Challenged on Democracy

I appreciate some friends of mine arguing that this election was not, as I recently wrote, what democracy looks like.  They point out that Hilary Clinton won the popular vote.  According to CNN, voter turnout was at a 20 year low, with 55.4% of eligible voters turning out.  Clinton received 26.5% and Trump 26.3%

From Wikipedia, “According to political scientist Larry Diamond, democracy consists of four key elements: (a) A political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections; (b) The active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life; (c) Protection of the human rights of all citizens, and (d) A rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens. [1]

What I meant was that Donald Trump will win the election if the Electoral College vote reflects the votes of each state.  This is the fifth time a candidate has won the popular vote but lost the election.

We know the other things that are wrong with the election process, including politically drawn voting districts and the multiple tactics to suppress voter registration and turnout.

These things need to be changed.  But this election, if the Electoral College vote reflects the votes of the states, Donald Trump will have won.  We should work to fix these problems, but we also have to accept the results of the system we have in place now.  And organize to resist the policies that are probably coming.


[1]  Diamond, L., Lecture at Hilla University for Humanistic Studies January 21, 2004: “What is Democracy”; Diamond, L. and Morlino, L., The quality of democracy (2016). In Diamond, L., In Search of Democracy. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-78128-2.

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