Thank you for such a thoughtful response, Kevin. You’ve given me some new things to think about.
While I didn’t intend to equate racism and democracy, I do believe that the existence of the former leads us to a more imperfect representation of the latter. Democracy works best when it is truly of the people and for the people. Thanks to gerrymandering and voter suppression, we live under an inherently racist imbalance of power which allows racist policies to continue to flourish. Our congress is only now beginning to reflect the diversity of the people it represents, and that is because BIPOC voices have fought hard to have their voices heard at the ballot box.
I also certainly cannot boil this election down to a single issue, as I so firmly believe that single issue voters are our most dangerous. I do not believe that democracy is the silver bullet cure-all for racism. I don’t view racism as a policy issue like abortion or gun rights, although without policy changes, we cannot dismantle the systems that allow racism to endure. But repairing our democracy is not going to solve the problem in its entirety.
I had a discussion with a friend who asked me how I would have advised her to vote because voting against racism meant that she also had to vote for the candidate that otherwise stood against everything that she stood for. My only reaction to that was that she was in a shitty dilemma and needed to decide what stood out as being more in line with her Christian values.
Even so, I’ve been thinking about her question for two weeks as I’m working on an article to respond to that, but in short, the GOP failed its conservative base by allowing a candidate who was so wildly not anything that they stand for to represent them. That’s not fair to conservative voters who both want to condemn racism and also uphold their conservative values. Condemning racism is fully aligned with Christian principles. How it ended up on opposite sides of the coin is an understanding of the downward spiral of the Church that I don’t have the energy to ponder.
I do believe that a healthy democracy allows for dissenting views to be presented to the voters, and that we all have to abide by the consequences of the majority rule. In a normal election year, I would have spoken out against policies I disagreed with, but would not have excoriated those who voted for them.