Thursday, March 23Welcome

How 2022 was a triumph for democracy

A few weeks before the midterm elections, I attended a Zoom meeting of an election denial group. There have been alarming reports of massive and well-funded campaigns to place election deniers in vote centers that could wreak havoc on Election Day. I wanted to know exactly what they were telling me, so I found a group in Pennsylvania and quietly attended an open session. What I heard that night surprised me. This training session provided prospective poll watchers with accurate and useful information about the responsibilities and limitations of their role. It was more bureaucratic than malicious. And the threat of an army of conspiratorial interveners interfering in the voting process never materialized. There was no.

So was this a triumph for democracy? On the one hand, free and fair elections form the foundation of most people’s ideas about democracy, so it’s cool that there was no sinister action from conspiracy-minded pollsters. The group that tried to overturn the last election with the encouragement of former President Trump had recruited and trained volunteers to oversee this election, but this is not very reassuring. However, they lost the general election, with candidates refusing to concede, but in fewer numbers than expected.

Judging where democracy stands as we bid farewell to 2022 is made difficult by this mixed bag. With a big ledger of wins and losses, did democracy end up in the black this year? We spoke to three experts and they basically said yes. This year has seen enough positive signs of democratic sustainability that we should all be relieved. But they also noted that the threat remains, and while the W must be enlisted for democracy, we shouldn’t let our guard down as we head into 2023.

Ryan Enos, a professor of political science at Harvard University, said: “Many of us have this kind of apocalyptic scenario where politicians stop acknowledging losses, in which case democracy simply ceases to function. “There has only been one election since Trump started forcefully denying elections in 2020, but if you predict, 2020 will be more temporary. Yes, and it seems it wasn’t something that was becoming the norm.

Over the past two years, American democracy has faced new threats. Most obvious is Trump’s crusade to overturn the outcome of the 2020 election, influencing the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and 147 Republicans in Congress. refused to certify any part of the election results. Lawmakers have since passed a historic number of laws restricting voting in dozens of states, often in response to concerns about election fraud. Election officials faced threats of violence and harassment like they had never seen before. Additionally, hundreds of candidates who denied the legitimacy of the 2020 election ran for his 2022 election.

All of this has resulted in a rather grim outlook for democracy in early 2022. Experts have repeatedly sounded the alarm about ongoing threats and warned of a terrifying trend towards authoritarianism. But by the time the midterm elections finally came to an end, there were many signs that American democracy was resilient.

It’s worth noting (and it’s disturbing to note) that the majority of the candidates who lost the race in November’s midterm elections were the more extreme Republicans who were looking to follow in Trump’s footsteps. Including some of the candidates for lost. While this is certainly a low hurdle, experts believe that having losers acknowledge their race is essential to democracy. It’s also something many believed wouldn’t happen so widely in 2022, according to a study conducted by Bright Line Watch, an academic group that studies the norms of democracy in the United States.

The election had several other promising features, including the fact that voters largely rejected candidates running for positions of meaningful influence, denying the legitimacy of the 2020 election. brought the signs. This happened even in states where Republicans won other statewide offices, suggesting that the rejection of anti-democratic candidates wasn’t simply a pivot away from the Republican Party. We haven’t seen the widespread distrust of the results of the midterm elections like we saw in 2018, despite efforts by Trump and other right-wing influencers to re-instill suspicion.

This isn’t just vibes, it’s what the polls capture. Another post-election survey by Brightline Watch found that while confidence in the outcome increased after the election, including among Republicans, confidence in widespread voter fraud continued to decline. According to Gretchen Helmke, a professor of political science at the University of Rochester and co-director of Brightline, Brightline’s watch asked the American just before and after the contest about his confidence in his 2020 election results. The answers were very different when clock.

“For Republicans, it was just a failure,” Helmke said. “This time there was a slight uptick at the individual level and at the state level, but the big story for me was there was no downward revision at the national level among Republicans. That seemed like really good news to me. rice field.”

And, as I mentioned earlier, there was no massive antics in the voting or vote tallying process as some feared. Part of that may be because election officials worked with law enforcement to protect the process, according to Wendy Weiser, director of democracy programs at the Brennan Center for Justice. “There has been a dramatic mobilization to curb risk and build highly effective guardrails,” Weiser said.

This is not to say that democracy is good forever. All the experts I spoke to said that threats to democracy remain and that strengthening vigilance and safeguards such as reforming election counting laws is equally important.

“The types of threats that drive populist forces, such as underlying inequalities and people feeling helpless, are probably not going away,” said Enos. “The fact that the lie gained momentum was more of a symptom than a cause.”

But let democracy be W as far as 2022 is concerned.

The Numbers Shaping Republican Politics in 2023 | 2023 Five Thirty Eight

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