Pennsylvania’s still-recovering stroke victim and senator-elect, whose parents provided him with his main source of income for a considerable amount of his adult life, is the blueprint for America’s future politicians. Why bother proving your merit as a statesman when the system in which you’re entrenched is calibrated to ensure your success?
The American exercise in meritocratic self-governance and democratic republicanism is rapidly dying, and in its place, the old-world practice of political patronage is making its return. Yes, kingmakers and financiers have long been present in our political process. But in the era of “fortified” elections — in which nonprofit organizations funded by left-wing multi-billionaires, such as Mike Bloomberg and Mark Zuckerberg, have ensured Democrat constituencies have robust and immutable mail-in voting apparatuses — we are entering a new phase in American politics in which he who has the most gold (and can best navigate the new system) rules.
Some may argue it’s naive to insist this, but previously, and traditionally, elections were largely a contest of merit. Candidates presented themselves to the electorate, made their case for why they should be trusted with power, and the public rolled the dice. James Madison more or less affirmed this in Federalist No. 10 by arguing that the members of a republic will be more likely to trust a higher quality person with power:
In the next place, as each representative will be chosen by a greater number of citizens in the large than in the small republic, it will be more difficult for unworthy candidates to practice with success the vicious arts by which elections are too often carried; and the suffrages of the people being more free, will be more likely to centre in men who possess the most attractive merit and the most diffusive and established characters.
Not to disparage Fetterman’s character, because I don’t know him — and the fact that he refused to apologize for pulling a shotgun on an unarmed black man after mistaking him for a criminal speaks for itself — but his election to the U.S. Senate by Pennsylvanians indicates that it and his cognitive function simply don’t matter.
Fetterman and his opponent, longtime daytime TV personality Mehmet Oz, had their one and only debate on Oct. 25 — literally two weeks before Election Day. Why did it take so long for Fetterman and Oz to share the stage? He was either hiding the fact that he was still in the early stages of recovering from a stroke and did not have full control of his audio-verbal faculties, as footage from the debate and pre-election interviews clearly indicate, or he was hiding the fact that his policy proposals are utterly insane and would only further exacerbate issues, such as violent crime, his constituents face on a daily basis.
Either way, at the end of the day, he hid important information from the people he wanted to trust him with power. And it worked because he had access to a mountain of money, with $56,690,623 raised by Fetterman’s campaign and $35,091,809 provided by outside groups, and benefited from a state election system that has effectively broken with the American political tradition by implementing a mail-in voting apparatus whose legality is dubious at best and threatens to turn formerly competitive states into post-political strongholds for the Democratic Party.
Prior to debating Oz, Fetterman’s campaign secured 463,964 early votes; this is almost double Fetterman’s entire margin of victory in the general election. Is it not likely that had these nearly half a million people not cast their ballot by mail and waited until they saw Fetterman struggle to articulate his thoughts on stage, they might have voted differently?
Furthermore, prior to Fetterman’s election to the Senate, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a ruling from a lower court in Pennsylvania that allowed mismarked ballots to be counted, but despite the court’s rulings, state officials encouraged these ballots to still be considered during this past election cycle.
In a statement, Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman reportedly said, “Today’s order from the U.S. Supreme Court vacating the Third Circuit’s decision on mootness grounds was not based on the merits of the issue and does not affect the prior decision of Commonwealth Court in any way. It provides no justification for counties to exclude ballots based on a minor omission, and we expect that counties will continue to comply with their obligation to count all legal votes.”
Emissaries of the Democratic Party know how to calibrate the mail-in voting system to ensure their victory. They know that, nationally, Republicans are slow to adopt similar mentalities and protocols. They know the likelihood of them being told to knock off the funny business is low. And they’re not going to let any time between now and the time the GOP reaches strategic parity go to waste.
Unimpressive people like Fetterman, who have access to nearly infinite resources and a meticulously calculated political machine, will continue lining the halls of power in ill-fitting suits as they advance radical left-wing policies. They will proliferate, and they will become the norm if they are not already.
Similarly, there will undoubtedly be more people like Katie Hobbs, who, like Fetterman, wasn’t elected on her merits in a classically understood, head-to-head election in the American political tradition. Despite this, she is still somehow able to continue ascending to higher and higher office.
Hobbs refused to debate her opponent Kari Lake despite trailing her in the polls and was Arizona’s chief elections officer during the state’s 2020 presidential election kerfuffle. Nevertheless, she majorly benefited from dubious circumstances on Election Day in which in-person voting, which heavily favors Republicans, went awry with widespread technical failures. Republican voters in Arizona were disenfranchised by the incompetence of the state’s election officials, with thousands reporting they were unable to engage in the democratic process, while Democratic voters had their votes safely cast weeks before Election Day on Nov. 8.
Mail-in voting and electoral shenanigans, like what occurred in Arizona and Pennsylvania, are the new norm. As are uninspiring and mediocre candidates, such as Fetterman and Hobbs, churned out by political machines.
Unless the American people start demanding more from their political parties, their government, and themselves, things will not improve. But, ultimately, until the Republican Party can figure out how to deny Democrats the strategic advantage that mail-in voting grants them, we better get used to seeing our statesmen showing up to work in hoodies.