Post by David Tenner
 Elected, not "elected"--which is why a strongman
like Mugabe doesn't count.
Except that Mugabe was actually elected. Elections
in Zimbabwe were not entirely "free and fair", and
in fact substantially corrupted and distorted. But
neither were they mere rituals where voters had no
In the election of 2008, opposition leader Tsvangirai
actually led in the first round, 48% to 43%. Tsvangirai
then claimed an actual win (i.e. over 50%), prevented
by fraud by Mugabe, and refused to participate in the
It is arguable that Tsvangirai's allegation was correct,
and that he was denied victory by intimidation and fraud
in voting in some areas dominated by Mugabe's followers.
In the 1916 US Presidential election, supporters of
Democrat Woodrow Wilson carried out vote suppression
on a massive scale: over a million black citizens were
eleven southern states were illegally barred from voting,
a practice enforced by Ku Klux Klan violence.
(By 1916, the practice was so thoroughly entrenched that
no violence was needed to enforce it; no black in those
states dared challenge it.)
Wilson won the national popular vote by 570,000; had
those citizens been allowed to vote, Republican
Charles Hughes would have won by at least 500,000.
(Though to be sure, elections in those states being
effectively uncontested depressed white voting there
Of course the popular vote does not choose the
President, and Wilson won the electoral vote 277-254.
However, his total popular vote margin in the eleven
states was about 862,000, and so Hughes could have
carried those states, flipping 125 EV. Again, though,
had blacks voted, white voters would almost certainly
have turned out in much greater numbers to oppose the,
and nine of those states had white majorities. But two
did not: Mississippi and South Carolina, which had 19
EV. If only those states flipped, that would be enough
to elect Hughes instead.
Arguably, then, Hughes should have won the 1916 election,
like Tsvangirai in 2008, and Wilson (like Mugabe) won in
part because of forcible suppression of opposition in some
Would one therefore say, though, that Wilson was not
elected, but "elected"?
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.