Among the most stunning aspects of the recent elections are the numbers and what they reveal about our country. This is really important…
Since the Kennedy-Nixon election of 1960, which had a voter turnout rate of 63%, the percentage of eligible voters who actually turn out to vote has decreased steadily. By 1996, the year Bill Clinton was re-elected President, it was down to 49%. In 1992, when Clinton was elected the first time, there was a 55% turnout. Since 1996, turnout has edged up; in 2016, this most recent election, it was close to 58%.
During off-year elections, when we’re electing people to Congress, turnout has gone from 46% in 1966 to 36% in 2014.
No matter who actually gets put into office this year—some argue that Hillary Clinton should be inaugurated since she won the popular vote by almost 2%—that person will still have received the support of less than 30% of eligible voters. In other words, 70% of the adult population—those who didn’t vote plus those who voted for the other candidate—does not actively favor whoever becomes president.
When a minority of the voters in our country can put into a person into office who will gain immense power and authority in spite of his lack of support from the majority, we have the makings of tyranny. This has become the dynamic of our two-party system: two massive money machines, each gathering and spending over a billion dollars every couple of years, with little incentive to expand the franchise beyond the minimum it takes to put its own people in power.
Although all the pundits continue to exclaim over the wild-ride campaign of Donald Trump, who seems to have candidly attacked both parties, the fact is he did little if anything to engage more or even new voters. He will become the next President with around 28% of the eligible voters’ support. This does not help us build or maintain the world’s largest democracy. A new way forward must be found.
We advocate entrepreneurship as one means to restore, reform and continually improve an engaging democracy: by creating enterprises based on solutions to problems and the delivery of benefits to customers with clear needs and desires, we create the future through positive, productive action. New ventures can pay living, sustainable equitable wages. New ventures can reignite entire industries, creating jobs, and sharing wealth. New social ventures can, and do, choose to do these things as a priority and as part of their ongoing business mission, and they do it in ways with integrity that respect and honor all people, all diversities, all participants.
INCOMMN is the coming together of enterprise development and social justice economics, with a healthy proportion of a new political agenda: support an independent movement by electing non-partisan people to public office, by building on the Bernie Sanders model: elect solutions, not political parties.