United States Federal Republic Civics 101

I understand that a lot of people feel a lot of despair today… and yesterday, and, frankly, a lot of the time since 2016. But, I’ve got to be honest, I think this is a disaster of our own indifference. And I’m using the Royal We to address the political, progressive “movement” in the United States here. While, yes, the outcomes we’ve seen come to pass are the result of the Right getting their way, we have to examine, critically, why they’re getting their way so often. The United States is not a “moderate-right” nation. We are, far and away, a secular, progressive-left society. And we can expect that trend to only accelerate as Gen X and Millennials get older, and Boomers fewer.

The answer is simple: Democrats are lazy. And, no, I don’t mean the politicians, I mean the voters. Democrats are lazy and disengaged, reactionary voters. And that’s a major problem because it allows the minority—and, again, that’s the Right and the far-Right combined—to win elections, appoint judges, and set policies. The system of government we have isn’t broken, even if the Government itself is. (And it’s only broken because Republicans like it that way.)

Civics 101

So, here’s a short Civics lesson. What are the constituent parts of our Federal Republic, why are they important, and how do they work?

THE CENSUS The Census matters because that’s how reapportionment is decided. Reapportionment governs how many House Representatives each state gets in Congress. Reapportionment also governs how many Electoral College votes each state gets to select the President and Vice President.

STATE PRIMARIES & ELECTIONS State elections matter because redistricting takes place every ten years and it matters.†† Redistricting matters because Congress makes the laws. Your state legislature draws the maps in most states, and they also write the laws for your state!

STATEWIDE PRIMARIES & ELECTIONS Statewide elections matter because the Senate is where SCOTUS justices are confirmed. Statewide elections cannot be gerrymandered! Statewide elections also select Governors, Secretaries of State (in most states), and Attorneys General (in most states), which makes them even more important.

PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES & ELECTIONS Presidents approve laws and set policy, which is how laws are enforced. These elections matter a lot, but not as much as some seem to think! Presidents do not have unlimited power. Presidents also nominate SCOTUS and federal judges.

The ELECTORAL COLLEGE The Electoral College is, in fact, antiquated and racist as fuck and should be abolished. It was part of the ⅗ Compromise to persuade the Southern States to join the Union in the 1700s. Since slavery has been abolished and people of colour are real-life citizens now—an unquestionably good thing—this relic of the 18th Century should be abolished as well. The Executive Branch, which is the second branch of Government according to the Constitution, should be subject to the direct, popular vote.

††REDISTRICTING Redistricting is important because it determines who you’re allowed to vote for in Congressional races based on where you live and the shared interests of you and your fellow voters. ⚠️Gerrymandering is dangerous!⚠️ Tight, diverse, & compact districts are best.

It’s a house of cards, folks. If you leave one out, nothing works the way you want it to. Weird! We can win the presidency by an overwhelming majority for the next century, but if we don’t pay attention to the rest, nothing will get done!

This is how @GOP has DOMINATED the political process, they have shown up to every election in droves for the last 40–50 years! Fight in kind. Respond to the Census! #Vote! Every primary. Every election. Every time. 🗳 Participation is 🔥SEXY🔥!

The Solution

We have to become engaged participants! Gone are the days that we can carry on a laissez-faire attitude about politics and elections, issues and primaries. We—the Collective Us®must become active and proactive voters.

Reagan won a landslide election victory in 1980, the Left got stupid lazy, and the Right proceeded to enact their Christo-fascist ideology to bankrupt the nation, impoverish the middle class, build an even more powerful military-industrial complex, and destroy the public education system in order to keep their voters dumb and poor.

It’s been 42 years, folks. It’s time to wake the fuck up and assert yourselves.

I get it, you want results now and the political process™ takes years to deliver. Voting feels impotent in the face of the odds as stacked as they are at present. And the pandemic and inflation are making life uncomfortable. But, honestly, it’s time to buck up, buttercup! It’s either We the People take our country back or we watch as the Right erodes the progress of the 20th and 21st Centuries. Your weapon is your vote, so use it. Promote, vote for, and elect progressive candidates at all levels of Government, local, state, and federal.

Or, ya know… “let them eat cake,” I guess.