Is the election system irretrievably broken?
We are at a crisis of confidence regarding elections. Once that confidence is eroded, once the vote tallies can no longer be trusted, then what are we to do?
I won't pretend. I was shocked by the reported election results, and I am suspicious of them. Many of us are. In the aftermath of a crash, the wreckage provides a lot of clues. In the case of an electoral crash, those clues can be used to prevent future damage.
Or can they?
Knowing the reasons for failure is helpful, but converting those into solutions is...well, here, see what I mean.
In recent years, the mantra for elections has been to make sure that every eligible citizen casts a ballot. While the sentiment sounds praiseworthy, the unintended effects have included deception, corruption, and outright fraud. These effects reveal the sentiment itself to be flawed.
Voting is perhaps the closest thing to a secular sacrament. It is done in as much privacy as possible. To tamper with a ballot is, therefore, a crime against the foundation of our republic.
There are, despite the mantra, restrictions on who can vote. Age, criminal history, and citizenship are important factors. For a noncitizen to vote is akin to a foreign invasion of sorts.
Other factors are less clear. Mental deficiency can be so extreme as to preclude voting, but there are so many degrees of that that it is rarely applied, unless the person is in an actual coma.
There is a dangerous idea that only people who are aware of what they are voting for, or against, should cast a ballot. It is dangerous because dictatorships thrive on controlling who (if anyone) can vote. The moment one imposes anything resembling a literacy test, one has crossed into territory dangerous to democratic principles.
Yet one must not ignore the danger of uninformed, easily manipulated people selecting representatives who wield the vast power of government — the power to conscript you into a war, to tax you into poverty, to regulate your business into bankruptcy, and to pass laws that imprison people for life or put them to death. A certain number of such voters can perhaps be absorbed by the great body of the citizenry, but there is a saturation point, after which the right to vote has been rendered ineffective and becomes the tool of oppression, not of liberty.
Are we approaching that point? Have we reached it?
Too few born-citizen voters can pass the test for citizenship that foreign immigrants must pass to obtain the right to vote. Nearly anyone born on American soil is awarded citizenship with no other requirement. Indeed, all of us who were born here are awarded that prize of inestimable value: American citizenship, and with it, the right to steer the nation toward success or failure, toward glory or doom. We share that right, that awesome power, with children of illegal aliens.
Has anyone a better idea? Birthright citizenship has already been soberly questioned, but it is too late. Vast numbers of children of illegal aliens already possess the same civic power as the rest of us, and among the rest of us, far too many have no idea what is, for example, a branch of government. Critically few understand the historic values and heritage of civilization that led to the Declaration of Independence.
Such people too often make their decisions based not on facts or history or the Constitution, but only on the clever deceptions of targeted advertising.
We are at a crisis of confidence in the electoral process. The drive to register everyone as voters, even the abysmally ignorant; the movement to remove the requirement to identify oneself; and the use of computers to tabulate votes with no transparency are all factors that have led to this crisis. Indeed, to question these factors has led to public ridicule in the press, and even to "lawfare" lawsuits by the computer-makers, who refuse to hand over their machines for inspection.
Those already in power are fully aware of this. Why should they change anything?
I fear that the system will be fixed only after it is so broken that the nation becomes ungovernable. As Jesus is reputed to have said, weep not for me, but for your children.