This week, rather than focusing on the Blue caravan consisting of the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters, and other white supremacist groups riding into D.C. to defend their hero, I prefer to focus on the largest group of American voters, 3 million more than cast their votes for Biden, and 8 million more than cast their votes for #45, the 80 million out of a total of 238 million American voters who did not vote. They are the largest percentage of the electorate, 33 1/3 % to be exact. Who are these people? It helps to understand that they tend to fall into one of three categories: those who can’t vote because they are either undocumented, or incarcerated, or paroled; and those discouraged from voting because of impediments like strict ID laws or lack of a street address; and those so disaffected by US politics they no longer care to vote—if they ever did.
For obvious reasons, trying to determine how many undocumented people could not vote is speculative at best. That number ranges from 10.5 million to 12 million or 3.2% to 3.5% of the total population. Incarcerated people .7% of the population, cannot vote. That equals 2,310.371 people, some of them simply held while awaiting trial, the highest percentage of incarcerated people in the world. Additionally twenty-seven states still deny the franchise to felony probationers (fortunately the trend is slowly changing to restore the vote to people who have served their time) such that 5.2 million ex-felons cannot vote. These two groups, undocumented immigrants and incarcerated people and ex-felons account for a total of plus/or/minus 17,220,000 million.
If we exclude these two groups, that still leaves 62,780,000 non-voters some of whom, for a spectrum of reasons, have been discouraged from voting. For some of these, strict voter ID laws cause a number of black, Hispanic, Native American, elderly, transgender, and poor voters to fall between the cracks. Pressure for strict ID laws comes mostly from the GOP (for the obvious reason that in all probability most of this group is thought to vote Democrat) but the laws are in a constant state of flux, and the number is hard to determine.
For other folks, many without a permanent street address, voting was impossible. (For example, one year ago as I drove north through the length of Kern County, California I encountered not one human being aside from the clerks behind convenience store counters in the gas stations we patronized. I discovered where many of Kern County’s people now reside: the railroad right of way between Fresno and Hanford, a distance of 34 miles, is lined with tent cities.) How many tent dwellers, evicted either by landlords, or mortgage default and other folks without permanent street addresses exist at present in the US? As the Depression worsens, the number mounts. Clearly the Office of Government Statistics has not busied itself tallying their number. According to the August 6, 2020 edition of the Washington Post, #45 called for another eviction moratorium, but push back by landlords did not help re-elect him. It’s safe to say, however, that even with a burning desire to vote, voter ID impediments, including not having a permanent address, might very well have offered this group of voters some discouragement. Was such desire present in non-tent-dwelling non-voters? Apparently not. And if not, why not?
Elephant in the Room those, comfortable and otherwise, who
did not care to vote
For Biden, politics-as-before (“nothing will change”) shuns taking into account any of the many aspects of voter disillusion. A cursory look at his transitional team and at the appointment A list tells the story. Rahm Emanuel (“Liberals are fucking retards”) is now a Biden adviser, and in line for a cabinet post. Of the 23 who comprise the Biden Defense Department transition team, 8 are working for think tanks financed by all the preeminent defense contractors, the same folks who set Bush’s and Obamas war policies. Cecilia Muñoz, who defended family separation under Obama has joined the transition team. A flood of war mongering neocons are flocking to Biden, foreign policy hawks like Susan Rice, Samantha Power and Michele Flournoy. It’s important to remember that so far, the Middle East wars they aided and abetted have cost the American taxpayer $5 trillion, and to speculate how many homeless people, and how many food insecure people that $5 trillion might have helped, or how much PPE some of that $5 trillion could have provided to insure the safety of essential medical personnel as they battle a pandemic. Richard Stengel who has restrictive views of freedom of speech. is likely to head the US Agency for Global Media. Not only does the team consist of the greatest amalgam of multi millionaires ever assembled, but in the words of independent journalist Caitlin Johnstone, Biden “will have the most diverse, intersectional cabinet of mass murderers ever assembled.” And on Nov. 14, Fox News reported that Hillary Clinton, the Scourge of Libya, is under consideration as Biden’s ambassador to the UN.
A Biden who stiffs the UN with a stuffed has-been like Hillary Clinton, and draws on a bunch of sclerotic neocons may very well be hitting the summit of the taxidermist’s art. But taxidermy never brought change about. It may very well be that, despite a boobytrapped two-party system, change, if it ever comes about, will prompt at least some part of that 33 1/3 percent of non-voting voters to declare itself. But, according to Information Clearing House, “the demographics of the recent election show no sign of a permanent majority for Democrats.”
Without a Herculean effort on the part of a newly-galvanized post card and letter writing public joining old-time activists nationwide, and popular recognition that the US needs a New Constitution, one free of the embedded mandates for slavery, don’t bet on either happening any time soon.
URGE Biden to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.
LISTEN as AOC calmly excoriates an absent Senate.
DEMAND Biden make family reunification a top priority.
INSIST Barrett recuse herself from all Election-related cases.
DEMAND Senate not confirm any more corporate lobbyists.
URGE Biden to put people before banks and corporations.
DONATE to Justice Democrats & Rashida Tlaib
The Elders, founded by Mandela, warn baseless accusations of voter fraud by #45 endanger democracy worldwide.
UN panel votes 163-5 in support of Palestinian statehood, end of occupation. US opposes.
World’s public banks gather at first-ever summit.
Bolivia President Arce approves bonus against hunger. If Bolivia can, why can’t we?
Bolivian prosecutor’s office orders arrest of former ministers.
Peruvians stage massive protests against legislative coup that ousted President Martin Vizcarra,
Brazilian municipal elections show gains for Left.
Dutch foreign minister seeks EU arms embargo on Turkey.
India, China close in on plan to end months of border standoff.
In victory of China over US hegemony in Asia, 15 Asian states sign huge new trade deal.
Climate on agenda in first Russia visit by UK minister since 2017.
World pushes ahead with climate action as US remains in limbo.
Scotland may look at serious and long-standing concerns about #45’s business activities.
EU slams Israel plans to construct new settler units in occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.
UK troops to b e withdrawn from Afghanistan by Xmas as staying without US untenable.
European Court upholds right to boycott Israel.
Nova Scotia First Nation to launch lawsuits against non-indigenous fishers. for damages.
Tribes, Dem governors, and Klamath dam owner announce salmon restoration plan.
Manchester students revolt aster university demands they pay rents that 74% cannot afford.
Manchester lecturers show solidarity with students following racial profiling.
Okinawa protesters keep up years-long blockade of construction dump trucks at US airbase construction site in defiance of Japanese government .
Amnesty warns US of culpability in rising Yemen civilian death toll if drone sale to UAE inked.
US invasion forces convoy leaves illegal bases in Syrian territory to Iraq.
After 4 years of hiding behind #45, populist Polish and Hungarian leaders suddenly exposed.
New feminist peace initiative releases movement-driven foreign policy framework.
About time: Longtime union members Pocan and Norcross announce labor caucus to advocate for workers in Congress.
Pocan leads 40 Dems demanding condemnation of Israeli demolitions.
AOC demands #45 non-payment of taxes be investigated.
Don’t hold your breath department: urges to reject Ernest Moniz and choose climate champions for cabinet.
150 high-level government expert issue Climate 21 Projet Report urging Biden-Harris a running climate start.
Public Citizen delivers robust transition agenda demands to Biden.
Indigenous and progressive activists and lawmakers plan rally at DNC to push Biden in greener direction.
Citing her ties to agribusiness and fossil fuels, 160 groups tell Biden Heitkamp is wrong choice for USD.
Social Security defenders tell Biden to keep austerity-obsessed Bruce Reed far away from White House.
Michigan governor moves to shut down Line 5 Pipeline to protect Great Lakes.
Refusing to be bullied, Michigan governor rebukes #45 aid’s call for uprising over COVID measures.
Nearly four dozen faith institutions announce divestment from fossil fuels.
Chevron Phillips publishes climate report in response to investor concerns.
Legal protest blasts plan for 430 square miles of fracking leases in Wyoming.
With irrevocable justice on line, Dem lawmakers demand #45 administration put brakes on killing spree.
Federal judge rules acting DHS head Chad Wolf unlawfully appointed, invalidates DACA suspension.
Federal Court rejects latest #45 attack on DACA in Batalia Vidal v Wolf case.
Judge blocks #45 administration policy using pandemic as excuse to kick out asylum seeking children.
N.J. releases over 2 thousand incarcerated workers to help stop the pandemic spread, the largest single-day release in U.S. history.
In 58-day-long vigil, members of Decarcerate Now, NC, gather outside exec mansion demanding Gov. Cooper use his powers of pardon to protest incarcerated during pandemic.
Hunger enters third week at California’s largest prison.
California ‘bans the box’ protecting formerly incarcerated people in the college admissions process.
After defund police victory, Portland keeps marching.
Mi’kmaq First Nations coalition takes control of major seafood company.
Oregon City Voters recall mayor for downplaying police brutality against black people.
With COVID surging,, school superintendent in Tippecanoe County Ind. suspends in-person education.
Philly crocodile city council apologizes for deadly 1985 Move bombing.
Abby Martin sues State of Georgia over Israel Loyalty Oath mandate.
Proudly BDS: Jewish-led groups condemn Pompeo for declaring boycott-divestment movement anti-Semitic.
Two Muslim women derive NYPD to change its practice of forcefully removing the hijab.
Student action spurs student vote to help turn Georgia blue and defeat #45.
As #45 seeks to shred food inspection riles, advocacy group endorses Rep. Marcia Fudge for Secy of Agriculture.
Bloomington, MN unhoused community forms tenants union.
A homeless camp in Rapid City, SD shut down by police moves to trust land outside town where indigenous people return to living traditionally.
UAW workers at Johnson Controls go on trike, warning the company they may lose all their workers’ experience.
Biden solidifies AZ victory as election officials counter #45 fraud lies in joint declaration.
Biden signals flexibility on North Korea.
Lindsay Graham under fire for allegations he urged legal ballots be tossed in Georgia.
Following Berkeley, CA arrest of 5 G protester, city vows no more new permits for small cells will be issued.
S.F.’s only Nigerian restaurant uses free food to support police violence activism.