Voter Suppression Can Only Work if…

Anyone who thinks the Republican “message” is why they keep beating us in elections is remarkably gullible. There I said it. Phew.

Republicans win because of a two-pronged approach that we could counter easily, if PUBs and the professional left were just a bit smarter. Sorry guys, but this is directed at the Bernie Stans and others who think they’re smarter than everyone else when it comes to politics. THIS is how Republicans win elections. Pay attention.

First, they secure their base votes by making us “lib’rulls” mad. You know all of that nasty shit their media, which I refer to as The Right Wing Fart Machine, say about liberals? They don’t necessarily believe that crap, but the only way they can make sure they have credibility is by making us mad. Every time they say something that makes us mad, the Unicorn Brigade respond to their attacks, and helps them with their main goal, which is to secure the base. That’s how they always pull 90-95% every election. How does it feel to know progressives helped? There is nothing that makes a far right Republican voter happier than when a liberal takes on one of their heroes. Every time we amplify one of Ted Cruz’s insane missives and show our anger over it, we actually help them secure their base for the election. Every time we repeat one of Caribou Barbie’s or Donald Trump’s word salads and then get angry, we reassure Republican base voters that they’ve backed the right horse. We actually have a lot to do with energizing the right wing base because we give them credibility. Too many “progressives” simply don’t understand how politics works, they either don’t think that what they say matters or they don’t understand how it matters.

The truth is, there is a method to their madness. The most potentially dangerous aspect of the Republican electoral strategy is to depress turnout. Modern Republicans actively attempt to encourage people to not show up and cast a vote. They do that because they know their base will show up in droves every election and their 25 percent of the electorate will count more if most of the other 75 percent doesn’t bother.

In 2014, for example, the worst election for Democrats in nearly a century, overall turnout was 36 percent. Republican turnout was just above 90 percent. Do the math: 90 percent of 25 percent is 22.5 percent of the electorate. On the one hand, if turnout is 36 percent, Republicans will always win. On the other hand, if turnout tops 50 percent, winning is difficult. If it is anywhere close to 60 percent, it is virtually impossible for them to win. One reason we had a progressive era when we aligned with Democrats was because turnout during presidential elections was almost always above 60 percent and in mid-terms, it was always at or above 50 percent. Higher turnout means Republicans will never win, which means our best strategy as progressives should be to work to increase turnout. Why don’t we do that? Because the PUBs think it makes them feel smarter to argue with right wingers (it doesn’t) and the professional left get PUBs to send them money by telling them what dufuses right wingers are.

That is why Republican rhetoric is so overwhelmingly negative. It’s why they pick fights with us; it makes people think “both parties” are basically made up of petulant idiots, which makes them less likely to bother voting. If everyone on both sides is screaming at each other incoherently, why choose a side at all? Which one is more appealing, do you think?

Think about it. When you go to the park for a quiet stroll, or to eat a lunch quietly, and two people start screaming at each other, are you more likely to listen to what they have to say, or less? Even if you stick around, it’s likely you’re only there because you’re hoping one of them will punch the other, so you’re likely not listening, anyway. That’s not how voters think, anyway. They don’t want to vote for chaos or a train wreck. Voters want to vote for something. They want the people they vote for to make things better for them, or their families, or even America. Voters become discouraged when both parties scream at each other and the whole process is unpleasant. The same goes for the whole “Democrats suck” meme coming from the unicorn left.

Most voters already know Republicans suck, and they want to vote for an alternative. So, what do you imaging you accomplish when you decide you’re a Bernie Sanders fan and you think that status requires you to call Hillary Clinton names or call her corrupt or a “tool of Wall Street”? I mean, imagine you’re a voter and you already know the entire GOP is a “tool of Wall Street.” When you hear from people you often agree with that Hillary is the same, what do you imagine that does to their desire to turn out to vote? It would be bad enough if it was true, but it’s rarely true.

That’s a common part of the narrative coming from PUBs and the professional left. They lie and claim that Democrats and Republicans are basically the same. But that’s not the worst part. Worse, their rhetoric often implies that many people who show up to vote won’t Have a chance to cast a vote that counts. When our side talks incessantly about voter suppression, voter ID laws and gerrymandering, we discourage more voters and give Republicans a leg up.

Let’s be clear; voter suppression itself doesn’t suppress votes. None of the tactics Republicans love can even work until turnout goes way up. Think really hard. As long as turnout tends to be really low, how is it possible for any voter suppression effort to make a difference? The purpose of voter suppression is to, well, suppress voters. If voting is already suppressed going in, to the point that 64 percent of voters already don’t cast one, why would anyone employ voter suppression tactics?

There is a reason, of course, and it’s easy to figure out why, if you really want to. They know we’ll be outraged and we will talk about it incessantly. That not only fires up their base, but it also lets a lot of “on the fence” voters think their vote won’t count. That is the reason they use it.

In other words, voter suppression doesn’t work the way you think it does; it’s a tool to encourage people to stay home on Election Day. If you’ve been whining self-righteously about all the “voter suppression tactics” employed by the GOP, you should know that you are actually helping them complete their voter suppression mission. Instead of talking about it constantly, here are some ideas; register more people; make sure people who need ID get one. Better yet, stop helping elect more Republicans. After all, their main strategy is to depress turnout, which is pretty much the same as voter suppression, anyway. Keeping Republicans from being elected should be easy, right? I mean, look at their track record. How does a party with such a pathetic track record keep getting elected? Because the loudest and most visible element of the progressive movement does such a great job of pumping them up, at the same time they make a greater number of people think their vote doesn’t matter.

Stop talking and do something about “voter suppression.” The more you talk, the more votes you suppress. Get rid of Republicans and strengthen voter protection laws and you will never have to worry about the problem again.

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One comment

  1. Gullible, that’s a powerful word.

    The purity trolls often have their hearts in the right place, but they cherish their tribal nonsense to the point that they interpret bland statements of fact as insults to the brotherhood and attacks on the group.

    For instance, Snopes recently soiled its reputation by denying the obvious fact that Green Party candidate Jill Stein is a howling loon. They asked her point blank “are you antivaccine” and she answered “no, I just have questions about vaccine safety” which is exactly how crackpots talk. If she were on the level she would have said “no, of course not’ like any sane person, but she had to blow the “safety” dog whistle to reassure her target audience.

    So when a group of PT acquaintances was gloating over the Snopes FALSE verdict I mentioned that they were being gullible over a simple matter of fact and they exploded as if I had insulted the fertility totem of a primitive savage band in some cheesey 1930s adventure flick.

    They like to pose as the World’s Toughest Negotiators, but my observation is that they come home a lot more often with magic beans than they do with milk cows.

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