Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Silent Biden Voters

One of the memes going around in just about every election is the “silent majority.”  It’s what Nixon claimed as his mandate when he ran in 1968, defining it as people who were for him but weren’t marching in the streets.  The implication was that they didn’t announce their support for him because either they were afraid to, which was part of Nixon’s own paranoia projecting itself, or that those who opposed him were the ones who were rioting.  Now we’re hearing it from Trump; people are for him but they are afraid of invoking the wrath of antifa and A.O.C.   He also implies that his supporters aren’t showing up in polling because they’re afraid to admit to some pollster that they’re really for him, so they lie.

So for argument’s sake, let’s say that he’s right: that there are people out there who are afraid to admit they support a candidate either out of fear of social shaming or they just don’t speak up until they vote.  I think the same could be said about Democrats.  There are probably a large number of voters who support the Democratic ticket but have seen the cult-like ranting of Trump supporters and the vitriol directed by Trump himself to his opponents and decide to keep quiet.  Based on my own anecdotal analysis, there are far more silent Biden voters than those who wear campaign buttons or put signs on their lawn.

I have no scientific basis to back that up; like I said, it’s anecdotal and based on about fifty years of watching elections, both local and national.  And this time it seems to be based on the visceral feeling that this country has had enough of this blatant lying, corruption, cronyism, and cynicism and are ready for anything to transform the current administration.  They don’t have to say it out loud, but if my years of watching and participating and hearing what has been going on, they will speak out loudly when it matters.