Today is the last day to vote in the California recall election. Polling and turnout to date aside, I still will not make a prediction. That doesn’t mean I don’t have some worthy observations and I’d like to key in on one of them today.
For several weeks now the right wing has been saying that if they lose in their effort to recall Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom that the recall election was rigged. Interestingly, and I contend not coincidentally, this rhetoric began when the polling started to turn against them. This is similar to Donald Trump saying the 2016 and 2020 elections were rigged against him when the polling didn’t look very favorable for him. In fact, it’s the same play run largely by the same people.
I have issues with the recall system California uses and I strongly feel they need to be addressed post-election. However, in this case the “game” is being played with the rules that are currently in force and it has to conclude with those same rules. The truth is that the current system is skewed in favor of the challengers. In short, the subject of the recall needs 50% plus one to stay in office but all the challenger needs in the event that the threshold is not met is the highest vote total among the rest of the field. How does that resemble democracy?
Should Newsom survive the recall I have no doubt that a sizeable minority will truly believe the recall election was rigged. How is that possible? Disinformation is the number one culprit but the fact that most Americans live in a political news bubble is another.
If enough people tell you that I am seven feet tall after some time you will start to believe it. Most Americans spend little time gathering political news. They are busy leading their lives. The news they get is skewed. Add to that the fact that even if they did receive balanced messages most are severally handicapped when it come to the ability to do critical thinking and the right wing has worked hard to keep it that way. Did you ever stop to consider that the states with the poorest public education systems tend to vote Republican? That is cause and effect, not coincidence.
Now compound this with the fact (and I don’t know why) that most Americans live in communities largely of the same political philosophy. Therefore, all you tend to hear is a reinforcement of one side’s ideas with no counterbalance. It is natural to think that Joe across the way is a good guy and he agrees so it must be so. Joe probably is a good guy (most Americans at their core are) but that doesn’t mean he is either well informed or correct.
I assume I will have more to say about the recall election in the days to come but rest assured it is certainly not rigged in the favor of Governor Newsom. Most importantly if you are registered to vote in California please do before 8pm Pacific Time tonight!
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