<HO the right to vote creates the DUTY to vote. Without having voted, you have given up or away your right to vote.

  10. I think a lot of it has to do with the GOP drumming into their heads for decades the message that government doesn’t work and has nothing to do with them, regardless of all evidence to the contrary, and the GOP’s successful efforts to suppress the vote. Another big reason for not voting is that “My vote doesn’t matter”– virtually all Congressional seats are “safe,” partly because of gerrymandering.

    I think in Australia people are fined for not voting, but I’m not sure I want people who otherwise couldn’t be bothered to get to the polls to be casting a large number of votes when they probably haven’t bothered to learn about the issues and candidates.

    Maybe what would help would be local people, known and reasonably trusted people, hammering the message that THIS MATTERS, reminding the folks of what happened with the last bunch who got in, and do you or do you not want that to happen again? Whichever way you want it go, you have to get your butt to the polls and VOTE to have a say.

    And those who don’t vote have no right to complain.

  11. Incoming rant

    IMO, we need to figure out why people think voting does not matter.

    After all that turmoil in Ferguson,Mo. including the town being inundated by tv cameras for weeks, the next municipal election did not have a good turnout. Why?

    When we were young and thought every person made a difference our whole family was deeply involved in things political in Harris county. DH kept a record of every person the campaigns registered to vote. Then he checked to see if they voted. Half did not. That was in enough campaigns to make a generalization of half.

    Why do many of us think it does not matter, or we just don’t give damn?

    We haven’t even started in on the folks who don’t have a clue how government works. I spent 2 years telling any body who would listen what a county commissioners does. Most have no clue.

    And then there are plenty of Democratic committee people who will not even get their known Democratic voters out to vote in a school board election. They were told why it mattered, how many votes were needed, the whole ball of wax. Had they just turned out their known Democrats, the school experience would have been different for a lot of students. Even they didn’t give a damn. So we gave up on the school board thing.

    Just my 2 cents.

  12. Brewmeister says:

    Ouch! Unfortunately, this time Did Not Vote really left a mark.

  13. Last line from Rhea: And those who don’t vote have no right to complain.

    Could not agree more and getting cranky about it. Whenever anyone complains to me about Trump now, I interrupt and ask if they voted. More than half say no. I then ask do they know what STFU means. They all appear to know that.

  14. Just want to say that Minnesota – my state – often leads the nation in percentage of eligible voters participating. Usually over 70%. Just saying. . .

    Okay, just bragging. We do our part to defeat snacilbupeR
    Did Not Vote.

  15. Chesshiretuna says:

    Because these people believe that by registering to vote they will be called for jury duty……They fear that more than letting crazy win elections.

  16. And if the Electoral College went for Trump, it wouldn’t have made any difference which way the Did Not Vote crowd went. The President (and accompanying VP) are not elected by popular vote. I was shocked when I first learned that 60 years ago, and I still haven’t changed my opinion that it’s a bad idea…no matter who is the winner.

  17. We have met the enemy and he is us.

  18. Marge, in Iowa, we do go door to door. For the bizarre ritual of the caucuses, during early voting, and on election day. So do the republicans
    How we turned red after 8 years of supporting Barack Obama? Did Not Vote. Disproportionately on the democratic side

  19. Lunargent says:

    Cheryl –
    So right.
    My motto is, if you don’t vote, don’t bitch.

  20. My question is why do some of us care so little about all of us?

    Fifty years of conservatives preaching individual rights? Calling any mention of the rights of the group Communist?

    Those of us who care about single payer healthcare and education opportunities for all have been marginalized into oblivion.

    Whatever the Democratic Party is doing is not convincing enough to get people to vote. There is something bad wrong with this picture.

    If the nation we remember is going to survive we are gonna have to come up with better plan than if you don’t vote, don’t bitch.