Here's how the U.S. will cease to have a democratically elected government

Originally published at: Here's how the U.S. will cease to have a democratically elected government | Boing Boing



If you haven’t read On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century . It’s a small book, a quick read, and well worth the time. It was written before the 2016 elections and was only more relevant after.

(note: I just shared the same link from the article. I assume any referral commissions got to the same place.)


This scenario does require the GOP to win the House and the Senate while losing the presidency, which seems a bit of a stretch.

It seems more likely they’ll just win the presidency outright, by suppressing the fuck out of poor and minority voters.


It’s from a couple of years ago (before 1/6, before Covid), but it’s still relevant:


The take away here is that traitors in the GOP are OPENLY planning to discredit future elections.

It’s not a mystery to where this is going.


How so? It’s pretty darn common for the opposition party to win significant gains in the legislature during midterm elections, and this time they’ll have the additional advantage of new voter suppression laws keeping Democrats away from the polls.


They don’t really even have to lose the House if something isn’t done about gerrymandering. There is every reason to think they can tip enough seats to just take it. The Senate is in real danger because Georgia learned its lesson about letting BIPOC people vote (ie. Don’t!). If either one of those fall, I fear they could gum up enough to precipitate one of those “Constitutional Crises” that is shorthand for when the GQP just makes up their own rules.

Yep. All of the above.

Edited because iOS insists that “it’s” is more common than “its”; it’s not.


Trump want democratically elected the first time. He lost the popular vote and was elected by a minority.


And, lest we become defeatist, here’s how we stop that from happening:


Sure, but when was the last time a party won the presidency but lost both the House and the Senate?

Which will help them with the presidential election as much as the congressional ones.

It just seems like an unlikely combination.

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Republicans retained control of the White House in 2004 but lost both houses of Congress in the 2006 midterm elections. Prior to that, the Democrats won the White House in 1992 and 1996 but lost both houses of Congress in the 1994 midterm elections. Hardly ancient history.


No-one should say we weren’t warned – by the GOP.


This is the true danger of the voting bills being passed in numerous states. They will empower partisan state legislatures to effectively override the will of the people if they don’t like the person the people have elected.

In 2020, Trump’s attempt to steal the election failed because there weren’t legal mechanisms available for him to overturn the results (hence the lie-fueled coup he and his supporters tried at the very end—violence was their only option). In 2024, if candidate Trump urges the Georgia secretary of state to “find” just enough votes to give him a win, and the secretary of state refuses, Trump will call up the Republican state legislature, which will eagerly agree to “find” those votes for him because they’ve given themselves the power to override the secretary of state.


Sure, but when was the last time a party won the presidency but lost both the House and the Senate?

I read the article as discussing the midterms. The presidency isn’t up for grabs at that point. The article seemed to be specifically referring to 2022 where this is a very possible and even likely outcome considering past midterms.


Not at all farfetched

The process details are vaguely interesting, I guess, but that stuff is all secondary. A society that broadly believes in democracy does not turn into a totalitarian society just because of some arcane paperwork trick.

In the 1930s, a bunch of fascist movements arose independently, and it wasn’t because they all discovered some magic parliamentary loophole. People wanted to get rid of their democratic governments, because those governments had physically fed them into a meat grinder in the 1910s, and then let the survivors be economically smooshed flat in the 1930s, so when those voters were given the option to push a button marked “fuck you”, they pushed it. By the time Hitler or Mussolini bent the “rules” to seize power, that part was just a footnote – the important part was before that, when people decided they didn’t care about the rules.

In some respects, 21st-century fascism is well past that tipping point: the Brexit and Turmp votes were clear instances of people voting for “fuck you”. In other respects, it is quite different – people today haven’t been shat on nearly as hard as they were in the 1930s, and the ones voting to burn it all down are not the ones who’ve been shat on the most, so it’s not clear how much of it is empty posturing.

My guess is we’ll never get a full replay of thirties fascism, because when it comes down to it, Fox viewers wouldn’t sacrifice a single donut for the shit they claim to be willing to die for. But they do have a bottomless supply of rage. So the fear of fascism will become a permanent instrument of political discipline. Your choice will be between a maga chud who can’t figure out a voting button, or an “electable” democrat who doesn’t want to change anything, and either way, the owner class will get what it wants, which is a government that can’t do anything.

By that logic, I’ve pretty much convinced myself that the only sensible option is “Bernie or bust” – vote for socialism, all the time, no matter how horrible the alternatives they put up to frighten you, because there’s no more center to save.


I prefer “vote for Bernie when he’s on the ballot, vote for the non-fascist candidate when he’s not.”

Allowing the fascists to take power because the Democratic candidate was too milquetoast for one’s taste is a losing strategy.


Not enough of a chance to be sure as far as the Presidential vote goes in those states. I doubt they’ll be able to pass their voter suppression laws in Pennsylvania and Michigan, aren’t guaranteed in their current efforts in Georgia, and Wisconsin isn’t a sure thing, either.

If tried to rig the Presidential vote in the same way they’re planning to rig the Congressional and statehouse ones, they’d have to push suppression laws successfully in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, Arizona, and Florida (in addition to Texas). The odds of all of that happening are slim right now.

Keep in mind that the next two election cycles are existential contests for the GOP as well as for American liberal democracy. If the Republicans don’t get their man into the White House in 2024, demographic realities mean that they won’t get another Republican who espouses the current ideology of inequality, science denialism, and white supremacy into the White House for a generation or more. They’ll either have to change (which they’re loathe to do) or accept that they’ve lost the power of the imperial Presidency for good (which they won’t).

That’s why they’re cheating now, that’s why they’re doing their best to deny the “wrong people” the franchise, that’s why they’re willing to destroy confidence in democratic norms. They can’t afford to leave anything to chance or to legitimate processes, so the course that Snyder laid out not only has a rough precedent (as described above re: 1994-1999) but is the only way the Death Cult Party of Greed, Racism and Demonstrable Bad Faith has a chance of remaining relevant going forward.

That will happen, too. There will be more right-wing populist street thuggery starting in 2022 as part of a voter intimidation scheme. If the presidential strategy laid out above doesn’t work out in their favour they’ll go straight to fomenting a Syrian-style civil war; if it does work out the next step is figuring out a pretext for a modern version of Germany’s Enabling Act of 1933, after which they’ll go after political enemies. The GOP accepts that political violence – hard and/or soft – is a given if they want to retain any kind of power in this country.


Yes. THAT is the scariest part of their plan. And by sowing distrust of elections, they are justifying IGNORING the results.

They are certainly trying to purge any elected officials that care more about democracy and appealing to a majority of voters than they do about winning and keeping their unpopular policies. Just as they realized decades ago that state legislatures that draw the boundaries are very important in allowing them to gerrymander to their heart’s content, they are now realizing that having secretaries of state that care more about party loyalty than democracy could allow them to ignore election results and simply have their legislators appoint presidential electors. And they have discovered that there is a substantial minority of potential voters that know little and care less about their policies and just want to “own the libs” or possibly just burn the whole thing down.