What saving democracy looks like

BRATTLEBORO — As soon as I saw Elayne Clift's column, I knew I had to respond.

It is certainly going to be true that from now until the 2024 election that we will be inundated with such messages. After all, the only thing Democrats have to sell is fear. To an extent, the same is true of Republicans as well.

It is funny to see Ms. Clift raise the alarm about saving democracy when right in front of our eyes we see democrats taking democracy away. Delegates won in New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary will not be recognized at the national convention just because the state is defying the Democratic National Committee by daring to go first.

We just learned that Florida Democrats are cancelling their primary altogether so that Biden can collect the entirety of that state's delegates. The same thing has happened in a couple of other states. It seems like depending on Democrats to protect democracy can be likened to having sex to protect one's virginity.

I have not voted for a Democrat or Republican for president since 1988, when I voted for Micheal Dukakis. Since then I've recognized every Democratic and Republican nominee for president to be a pure sleazeball.

I was one of those who voted for Jill Stein in 2016 because I could not stomach a vote for Hillary Clinton. As bad as the choice was back in 2016, today the choice is even more ridiculous.

I believe the real threat to democracy is the two-party system that we have in this country, and not Donald Trump. In the last election I voted for Liam Madden for U.S. representative, mostly because he explicitly came out against the two-party system. He correctly recognized that this system is too-easily manipulated by oligarchs and other big-money interests. It is too bad that this message was not digested by many voters.

The idea that Donald Trump is a threat to our democracy is such a paper tiger. Trump is way too stupid to figure out a way to overturn our system and make himself dictator for life. Besides, the façade of democracy that our two-party system provides is way too valuable for the oligarchs who run this country to maintain social control.

If the institutions that protect our so-called democracy cannot stand up to Donald Trump, then there is no reason to think it can stand up to the Democrats, either.

After all, the Democrats wanted to pass an act that essentially nationalized our so-called democracy, but with no safeguards that ensured the fairness of our elections. Without any ability to know that an election was carried out fairly there is no point in "democracy."

Democracy is one of my greatest concerns and that is why I had to reply. I would like to see instant runoff voting instituted here in Vermont for all members of the lower chamber in the statehouse, and for statewide elected officials.

The state Senate ought to be one statewide district where representatives are chosen in proportion to the popular vote among various political parties. All votes need to be subject to verification by audit, and the election process must be transparent.

My proposals would be a boon to real democracy locally, and an example for the nation to follow. Let's get real about democracy, Ms. Clift, and what is truly a danger and what is truly not a danger!

This Voices Letters from readers was submitted to The Commons.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates