We’ve got the Roberts Court gutting the Voting Rights Act. We’ve got Republican legislatures all over the country working on passing draconian voting laws to disenfranchise Democrats and minorities. We’ve got states making it legal to conceal-carry firearms without a permit. What the heck is going on here?
It’s one of the quirks of American politics that both sides can sincerely feel that the other side is winning.
The things you describe sound more like desperation than winning to me. They’re “winning” in the sense that Germany was temporarily winning at the Battle of the Bulge at first, near the end of World War II; a last-ditch desperate offensive to stave off the inevitable.
Surely there is a huge problem - with three major features:
- Republicans lie a lot … and they have a solid minority that believe the lies
- if Republican Governors can disenfranchise enough Democrats and minorities (as ekedolphin said), they can win back several key States
- their cult leader is a lying, narcissistic bigot
They have been losing for decades, but able to modify the rules & discourage the opposition from playing to keep themselves relevant. What we are seeing is their latest attempt to do so, as they fall further and further into a minority, but one still very much in the power structure. It’s that part, the republicans still hold power that allows them to modify the rules, however they are not the only ones in power, so it’s limited what they can do. I doubt the US is going the way of apartheid due to the way the government was set up, the republican house of cars will fall, but till it does they can do what they can to rewrite the rules to make them still a ruling power.
Their latest attempt to stop paths to immigration and thus path legal citizenship for a class that tends to vote democratic will also slow this shift, and I suspect restricting/preventing abortions may favor republicans as more home grown voters are created in the long term, but I also suspect it’s too little too late, the republicans can only do so much to cheat the scales.
What’s happening is that the mechanisms within our political system are being exploited by people who subscribe to the idea that the U.S. is an illiberal republic and not a democracy. Conservatives have been losing ground in terms of popular vote over the last 20 years, and yet they have disproportionate power thanks to gerrymandering. But going forward, instead of there being a slight discrepancy between popular will and political power and outcomes, the republicans are taking steps to ensure that this gap widens considerably. And when that happens, the value of elections goes way down, which is what they want.
All of the things that people take for granted: having a 40-hour work week, having a basic social safety net, having the right to work on a job without fear of losing your limbs, being able to live in a building without the fear that it’ll collapse while you sleep, and having legal recourse if it does…all of those things are now in serious jeopardy and probably won’t survive unless there is a way to prevent the lurch toward illiberalism.
I could be giving the Republican voters less credit than they deserve, if that’s possible, but here’s my hypothesis. IMHO a large part of the problem is that deep down a lot of Republican voters don’t care about those things. They’d be happy to get rid of those things as long as it means that the Blacks, Mexicans, gays, etc. have it worse off than them and a few rich assholes (who for some reason I don’t understand the average Republican voter seems to believe deserve all the wealth they have) get to live in luxury.
So? In many of those states it’s always been legal to carry guns openly without any permit or license. Why should It be required to cover it up? What’s the difference? What’s the big deal?
Yes, I suspect that, if the OP were a member of the conservative right, he could find at least as many signs that “the liberal left is winning.”
Yes, but they’d be fictional: The Green New Deal is causing blackouts; My kids are being indoctrinated with Critical Race Theory; Antifa has burned Seattle to the ground; etc.
Many more. Liberals have the demographic advantage, Republicans have lost the popular vote in 6 out of the last 7 presidential elections, the important institutions such as education and media lean left, Trump has destroyed any remaining credibility of the GOP, Biden became the first candidate to defeat an incumbent president in many years, and each successive generation is more liberal than the previous one.
They are winning. They control the courts, they control many of the states, and democracy is biased in their favor since it rewards land over votes. Democrats win more votes for the presidency, house and senate and still generally lose these bodies because of how our democracy is set up. Biden won in 2020 by about 7 million votes, but he really only won by <200k votes in the right states.
Even if there are demographic changes that make the far right the minority party, it may take another decade or two before they really kick in. And sadly young people may become right wing.
Due to climate change, there is a risk that the middle east/north africa will become uninhabitable. When hundreds of millions of devout muslims start trying to move to western nations, its going to cause a massive resurgence in the far right that may cancel out any leftward movement due to demographic changes.
I am not overly worried about it. In the last Presidential election, some states turned from red to purple or purple to blue. They can try to rig the game and may get a few wins here and there, but they cannot avoid the sheer numbers. Sheer numbers of voters who can see their ideas are at least a sham, and at worst dangerous. The red base may be happy with some of these things for now, but they will not last.
We have the numbers, and if trends continue, we will get more. Facts are left-leaning. Conservatives have always been on the wrong side of history. We just have to make sure voters in those select states turn out in large numbers at each election.
Some people in this thread (including, possibly, the OP) seem to be using “winning” to mean “winning more than they should be.”
I don’t think so. I think the point is that they are succeeding in continuing our antidemocratic pro-authoritarian slide.
The democrats win more votes in the house, senate and presidency and tend to lose these elections due to inbuild biases built into our democracy. Then add in gerrymandering, voter suppression, etc. and it makes the in built bias even more intense.
You are saying that the system is biased against the Democrats. I tend to agree. But that is a different claim than that the conservative right is winning. The Democrats currently hold the Presidency and a majority in the House, despite having the deck stacked against them in this way.
I don’t think conservatives are ‘winning,’ I think liberals vastly underestimate the number of conservatives living in the country.
They seem to believe a minority of hicks and rich people somehow get elections to go their way even though they represent a tiny portion of the population. And that’s just not true.
The fact that conservatives get their way part of the time shows the system is working as intended.
Advantages to the Republicans: they control most state legislatures - which leads to control of a disproportionate number of House seats. An unbalanced number of conservative judges, thanks to McConnell/Trump. The filibuster rule in the Senate. The Electoral College, giving undue weight to small (conservative) states.
Progress to overcome these obstacles will be glacial, but relentless. There will come a time when house districts are decided impartially. There will come a time when the Senate has a solid Democratic majority, and doesn’t depend on DINOs like Manchin to get anything done. And then … things will start to change and there will be no turning back.
Reason: the average Republican voter unreasonably believes he or she has a reasonable expectation of becoming a rich asshole someday. This demonstrably false belief, otherwise known as the American Dream, is why this society is irredeemably fucked.
…which is why the conservative right is desperate to rig the system in their favor, so that it takes probably 60-65% of the electorate unambiguously opposing them to get anything achieved legislatively.