L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 198, November 11, 2002
You Call This 'Democracy'
Exclusive to TLE
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 will see this, too.
In 2000, Führer Dubya was supposedly elected 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.