As we approach six months into Donald Trump's administration, I'm increasingly disgusted how political leaders and media commentators/journalists dismiss or forget Americans preferred Hillary Clinton for president.
With all the chaos and unpleasantness emanating from the White House, mostly through tweets of our selected president, Trump the Pretender, there continues to be a shrugging, what’d you expect analysis from so-called experts who almost all repeat the mistaken mantra, which essentially goes “The people elected Trump.”
The people didn’t elect Trump. The Electoral College, a flawed vestige of another time, whose motives even today are suspect, given our Founding Fathers imperfections, witness their official endorsement of slavery and lack of suffrage for women, is the entity that did the deed.
Almost 3,000,000 more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton, believing her the better of the candidates, rejecting racist and irresponsible rantings of a man many folks worldwide are terming a lunatic, or at least irresponsible.
Yet political leaders and media commentators/journalists don’t concern themselves with the fact Americans wanted Hillary. They believe her popular vote win is inconsequential, which it only is because a horrid procedure put Trump in the White House. It bespeaks their simplistic tendency to focus solely upon the person who became president, fully accepting the system and considering it a waste of time to discuss whether our undemocratic process has finally gotten to the point where we must change it.
It’s understandable political leaders and media commentators/journalists want to concentrate on matters at hand, i.e. lies and corruption flowing from the White House, harmful appointees and policies not endorsed by the majority, but it’s not as if one cannot cover our presidential election system in addition to healthcare, immigration, the environment and even the latest scandal putting Trump’s top campaign folks, including family members, in league with Russian folks to disrupt Hillary’s campaign.
Why political leaders and media commentators/journalists don’t choose to discuss along with their dismay and accusatory reporting of the current administration that it’s time to do away with the Electoral College is beyond me. Why there’s sort of a Holy Grail aspect to this methodology viewed as unchangeable or endorsed as something valuable to our process amazes me. Why is just about no one ever heard saying, you know we did away with slavery, gave women the vote, ended legal segregation, permitted gays to serve in the military and later to marry, all once proscribed by law, so why not recognize all Americans should have an equal voice in electing our president?
We hear excuses that this protects rural areas from urban areas with greater populations and different values, as if people in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta shouldn’t have their views assessed with the same impact as voters in geographically large but population-challenged areas such as Alaska, Wyoming, Kansas and North Dakota.
And why is that? Why should a collective group of 3,000,000 more Americans be subjected to crap being foisted upon them such as a right-wing Supreme Court justice or risk the attempted foisting of major issues, which, thankfully, has been resisted by the courts and/or a small group of Republican senators joining Democrats?
These are not regional issues. They are national issues. Americans spoke loudly in 2016, but the Electoral College caused them to be ignored.
If anything, in consideration of the general dismay Americans regard Trump, with his approval rating in the mid-30s, unheard of for a new president, this should be the time for courageous political leaders and thoughtful media commentators/ journalists to inject into the daily discussions, not only Trump’s inadequacy and, as CNN’s David Gergen recently termed it “incompetence,” a debate about doing away with this improper system.
The amendment process is hard. Small states selfishly want to retain their disproportionate influence. However, for ten years there’s been something in the works, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which might end this tyranny of the minority and award the presidency to the person with the most votes. It causes states to give their electoral votes to the candidate with the highest national total, even if its state didn’t concur. Ten states, plus D.C. have done so with their 165 votes, but it doesn’t take effect until states with a combined 270 votes join the effort.
This should be our priority. Our anger against Trump shouldn’t be focused on the issue(s) of the day, but on an even greater consequence that, had it been in effect, wouldn’t have wrought these problems.
Write your governors, state legislators and congressmen and senators, most of whom are silent on the matter, as they were after Gore beat Bush II in 2000.
Finally, I’m also tired about the knocks Hillary gets. Because she’s not president many talk about her terrible campaign. I’ll agree her staff was arrogant by not competing in Wisconsin and Michigan. However, her email problems paled against what was spewing from Trump, not to mention his Access Hollywood trash. No hacks were proven and no problems caused by her having such a server. The Comey letter to congress, too, was an incredible gift to Trump’s campaign, as apparently was the Russian meddling.
Yet with all this, the servers, Comey and the Russians, Americans still chose her over Donald Trump by almost 3,000,000. She lost Texas by only 9 percent, better than any recent Democrat since her husband, including Barack Obama. How that’s viewed as a terrible campaign is condescending arrogance spouted by political leaders and media commentators/journalists who, though most view Trump in contempt, display the common inclination to focus on the presumed winner and not on the wrongful events catapulting that man to the White House.
Michael Russnow’s website is www.ramproductionsinternational.com
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