A woman at the Women’s March 2018 demonstration in New York holding up a sign that reads "Grab 'em by the midterms"
A woman at a Women's March in 2018 in New York City (Photo by Mirah Curzer / Unsplash)

Schrödinger’s Voting System

Election Day is over at the 2022 midterm elections in the United States and everybody is looking out for the results to see if the midterm curse breaks down President Joe Biden’s ambitions for the latter part of his term. The ‘red wave’ seems to be a no-show but the exact math is still to be done, alongside a couple of run-offs in December.  What definitely stays with us is Joe Biden, his administration and Schrödinger’s voting system.

The American voting system, the management of votes cast, ballots, electronic systems and the postal services have all been blamed by one side or the other in recent history. Most recently and pretty intensely the Republicans, namely Donald Trump claimed – and then the GOP made it cornerstone in the campaign leading up to the midterms – that certain votes were not counted, lost, destroyed or just ignored on Election Day in 2020. Naturally nothing good came out of the blame and the ensuing hate wave. Everything – including a nation’s dignity – went into the trash on Jan. 6th 2021 but it seems as though when a society is so polarized that making claims about the opposing candidate just does not cut it anymore, something new should be found to clear this newfound threshold. And that would be the voting system.

Trump’s claims about the 2020 elections being “rigged” might have been largely unfounded but the rhetoric was certainly enough to make him (certainly himself) the firestarter. And the American left seems to be doing something they never would have thought: following in his footsteps.

The term to observe is “voter suppression” which according to the newly-political  Rolling Stone is a phenomenon of political decisions made in order to turn the minorities away from voting by passing legislation that – allegedly – inherently discourages participation in elections. These regulations include objectively peculiar proceedings purging voter rolls (deleting people off the list of individuals eligible to vote and even if all they did was missing out on some recent elections) but also outright ridiculous allegations. Because according to the philosophy behind “voter suppression”, the requirement to show some sort of ID might be suppressing those who do not have suitable means to identify themselves. Echoing how racist closing out people who cannot give adequate and official answer to the simplest question is not defending rights. This is the horse riding the jockey.

Republicans took it to the extreme blaming the voting system and Democrats are doing the same. The other group meanwhile is adamant that everything goes according to the rules. Everything is fair and free and flawed and rigged at the same time in Schrödinger’s voting system.

And if anything happens in the midterms the left is not thoroughly prepared for and hoping for, we might just listen to “voter suppression” on repeat. Because for many, liberalism plainly equals “never accept no as an answer”. But that is not the way to live.

America better get itself together and maybe a good first step towards a nation not at all homologous but at least on the way of becoming a society, moving away from a Hobbesian state of nature, would be to determine a mutual minimum. Groud rules that are not debated, contested and abused by any overzealous group who think they are above all else.

Tamás Árki
Tamas Arki is an expert in international studies and has worked with various Hungarian publications, both online and print, as a foreign policy journalist.

You may also like

Comments are closed.