[Opinion] Live with the Outcome of the Vote

Tomorrow in the United States, is election day.

There is, during local, state, and national elections, the usual appeals to get people to engage in phone calling for candidates, rallies, polling, and all the other “get out the vote” parts of an election campaign.

The appeals come from the idea that it is easy to convince people not to vote; thus, by getting in their face with constant appeals to participate in all aspects of the voting process (from planting a yard sign to actually voting) the candidates hope to ensure that people are persuaded to vote.

This is all well and good. But towards the end of an elections cycle, such appeals can rise to the level of farce.

What’s far more important is how candidates, and their supporters, live with the outcome of an election.

Candidates and supporters don’t need to be told how to get out the vote.

Candidates and supporters need to be told how to live with outcomes they might not like.

Or that they might have voted against.

This ability to deal with outcomes that are not voted for, without engaging in disruptive revolution, is a fixture of the United States electoral process, because of how the electoral process is designed via the Constitution: A candidate and their ideas may be popular, but if there isn’t enough support from populations in states with a high number of electoral votes, then the candidate loses.

Being a popular loser is something that past candidates have some experience with at the national level in the United States, and because of this two-tiered system, the electoral process has always been relatively free from the chicanery and corruption that sometimes rules in plurality, or parliamentary based systems.

The thing that drives the difficulty in living with the outcome is partially the media. We get the media system that we have built, and in the United States, it is a system based on short attention spans, emotional hijacking, and spreading of rumor as fact.

But we allowed that system to be built.

The other thing that increasingly drives anger, and dissatisfaction with electoral outcomes, is the fact that as the United States has become more fractured in its media consumption of facts, there has been the corresponding rise of tribal like behavior. This type of behavior, instigated by a click happy media structure, creates a perfect storm of disaffection and unrest, that goes beyond the outcomes of election days.

And it will go beyond Tuesday as well.

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