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Post Election Thread: Democracy Dies In Darkness And You Can Help


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This is just too funny not to share:

Forwarding "We will fight until the last American" as the new NATO motto.

The president of my campus. Tony Frank, just delivered this email. 

 

Because apparently, we need to watch what we say, because other people might get offended. My favorite part is when he urges students to call the police if they feel threatened. Emphasis added by me.

 

Fuck off, Tony.

 

 

So I actually got an email back from the president. If you'll recall, I said something along the lines of, "Calling the police on people with different opinions is fascism, and my freedom of speech doesn't end where my tuition begins." 

 

Here's what he said, and it makes me laugh. 

 

 

Nicholas Oedipus: you’re obviously a smart young man or I wouldn’t bother with a reply. I doubt you even need to reread the message to know that’s not what was said.  Just my opinion: there’s a better use for mental creativity than purposefully misinterpreting things.  Put your rhetoric and talents to better use – we all need them in good policy arguments.  Take care - tony

 

 

Anthony A. Frank

Chancellor and President, Colorado State University

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We're a Republic, not a Democracy. That's the difference. Also certain states like California have a unique stance on who is allowed to vote.

So In a Republic, it makes sense to give the candidate with fewer votes the win?  I was pretty damn mad about it when it happened in 2000 and I am not happy about it now.  The electoral college serves no purpose.  None.  All it does is create weird situations where candidates with fewer votes can win. Every other elected position in this country is awarded on the basis of popular vote, whether it be drain commissioner, congressman, or governor.  The same should apply to President.  I'm not saying that the results of this last election are invalid, but I am saying that moving forward we really need to ditch the electoral college. 

 

Also, everything I see online shows that Trump did not, and will not win the popular vote.  

 

I just want to make it clear that I don't really care that Hillary lost.  She was a weak candidate.  My problem is Donald Trump.  He embodies every quality that I find distasteful in people.  I simply cannot get my head around someone of such obvious low character occupying the highest office in the land.  

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So In a Republic, it makes sense to give the candidate with fewer votes the win?  I was pretty damn mad about it when it happened in 2000 and I am not happy about it now.  The electoral college serves no purpose.  None.  All it does is create weird situations where candidates with fewer votes can win. Every other elected position in this country is awarded on the basis of popular vote, whether it be drain commissioner, congressman, or governor.  The same should apply to President.  I'm not saying that the results of this last election are invalid, but I am saying that moving forward we really need to ditch the electoral college. 

 

Also, everything I see online shows that Trump did not, and will not win the popular vote.  

 

I just want to make it clear that I don't really care that Hillary lost.  She was a weak candidate.  My problem is Donald Trump.  He embodies every quality that I find distasteful in people.  I simply cannot get my head around someone of such obvious low character occupying the highest office in the land.  

 

It neither makes sense to give the win to the candidate with the most votes, or the second-most votes, or none of the votes. We've all been brought up to accept democracy into our hearts and love it and shit, but it's really just one tool in the toolbox for making a government work.

 

Within the context of how the American Constitution was designed, the Electoral College serves a very important function (and one it's - for better or worse - serving in overtime right now): Protecting the rights of the minority. The US isn't just a blob of people who vote one way or another, it's a country with many different regions that have different needs. The EC is there to ensure that the different regions have weight in the election of the President, not just the blob of people. It is also there as a fail-safe against obviously horrible President-Elects taking office, as in theory the EC can vote their conscience and against the popular vote of their state. However, over time this mechanism has been degraded by people who want the Presidential election to be more democratic, and many Electors are required to vote according to the popular vote (29 states, last I checked).

So right now, Walt, you shouldn't be decrying the Electoral College, you should be rooting for it to make the right (in your eyes) decision: For the Electors that can to vote their conscience against Trump. Wanting elections to be won via the popular vote doesn't help you: All it does it change the game to something someone like Trump or Bush could equally have won, given how narrow the margins have been both times.

As for abolishing the EC and making that applicable retroactively to this election... That's a great way to get a really, really ugly civil war. I don't want that, and I hope you don't, either.

Now, in my opinion, Trump's not everything you and many other people feel him to be. For me, his upsides outweigh is less tasteful bits, although it's not a good situation all-around, I agree.

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It neither makes sense to give the win to the candidate with the most votes, or the second-most votes, or none of the votes. We've all been brought up to accept democracy into our hearts and love it and shit, but it's really just one tool in the toolbox for making a government work.

 

Within the context of how the American Constitution was designed, the Electoral College serves a very important function (and one it's - for better or worse - serving in overtime right now): Protecting the rights of the minority. The US isn't just a blob of people who vote one way or another, it's a country with many different regions that have different needs. The EC is there to ensure that the different regions have weight in the election of the President, not just the blob of people. It is also there as a fail-safe against obviously horrible President-Elects taking office, as in theory the EC can vote their conscience and against the popular vote of their state. However, over time this mechanism has been degraded by people who want the Presidential election to be more democratic, and many Electors are required to vote according to the popular vote (29 states, last I checked).

So right now, Walt, you shouldn't be decrying the Electoral College, you should be rooting for it to make the right (in your eyes) decision: For the Electors that can to vote their conscience against Trump. Wanting elections to be won via the popular vote doesn't help you: All it does it change the game to something someone like Trump or Bush could equally have won, given how narrow the margins have been both times.

As for abolishing the EC and making that applicable retroactively to this election... That's a great way to get a really, really ugly civil war. I don't want that, and I hope you don't, either.

Now, in my opinion, Trump's not everything you and many other people feel him to be. For me, his upsides outweigh is less tasteful bits, although it's not a good situation all-around, I agree.

So you are saying that people in certain regions should have a vote that matters more than other people's votes?  The less populated regions already have a huge advantage in representation in the Senate, that should provide for them the protections they need.  

 

The electoral college was a dumb idea that never was used the way the founders intended.  The entire point of democracy is that the majority rules, as long as the rights of the minority are protected.  It does not mean that people living in a less populous state get more representation in elections.  

 

Also, I did not say I thought that abolishing the Electoral college should be applied retroactively.  I clearly said "moving forward"...  Anyhow, quite a few states have laws against "Faithless electors", so I really doubt that the Electoral College would ever decide to vote contrary to who they were pledged to vote for.

 

That said, if people feel that this election resulted in something they can't abide and will take to the streets to protest, I think that is also protected in the Bill Of Rights.  

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I'm sorta ambivalent towards how the president is selected. EC works ok, popular vote would also likely be fine. 

 

Proportional representation in congress would be a much more worthwhile reform to represent majorities and minorities, well, proportionally. 

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So you are saying that people in certain regions should have a vote that matters more than other people's votes?

 

Hahah, what I think "should" be the case is well and truly off the reservation, so I am not talking about that. I am talking about how the Constitution was designed, and the answer is "yes, absolutely". The Constitution as it was originally designed had all sorts of features that made one person's vote count for more than another, sometimes even written in in very plain language.

 

The less populated regions already have a huge advantage in representation in the Senate, that should provide for them the protections they need. 

 

By definition that provides no protections for those people in the Executive Branch.

 

The electoral college was a dumb idea that never was used the way the founders intended.

 

Flip it around, imagine real hard that Hillary won the Electoral Vote but not the Popular Vote. Would you really still be pissed off? If it wasn't you in the (narrow) majority, would you still be outraged?

 

Thing about majorities is, sooner or later, they become minorities.

 

The entire point of democracy is that the majority rules, as long as the rights of the minority are protected.  It does not mean that people living in a less populous state get more representation in elections.

 

The Founders would have disagreed with you, I think, and they would have also pointed out that this is why they designed a Federal Republic, not a democracy.

 

Also, I did not say I thought that abolishing the Electoral college should be applied retroactively.  I clearly said "moving forward"...  Anyhow, quite a few states have laws against "Faithless electors", so I really doubt that the Electoral College would ever decide to vote contrary to who they were pledged to vote for.

 

I think they will affirm Trump as President, yes. I didn't intend to put words in your mouth, Walt, my apologies. I have the flu right now, and all I intended was to cover that base.

 

So, again, what happens when the masses in the cities start voting R?

I mean, IMO, look at how close the vote is in 2016 and 2000. It's within the margin of error and voter fraud, pretty much. So, the Electoral College is actually doing a great thing here, because it's ensuring that people who would have lost by a tiny margin (that might not even be valid!) get their day every once in a while.

The bigger problem here is how divided people are, and it's getting worse. It feels like ARMAGEDDON when the other guy wins, because people in either party fucking hate each other in the 21st Century. So "every dog has his day" feels like "every third election we explode the country" to a lot of people. Republicans felt that in 2008 and 2012, and now Democrats are feeling it. It sucks, and I don't have any good solutions for it.

 

That said, if people feel that this election resulted in something they can't abide and will take to the streets to protest, I think that is also protected in the Bill Of Rights.  

 

Yep, that's their right, so long as they aren't rioting.

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Flip it around, imagine real hard that Hillary won the Electoral Vote but not the Popular Vote. Would you really still be pissed off? If it wasn't you in the (narrow) majority, would you still be outraged?

 

 

I probably would not be 'pissed off", but I would understand why in that instance Trump supporters would be mad.  I'd still support getting rid of the EC, I think it's dumb.  

 

Conversely, I would have been very happy if the Democrats could have run Obama for a third term.  However, I don't think the 22nd amendment is a bad idea, so I'm not ranting about how Obama would have destroyed Trump in a general election.  Obama had his two terms, the rules say it's time for someone else.  That's fine, I think that in general the two term limit is a good idea.  

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Proportional representation in congress would be a much more worthwhile reform to represent majorities and minorities, well, proportionally. 

 

I'm game for some statewide PR to elect representatives. Although, the interests of (for example) NY-21 and NY-8 are very different, and I'm not sure whether electing reps from a statewide pool would allow both groups to have their voices heard adequately.

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So we should have cheated and elected William Shatner?

Donward and I probably disagree on just about everything in regards to politics.  However, I think we both would be on board a Kirk for President campaign.  Just as long as it was Shatner Kirk and not that new guy.  

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Hahah, what I think "should" be the case is well and truly off the reservation, so I am not talking about that. I am talking about how the Constitution was designed, and the answer is "yes, absolutely". The Constitution as it was originally designed had all sorts of features that made one person's vote count for more than another, sometimes even written in in very plain language.

 

 

True, it did feature language that gave some people more representation than others.  It also allowed for people to own other people.  And their "property" got 3/5ths representation even.  We have moved on since then. 

 

* Ok, this was a really low blow, I acknowledge that.  Sturgeon can handle it, he's a tough old hombre.  

 

 

 

As to why people might think Trump is racist...

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So In a Republic, it makes sense to give the candidate with fewer votes the win?  I was pretty damn mad about it when it happened in 2000 and I am not happy about it now.  The electoral college serves no purpose.  None.  All it does is create weird situations where candidates with fewer votes can win. Every other elected position in this country is awarded on the basis of popular vote, whether it be drain commissioner, congressman, or governor.  The same should apply to President.  I'm not saying that the results of this last election are invalid, but I am saying that moving forward we really need to ditch the electoral college. 

 

Also, everything I see online shows that Trump did not, and will not win the popular vote.  

 

I just want to make it clear that I don't really care that Hillary lost.  She was a weak candidate.  My problem is Donald Trump.  He embodies every quality that I find distasteful in people.  I simply cannot get my head around someone of such obvious low character occupying the highest office in the land.  

 

This happens already in other offices.

 

Wyoming and California get the same amount of Senators.

 

Even the house of Representatives is that way. For years my Congressman - Dave Reichert - has squeaked into office with a bare majority 50.5, 51.8 or whatever. He has the same electoral clout as Jim McDermott right next door in Seattle who won his elections by 70 or 80 percent.

 

Also. We have had numerous cases where the President only gets a plurality, not a majority of the vote. Clinton in 1992 and 1996 for instance. The majority of the country voted against him yet Clinton was still our lawful President. 

 

It's the rules of the game. It's written in the playbook. 

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I'm game for some statewide PR to elect representatives. Although, the interests of (for example) NY-21 and NY-8 are very different, and I'm not sure whether electing reps from a statewide pool would allow both groups to have their voices heard adequately.

I think you'd have to have some districting and have around 5 reps per district instead of doing a vast statewide election. I'm game for a reasonable enlargement of the House of Reps to increase representation to a certain degree as the US sorta arbitrarily stopped the enlargement of the House with population in the early 20th century. 

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True, it did feature language that gave some people more representation than others.  It also allowed for people to own other people.  And their "property" got 3/5ths representation even.  We have moved on since then. 

 

* Ok, this was a really low blow, I acknowledge that.  Sturgeon can handle it, he's a tough old hombre.  

 

 

 

As to why people might think Trump is racist...

 

This was a GOOD thing by the way since it decreased representation in Southern states.

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