Our sorry election system

Dear President Trump,

Your presidency and how you got there have highlighted so many issues that we, as a country, have to grapple with. The one I’ll focus on today is the need for us to take a very hard look at our election system. You’ve said it is rigged and actually, you are right, it is rigged. It is rigged on so many levels that it’s daunting to think about how it can ever be righted. But I was thinking about our righteous insistence that other countries have free and fair elections and how, at least in the past, we have sent election observers to developing nations to help ensure that dictators were not allowed to stuff ballot boxes. What would impartial observers see if they were examining our elections? They’d see the influence of a lot of (undisclosed) monies, laws discouraging voting, gerrymandering, vicious advertising and hyperbole about opponents, social media manipulations, an antiquated and racist electoral college system, influence of foreign governments and trolls, and quite possibly collusion on the part of candidates with foreign agents. That’s a lot to tackle, but if any of the rest of what we do is to have integrity and the confidence of the American people and the rest of the world, we desperately need to fix this sorry system.

I know this idea will rankle you and the Republican Opportunistic Enablers (or ROE) who are propping you up, but what if there were some sort of international body monitoring election integrity such that there were sanctions both for election interference by foreign entities and for unfair internal practices. Even though the basic idea of voting in a democracy seems pretty straightforward, I’m sure it would be an incredibly challenging process to arrive at a set of practices that were agreed upon as fair and free and it would be even harder to agree on the types of monitoring that need to be in place to ensure this. And what do we do about democracies that have already been compromised by foreign or internal manipulations? Obviously all this is hard and complicated, but the systems we have in place now are not serving us well and they need to be overhauled by a messy mix of traditionally enfranchised and disenfranchised people.

I am holding out for this eventuality and I thank you for making it so very clear that it is an imperative.

May you be safe.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy and strong.
May your life unfold and intersect peacefully.

Tracy Simpson

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