2018 November Election Retrospective

Who lost the senate yesterday?

We the people lost. Democracy lost.

“Voters cast 44.7 million votes for Democratic Senate candidates and 32.9 million votes for Republican Senate candidates…”

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/significant-digits-for-wednesday-nov-7-2018/

And yet republicans are claiming victory and will gain at least two seats. To be clear: This is not what democracy looks like.

It is what a constitutional republic designed to limit the power of democracy looks like.

Gerrymandering is a time honored tradition, created in the earliest days of this republic to try to balance the that power even in the face of popular opposition.

Fortunately, because we live in a democratic and constitutional republic there is a way to fix this. All we have to do is pass a constitutional amendment changing the balance of power away from the power brokers in the legislature towards the people, and in Michigan we took this step yesterday as well. A clear majority that values real democracy and voted almost 2 to 1 to end gerrymandering in our state.

So, in the end the voters of Michigan win. A big thanks to everybody who voted on this — it goes a long way towards restoring my faith in democracy.

Of course there are still big risks for our democracy: Aristotle rightly pointed out that demagogues can use propaganda techniques to create a new kind of democratic tyrany which destroys the rule of law.

To the extent that powerful voices can use propaganda tools to “manufacture consent” and the rise of social networking platforms as tools to do exactly that, I believe that the powers

  • active use of propaganda tools to undermine our country by motivated and well funded foreign sources,
  • a growing partizan divide,
  • a growing rift between urban and rural communities,
  • a long-standing strain of anti intellectualism among evangelicals,
  • a long-standing strain of anti-evangelical thinking among liberals,
  • a growing divide between the moral code held by those on the left and the right.

Not to mention the a massively increase in social inequality that is being used used to kindle further the urban/rural intellectual/evangelical and right/left divides. More on that next time.