Justice as Fairness

A thought for all of those demanding fairness in the U.S. election process, and perhaps feeling that their preferred candidate was treated unfairly on November 3rd.

Here is my suggestion, offered sincerely, for making the current democratic election process in the United States as fair as it should be, as it was designed to be, and as it once was: Demand that every American citizen who wishes to vote in an election actually go through the trouble and inconvenience of getting himself or herself to a polling station on Election Day — not three weeks before, not two days after, but on the actual first Tuesday of November — and casting a ballot in person. Exceptions to this simple requirement, as was previously understood to be appropriate, should be limited to cases of American citizens verifiably abroad on work visas or as permanent residents in another country, who therefore cannot reasonably be expected to get to a polling station on American soil on the actual Election Day, or, of course, members of the U.S. government or the Armed Forces who are verifiably stationed abroad on that day and therefore cannot vote in person. For those exceptional cases, some form of mail-in or absentee voting is appropriate and necessary. (The number of other individuals for whom similar exceptions would have to be made, such as people in hospitals who are too unwell to leave their beds for an hour to cast an in-person ballot, would be a relative handful in any district, and not enough to make a significant difference in any national election.)

Those are the specific reforms that would and should be applied, if the goal were to assure a fair democratic election process. I am certain that many people on this year’s losing side are eagerly demanding exactly these changes for future elections — eliminating widespread mail-in or advance voting — for precisely this reason, namely to ensure that the next national election be more fair.

Fine. Let us imagine, then, that one has changed the election process in these ways, and thus instituted (or rather reinstituted) a fair election system. Now let us ask, what would have been the result of the 2020 U.S. Election had it been regulated and administered on this fair and properly democratic basis?

The answer, of which I am, you are, and every sentient person would be, one hundred percent certain: Had the election been carried out on the fair basis outlined above, the winner of the presidency in 2020 would have been a man most honest and rational observers know full well is mentally and morally incompetent to be president of a community center euchre club, let alone president of a republic of three hundred and fifty million citizens.

That’s what a “fair election” would have gotten you in 2020.

Fairness is not justice.

You may also like...