It’s a little late maybe but I’m still trying to figure out the exact mechanics of the Electoral College and the rationale behind it.
Yes I recall in school it was said it was a way to even up the representation between the bigger or more populous states and the smaller states. And then there is that regional interest thing, which in the early, early years was mainly the industrial and small farming North versus the plantation/slave labor economy of the South.
Okay, without going into the pesky and to me somewhat mind-boggling detail, we already know that we don’t directly vote for the president and vice president like we do for, say, our senators and congressmen, or even dog catcher in some places.
Instead, in all but two of the 50 states, whichever candidate wins the majority of the popular vote gets all of the state’s electors, each state being allotted one elector per congressional district and one for each of its two U.S. senators. Nebraska and Maine have a slightly different method, but the only thing that happened this last Fall was that even though Hillary Clinton garnered the majority of electoral votes from Maine, Donald Trump did get one electoral vote there.
(I won’t bother to go into whether an elector can or cannot vote for whomever he or she chooses, although I think clearly that is what the Founding Fathers had in mind. But the reality is that almost all the time they vote for whoever gets the most popular votes in their respective states.)
So back to the idea that minority or regional interests would not get a fair shake in the presidential contest and it would be the tyranny of the majority — it seems the way it turned out in 2016 is that we succumbed to the tyranny of the minority, with Clinton receiving way more votes than Trump but losing nonetheless. Al Gore lost to George W. Bush that way too, but the count was more even, but confused due to some strange or shaky system of voting in Florida — remember the hanging chads and butterfly ballots.
Ever since Nov. 8 I have cursed the whole concept of the Electoral College for making the unthinkable happen, not so much that Princess Hillary was due her spot on the throne as Queen, but that someone so openly ignorant and so boorish as Donald Trump would be president of the United States. I could have put up with Queen Hillary.
But looking at a CNN map of the results, which I provide a link to after this sentence, I see a pattern of voting throughout the regions of the U.S. that indicates Trump had wide support (albeit wide but not deep?), whether I like it or not. Unfortunately not everyone thinks as I do. And, I imagine right about now some are re-thinking it all — but it’s too late.
So, just for the record, and as I guess is shown in that link, it seems to me that Trump won over a large cross-section of the nation, looking at the pattern of the red dots. Using our system, such as it is, both sides knew the rules going in. And while Trump received some 3 million fewer votes he did get nearly 63 million, and that is no small number. Clinton garnered almost 66.
I think it is a bit unseemly now how Mrs. Clinton is going around blaming everyone but herself (admitting only that she made some mistakes) for the loss. Oh, she does have reason to feel aggrieved, no doubt. But even Richard Nixon when he lost to John F. Kennedy in 1960 was gracious in defeat. Subsequently of course he famously was not gracious when he lost the governor’s race in California in ’62. But, he got over it and came back to win the presidency in 1968.
Unlike Nixon, perhaps, it is doubtful Mrs. Clinton will have a chance to return to fight another battle, but she is all but making that impossible with her snide remarks now.
With the benefit of 20-20 hindsight analysts can now determine they think why she lost to Trump. Should have spent more time in Wisconsin, and so on. I always thought the spectacle of the movable rope line to protect Queen Hillary was a bit much, but then how accessible was the thuggish acting Trump with all his hooligans around him, stirring up trouble and ready to brawl with protestors (who for their part probably egged it all on themselves much of the time)?
It’s perception and how it plays on the airwaves and over the internet — not so much in the papers these days I guess. Hillary’s fake smiles (it seemed) and her will-not-suffer fools attitude, and even a hint of feebleness, all hurt her.
The news machine could not seem to get enough of Trump. Did not seem to matter if his antics were good or bad. As the old saying goes, there is no such think as bad publicity for entertainers, and even if he was not entertaining to me, apparently he was to others (sad, I know).
And for sure there is a double standard: if a man acts tough, he is being a man. If a woman acts tough she is not being a lady. If a man is strident in making his point, he is respected. If a woman is strident, she is shrill.
Unfortunately for Hillary, although she is clearly intelligent and well informed and well versed in politics and governing, she does not always seem to have, for lack of a better description on my part, that smooth and graceful yet forceful style of say: Dianne Feinstein, or Madeleine Albright, or Condoleezza Rice.
But more than Hillary I blame the Democratic Party, so lacking in leadership and so disconnected from the people it claims to represent, that it could not have come up with a better candidate. This time the Democrats took a cue from the old GOP playbook and gave the nomination to the next in line, while the Republicans chose the outsider of outsiders.
Yes we do have primary elections, but the party apparatus it has been shown favored Hillary over Bernie Sanders, or anyone else.
And I am not at all sure primary elections are such a good idea — maybe the parties should be stronger and take back control and present their own candidates. Trump seemed forced upon the GOP establishment.
But even so, the choice between Hillary and The Donald should have been seen as experience (Hillary) over ignorant bluster (Trump).
Let’s look ahead to the mid terms and let’s hope that Democrats can get back in the game by taking one or both houses of congress. The GOP needs the competition in order to save the nation and itself.
Impeachment and/or resignation of Trump I think is still a possibility but if you recall the Nixon affair took time. Nixon served a year and a half into his second term until the Watergate scandal proved too much.
Meanwhile we have the spectacle and extreme danger of a mad man at the controls with no one able to immediately do anything about it. The nonsense of the presidential tweets alone would seem enough to judge Trump in an unfit mental state to hold office and subject to removal under the 25th amendment. Swallow your pride Republicans and do something to save the nation. We’d all be proud and thankful to you for it.