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Voters say democracy is on the ballot … but whose democracy?

Voters say democracy is on the ballot … but whose democracy?

Recent polls have indicated that the future of democracy is among the top issues in voters’ minds.  It generally comes in near the top three critical issues – with immigration and the economy alternating between one and two.  The best showing for the “future of democracy” has been a third place showing in a single poll.  Regardless, it is an issue of significance in the voters’ minds.

That is generally interpreted as a good issue for Democrats – who have been pumping it as the existential issue.  Nothing – not immigration, the economy, crime, wars overseas nor even abortion – is as important as their alleged threats to the Republic posed by the reelection of President Trump.

A recent CNN poll showed that REPUBLICAN voters in New Hampshire place the democracy question as the second most important issue – just behind immigration and ahead of economic concerns. 

CNN’s election analyst David Chalian declared that to be good news for the Democrat political narrative.  He said it puts those voters on the progressive side – “if you can put a philosophic label on the issue.”  (Memo to Chalian:  It IS a philosophical issue.)  Anchor Dana Bash doubled down by calling the polling outcome “surprising.”   But is it?

Apparently, Chalian and Bash are so myopically committed to the Democrat narrative that neither apply logic nor understanding to the meaning of those polling numbers.

In terms of logic.  Chalian and Bash would have you believe in the Democrat version – essentially that electing President Trump will put an end to American democracy … period.  Why would Republican voters who are overwhelmingly casting their votes for Trump think he is a threat to the Republic?  That does not pass the smell test.

No, there was no flaw in the polling.  What Chalian and CNN could not explain is easily explained.  When the voters of New Hampshire say the future of democracy is an important election issue, the question is which party do they believe is the greatest threat. 

Conservatives, like me, have long said that progressivism is an evolving threat to democracy.  We fear that the left’s imposition of an ever more powerful, more regulatory, more expensive and expansive federal government ruled over by a Washington elitist establishment is the real threat to personal freedom – ergo THE long-term threat to American Democracy.  We do see democracy as an important issue, just from a different perspective.  And it is on the ballot for conservatives.

This is a frequent problem in polling.  We often see that the general public has an overwhelming lack of confidence in Congress.  But that does not tell us which side of the aisle they distrust the most.  In the past – when the more informative questions are asked – the party in charge tends to get more blame than the “outs”.  The current polling data that has been reported does not indicate the reason behind the polling number.

Any competent political strategist knows that such a general question – without an indication of the partisan or philosophic breakdown – is useless for planning purposes.  The way Chalian and CNN spun the story could lead democrats to wrongly believe that THEIR democracy narrative is a winning issue.  That is not necessarily true.

Based on my 50 years of dealing with politics and polls, it is my opinion that the vast majority of those Republican voters who placed the future of democracy as a major consideration are not buying into the Democrats’ narrative or the Chalian/CNN spin.  They see the increasingly radical leftwing Democratic Party as the danger.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Andrew Gutterman

    Nothing new here. The Right sees the Left as the enemy, and the Left sees the Right as the enemy. That’s what full polarization is all about. I live in a predominantly right wing county. Any discussion i have with my neighbors is “Trump is divine, he can do no wrong, and is going to rescue our country from the Democratic demons.” The fact that he did not do that the last time he was President does not matter. He will do it this time. Talk to Democrats, and get the opposite. These are all Boomers, and that’s the problem.

    Neither party has the answer, as for all intents and purposes they are identical. Concentrate power in Washington.

    It will take the new generations to fix this, and they have a far different outlook than the Boomers do.

    • larry Horist

      Andrew Gitterman… I whole heartily agree with you general conclusion , that we need a new generation in leadership. I have previously written my belief that a major problem is that we are a house divided … polarized as you not. And tribalize at the same time. We have lost the common values and common culture that made America so successful in the past.


    Like this one although I am impressed that either side put this on the slate given very hard to make concrete. But impressed that the Democrats can find a brand that seems to resonaste. What’s next, convincing us the Inflation Reduction Act is aptly named?

    I have no issue with calling out Trump’s actions, dictatorial and otherwise, but the “democracy” umbrella is too etheral for me.

    • Somebody

      Thank GOD YOU are not running for a seat or we would be calling out your actions.

      • Dan tyree

        Trump was hindered from making America great again by rinos and lying commiecrat assholes We are a republic. Not a democracy. Democracy is a wolf , fox and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch. Real freedom is a well armed sheep. And that’s not just arms. It’s knowledge, which is power. Of course arms are very important too


          Dan, good reason not to vote Trump. He says he can do it and then claims he’s “hindered.” Challenged is more like it. How about “that’s what happened on Trump’s watch and there’s nothign to say it won’t happen again. Or plain-speaking, fooled me once, same on you. We won’t be fooled again, no, no, no.

          so fitting for Trump from The Who, the only band that makes you want to fight, just for fun.

          “We’ll be fighting in the streets (democrats)
          With our children at our feet
          And the morals that they worship will be gone (far right prudisms)
          And the men who spurred us on (Trump)
          Sit in judgement of all wrong
          They decide and the shotgun sings the song (Ithaca in my case)
          I’ll tip my hat to the new Constitution
          Take a bow for the new revolution
          Smile and grin at the change all around
          Pick up my guitar and play
          Just like yesterday
          Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
          We don’t get fooled again (not by an orange-haired devil at least)

          A change, it had to come
          We knew it all along
          We were liberated from the fold, that’s all (Summer of Floyd during Trump woke us)
          And the world looks just the same
          And history ain’t changed
          ‘Cause the banners, they all flown in the last war

          I’ll tip my hat to the new Constitution
          Take a bow for the new revolution
          Smile and grin at the change all around
          Pick up my guitar and play
          Just like yesterday
          Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
          We don’t get fooled again, no, no

          I’ll move myself and my family aside (canada looks good)
          If we happen to be left half-alive
          I’ll get all my papers and smile at the sky
          For I know that the hypnotized never lie
          Do you?

          There’s nothing in the street
          Looks any different to me
          And the slogans are effaced, by-the-bye (maga, hang pence, stop the steal, build the wall, boring)
          And the parting on the left
          Is now parting on the right
          And the beards have all grown longer overnight

          I’ll tip my hat to the new Constitution
          Take a bow for the new revolution
          Smile and grin at the change all around
          Pick up my guitar and play
          Just like yesterday
          Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
          We don’t get fooled again
          Don’t get fooled again, no, no

          Oh yeah, you just want to punck the guy next to you, but in a fun John Wayne barroom brawl sort of way. No one dies, just a lot of ouchies.

          • Dan tyree

            Trump was doing a great job. But stupid people don’t understand that so I’m not wasting time on that. But retard joe and his token ho has damaged and weakened the country. And they have done nothing to fix the problems that they created

          • FRANK STETSON

            Yes Dan, “stupid people don’t understand” that if you run up the YUGEST deficit to cap off the HUGEST debt EVER, and you give some breadcrumbs to the masses of sheep following you, that numerically, on the economy, Trump does not look that good at all.

            Worst gdp growth since Hoover. You know what lack of gdp growth means, right? I mean he even had a recession.

            Under Joe we’ve gone boom, bust, and now are recovering ahead of the entire globe just surpassing China. From Rueters: ” Of all the economic and market curve balls investors have had to bat away this year, few will be as unexpected as the U.S. economy growing faster than China’s.”


            Joe better fix this problem too, right? Dan, you be living the dream. Wake up and smell the coffee.


    SOMEBODY kneeds me…….

    I’m your huckleberry, swing away Merrill, swing away.

    I just have to say what a joy it is to see folks attack a virtual man because they are impotent to attack the issues. Facts are not thier friends.

  4. Darren

    Any person with half a brain should realize there is something inherently wrong when bringing into our country foreign people and giving them a life when we have so many people suffering already.
    Any person with half a brain should realize when Schumer says ( Keep the truth from the people as we must preserve democracy ) there is
    something wrong with that.
    Any person who actually sees the truth in news and realizes the scales of justice are NOT equal. ( Hunter )
    Any person who sees Biden preaching the evil’s of opinions of one half of AMERICANS while pandering to CHINA knows he is
    full of Crap!
    Politics may be a crooked game, but the real question is when did it become so STUPID!
    The office of president is only as smart as the Man!


      Darren, did Schumer really say: ” Keep the truth from the people as we must preserve democracy” because that would be very, very bad. Or you are making stuff up.

      How is Hunter getting it easy. He’s on a gun charge that is atypical to be charged without an assoicated offense? He hasn’t gone through the court system, so what are you talking about? And, last I checked, Hunter is not even in office.

      Meanwhile, Don didn’t even have to post bail. Four freaking indictments, 91 charges, no bail needed.

      Meanwhile, why were none of the WHITE REPUBLICANS storming the Capital with arms, intending violence, enacting violence ARRESTED on site. Over 1,200 adjuticated law breakers, over 450 in jail, and not one arrest that day as every single one was allowed to walk away.

      Tillerson, a real businessman, on his Trump experience: “His understanding of global events, his understanding of global history, his understanding of U.S. history was really limited. It’s really hard to have a conversation with someone who doesn’t even understand the concept for why we’re talking about this,” he added that he: “started taking charts and pictures with (him) because I found that those seemed to hold his attention better.” Crayons are useful too.

      Steve Bannon said Turnip is “like an 11-year-old child” and he was “sick of being a wet nurse to a 71-year-old man.”

      Kate Walsh said her working with Trump is “like trying to figure out what a child wants.”

      Bob Corker, TN Senator claimed: “The White House has become an adult day care center.”

      yeah, so brilliant a businessman that he’s about to have his business either crippled or taken away.

      • Harold blankenship

        The White House has became a nursing home for president sundown. Why would anyone want to elect a dementia patient like Biden? What a joke!!!! And Frank, Mike F as in faggot and AC keep on licking his ass. Also Andy. Almost forgot him. We don’t heat from him much. But the smell is still there.

        • Frank stetson

          That’s some opinion you got there HB; too bad you forgot the facts to back it up jack, you must be on crack to be so whack to launch such a weak attack.

          Wow, HB likes to use the word faggot. That’s so 1950’s. But name calling, demeaning others, like he does here, with no basis in fact just highlights his moral fiber as missing. Mad at the world because you feel frustrated with your own accomplishments won’t make your life better.

          If it’s to be, it’s up to me.

          HB; heal yourself from playing the victim. They didn’t do it to you, you made those choices. You can do and be better. Or continue to blames others for your situation.

  5. Mike f

    Larry, You keep amazing me with the bullshit you are willing to put in print-you continue to show your readers that your dementia (like that guy you will support for President) is getting worse. Fascism is a threat to democracy, and that is what the Republican Party is all about today. Under desantis, in your home state of florida, residents continue to lose their rights, restricting what they can say and do in public. That guy you will vote for in November attempted to remain in office after he lost the election-and lost 60 court cases in his misguided attempt to prove voter fraud. I realize you are one of the most ignorant people on the planet, but to even equate the erosion of democracy being undertaken by the current crop of ignorant legislators that Republicans have elected with anything done by their democrat peers is breathtaking in its stupidity..

    • Jim wampler

      Mike faggot stfu. You commie bastards are the facists

    • larry Horist

      Frank f … You are the master of superlative and superfluous childish insults. They reveal nothing about me, but say a lot about you and your intellectual maturity. LOL


        Horist: like what? Got an example? Something extra “superlative or “superfluous?” You imagining things about me again? Dreaming those Stetson dreams again? The ficticous Stetson in your brain’s closet, an earworm you can’t forget? Sure shoot your New Year’s res to hell and back now didn’t you? “Superlative adn superflous childish insults” WTF does that word sandwch mean? A superlative insult? A superflous childish insult? Does that even make any sense?

        • larry Horist

          Frank Stetson … Forgive me. I forgot I am engaging with a kindergartener. Now pay attention and take notes. I used “superlative” because you used the most extreme examples of insults. I used “superfluous” because your insults have no real meaning. Get it? And I got a kick out of you attempting to use the fictitious person argument as a retort. Really? You appear to be out of original thoughts so you are borrowing mine — without justification, of course. Or … maybe you are just tired of the spewing out the retreads. As usual … LMAO

          • FRANK STETSON

            “I used “superlative” because you used the most extreme examples of insults. I used “superfluous” because your insults have no real meaning. Get it?”

            Actually, based on the Oxford English Dictionary, I really don’t get it.

            Superlative: adjective “of the highest quality or degree.”

            Noun “an exaggerated or hyperbolical expression of praise.”

            Superfluous: adjective “unnecessary, especially through being more than enough.”

            Hmm, not even close, but points for alliteration. Demerits on the meaning though. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, you should not chafe at the compliment. You do the same, including your recent jaunt into a masturbation joke as a descriptor a mere 24 hours post my post on same, although mine was a bit more creative.

            And gee, now you are commenting on posters commenting on my posts that you say you know that no one reads or responds to. Go figure how you do that, except in the mind of Horist.

            Sometime, when you feel up to it, let’s talk issues and leave this piddly stuff to the amateurs.

          • larry Horist

            Frank Stetson …. Your response is very queer. When you can understand this response, you will understand why your response was so ignorant. You are so obsessed with having a nasty counterpoint to everything I write even when there is no counterpoint to be had.

  6. AC

    Democracy. If it’s to be on the ballot, as you predict, then the question is “whose democracy”? Is that right? What an interesting turn on the democracy concept. Does philosophy of democracy stir intellectual interest?
    The question should be, what exactly is the democracy that inspired the Founders? Isn’t it that same democracy we believe is the foundation on which our entire system of laws was laid upon.
    Then, again, if we suppose that each individual person voting Republican has their own perspective of what democracy is. For argument sake, let’s assume that Democrats and Independents, too, have their own perspective. All three voters from seeming opposing political perspectives and different views on democracy believe their view and stand by it. Which one of the three are correct when compared to a true working definition for democracy.
    Don’t most Americans agree on the fact that government and we the people have but one democracy in this country?
    When you ask “whose democracy” you presume different parties define democracy differently as conservatives are different from liberals and independents.
    While it’s not true from a party perspective. Both major political parties see democracy the same in the larger context, meaning how governmental bodies align and fit in an efficiently run democracy.
    Where there is confusion, it rests on the individual person in the electorate.
    Basic knowledge on the subject of democracy is in fact minimal among the body of Americans. Some, so called experts who author opinion pieces on democracy spin their story, But their limited knowledge can not pass for a working relationship with democracy in action. This relationship is better known by the term, understanding. Understanding is rare and that rarity is the result of intellectual apathy.
    Individuals often concoct a mythical democracy, one that satisfies their own political agenda and reinforces a distorted version of democracy.
    With confusion running through America and on basic Civics and government’s function. Democracy defined and characteristics publicized will not put a crack in willful ignorance that prevails in America.
    fCivics class during the middle school years when Civics was taught. Learning seemed negligible in that subject. It was hardly plausible at the time that students retained their lessons taught regarding American Government including a unit on Civics. Then as now, desire for knowledge and interest in democracy lessons conflicts with what is produced in the media and false information on FaceBook.
    Discouragement produced by the ease with which propagandists infiltrate minds and influence people’s perspective on democracy.
    Which should be noted that democracy is a subject that should be understood and a constant in our understanding.
    As is the usual, when I read your commentaries I realize your perspective is landing you further right of center than I am left of center. And, in the past several years your perspective has continued its shift more to the right. At the same time I find fewer sources who are fearlessly objective and hold on to truth, objective facts told in correct context.
    Conservatism, like liberalism, I find is hard pressed to
    transmit truth in its messaging. Firebrand Republicans in Congress are media sponges who grab front and center stage to the embarrassment of themselves and their Party. Sadly, their constituents applaud their representatives’ hijinks.


      They were gonna put Constitutional Republic on the ballot but it took up too much room. Same reason Vivek Ganapathy Ramaswamy can never fit on the ballot. Although I think naming your kid after Ganesh is hubris to begin with……