There’s a long-held belief in Washington, DC that spending the most money equals an election win. And then came Donald Trump.
The billionaire certainly had the resources to out-spend Hillary Clinton. Instead, he focused on getting his message straight to the people.
Trump certainly taught both Republicans and Democrats a few lessons when the dust settled over the 2016 election. It’s not always about the money. And yet, the left showed up in 2020 with the same tired strategies.
Two days ago, the mainstream media predicted Jaime Harrison would beat incumbent senator Lindsey Graham.
The American Prospect wrote:
Ten years ago, the South Carolina Democratic Party was so moribund that Alvin Greene, an unemployed veteran who made no appearances and had no yard signs or advertising, won the nomination for a U.S. Senate seat. Greene, who became a cable news celebrity for his erratic interviews, didn’t spend much more than the $10,440 filing fee on the entire race. This year, Jaime Harrison, who brought the party back as state chair from 2013 to 2017, has spent an unheard-of $100 million, the most for a single Senate race in history, as he challenges a suddenly vulnerable Lindsey Graham. Polls show the closest Senate contest in the Palmetto State in decades. How did this happen in perhaps the quintessential conservative state?
“Lindsey Graham thought it was going to be a cakewalk,” said House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn in an interview with the Prospect. In a state that has voted Democratic for president just once since 1960, and hasn’t had a Democratic senator since Fritz Hollings, the last of the “Solid South” Democrats who retired in 2005, that was perhaps a reasonable assumption. But since Harrison first announced his campaign, he’s built support across all demographics with a motivated base of Black voters as well as white voters of all ages, a rainbow coalition that’s observable at his rallies. Clyburn says anecdotally he even knows some Trump voters who will also be filling in the bubble next to Harrison’s name on their ballots.
Clyburn adds that people underestimated the network of support Harrison built as chair of the state Democratic Party, and how well Harrison, who was born and raised in Orangeburg, connects with voters in the Palmetto State.
It’s bubbly picture painted of the South Carolina candidate.
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But it left out one vital tidbit. Republicans hold two decades of dominating Graham’s seat. And in a time like this, even if the GOP was disgruntled with Graham, they’d vote for him in an effort to support the partisan politics.
Democrats created a dangerous situation with their extreme policies. We have a nation of people facing pressure to simply pick party over candidate. Especially on the right. We know turning over a seat could make the difference between rebuilding a nation and tearing one to pieces.
But the fact is, the GOP is not disgruntled with Graham. However, that didn’t stop Fox News from characterizing Graham’s loyalty to the Presidents as a bad habit. Because it’s much easier to see Trump as the enemy than it is to admit our own culpability in the state of America.
Do you think our government wrecked itself? Let’s be honest here. We’ve ignored our power and let the swamp seep into our front yards.
The greatest power we possess is the ballot box. And we don’t use it. At least, we haven’t been using it. But it is the one tool we have to craft a government of the people BY the people. Perhaps we’ve spent a century assuming the votes don’t matter.
According to History:
The highest voter turnout rate for a presidential race was in 1876, when 82.6 percent of eligible voters (white and Black men) cast ballots in the race between Republican Rutherford Hayes and Democrat Samuel Tilden.
Over the following decades, the elections that brought huge turnouts all faced intense partisan divide. Most revolved around issues of civil rights and slavery.
In the 20th century, voter turnout peaked during the very first presidential election. In 1900, the year that Republican William McKinley won reelection, the voter turnout was 73.7 percent. After that, the turnout rate never rose above 65.7 percent, which was the rate for the 1908 election in which Republican William Howard Taft won.
Obama’s first term boasted an turnout rate of 60.2. And the 2016 election brought in approximately 60% of the registered voters. But this year promised to be the election of epic proportions. More than one-hundred million voters cast early ballots. But today, I read that our amazing turnout is expected to be somewhere around 65%!
What a discouraging number that is! Especially considering other countries easily out-do us.
Comparison of Voter Turnout
|Country||Turnout of eligible voters|
|South Korea, 2017||
|United States, 2020*||
|New Zealand, 2020||
|United Kingdom, 2019||
Obviously, the country is dead-locked right now. A clear winner hasn’t been declared. Personally, I still see a path for Donald Trump to hit 270 electoral votes. But what we need to take from this, no matter how it turns out, is that the responsibility belongs to us all.
We can’t rely on the older people to vote. Or the Latinos, or the Blacks, or the Women. The election can’t be won because one demographic showed up in larger numbers. The only way to fully execute democracy is to demand a participation rate that accurately represents the people.
It’s too early to call the election. It’s too late to mobilize the voters. All we can do now is make a plan to do better. And pray. I think it’s time we all ask our higher power to watch over our president, and keep his leadership in the White House.
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