Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Seven stages of grief: shock or disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, and acceptance.

In all my years of living on this planet, I’ve never seen a nastier election than the one that took place in 2016. Most of us have just gone through the 7 stages of grief, not all of us because Hillary Clinton lost, but because Donald Trump won.

Voting has been our constitutional right, and we have had that right since the 19th Amendment was added to the Constitution, but does it really matter? We voted. We made our choice. Didn’t we? Yes, we did, but our votes really didn’t matter. The Electoral College actually determined the outcome, despite the numbers shown by the majority vote.

Was it because media showcased Trump and made a circus out of the election this year? After all, sensation-making tabloids contributed to that circus, and reporters couldn’t get their headlines written fast enough. Really? Let’s stop blaming media, people, because nobody trusts what they hear or read anyway, do they?

Sadly, the opposite is true. Many people determine their choices based on tabloid material posted in easy-to-access kiosks situated near grocery store cashiers. Instead of reading material that comes from a reputable and reliable source, like USA.gov, where investigators can plug in questions to get actual verifiable answers, too many readers rely on opinions.

But wait, there’s more…many of those people base their opinions on the opinions of others. So while (hopefully a majority of) people vote for candidates based on the information they discover by listening to debates and reading material posted on government websites, and not on partisan newspapers or other media sites, many (intentionally) uninformed people vote for their next president based on opinion polls and misinformation derived from skewed sources.

The only eligibility requirements for presidential candidates are to be 35 years of age, a resident of the United States for 14 years, and a natural born citizen. Intelligence, temperament, wisdom, experience, and a proven track record don’t factor in to the requirements. Any of us, even those of us without any political experience whatsoever, can run for president. And if that candidate appeals to our emotions, we don’t seem to care what he or she promises; we vote because the candidate says, “We need change!”

We applaud! We agree! We’ve been agreeing for decades. Nothing more substantial needs to be uttered. Yes, we need change! But we don’t listen to or care to find out how the candidate proposes to make those changes. We love the promise. The candidate hopes we’ll forget about the results.

We are also a world obsessed with sensationalism vs. common sense. Welcome to the new Divided States of America, a nation filled with a Jerry Springer, National Enquirer, shoot-first-ask-questions-later mentality. I can already hear Trump supporters chanting, “Donald, Donald, Donald,” every time Trump takes the podium. What kind of nation have we become?

While the election was still taking place, I sincerely wanted to know why people would vote for Trump, so I talked to some of my Republican family members and friends who knew, before debates or voting began, that they would be voting Republican, no matter who the candidate would be. Did they watch the debates? No. Most of them didn’t. They hate politics and they didn’t want to listen to the lies. Did they know the issues? No. Again, many of them didn’t have a clue. They knew only that they were Republican and that was all that mattered. Did they agree with the policies set forth by their candidate? No. Many of them didn’t really know the policies, but they were glad Trump was building a wall to get rid of all those Mexicans, and they were glad that Trump would be getting rid of “Obamacare,” even though most of them knew I could never get insurance and that I might die as a result of no affordable care (and, trust me, I agree that the ACA absolutely needs an overhaul, because it most definitely is NOT affordable, but PLEASE don’t get rid of it – just make it affordable).

But back to the issue of politics and why people vote the way they do – subversive tactics work. Pay a “source” some money, and watch the “source” weave a tale so unbelievable that only the gullible and vulnerable will believe it to be true. Then take that “information” to a tabloid, throw in a few pictures, which have also been altered – take that head off one person, for instance, and replace it with the head of another person we want people to believe performed the atrocity, and people will believe the story, because they know nothing about how to fake photography or video. Or show a photo with an absurd headline and people will believe the insinuation. They know it can be done, but they don’t believe it was done to that photo or that video.

When you twist a lie often enough – through words, photos, or video – and you entice people to believe they’re seeing truth, people will believe you. What’s more, people will tell other people who tell other people and before you know it, the lie has become “public knowledge,” and therefore, the truth – twisted, distorted, and unrecognizable – but, for people who don’t care to know the actual truth, believable.

Here are some examples about how one tabloid persuaded voters to vote for Trump.

But let’s get back to the Electoral College, the votes that really matter. Is the Electoral College constitutional? According to the government’s own archives,  “…the term ‘electoral college’ does not appear in the Constitution. Article II of the Constitution and the 12th Amendment refer to ‘electors,’ but not to the ‘electoral college.’” Also, from the same source, “Many different proposals to alter the Presidential election process have been offered over the years, such as direct nation-wide election by the People, but none have been passed by Congress and sent to the States for ratification as a Constitutional amendment. Under the most common method for amending the Constitution, an amendment must be proposed by a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress and ratified by three-fourths of the States.”

Though “Public opinion polls have shown Americans favored abolishing it by majorities of 58 percent in 1967; 81 percent in 1968; and 75 percent in 1981,” the Electoral College remains. “Any candidate who wins a majority or plurality of the popular vote nationwide has a good chance of winning in the Electoral College, but there are no guarantees (see the results of 1824, 1876, 1888 and 2000 elections).”

“Since this sort of bargaining over the presidency was the very thing the Electoral College was supposed to prevent, the Congress and the States hastily adopted the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution by September of 1804.”

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Amendment XII

(from the Constitution Center)

ELECTION OF PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT

Passed by Congress December 9, 1803. Ratified June 15, 1804. The 12th Amendment changed a portion of Article II, Section 1. A portion of the 12th Amendment was changed by the 20th Amendment

The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; — The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; — The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

***

Of the 538 electoral votes, 270 is the magic number to win. Tara Ross from Prager University, says, “The Founders had no intention of creating a pure majority-rule democracy.” She also said, “pure democracies do not work. They implode.” She talks about the “tyranny” of the majority when she says, “In a pure democracy, bare majorities can easily tyrannize the rest of the country.” She believes that an electoral college “encourages coalition building” and “discourages voter fraud.”

NBC News reports, “The Founders didn’t think ordinary people — even the white male property owners who were the only ones allowed to vote — were informed or responsible enough to choose the president. (Letting them do so, said Virginia’s George Mason, would be like referring a trial of colors to a blind man.) So they created a double buffer. State legislators would choose presidential electors, who would be ‘most enlightened and respectable citizens,’ as John Jay put it. Then, these elites would come together at an Electoral College and use their superior wisdom and intellect to decide on a president.”

Obviously, the Electoral College believes that most of us aren’t intelligent enough or informed enough to vote responsibly. And the electors may be right.

Though Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, clearly states, “…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” if the majority of people vote one way, the Electoral College sees the majority as tyranny? Am I the only one who thinks that “reasoning” makes no sense? According to a video mentioned above, the majority of people are not wise enough to choose their own president; therefore the Electoral College steps in to tell the voters how they really want to vote. I find that supposition absurd!

Not everyone agrees that the electoral college is necessary, however. Plug, “electoral college” into YouTube and watch the disparity of arguments for and against the process.  How are we a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people? We are not. We are a nation run by the Electoral College and the banks.

As NY Times contributor, Christopher Suprin, who is also a member of the Electoral College, states, “The election of the next president is not yet a done deal. Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience. I believe electors should unify behind a Republican alternative, an honorable and qualified man or woman such as Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. I pray my fellow electors will do their job and join with me in discovering who that person should be.”

On December 19, 2016, the Electoral College will meet once again to decide the final outcome of this year’s election. Will wisdom prevail? Or will the United States go down in history as the most bigoted, mysogynistic, and ridiculous retrograde nation ever to appear on Earth?

To find out the number of electoral votes for your state, click HERE.

Related reading: Political Nonsense, Predator Trump, The Politics of Persuasion, and Abolishing the 19th Amendment

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