In this age when the dinosaur media abuse their position so flagrantly, I am proud to have supported independent election resource Decision Desk HQ via crowdfunding. DD has now produced a fascinating national precinct map of the 2016 election – and also a stirring explanation of a hugely important point that proved so difficult for almost everyone to grasp during that election:
“Why would you want them?” As he reminded me, the precinct results had no bearing on delegate allocation or the eventual party nominee. My nineteen-year-old self struggled to articulate a satisfying answer.
What I failed to put into words was that election results show so much more than simply who won and lost a constitutionally-legitimized popularity contest. Election results lay bare the souls of its voters, translating millions of individual hopes, dreams, fears, aspirations, and biases into tangible, observable quantities. No census or survey can truly capture that singular moment of personal truth which occurs in the ballot box. We can identify your race, your income, a list of a thousand other measurable values which statistically imply the outcome of this moment, but as deterministic as we might try to make it seem, it always comes down to a final act of free will. These individual acts sum to make manifest the inner milieu of a people at a particular moment in time, a secular sacrament ordaining to our political priesthood.
Election results tell us who we are while other statistics only hint at what we are.
That is too strong. Elections only reveal one dimension of our souls. But they do reveal that dimension. This is why it mattered so much how many people would or would not rise to the occasion and cast a vote for honor by refusing to vote for either the racist, misogynist, illiberal reprobate or the kingpin of a billion dollar criminal empire.
Alas, not many did. That fact reveals much about our souls, even if it does not reveal the whole.
Keep your eye on independent sources like DD and chip something in once in a while. We need independent sources of information to be free.