Let me start with the fact that I’m not a political wizard, but I’m an observer of how our politics have been working for generations and it from that observation that I make my comments.
One of the most outdated things we have now is the limited 2-party system, because it virtually eliminates any other candidate who isn’t democratic or republican, or it pits two worthy candidates against each other instead of letting the voters decide which one to support. This greatly effects citizens voting because, as we have seen from this last (2016) election, citizens are now highly aware of the purpose of the Electoral College (EC) system and they now have seen proof that no matter how they voted, the EC will override any efforts they make to put the most prepared candidate into office.
So, what do we know about the EC? Most of us know little to nothing (much of what I learned was in high school and I’ve forgotten all of that) so I did a little research.
“The Electoral College was created for two reasons. The first purpose was to create a buffer between population and the selection of a President. The second as part of the structure of the government that gave extra power to the smaller states. The first reason that the founders created the Electoral College is hard to understand today. The founding fathers were afraid of direct election to the Presidency. They feared a tyrant could manipulate public opinion and come to power” (historycentral.com).
By my count, the EC has outlived its usefulness because what it was constructed to prevent has come to fruition in that a power-hungry tyrant manipulated public opinion to win the vote for the highest political office in our country. Now, more than in the 1800s when it was first established, people are able to get to the polls to vote (when republicans aren’t using trickery to keep people of color from voting). As soon as the EC is eliminated, I predict that voters will again flock to the polls to vote because they’ll then understand that EVERY VOTE COUNTS (one person, one vote); it doesn’t work that way with the EC as it’s currently designed.
“The number of electoral votes is derived by adding the number of Senators (100) plus the number of members in the House of Representatives (435) plus three (3) additional votes for the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia was awarded three electoral votes with the passage of the 23rd amendment in 1961. This adds up to 538 total votes [270 is the majority]” (http://712educators.about.com/cs/polisciresource/f/numberelectors.htm).
Yup, out of ~324,363,800 (census.gov) citizens, of which 242,470,800 are adults, of which 207,643,600 (answers.com) are eligible to vote, of which only ~47,000,000 voted (statisticbrain.com), it only took 538 votes overrode the millions. That’s 538 votes (270 is the majority number)! Also check out the video (at http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/thepresidentandcabinet/a/Puerto-Rico-And-The-Presidential-Election.htm) that tells about how the EC functions.
PLUS, the more than half a million Washington, DC residents are not allowed to vote, and neither are those American citizens in Puerto Rico nor any of the other American territories, even though they all have delegates and they can vote in the primary elections (how crazy is that!?). That also needs to change. Instead of looking to how California votes to foresee how the nation will vote, the voters in DC should lead the way in predicting the outcome of elections because they hear more about what’s going on in government via the news channels than the rest of the country is privy to.
Questions no one asks: Why have we [the public] never seen a list of the people chosen as EC voters, or know anything about them? What are their backgrounds? Are they educated, well versed in politics, or is it just someone chosen because they are party-loyal? Are they career politicians who use their power to garner influence with politicians? Do they vote twice (as a citizen and as an EC voter)? Why have we never seen these EC voters publicly researching candidates, or interviewing them about their positions? Why are they never seen on those public political panels discussing governmental issues? How were they selected? How long have they held that position? How are they viewed in their community? How many contributions have they received from various politicians and/or candidates? If they go against the popular vote (the people’s choice) what are they basing their decisions on? As Dr. Phil always says, “people with nothing to hide, hide nothing.” What are they hiding from the public?
If the rules of sanity (as displayed in this past election) were reversed and Hillary was the republican candidate spewing all that horrible nonsense through the media that we are inundated with these days, I would have voted for the orangeguy in a heartbeat because, regardless of what sin he’d committed politically (and everyone makes mistakes), at least he would be reasonably sane and Hillary would have been the crazy one.
Looking at it another way, if Senator Obama had been televised talking about grabbing women’s private parts, would he have even been considered a viable candidate. Does anyone remember how much the media talked about the (then) Senator having no experience to run for such an office—a SENATOR!? If Senator Obama had a foreign, English-as-a-second-language wife when he was running for election in 2008 would the public have questioned how she gained her citizenship—or IF she had? Would they demand that she show them stamped and verified documentation of said citizenship, requested pictures of the swearing in ceremony, required the judge to submit verification, or ask to see pictures of her taking the oath? If they saw proof positive of him lying about everything he uttered from his mouth in a ten-second delay as it is verified using a truth app, would he even have been elected?
And just look at the public outcry (begun by Pat Roberson) when Mrs. Obama wore a quite tasteful sleeveless dress (a sleeveless DRESS!!), what would have been the public outcry for having naked pictures of her circulated around the world like the incoming president elect’s wife has (Pat Robertson deemed them “tasteful art”)?
If President Obama had never been seen in a church like the new president elect, would we be questioning his status as a Christian? [NOTE: Even though President Obama was a member of a Baptist church when elected, certain citizens didn’t like the pastor of that church so they pressured him to sever his membership, only to turn around and accuse him of being a Muslim. Yet they never saw the absurdity of these accusations when he was first accused of belonging to the “wrong” Christian church.]
If President Obama’s two daughters were adults when he came into office and he GAVE both daughters, and their respective husbands, high ranking positions in his administration, how loud would be the outcry for his recall (especially if they had no experience or knowledge of their duties)? If his wife chose to stay in another state in order that his daughter assume the duties of his wife, what would be the nation’s take on that? And then, what if President Obama had kept his business ventures running as he ran the country, would voters be worried and demand he dissolve them before taking office? Voters can NOT change the rules to be against one person and reverse them to be okay for the person you want.
How many are familiar with the Norquist Pledge, which began in 1986 under the auspices of president Ronald Reagan? Well, simply stated, it reads:
I, ______, pledge to the taxpayers of the ______ district of the state of ______ and to the American people that I will: One, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and Two, to oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/11/norquists-tax-pledge-what-it-is-and-how-it-started/).
Although it looks straightforward and uncomplicated, its broad wording is deceptive and getting incoming republican politicians to sign the pledge is the (almost) sole job of Grover Norquist, who is neither an elected official nor a politician, but he holds the power to bully anyone in disagreement, or objecting to signing it.
Now more than thirty years later (2016) the pledge is alive and well and every republican who comes into office is coerced into signing it. Its broad goal started out to be about stifling any vote about raising taxes, but it has evolved since then to pressure every newly elected republican to be party loyal or suffer the consequences of being unsupported on any and every bill they try to pass (60 Minutes report, https://youtu.be/K25kqP0YdZ0).
It is incredible, but a majority of Republicans have signed a solemn pledge to assist Grover Norquist in his drive to “inflict pain” and drown the government in a bathtub regardless the consequences to the United States or its people.
There is no rhyme or reason to Norquist’s pledge except, as Norquist says, “to drag the government into the bathroom and drown it in a bathtub,” and if he can “inflict pain” on the American people in the process, then as John Boehner is wont to say, “so be it.” Willard Romney signed Norquist’s pledge, but he plans to raise taxes on the poor 60%, and eliminate tax deductions for the middle class, so he already plans on breaking his promise to Norquist but it is acceptable because it “inflicts pain” on working Americans to reward his wealthy elitist friends. (politicususa.com, 2012).
The worse thing we do as citizens is to betray our country by being party-loyal in spite of what goals our individual party has; this is how the 1% (or rich white males) have held this country hostage since its inception. The lower white 99% remain hopeful that there will someday be a trickle-down effect that they will benefit from, but this system not designed for them either. If, as an American citizen, you don’t agree with the direction your party leaders are headed, at least have enough intelligence to NOT go along with wrongdoings; don’t be a lemming (someone who follows blindly and without question as to the direction of its leaders).
Personally, I can like the person, but not like the things that person has done, but I can also envision disliking the person yet appreciating the things the person has done (even though that’s hard to do). In this past election of 2016, I disregarded as much of the media rhetoric as I could and looked at the PERSON. Yes, they both had their flaws, no doubt about it. One didn’t necessarily have personal flaws, but had a specific political flaw that stemmed from one major over-televised event (even though she was cleared of wrongdoing). And even though she wasn’t the only one who made the decision that ended up costing the lives of citizens in foreign posts, the proverbial buck stopped with her. However, prior to that and since then, she has worked to ensure the progress of the American people—ALL THE PEOPLE, not just select ones.
The other has been doing things to harm, rob, cheat, and steal from other hard working citizens his ENTIRE 70 years of life, as well as child abuse and being caught on camera bragging about molesting women. All the vehement arguments in his favor have never cited anything he’s done for America, they have ALL been based on what Hillary did (that they never paid any attention to when it happened, but used it against her during the election). And for the orangeguy, her opponent, there has yet to be ONE thing that can be pointed to that he’s done (not promised) that has benefitted anyone outside of his cloned children or his billionaire peers. He has considered himself so much of a god that almost everything he’s made his entire life has his name on it.
Every statement the orangeguy makes is about how wonderful he is and how rich he is and how “overrated” everyone else is in comparison to himself. And his voters laugh hardily at his mean tweets, verbal and physical abuse of others, as if that’s a good thing to model to their children. Then, before he is even sworn into office he’s begun staffing people to dismantle everything that has been established to make the lives of American citizens more comfortable, especially medical care. There’s no way in hell he’s going to change 70 years of habits to suddenly care for the people who elected him. And, he’s begun his tenure by not following any rules, including nepotism, continuing to retain all of his business ventures, continuing to funnel monies through his foundations, and now chooses to ignore those rules he bullied others about regarding taxes and birth certificates, neither of which he has produced. He started off the bat by appointing so many white supremacists and supremacist supporters to his staff he might as well rename the White House—KKK Hq. It’ll be pathetic to see all those faces of outrage when the average citizen finally understands the impact of their voting decisions when they start losing their jobs and can’t get even the basic medical care for their families. And let’s not even mention how he will pirate Social Security funds (which are NOT public nor government monies, but retirement savings federally mandated to be taken from the paychecks of citizens, with the promise of giving it back to them when they reach retirement age).
This president-elect has adult children who are quick to say that they had to EARN their elite positions, but underlying that is the truth that no matter what they did they were supported by money, never worried about paying their rent, eating, medical care from the best doctors, or shopping in every top tier store in the world. They learned from him to establish foundation that have been proven to only funnel monies to themselves, not at all to the people or places they were established to do. All the while they were learning the family business they KNEW the names of the people their father cheated like his builders, his contractors, people he stole land from, and his heavy-handed use of eminent domain laws which evicted citizens from their homes and properties that were in the way of something he wanted to build and put his name on–including the elderly (which is how he initially came to the attention of people who watched the news). His business practices are proving to be (almost) monumental conflicts for a presidential position (https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/26/us/politics/donald-trump-international-business.html?_r=0).
If you can see that your party is doing something that doesn’t progress this country and its citizens forward, don’t support them, anything less than that shows your weakness to think for–and make decisions on behalf of–yourself. But whatever the hell you do, don’t vote for and support a selfish white supremacist who has never given a damn for hard working people (nothing other than promised he will), supports white supremacist behaviors (and displayed them regularly), invokes violence (as seen on TV during many public speeches), mocks the disabled (as seen on TV), has never been even associated with a religion—that alone a church (and wanting a CHRISTIAN president was part of the pushback for President Obama), has a child that seems to exhibit a disability (or special needs, but admitting he sees his son as less than perfect will somehow affect the way he sees himself as perfect). And, according to the people who have made such statements that he has never given back a damn thing in his 70 years of life, consider that they can’t ALL be lying about that.
What we need is to: 1) Enable DC citizens and those American citizens living in U.S. territories to have voting rights; 2) Disband the Electoral College; 3) Install an all-party system to represent a wider distribution of voter attitudes; 4) Make Social Security off limits to any and every political huckster who threatens to misuse it for purposes it was never intended; 5) Make voting age automatic when people reach the age of 21 years.
Lastly, don’t try to dismiss your support of the 2016 president elect under the guise of you wanting to destroy the system or status quo?! Instead, admit that you support and believe in the ideals of white supremacy. Don’t hide behind it—OWN IT.