What are you doing here? Go out and vote!
Oh wait, most of the nation’s polls are closed by now. OK, I guess I can share my thoughts on all this. That said, I’m trying to keep this website as apolitical as possible, but that doesn’t mean I should bottle up all of my opinions on what’s going on in the world. Now if you want to read some of my political thoughts (which may or may not align with your own views), click on the link below. Otherwise, just wait for the next post where I’ll talk about some of the cool things I like about Pokémon GO. Sound good?
Again, I’m trying to keep this website as apolitical as reasonably possible. But that doesn’t mean I must be blind to what is happening to my country.
First and foremost, I believe in the power of voting and the democratic process. Even though the United States of America is not a true democracy but a federalized representative republic, I still feel that We, The People still have the power to influence the fate of the nation… and that anyone who thinks that we DON’T have that power… well, that’s what the Power’s That Be want us to believe. The Establishment, The Man, whatever you want to call them… they know the power We, The People have over them, and they will therefore do everything in their power to try to convince us that we DON’T, just so we don’t actually do anything to resist them. They want us to feel powerless, just so they can keep the power they have.
This is why I feel voting is one of the most important things we can do… but “voting” can mean all kinds of things. We can vote in proper elections, or we can also “vote with our wallets” (ie boycott companies and corporations), and sometimes we can even NOT vote so signify our apathy or unwillingness to support The Establishment. In any case, our voice, no matter how we utilize it, is one of the most important things we have in our modern political environment.
The Electoral College Works
That said, I’ve always defendedand will continue to defendthe existence of the Electoral College. I’ve heard a lot of arguments against it, but so far I have yet to be convinced of any of them. For example, people talk about how the Electoral College unfairly shifts the voting strength towards certain specific states, instead of makes every state equal in its vote. The problem is, OK, right now “swing states” like Ohio and Florida run our modern elections. But if we switch to a Popular Vote, that will simply switch that voting strength towards California, New York, Texas and Illinois (or, let’s be honest, Chicago). How is that any different? And honestly, those states wield an enormous amount of influence and soft power on American and even international matters as it is… so we want to give them even MORE? At least with the Electoral College, it reemphasizes the federal nature of our country, and how even though we’re all “Americans”, we’re also Californians, Michiganders, Iowaneseians, etc. We are fifty States which are United… and the Electoral College preserves this.
Now, of course, I’m not claiming it to be perfect. There are certainly flaws to the system, such as how it’s possible for a President to win 270+ electoral votes with only 27% of the Popular Vote. Fair, but that is extremely unlikely, as it would require states which currently would NEVER vote alike, like California and Texas, to vote for the same President. In any case, fine, let’s agree to replace the Electoral College. I immediately reject replacing it with a Popular Vote, as I feel that would make things WORSE. Among other serious issues, it would ensure that politicians focus solely on the four states I listed above, while ignoring the other 46 states. Or, worse, it’ll widen the split between the Democrats and Republicans as the former will sit comfortably in their large cities while the latter will pay attention only at rural regions. At least with the Electoral College, Presidential Candidates are “forced” to go and campaign in every state, speaking to EVERYONE in the state (both the urban and rural regions)… but with a Popular Vote, it would ensure more and more “preaching to the choir” and “echo chambers” than ever before. It’s bad enough that We, The People do that in our social media, I would prefer that our politicians don’t follow in our footsteps.
All this said, that doesn’t mean these are the ONLY two voting systems available. There’s ranked voting, which I’m partial to, there’s also what we do in California where only the top two winners of an initial run-off election go to the final election… honestly, the latter would definitely make things more competitive because it may end up that two Democrats or two Republicans end up running in the November election, because they just happen to be the best choice that year. Imagine an initial run-off election in 2016 between Clinton, Bernie and Trump… I’d wager that that would’ve been a more healthy election, especially since the DNC wouldn’t be able to rig the voting to let their candidate win. The final two between the three might have been Clinton vs Bernie, or Bernie vs Trump, and in that case it would’ve been far less of a shitshow than 2016 ended up being.
But whatever voting system comes along to replace the Electoral College, in my mind it needs to fulfill the following conditions:
- preserve the Federal nature of the nation; ie: it focuses more on what the people wish to elect on a state-to-state basis
- it doesn’t narrow voting power into the hands of a few states or regions while ignoring others
- it doesn’t weigh votes towards voters of one state more heavily than another
To me, the Electoral College does exactly this, or at least better than other voting systems. Concerning the third condition, one solution to that that someone brought up is to simply increase the number of Electoral Votes, and that can be done by increasing the number of Representatives per state. Right now there are a total of 538 electoral college votes split between 50 states plus Washington DC. This ensures a wide disparity between how many people are represented by each electoral vote; for example, and don’t quote me on the numbers, but in Wyoming there is less than like 100k people per electoral vote, but California has something like 750k per vote. That I’ll admit skews things a bit more than it should… but that can be fixed by simply increasing the number of representatives each state gets. So instead of 435 State Representatives, up it to 650. That will even things out a bit more and ensure less of an offset in representation per electoral vote.
The point is in all this is… America is a federal representative republic, and to me the Electoral College best preserves this notion when it comes to voting for a national politicians. Again, I’m open to an alternative which better preserves our federal representative republican nature, but switching to the Popular Vote is not one of them. For consideration too, other federal nations like Pakistan and India use the Electoral College for their Presidential Elections. Also the President of the European Commission is also elected indirectly via the European Parliament, of which the people of Europe directly elect members to. The idea of indirect elections via a third party body is clearly a system that other people from other federalized nations understand has the power to better protect the will of the people of a federation from mob democracy, and I’m grateful our country has it.
Win Lose, and Why
With all that said… who do I think will win?
Sadly, it’s clear that [old rich white man backed by the Establishment] is going to win, and that’s gonna suck. But oh well, better luck next time.
Honestly, I couldn’t in good conscience vote for either Biden or Trump, just as I couldn’t vote for either Hillary nor Trump in 2016. And if anyone “threw their vote away”, it was anyone who voted along party lines. For example, I’ve seen so many people say stuff like “I’m forced to vote for Biden” or “I can’t believe it but I need to vote for Biden”…. why? Say’s who? To me, they were throwing their vote away… to me, those people were not voting their conscience but voting out of obligation. Or, worse, out of fear.
But seriously, who do I think will win? Looks like Trump to me. Here’s how it looks like the Electoral College vote will be broken down in the end:
Unless Biden manages to win two states out of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, then he’s gonna lose. And it doesn’t look like he’s gonna go anywhere in Pennsylvania due to this positions on fracking.
But here’s the thing that made me feel that voting for Biden was unconscionable: y’know how some people joke “Vote C’thulhu For President: Why vote the LESSER of two evils?” or some such?
The fact that people felt reluctant but obligated to vote Biden simply tells me that they know he’s no better than Trump. And honestly, I found a lot of the arguments against Trump in 2016his racism, the way he treats women, etceasily applied to Biden. I won’t get into the details here, because that’s not what we’re here for… just that, in my eyes, who is the lesser evil here? It definitely wasn’t Biden. Hell, even my own Father, a life-long Democrat who moved to San Francisco in the early 70’s and voted for friggin’ DUKAKIS in 1988… he couldn’t vote for Biden in this election.
Pictured: hippie flower-power child who voted for Trump
At this point, a lesser evil is still evil, and I think a lot of people understand this now and are just generally avoiding the Democrats… which may mean they lean more into the Republicans, or it may mean that they simply aren’t going to support the Democrats anymore. My hippie-ass Dad not voting for Biden, for example, exemplifies this: I don’t see him as becoming more Republican over the last 50 years as much as being disappointed in what the Democrats have lost over that time.
Think about it: in 2004 the Democrats couldn’t beat Bush, even though he started two illegal wars, at least one of which was for oil… in 2016, they couldn’t beat a racist, old rich white dude who clearly liked to grab women in a less-than-warm embrace… and now in 2020, I doubt they could do it again, even with their OWN racist, old rich white dude who clearly liked to grab women! So, why should the country be placed in the hands of a party that can’t even defeat two Presidential candidates that they’ve very easily painted as the most terrible, horrible, no good, very bad candidates for President? I think this impotence to defeat obvious push-overs isn’t lost on many people… well, everyone except for Democrats themselves… and that impotence is more of a shame than anything else.
OK, I think I’m done ranting now… my thoughts are starting to become a bit haphazard, and that’s no way to continue to write a politics-based article that you want people to want to read. So… good night, good luck (to the other things you voted for), and I hope tomorrow people can come to terms with what happened and I don’t see people screaming impotently to the sky just because they couldn’t.