Snoutcounting was a derisive slang term in the language of the Race to describe democracy, a system unheard of in any culture known to the Race other than "Tosevites" and considered under the Race's sensibilities to be anarchistic. However, when analyzing democratic nations, such as America and Canada, the Race were dumbfounded how "anarchistic not-empires" could exist so long. Thus, Fleetlord Atvar took it for granted that the death of Franklin Roosevelt would cause America to collapse, but instead was surprised and disappointed when Cordell Hull succeeded to the Presidency.
Shiplord Straha, who'd defected to the U.S. in 1944 and was actually quite flexible in his world view, was similarly confused by the American democratic system, even after decades as a U.S. resident. As late as the 1964 election, Straha fully expected that the system would prove untenable. In the Race expatriate community living in the U.S., there were some males that looked kindly on American democracy and even proposed to institutionalizing it for the Race as well. To Straha's perspective, it struck him as laughable.