By Ray Cardello for June 25, 2021. Season 2 / Post 11
There is no more overused word in the English language than Existential. Just watch a night of CNN or MSNBC programming. Sorry, nobody should have to do that. Just watch an hour, and you will find them using the word to describe any issue supported by the Right. It must be a trigger word for their viewers, but it is nothing more than hyperbole. It’s very lazy to have to resort to this method of journalism.
Let’s first look at the meaning of Existential:
Definition of existential
1: of, relating to, or affirming the existence
In other words, existential refers to something being essential for life to exist or something that threatens life itself. A tsunami heading towards a small island in the Pacific is an existential threat. People will die when a wall of water overtakes the land. Not being able to hold a BLM celebration in downtown Exeter should not be described as existential. Nobody will die as a direct effect of not having a celebration.
CNN and MSNBC went over the edge this week in their reporting of the Voter Rights Bill and how the filibuster impacted the passage of the bill. The term filibuster sounds so ominous and should be eliminated. But it simply means that for a bill to pass through the Senate, it must have at least 60 votes to affirm. The other meaning of filibuster is the old-fashioned manner in which a Senator would be recognized, take the floor, and begin reading from a phone book. He would do anything to keep talking and maintain his old of the floor. Some might remember an old movie with Jimmy Stewart, one of my favorite actors, acting out a Senator filibustering. The Democrats want the filibuster killed_not the Jimmy Stewart version but the 60 vote version.
Killing the filibuster would lower the Senate to just another version of the House with bills passing on a simple majority vote. In today’s Senate, the parties are so close that Kamala Harris could be called on to cast the deciding vote. That scenario is a scary thought. Our forefathers designed the Senate to be the deliberative chamber, and thus the 60 vote requirement is essential by design.
Let’s get back to existential. There is nothing life or death about the Voting Rights Bill, and to call it existential is a cheap attempt at sensationalism, not journalism. But, then again, these talking heads on CNN and MSNBC are not journalists. This may be one of the reasons that their ratings are tanking so severely since January.
One final comment on the Voting Rights Bill and specifically voter suppression. There is no suppression. There were 137 million votes cast in the 2016 Presidential election. In the 2020 election 159,633,396 people voted. This is the largest voter turnout in U.S. history. This is also the largest percentage of the voting-eligible population in 120 years at 66.7%.
Those numbers and turnouts are not enough for the Democrats. They want to add undocumented immigrants to the voter lists and reduce the voting age to 16. The Dems feel confident that both of these voting blocks will secure all elections for them into the future. They may be correct, but if the Republicans have their way, neither will happen. Citizenship has its reward, and one is a vote. Undocumented immigrants have not earned a vote. Though thoroughly indoctrinated, sixteen-year-olds still do not have the maturity or mental acuity to decide who should lead this country.
Give the Dems an A for effort, but they will get an F for not being able to pull it off!