Try stealing an election …

Can we just summarize the American election the way it really went down? There was NO voter fraud of ANY relevance or significance. Nothing that would have made any sort of difference. There was a general sense of urgency that pulled the voting to a new record high. Or as most other democracies would have put it; “Participation was not through the floor low”.

The elections weren’t rigged and no election was stolen. But there was a significant attempt to steal it. The sitting president lost fair and square and based on no factual evidence that would hold up in court, repeating lies over and over so that loyal supporters actually believed it and using all other means available to him, Trump tried to fraudulently steal the election he honestly lost. HE tried to steal it, but as the institutions on the country had the spine and did not yield under the pressure we associate with African dictators, the Trump presidency is soon ending.

Democracy prevailed. The attempt to steal it failed. Trump failed to steal it.

This means that there will be elections with the same frequency as there has been. Nothing will change in this aspect. Nothing at all.

Will the US become a socialist country? Well, what is even “a socialist country”? Americans in general have a disturbing ignorance on the matter.

The political scale has libertinisms and communism as the two political extremes. To simplify the matter a bit, libertinisms means “everyone for himself” – there is no society. Communism means abolishing the individual – it’s all for and by the society. No private ownership.

The US today is on the utter extreme – near libertinism. But there is a state, with most the aspects we normally associate with a state. That is socialism if you will, albeit a very light form. If the state took in a tad bit more tax and made society support the weakest of it’s population, that is not necessarily a bad thing. And it’s surely not introducing socialism.

When the gaps in society are too small, there is no incentive to rise to the occasion. No reward in fulfilling one’s dream. If people don’t even look for jobs, as they do just fine on welfare (or are even worse off with a job than on welfare), then the gaps are too small. When the gaps are too big, you will have people in the streets reverting to desperate measures as they have no other way to survive. If you need gated communities to feel safe, that is a sure sign the gaps have grown too wide.

It’s all in the shades of grey. The world is not, has never been and will never be totally black and white. And implementing a bit more caring for your fellow man on the federal level is not a slipper slope to communism. Really not.

People who believe in democracy also believe in a bill of rights. This is not under threat.

There will for sure be freedom of speech, but please understand what that means.

  • Freedom of speech means that the STATE cannot censor you. This puts NO obligations on platforms. A private platform can deny you access to expressing your opinion, by both denying you access, blocking your existing account and by deleting or hiding your posts. Just as a paper can deny you access to them as a vehicle for your opinions. You don’t have a right to be heard so tough luck if no one is interested in being the loudspeaker you want to scream through.
    Free speech doesn’t mean being granted a channel, nor the obligation for others to listen to you.
  • You are also legally liable for what you say – anyone saying something that is punishable by the law of the state (hate speech, incitement and others), can be punished for it. And quite frankly SHOULD be punished for it. This is not a limit for free speech – that is taking consequences for one’s actions. You were allowed to speak freely. People can use THEIR right to speak up against you and several things just cannot be said without risking legal intervention.
    Free speech doesn’t mean you can get away with saying anything you want.

The right to gather, the right to organise, the right to protest, the right to a religion. These are all profound parts of democracies. No one is coming for them. Let’s not discuss guns here, but let’s just say that the world is watching the arguments on why any citizen would need assault riffles to “defend their families”.

But let’s also talk about the other aspect of democracy; the distribution of power. Checks and balances. America will survive this crisis as it has these mechanisms in place, and a president that clearly disrespected the functions, in the end, didn’t manage to have his way.

The free press is an imperative integral part of a working society. Professional news outlets that share what happens. And that keep news reporting apart for opinion sharing. It’s the role of the free press to investigate and criticise the government. Put the limelight on the issues at hand. Ensuring the officials spend the money they get wisely. It’s not the role of the president to have an opinion of that structure, it’s not the luxury of the presidency to have the free press as his PR agents. It’s rather the opposite. If the free press spends too much time praising the president, they are likely not doing a very good job.

For four years, the US has been a global laughing stock. You might not like it, but it’s still a fact and facts can hurt. Doing what’s best for your country and citizens doesn’t means that international relations can be neglected. Selling out allies abroad is not a way to promote one’s own prosperity. The future can also not be in sticking to unhealthy habits. Pissing in the common pool is never a good thing. Going greener – moving away from fossil – is for sure the only way forward, even if this means a number of unsustainable jobs will not be required any longer. Ensuring your products and workforce is competitive is the way forward – not introducing barring customs. If you can’t compete in a free trade market, then you should look at what’s wrong with your products and how you can improve – not how you can defend your mediocrity with customs.

So in summary, for a second the democracy was at stake. Getting Donald Trump off the presidency was key to maintaining democracy. Getting Trump off that char was imperative for the trust in democracy as a system. People being worried that the new presidency will mean major changes can rest assure that this is likely not going to happen. A slight shift in course, understanding that you need to look a bit bigger than optimising your own outcome. It’s not a zero-sum game. If we grow the pie, we can all have a bigger slice, and it’s not going to be on someone else’s expense.