04 Aug Duopoly Weakpoints. Donor Class. Third Party Insertion.
Whether you’re Left or Right or Center, Progressive, Republican or Democrat, you’ll already have a vague idea there’s ‘cheating’ in the vast, complex electoral systems of American democracy. Depending how close you look into it and probably which party you support (if you’re on one of the teams), you’ll know about deliberate gerrymandering, redlining, mandated incompetence, franchise restrictions, slippery deadlining, vote rigging, voter suppression, yadda yadda yadda.
Let me try to express two observations and a suggestion.
First, the extent of ‘establishment’ cheating has a manipulation limit, maybe + or – 5%. In the majority of election races (when they’re not simply a rotten coronation) a 5% dealer bonus certainly makes it harder to win against the house.
But in fact – if I can explain this right – this cheat % also opens a route to expose weakness in our system’s corporate duopoly model for democracy capture.
Second, the capture paradigm needs its two anointed ‘establishment’ parties battling over a few percent swing of an electorate polarized roughly fifty-fifty.
The impact of the cheating manipulation pales in comparison with the entrenched ‘establishment’ polarized duopoly de facto oligopoly monopoly🤣 that looks like democracy; and in a legal sense is.
The polarized duopoly model exists to safeguard ‘establishment’ continuity against potential third way disruption. Two parties with around 50% each makes a virtually impossible mountain to climb while ensuring propaganda machines, legislative imposition and – when elections roll around – campaign resources they can focus on fighting over the relatively small percentage of swing/floating voters. The base of both parties is locked into well-trained team support absolutism – heavy artillery to be deployed as or when needed.
We’ve seen how effective the duopoly monopoly has been and continues to be, despite the challenges of Neoliberalism, Financial Crisis, 9/11, trillions of dollars in perpetual wars, etc. It’s proven itself stable and profitable. Thousands are employed in its perpetuation; and well paid in money and prestige for doing their job plausibly, intelligently and consistently.
Democracy as a principle is subverted without direct alienation of too many of the voters. A few percentage cheated. Doesn’t impact the vast majority and the swing/floating voters provides a useful litmus of population discontent every few years, with hardly any risk to threaten the ruling hegemony.
There have been anti-plutocracy candidates performing very strongly with no party mechanism – Perot (1992 Presidential 19%), McMullin (2016 Presidential 20% Utah only), Wallace (1968 Presidential 13.5%) – but so what? Never ends in victory. Never takes power from the duopoly. Doesn’t change the result, for the electorate: another loyal plutocrat ‘elected’ to serve the interests of the wealth and influence of the permanent donor class.