Protect Election Integrity, Arizona
Sign at the "Rally to Protect Our Elections" hosted by Turning Point Action at Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix, AZ. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

GOP voters, who are being lied to by their leaders and an entire propaganda industry, are turning sour on democracy to an alarming degree.

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Republican voters are done with democracy. Almost 4 in 10 of them are “extremely dissatisfied” with “the way democracy is working in the United States,” and another 35 percent expressed at least some dissatisfaction with the current system, according to a recent poll.

A mere 19 percent of Republicans answered the question by saying that they are at least somewhat satisfied with US democracy, which is a stunningly low number.

What is even more remarkable is that the views of GOP voters on the issue are deteriorating rapidly. YouGov, which conducted the poll, had asked the same question a year ago, and the results were quite different.

In 2022, Republicans were evenly divided on the question. Since then, their satisfaction with US democracy has cratered.

This could have different reasons.

For one, the Big Lie continues to spread among Republicans. That isn’t particularly surprising since the party’s standard bearer, former President Donald Trump, remains obsessed with his loss in the 2020 election and continues to spread falsehoods about it.

He has plenty of help. For various reasons, many GOP officials also keep casting doubt on the integrity of American elections. In addition, spreading the Big Lie is where the money is for the various right-wing propaganda outlets and influencers who make their living in the multi-billion-dollar outrage industrial complex.

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In addition, even though this was never supported by polling, Republican voters were promised a “red wave” in the 2022 midterm election.

Instead, they barely won the House and, in spite of having a favorable map, could not take over the Senate.

What is interesting about the new poll is that the people who actually have a right to feel at least somewhat dissatisfied about US democracy have the most positive attitudes about it.

Black and young Americans, two voting blocs that Republican-led states are routinely trying to disenfranchise, are the only demographics in which a plurality of people feel at least somewhat satisfied with elections.

Since the Supreme Court overturned a key part of the Voting Rights Act a decade ago, red states have passed hundreds of laws that make it more difficult for these groups, and others that are likely to support Democrats, to vote.

In addition, Democrats have won the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections. In two cases, however, the Republican candidate, Trump in 2016 and George W. Bush in 2000, ended up in the White House because the Electoral College gives greater weight to the rural states in which the GOP dominates.

Therefore, if anybody should feel dissatisfied with a system of democracy that is working against them, it is Democrats.

However, the poll showed that their attitudes are the most positive among the big three groups of voters. Over the past year, their satisfaction with democracy has held steady while Independents were more likely to say that they were dissatisfied.

Obviously, this is very bad news for the US.

If one group of people is consistently being lied to and led to believe that they are being shut out of US democracy, while those doing the lying are actually trying to disenfranchise everybody else, it’s tough to feel positive about where all of this is headed.

The lone bright spots are that young people are still feeling more satisfied than dissatisfied and that some of the people propagating the Big Lie are being held accountable in the courts.

First and foremost, that means the $787.5 million that Fox News had to pay Dominion Voting Systems to settle a lawsuit over the lies it spread about the company.

In addition, it seems likely that Trump will be indicted once again later this year, this time for his actions in trying to overturn the 2020 elections.

So, there is some hope for US democracy, but it is hanging by a thread right now.  


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