If there is an answer, and I think that is a very open question, participation in administration and voting must be legally required. I would also say that ignorance of the process and the issues is unacceptable.
Well, you can’t solve the problem with authoritarianistic policies, Mike. The public won’t permit it. Anyone who voted for something like that would be drummed out in the next election. Look what happened with the individual mandate. Completely shifted the balance of power in the US for a decade, and finally got drummed out of law eight years after passage. Public’s got a long memory on things like this.
Question: Do you even know WHY people don’t vote? I’ve been reading about the problems low voter turnout causes for decades, and it’s kind of odd how uncurious people are about the reasons why.
I’d suggest that a good part of it is that the population doesn’t see their vote as something that matters, because the two parties are so close to each other on so many issues. Small differences get blown out of proportion by a media starving for ratings; when the hot topic of debate for an entire year (or two) is where the .5% of the population which is transgendered goes potty, one realizes pretty quickly that the things that really ARE important are being ignored.
Take a look at how the Political Compass people analyzed the last election:
The Political Compass grid is designed to take in all the views of all major parties in a large subset of countries. If one takes a worldwide view of policy, not just an American-politics view, Hilary was actually to the right of Trump; Trump more authoritarian, true, but Clinton more authoritarian than libertarian; Johnson and Stein were only “mildly” to the left and libertarian, respectively.
I’ll include here, for general amusement, the last paragraph from what the PC people wrote prior to the election:
Are the fat cat vulgarian and the hawkish pin-up girl of Wall Street really the finest minds and noblest characters that America could come up with for its highest office? Identity politics will, again, triumph. We’ve had a black leader. Now it will be cool to have a woman, right? Thinking progressives, however, might reflect on the uncomfortable truth that a President Trump would be relentlessly scrutinized, criticized and checked not only by the Democrats, but also by many in his own party. Conversely, a Democratic president, ultimately more different in style than substance, would implement a largely Republican agenda in all but name and get a relatively easy ride. Haven’t the last eight years of neo-conservatism and Democratic deference brought the country too close already to a one-party state masquerading as a two-party state?
And, those differences were actually MORE PRONOUNCED than 2012:
Obama was to the left of the GOP, but measured against real, actual left-leaning parties in Europe, he was still a conservative.
Allow me to digress: I’ve often wondered if the people that don’t vote are smarter than we political junkies are. Maybe they’ve figured out that their lives are not going to be affected WHOEVER gets elected, so they focus on their jobs and families and kids and ignore all the political bullshit; they just see it as irrelevant to them. And they have history to validate that point of view.
And we, who are supposedly more sophisticated than the nonvoting masses….. are we really more knowledgeable, or do we just let the media get us all riled up as they turn small differences into major ones to intentionally fire up our emotions?
If Hilary had been elected, would she not also have tried to overcome the military sequester, the way Trump just did and Obama wanted to? And she most likely would have been all over Syria, supporting the removal of Assad, which is of course the same thing the GOP did in Iraq.
What about corporate taxes? The GOP plan was pretty much the same plan that Obama was pushing; the major difference was 7 percentage points on the marginal rate, which is not nothing, but certainly doesn’t illustrate any huge philosophical difference between the parties. And gee, we have a whopping 4.6% difference in the rate we want to tax our richest 180,000 families. Again, a moderate difference in a marginal tax rate does not indicate a difference in governing philosophy.
And, oh, Keystone. So the GOP approved a straight line pipeline; if the Dems had won, the pipeline would have been built AROUND, rather than through, a relatively small patch of land. A ten mile detour, IIRC. Again, not a big difference in the large scheme of things.
So, if you see the GOP as “crazy”, then I’d suggest to you that the Dems…..are just slightly less crazy, since they differ from the GOP in ….. really not too much that matters.