Posted by Darcy Richardson at Uncovered Politics:
ST. LOUIS, Nov. 4 — According to the Associated Press, 90 million Americans — only 42% of registered voters — pulled the lever for a congressional candidate on Tuesday. That’s just a hair under 29% of the US population of 310.6 million.
“So much for the consent of the governed,” says Thomas L. Knapp of the fledgling X2012 Project. “In a typical district, the next US Representative was chosen by, at most, one out of four or five registered voters and less than one in six of his or her alleged constituents.”
“A majority of those who could have voted refused to. A supermajority either chose not to vote or weren’t allowed to vote,” says the edgy and contemplative media coordinator and senior news analyst for the Center for a Stateless Society. “Yet for the next two years, that politician will claim to ‘represent,’ and to possess legitimate authority to rule, all of them.”
The X2012 Project, which hopes to build grassroots support for a massive boycott of the 2012 general election, aims to put the lie to those claims. Launched as the polls closed on Tuesday evening, X2012 is a “branding campaign” which allows non-voters to dispute the conventional wisdom that their abstention is rooted in apathy or that it constitutes implicit consent to the existing system of government.
A July Rasmussen poll found that only 23% of Americans believe the US government functions with “the consent of the governed” — the criterion of legitimacy set forth by America’s founders in the Declaration of Independence.
“Thomas Jefferson didn’t say ‘a majority of the governed,’” says Knapp, a longtime third-party activist who ran for vice president on the nascent Boston Tea Party in 2008 while simultaneously garnering 8,628 votes as the Libertarian Party’s nominee for Congress in Missouri’s 2nd congressional district.
”Even a significant minority of dissenters calls the legitimacy of a government into question,” says Knapp. ”Some estimates say that fewer than one third of Americans supported the Revolution at its beginning. We’ve got a better case against John Boehner, Harry Reid and Barack Obama than Tom Paine had against George III.”
Darcy G. Richardson is the author of six books, including five volumes of a planned seven-volume history on independent and third-party politics in the United States.