Quantcast
Connect with us

The biggest political party in America you’ve never heard of

Published

on

- Commentary

If I asked you to name the biggest political party in the United States, what would be your answer? You probably have two guesses that come to mind: the Democratic party or the Republican party.Well, it’s neither.

It’s the party of Non-Voters.

Let’s look at the last presidential election: 100 million Americans who were eligible to vote in 2016 DID NOT vote. That’s a bigger number than the number who voted either for Donald Trump or for Hillary Clinton. In Michigan, for example, where the contest came down to roughly 10,000 votes, it’s plausible to say that non-voters were the ones who decided the election.

ADVERTISEMENT

Non-voters — those Americans eligible to vote but don’t — are in effect America’s biggest political party. Unless we work to reverse this trend, they could decide the next election.

So who are these missing voters? They are Americans who are most affected by decades of a broken political system, economic inequality, and laws designed to make it harder to vote. They are people of color, young people, and people with lower incomes.

At the same time, these missing voters tend to be more progressive than most voters. For example, non-voters are more likely to support higher taxes to pay for government services, a higher minimum wage, a federal jobs guarantee, and other progressive priorities.

There are also seven million young people of color who weren’t old enough to vote in 2016 but will be 18 by the 2020 election. These voters will also be critical to mobilize.

All of which means that voter turnout will determine our future. These non-voters are potential voters, and recent elections with record turnout show that we’re headed in the right direction.

ADVERTISEMENT

The key question is how to get even more of them to the polls. Four steps:

1. Make it easier to vote, not harder. Some states have enacted laws to suppress the votes of people of color and young people, such as requiring an ID, reducing the number of polling places in Democratic districts, and purging voter rolls. These tactics must be ended. The Voting Rights Act, which for decades kept some of the worst practices in check until major provisions were struck down by the Supreme Court, must be restored.

And we need to make it easier to vote by making Election Day a federal holiday; enacting Automatic Voter Registration, for example when people turn 18; and voting by mail.

ADVERTISEMENT

2. Mobilize young voters. They’re a huge potential voting block. In the 2018 midterm elections, 36 percent of voters aged 18 to 29 cast ballots, shattering turnout records from the past quarter-century and contributing to major Democratic victories across the country

3. Inspire enthusiasm and grassroots energy around big ideas and bold policies, not milquetoast, consultant-driven half-measures. Look at Stacey Abrams’s campaign in 2018. Even though she didn’t win, Abrams ran a bold campaign and worked to turn out Democratic voters that had largely been ignored in the red state of Georgia. As a result, Abrams garnered more votes — 1.9 million — than any other Democrat running for any office in the history of the state, including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Jimmy Carter.

ADVERTISEMENT

4. Personally encourage others to vote. Make sure they know how to register, and when and where to vote. Tell them to be a voter.

Rebuilding America starts with the simple act of voting. If we can activate even a fraction of those 100 million non-voters, we can restore American democracy and make our economy and our democracy work for the many rather than the few.

This is why it’s so important for you to vote – and urge everyone you know to vote, too.

ADVERTISEMENT

This article was originally published at RobertReich.org


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

Will Wednesday’s debate finally prove that Bloomberg is not Batman?

Published

on

After months of highly repetitive Democratic primary debates that, with pointless inevitability, turn into tedious squabbles over different health care plans that will never actually be passed in their proposed forms, there's finally going to be some real tension going into a debate again. That's because information billionaire and former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg is expected to show up tonight in Las Vegas, having purchased his way into the debate by infusing the airwaves and our very bloodstreams with a series of ads that are as inspiring as Bloomberg the man is not.

This article was originally published at Salon

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

An insider says that white rural Christian America has a ‘dark, racist underbelly’

Published

on

A common theme keeps cropping up from all sides: "Democrats fail to understand white, working-class, fly-over America.”

Trump supporters are saying this. Progressive pundits are saying this. Talking heads across all forms of the media are saying this. Even some Democratic leaders are saying this. It doesn’t matter how many people say it, it is complete BS. It is an intellectual/linguistic sleight of hand meant to draw attention away from the real problem. The real problem isn’t East Coast elites who don’t understand or care about rural America. The real problem is that rural Americans don't understand the causes of their own situations and fears and they have shown no interest in finding out. They don’t want to know why they feel the way they do or why they are struggling because they don’t want to admit it is in large part because of the choices they’ve made and the horrible things they’ve allowed themselves to believe.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Clinical psychologist explains how Ayn Rand helped turn the US into a selfish and greedy nation

Published

on

The 'Atlas Shrugged' author made selfishness heroic and caring about others weakness.

This story first appeared at AlterNet.

Ayn Rand’s “philosophy” is nearly perfect in its immorality, which makes the size of her audience all the more ominous and symptomatic as we enter a curious new phase in our society....To justify and extol human greed and egotism is to my mind not only immoral, but evil.— Gore Vidal, 1961

Only rarely in U.S. history do writers transform us to become a more caring or less caring nation. In the 1850s, Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was a strong force in making the United States a more humane nation, one that would abolish slavery of African Americans. A century later, Ayn Rand (1905-1982) helped make the United States into one of the most uncaring nations in the industrialized world, a neo-Dickensian society where healthcare is only for those who can afford it, and where young people are coerced into huge student-loan debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.

Continue Reading
 
 
close-image