Thursday, September 16

The 2020 Census and the Future of Democracy

The United States is no longer the “indispensable country” it has been from World War II to 2016, but it remains by far the most important democratic country in the world. For this reason, the arrival of Donald Trump to the White House generated the anxiety that it generated not only in other democratic countries, but especially in them. The way in which he has been forced to abandon the presidency, with a “double coup d’├ętat”, one visible, on January 6 with the attempted assault on the Capitol at the time the electoral result in favor of Joe was certified. Biden, and another undercover directly from Donald Trump, who is currently under investigation in the Senate (“What Jeffrey Rosen, former attorney general, told US senators: Trump” persistently “pushed for that the Department of Justice discredited the elections “, as published by Ann Marimow and Josh Dawsey in the Washington Post this August 13), accredits, on the one hand, the strength of American democracy, which has been able to withstand both attacks, but shows, on the other, that the continuity of democracy cannot be taken for granted.

The results of the 2020 Population Census that have just been made public and based on which it will now be necessary to proceed to the designation, on the one hand, of the number of congressmen corresponding to each of the Member States and the design , on the other, of the electoral districts of each State by the parliamentary majority present in it, generate new doubts about the future of American democracy.

The 2020 census accentuates a trend that has been present for quite some time. The percentage of the “white” population is decreasing, despite the Trump Administration’s tricks so that such a reduction is not reflected in the official figures. In the instructions for filling in the census form for the first time, the section dedicated to the “Whites” included the following specification: “for example, German, Irish, English, Italian, Lebanese, Egyptian, etc.”, increasing, accordingly, the “officially white” population. Despite this, the census shows that the number of the white population in the US falls for the first time since 1970. As synthesized by the most famous political analyst of the NYT, Nate Cohn, in an opinion article, which bears a title that seems the conclusion From an editorial: “The census shows a nation that is more like its future than its past.”

In the 21st century, George W. Bush in 2004 has been the only president of the Republican Party with more votes than the Democratic candidate. The difference between the number of votes for the Democratic candidate and the Republican candidate has grown steadily over the past two decades, peaking in the last two elections: Hillary Clinton won 3 million more votes than Trump and Joe Biden, 7 million. With the results of the 2020 census and the trend expressed through them, that distance will widen considerably.

This is the reason why in the majority of the States in which the Republican Party has a parliamentary majority, electoral legislation is being reformed in an accelerated manner to restrict access to the right to vote. Electoral systems are being designed in these states that make access to the right to vote extremely difficult. of the African American population and of the poor population in general. There is a kind of surreptitious recovery of what was the census vote in the origins of the Constitutional State in America and Europe.

The Republican Party is convinced that only by cheating can it win a presidential election. And he is willing to cheat as much as he can and that the courts, starting with the Supreme Court, allow him.

They are doing it with extraordinary speed, because their horizon is the 2022 elections, the so-called midterm or midterm elections, which tend to be favorable for the party that is not in the White House. In the event that they gain control of Congress and maintain control of the Senate, with the current composition of the Supreme Court, there is a more than likely risk that the Republican Party will try to impose an electoral system that makes it impossible for the Party’s candidate. Democrat can reach the White House, despite the fact that the number of votes in favor of the latter increases even more than it has done in these last elections.

It is obvious that a State with “fake” democratic foundations cannot be a stable democracy. But we know because we have just seen that in the Republican Party of the United States a majority is forming that is willing to try despite it. Donald Trump is no longer President because of the integrity of a dozen Election Administration officials from various states. Despite the seven million difference between him and Joe Biden. Making the election of the President depend on the integrity of a few officials who will be pressured in the future with much greater intensity than has happened this time does not reassure much.

As with climate change, we are on the brink of an existential crisis of democracy as a political form. Because, I finish as I started, the United States is not just another democratic country. What happens in it will end up affecting us all. And, as is also the case with climate change, the problem is not in the distant future, but it is already upon us.