Being the Majority

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I’m reading the blog of Camestros Felapton — his history of the political struggles in the SFF community over the past decade or so. What fascinates me about SFF rightwingers is their belief that they are a majority. That they represent the opinions and values of the great mass of Americans. The Hugo vote must be somehow fixed, because in a fair election the books they liked (and which they often had written) would win. The people who believe the American election was stolen are much the same. Of course Trump won, they think, because most people supported him. So if he didn’t get the votes, there must be some kind of fraud.

I find this belief baffling. The Hugo Awards clearly represent the opinions of Worldcon members. They are the ones who vote on the Hugos. When Hugo nomination time rolls around, people do point out which of their stories are eligible. There may be a little politicking: people asking friends to vote for them. But that’s it. There is no fraud, even if you — or I — don’t like the results.

Polls and recent elections suggest that the majority of Americans who vote favor the Democrats, though not by a huge amount. The Electoral College makes it harder for Democrats to win presidential elections; and the way the Senate is set up (two senators per state, regardless of population) favors Republicans, who tend to represent states with low populations. And there is gerrymandering and laws that make it more difficult for people of color to vote. Still and all, in spite of this, Democrats are the majority of the voting population. With all his failings, Biden is more popular than Trump.

Of course the belief that there is some kind of fraud legitimates attempts to overthrow elections. As a number of blogs have pointed, the final argument seems to be: any election that a Democrat wins is fraudulent, because real Americans will always vote Republican.