Good Morning Afternoon! Happy Veterans Day! Going to try something new, hopefully it makes me more productive:
- Some of my friends have been posting about the electoral college and how, for the second time in two decades, we’ve had a president with less popular votes winning the White House. I shared a debate going on with Slashdot, commented on another friend’s debate (Rob‘s good for having more intellectually-stimulating-but-fun debates that are usually worth the read, even if the points are still the same), and was reminded by another Rob of some of the talks we had back at work during the few summers I managed to stick around.My opinion on the matter is simple: this is a debate in which you could go in circles about which is right without going anywhere. The Electoral College still serves a purpose in bringing candidates to places they may not otherwise visit, such as Wisconsin and Michigan. However, much like the popular vote, these are the ONLY places they seem to care about once they get past the primaries – if they come at all. Worse, they only pay attention to those states that might change their vote from the previous election – who could go either way on the flip of a coin. Up until a few weeks ago everyone was assuming Michigan was going to go Democrat, and it wasn’t until the Democrats realized they might lose the vote there that both parties paid any attention. Republicans made Frequent trips to Wisconsin, while you had a few supporters (mostly people like Hillary’s daughter Chelsea) visit a couple of times.
How is this any different from the popular vote tying those candidates to New York, Miami, California and such, where they’d focus their attention if it were popular vote-based? After all, they’d still be doing the same thing: Spending the money to go to the places where it will be most effective.
Both systems have their flaws, and you can continue to go in circles on this debate, realizing that it’s never going to change – why would anyone want to change what brought them to office in the first place? Trump’s not going to go, “This electoral college thing, it made half of the country upset, and most of the voters didn’t vote for me, so we need to fix that.” That’s like saying, “Here’s my hard-inherited money – take it all!”
Two things need to happen to fix this. First, rather than circling around the same two tired points of electoral versus popular, try to find or figure out something that addresses both of the system’s problems while satisfying the need to make all votes relevant. It’s a difficult task, probably best suited to those politically and mathematically-inclined – but it’s a better argument than “my system is better.”
While the first is difficult because of who’d be best to address it, the second is much easier for most people while will be the most difficult to advance: Convincing our lawmakers to advocate, fight for, and make such change into law. This is, again, because you have to convince people to change a system that works for them – something they or their supporters won’t want to do. It’d be a tough sell to make, and would require honest candidates interested in serving the people (something many people aren’t convinced we have any more) to have any shot – but if both systems have these sort of flaws that leave us in this sort of debate, isn’t it worth looking into a third option?
Oh wait – we don’t like third options…
- A few friends have been posting some intelligent political commentary worth the read regardless of party. If you’re friends with Eric Miller, Martin Wilson or Dave Grzelak, you’ve probably read them (their posts are long – but unlike me, they don’t constantly post long material. For those on my Facebook feed, I’ve probably shared some of these posts – though, because of how congested I make it, I can understand if you miss it.There were a couple of people I wanted to link to, but most of what they’ve been posting since the election has been links. Sorry.
- Another friend – whose name I won’t mention because her privacy would keep others out (and because I respect that privacy) – has been posting some thoughtful “rants” about Trump’s victory this week. (Her and I very much agree on how big of a mistake America made on Tuesday, and how much this will hurt the civil rights for a lot of groups of people.) One area we disagree on, however, was the fault of that loss: She blames third parties, which like in 2000 would have pushed many of the closer elections in Hillary’s favor. I blamed voter turnout. Time for some numbers…As far as the third party candidates (none of which won any state): this was THE year where they could have won. Disapproval ratings for Clinton and Trump were higher for this election than for any other candidate from either party in previous years, and both had headline-grabbing legal garbage that both would have to answer to, regardless of the outcome of the election. According to Gallup (Source: http://www.gallup.com/poll/197231/trump-clinton-finish-historically-poor-images.aspx?g_source=Disapproval%20ratings&g_medium=search&g_campaign=tiles ) and many other services who poll, Clinton had a 52% disapproval rating while Trump had 61% – You have to go back to 1964 to fin the next lowest candidate (Barry Goldwater at 47%,) while Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in the last election had 37 and 43 percent respectively.
HAD third parties not blown their few opportunities, HAD they had more of an opportunity, more money, more TV time, THIS would have been their year. Two conveniently disliked candidates in which many people thought both were turds in a large punch bowl? That’s a rarity in life, so the timing was very much in their favor.
What screwed them was a lot of the unanswered questions for the few of us that paid any attention – and the complete overlooking by the major public as a result of not being out their often. Stein’s arrests and Johnson’s non-understanding of certain terms gave much for the media to laugh at but little to pay attention to.
However, with the exception of Utah – in which Evan McMellan won a significant amount of the polls at 20% – no third party scored above 6% in any poll. In some polls, Gary Johnson was the only third party candidate listed – the only place where Jill Stein won in Third Party was in New York where Johnson’s not listed. None of them affected Arkansas – it was a Clinton/Trump only affair. (Source: CNN –http://www.cnn.com/election/results/president )
Johnson was the Libertarian candidate, which was more conservative, while Stein was part of the Green Party, which was more liberal – so had they not been involved, Trump still would have more votes than Clinton, only by a slightly wider margin.
The combined third party vote, however, pales when compared to the total percentage of people who voted: 54.87% of all eligible voters, compared to 58.23% in 2008. (Source: United States Election Project – http://www.electproject.org/home/voter-turnout/voter-turnout-data , Heavy.com – http://heavy.com/news/2016/11/eligible-voter-turnout-for-2016-data-hillary-clinton-donald-trump-republican-democrat-popular-vote-registered-results/ ) A higher population of white voters, especially from rural areas, came out this election than in 2008 – a key part of Trump’s win over Clinton. Also key: the number of Black and minority voters who skipped this election, either due to choice (as another friend on here shared a video of) or by intimidation (as a few videos showed of Trump supporters following and intimidating Clinton voters.) A number of reports have come up on FB by Trump supporters cheering such behavior and by Clinton Supporters opposed to it.
Trump had 47.5 percent of the voters who did turn out, while Clinton, who won the popular vote, had 47.7 – combined, that would be 95.2%, leaving the third party vote at 4.8%. Adjusted for that 54.87%, however, Clinton would be 26.17%, Trump would be 26.06%, and the third parties had 2.63%. (Formula used: Percentage of voted times percentage of voter results.) Compare that third party number to the 3.36% (of a combined 45.13%) difference in voters who didn’t show up between 2008 and 2016, and you can clearly see why people were so focused on getting voters TO turn out – and less on those third parties.
(And yes, that’s just rough math – a few posts on her show similar but different numbers, all equaling the same end result.)
- Zero.That’s the number of people who liked or shared my rant from yesterday, and the number of people who read it on my blog on WordPress.
That’s also significantly less than the number of people continuing to do the very things I complained about in that rant today.
I realize I can’t force anyone to do anything without taking drastic measures, and even then taking such measures would ensure the exact opposite of what I want: peace and calm, not idiocy and fighting. Conversation instead of ignorance.
If you didn’t read it yesterday, go read it on my blog (conveniently titled Facebook Rant – November 10th, 2016) and consider this a warning: I REALLY want to move forward with people who can respect each other’s differences and can work together to make something better for each other. I won’t tolerate hate or bullying, name-calling and judgement – and I’m really sick of the drama. If you’re not going to respect each other, you have no respect or business being with me.
So, if it continues next week, I may have to “parent” you: each link I see that crosses the line of unproductive whining and/or full-on Trump -hate rhetoric (very few any more, as most have gone to more productive efforts, such as relaying the effects of this election) or borderline harassment, gloating, bullying, or “rubbing it in their face” (A LOT OF TRUMP SUPPORTERS ARE DOING THIS!) – I warn you by linking to my rant. I won’t force you to remove your post (not my right, and not something I agree with, but if you argue with me or remove my comment, I unfriend you. A commentator I’m not friends with argues, I block them. Unfriend me, I block you and (depending on severity) possibly report you for online harassment.
This isn’t an easy choice, but I feel if people are going to be this disrespectful, I have to try and stop this ridiculousness – or leave people behind. A lot of other people are giving less warning, unfriending/unfollowing at will, so the fact that I’m giving you warning is fairer than I was tempted to be this morning. We need to stop this hate – or drop the people promoting it.
- On a positive note, I have a job interview on Tuesday, November 15th. It would be a PC assembling job. 😀
- Finally, in order to get more readership to my blogs and postings, as well as to make my Facebook posts a lot lighter, I’m going to try to post a blog a day. This obviously won’t address everything – for example, when I’m out some place or I have sudden and important news (car accident, job offering) – but I hope it will address the number of complaints my constant FB posting has generated, and keep people informed/entertained about the few things I write about. Again, I’m just testing out this idea (which ran a lot longer today than intended, due to some research that had to be done) – feel free to comment and leave feedback on how this works for you.I may also do an afternoon/evening post, depending on how this works.