The Blog That Wasn’t

Based on various prognostications preceding this year’s midterm elections, the Spirited Reasoner had been preparing a post along the following lines: What happens to a democracy when a majority of its citizens votes for a dictatorship? Can it still be called a democracy? After all, that was the route Russia seems to have followed when it elected Vladimir Putin, who then began the steady process of seizing more and more power from passive voters.

The projected midterm scenario was a bleak one. Dozens of election deniers would be elected in state after state because voters who felt differently would be too intimidated to go to the polls. Losing candidates would refuse to concede and would, instead, support armed mobs who attacked poll workers. The new Congress would be overwhelming comprised of Trump supporters determined to impose one-party rule.

My questions, above, would have been sincere. How, indeed, can I call myself a supporter of democracy if I refuse to accept what seems to be the will of a majority of my fellow citizens, albeit an angry majority? Don’t I have to go along with the will of the people?

When the Nazi Party began to take root in post-World War I Germany, many decent Germans faced that same question. What is my duty to my country when so many of my fellow citizens seem to support the policies of Adolf Hitler?

In the United States of 2022, the question was looking eerily similar.

Thankfully, the scenario outlined above did not materialize. Although Republicans fared as well as Democrats in many districts across the nation, those who lost conceded gracefully in almost every case. Those who won were, in many cases, of the more sensible variety of conservatism. Candidates who campaigned openly as election-deniers lost in state after state.

Poll workers have been able to count votes, even in cases where margins appear to be razor thin, without obstruction. (At least so far.) Regardless of which party finally achieves a majority in the U. S. Congress, it appears our democratic system will remain in place.

Americans, for the most part, decided their democracy was worth more than the price of a tank of gas.