Ross: Why Biden’s primetime address to the nation fell on deaf ears

Sep 2, 2022, 7:41 AM | Updated: Sep 9, 2022, 7:33 am

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers a primetime speech at Independence National Historical Park Septe...

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers a primetime speech at Independence National Historical Park September 1, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. President Biden spoke on “the continued battle for the Soul of the Nation.” (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The President stood in front of Independence Hall yesterday and said, “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”

“There is no place for political violence in America. Period. None. Ever,” Biden said.

But then he turned hopeful. He said, “We are not powerless in the face of these threats. We are not bystanders in this ongoing attack on democracy.”

But a lot of us are just bystanders.

Let me remind you of the latest numbers. They’re embarrassing, so if there are young children nearby, you may want to cover their ears:

The turnout in our primary election a month ago here in Washington was 40.4%.

That’s actually considered an excellent turnout for a primary election. Ours was the third highest turnout in the nation. In normal times it wouldn’t matter. But these are not normal times. I can’t hand out awards for effort. 40% strikes me as pathetic, even in a primary. Especially in this state.

One of the things I love about Washington is that we make it really hard to not vote.

You get a warning your ballot is coming. You get a state voter’s pamphlet and a local voter’s pamphlet – available in any language. Your ballot is mailed to your home. It comes with detailed directions and a postage-paid envelope. There are so many drop boxes you can probably walk to one. Plus, every mailbox is also a drop box.

So, it takes a determined non-voter to not vote in this state.

And yet, in the August 2nd primary, 2 million 861 thousand and 795 ballots and their postage-paid envelopes were thrown away.

If you laid those wasted ballots down like carpet tiles, they would cover 50 football fields.

And I really hope we do better in November because 40% is a dangerous number.

Why? Here’s why. When pollsters asked a sampling of Americans earlier this year, “it is justified for citizens to take violent action against the government” — which would cover the fringes on the left and the right – 34% said …yes. 34%!

And when only 40% turn out to vote, all it takes to guarantee a win is 20% plus one.

20% plus one! At a time when – if the polling is accurate – 34% are ready to reach for the pitchforks.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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