L. Neil Smith's
Number 198, November 11, 2002


You Call This 'Democracy'
by Carl Bussjaeger

Exclusive to TLE

"It's a mandate for us to do what we have done ..." - Bill Maupin

As the US election season closes (and did you get your bag limit of politicians?), here's a little something to think about. And hopefully all those anti-American terrorists whom Bloody Rumsfeld is intentionally stirring up[1] will see this, too.

In 2000, Führer Dubya was supposedly elected[2] by a 49% 'majority' of Americans. Think about that: Even taken at face value, this idiot dictator was actually preferred by less than half of the country he's pushing into war. Of course, as always when you start examining US politics up close, the truth is far worse.

Fact is, only about half (51%) of Americans eligible to vote even bothered. So it looks like the dipstick is really only liked by 24% of us Americans. (Think, Mr. Terrorist; only one in four Americans wanted this warmongering chip off the old hawkish block. Don't blame us all.)

But you know what? It's even worse for George the Third. You see, nearly 26% of the American population has no legal say whatsoever in these decisions; they haven't hit the magical political boundary line of eighteen years of age. So Bushy actually got 49% of 51% of just 74% of American approval. Right? A whopping 18%! Oooh!

Ummm... Nope. Probably not. Those numbers don't really account for everyone. Some Americans manage to lose their 'franchise' without getting noticed. Take me as an example: Even assuming I'd wanted to vote in 2000 - I didn't, as NOTA wouldn't be allowed to serve if elected - I wouldn't have been allowed to cast a ballot.

I have a tendency to move around, settling down only for a few months to a year, before loading up the truck moving on. A lot of other people do, too. Which puts us afoul of residency rules that claim we have to be settled down before our voices count. How many are we? I have no idea. But figuring in permanent tourists of my sort and the homeless I've seen estimated in the millions, and the percentage oughta be significant.

That probably knocks Dubya down to 16% or 17% now. Wow, democracy in action! Aren't you glad the majority rules?

My, my. All that from a supposed 51% voter turn out (and one of the higher turn outs in recent years).

But aside from pointing out to the world that seems decidedly unhappy with Americans' chosen leaders, why bring up all this now? That was two years ago, after all.

Well, with politicos clamoring in the news about how Tuesday's voting now justifies this and that, I wanted to establish a baseline for comparison.

That 51% vote put Dubya in office with the approval of less than one fifth of Americans. Maybe fewer than one in six.

Tuesday's turnout was estimated at just 39% of voting-age Americans. A bit more than a third of 74% of us all. Little more than a quarter of all Americans voted at all.

Let's hear it for a resounding mandate from the people.

Uh huh.

[1] Have you heard about Rumsfeld's Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG) intended to " ... carry out secret missions designed to "stimulate reactions" among terrorist groups, provoking them into committing violent acts...:" Brings a wonderful new emphasis to the old, "Hi, I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you," don't you think? With a little luck, those terrorists will be 'stimulated' into doing something about Rumsfeld first.

[2] A little reminder that darned few Americans have really voted for a President; only the Electoral College does that. The 'popular election' is nothing more than a non-binding popularity contest whose relation to the the electoral vote is inconsequential. There; aren't you glad you 'voted'?

Enforcing a 'copyright' on digital material openly posted on the Internet is pointless. But it would be polite to inform the author of any re-posting. Donations would be welcome - especially if you intend to make commercial use of his work - and would encourage the author to keep on working at this. He'd also appreciate it if you linked to his website, www.NorthAmericanSamizdat.com


Net Assets
by Carl Bussjaeger
"Access to Space for Everyone!"

Help Support TLE by patronizing our advertisers and affiliates. We cheerfully accept donations!

to advance to the next article
to return to the previous article
Table of Contents
to return to The Libertarian Enterprise, Number 198, November 11, 2002