Democracy Can Surprise Us

Democracy can surprise us but it has to be given a chance. Any society that allowed only some of its adult citizens to vote would not be a true democracy. In the United States the current presidential selection system allows most adults to vote, but discourages most from casting a vote. How? Three ways. The campaigns do not compete in about 40 states in the general election, so they do not run ads or open offices or otherwise make their pitches to the people. Second, they do not challenge each other to provide adequate access to the polls in those states, such as, for example, encouraging mailed ballots. Third, they do not nominate candidates, provide platforms, or make policy proposals that appeal to people in those states. If the campaigns for president sought to win the national popular vote, they'd behave very differently on all scores. The result would surprise us. The country could use some happy surprises.