Privilege in Voting

Today’s post is intended to be read in a satirical light, stretching postmodernism / identity politics to its logical extreme to see how palatable these concepts really are to the American people.  sadly, I believe that in stretching these concepts to their logical extremes, I am still being fair to the underlying belief structures, and that should this article be posted to a liberal site, without this blurb at the top calling it satire, it would be warmly received.  Remembering that this is satire, here is today’s post, on balancing the vote.

According to PEW research, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States for one reason, and one reason alone – white male voters, who have an inordinate amount of privilege and power in our society, voted for him over Hillary Clinton, by a 21 point margin.  All other groups recognized that Hillary Clinton is the most qualified Presidential candidate in modern history, and voted for her by wide margins.  Sadly, white men have an inordinate amount of power in our society, and it is time to recognize that matters of power and privilege exist within our election system.  The time has come to call-out the charade of democracy that is the American vote.

Far too much has been made of the electoral college, which, though an abomination, is not the root cause of American voting disparities.  In an age when white nationalists and white supremacists have given us a racist, serial sexual abuser, for President, it is time to examine the question of whether or not it is even possible to have true representation for minority voters in a country where 67% of the public are white, and where each vote counts equally.  The time has come to discuss the need to weigh votes based on levels of privilege.

It is particularly important to discuss privilege in voting when one considers how quickly the Trump administration is undoing the tremendous progress that was made in recognizing, and helping, disadvantaged groups during the Obama Administration.  Under Obama, we finally had, for the first time in our national history, an open discussion about the perils of living in a male dominated, white society, about the over-emphasis on Euro-centric cultures and values, and about the unequal distribution of power inherent in free-market capitalism.  It is not enough just to de-legitimize the Trump presidency; we must also takes steps to ensure that white nationalism and white supremacy never again have the political power to reverse the political gains made under Democrat presidencies.

Some have suggested that we should move to a one-party system in which only Democrats are allowed to vote.  The Republican Party is, after all, the party of slavery and Jim Crow.  In 2018, we no longer have room for the values of the Republican Party.  The problem with eliminating Republicanism, however, is that the Republicans would then be forced to vote in the Democrat Primary, and would change the Democrat Party.  A better solution is to recognize privilege in our voting system, adjusting vote counts to create a higher level of parity between groups.

White votes should count as no more than half of a minority vote.  Similarly, male votes should count as no more than half a female vote.  Gay votes should count double, as should transgendered votes.  Christians should count half, and non-Christian religions should count double.  White people would still have more than 33% of the vote, giving them a sizeable level of representation without letting them run roughshod over the rest of society.  Votes would count as follows, running from high levels of privilege to low levels of privilege:

Straight, cis-gendered white men – 1/4 of a vote

Straight, cis-gendered white women – 1/2 of a vote

Gay/Trans White Men – 1/2 of a vote

Gay/Trans White Women – 3/4 of a vote

Straight Men of Color – 1 vote

Straight Women of Color – 2 votes

Gay/Trans Men of Color – 3 votes

Gay/Trans Women of Color – 4 votes

Muslim Men – 4 votes

Muslim Women – 8 votes

Such a system would provide for a more balanced democratic experience by giving disadvantaged groups more political say, such that they are better enabled to enact political programs that benefit them.  A more balanced political structure would lead to higher rates of woman and minority representation throughout all levels of government, further leading to equity-based economic reform.

America also needs to encourage more members of disadvantaged groups to run as candidates.  One way to do this would be to use the same system above in terms of  how many times to count a vote for that candidate.  If, for example, a straight, cis-gendered white man runs for office, then each vote this candidate receives (after adjusting based on the level of privilege of the voter) would count 1/4, whereas each vote a Muslim woman receives would count as 8 votes.

Under this system, everyone would still have political say, but the level of say would reflect the growing diversity of our nation such that no ethnic group would have a majority of the vote.  White people would still have over 33% of the vote, whereas African Americans would have 26%, Hispanic Americans would have 34%, and other groups would have the remaining 7%.  Women would have twice as many votes as men.  Gay and Trans voters would still not be as numerous as straight, cis-gendered voters, but their voices would be much stronger than they currently are as well.  Perhaps most importantly, no one group (other than women) would represent a majority of the vote, making it impossible for someone like Donald Trump to ever hold major office again.

We all agree that privilege is a major problem in American today, and we push for actions against privilege in our education, and economic systems.  Progress has however been slow, and elusive.  We have seen under the Trump Presidency how easily progress can be reversed.  The time has come to recognize that true equality is impossible in a nation where privileged groups have an inordinate level of political power, and the only way to provide political equity is to eliminate the concept of each person’s vote being equal.  We need to balance privilege into our political system by counting the votes of disadvantaged groups as being worth more than those of the majority group in power.  Adjusting privilege out of the vote would be the fastest way to create true balance within our political processes, and thus true equity within our society.

Please share, and remember the hashtag: #BalanceTheVote!

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