The media and political pundits often discuss politics as a horse race between the 2 dominant parties in the US. They portray the battle between Democrats and Republicans as a sports game, focused on who is winning and who is losing… But behind the breathless, endless, coverage, very little attention is paid to the way the democratic processes work.
However, our elected politicians have corrupted these democratic processes over the past decades. These voting processes now have a major influence on who gets elected across our counties and states. This is often subverting the will of the people.
The Incredible Shrinking Swing Seat, 1997-2017
The outcome is clear: in 2016, there were only 33 competitive House races out of 435, according to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.
Our democracy is in danger
Democracy is not a given. Over the past 200 and some years, the nature and form of representative democracy in the US has changed time and again. This change was often for the better! Changing social expectations drove the extension of the right to vote to women, and to all citizens regardless of skin color. These are major examples of progress towards a more representative and fair democracy.
However, uniquely among democratic countries, elected politicians in the US get to set the rules of the game. During these past decades, they have been using and abusing this power to choose their voters and influence the outcomes. Because the Republican party holds the most seats, their policies and patterns are most visible. They have also been quite brazen with their intent: see project ‘Redmap’. However, the Democrats also pursue similar abuses of power to influence the outcomes where they can.
We can change the way our democracy works
The purpose of this website is to explain through regular blogs the underlying democratic processes, and how they are being subverted by politicians. The posts will also highlight what we can do to get the power back in the hands of the American voters.