Who Really Supported Trump? A Great Minority of the Electorate

If Americans love their democracy why does voter turnout put them 31st out of 35 OECD nations?


1. “It’s not true that most of America supports Trump,” notes David Pogue.

2. Not only did Trump lose the popular vote, he won only ~1 in 4 of eligible voters. As Pogue says, “25.5% of us voted Trump, 25.6% Clinton, and 46.9% DID NOTE VOTE AT ALL.”

3. Electoral college quirks and 3rd parties are peanuts if ~90 million don’t use their right to vote.

4. America ranks 31st out of 35 OECD nations in voter turnout (in Australia voting is mandatory).

5. In ancient Greece not voting made you a “marked man” (failing to attending to your civic duties in the assembly could get citizens rounded up using a red-painted rope, leaving them marked men).

6. That reminds me... the original, ancient Greek, meaning of “idiot” was the antonym of the original meaning of “political” (see The Most Successful Euphemism In History). Now they seem like near synonyms.

7. Speaking of the way words are used in politics, Mary Beard says democracy suffers when “words lose all meaning… Politicians may always have lied, but at least the Greeks and Romans worried about that. We have come almost to take it for granted.”

8. Surely it’s idiocy to let political apathy and lies (spread in new tech enabled ways) shape our future.


Illustration by Julia Suits, author of The Extraordinary Catalog of Peculiar Inventions, and The New Yorker cartoonist.

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