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Thursday, December 08, 2016

The Atrocity of Trump



Got the below cry of righteous outrage in my Facebook feed:

There is something FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG about a system in which a candidate can get TWO MILLION more votes than their oppositon yet still "lose" due to an archaiac system like the Electoral College, which counts votes by STATES with excessive weight being given to small states. This is in ADDITION to the unprofessional and unethical PUBLIC conduct of an FBI director confusing and INTERFERING with an election, Trump's gross and vulgar mud slinging and name calling, possible illegal Russian contact with Trump, illegal hacking and other interference with our election by a foreign power and false pretext Republican voter harassment schemes. The Constitution provides the Electoral College with the power to DENY an UNQUALIFIED person the office even if that person got more votes. Here, the UNQUALIFIED candidate didn't even do THAT but got LESS votes. The Electoral College has a right and duty to DENY the UNQUALIFIED Trump the office and elect instead the MAJORITY vote getter Clinton!
A response:

  1. The electoral college is there as a check on democracy, which can otherwise become the tyranny of the majority. Remember that Hitler was popularly elected. Other checks and balances on democracy are the Senate and the Supreme Court. If you want to abolish the Electoral College, logically, you should also abolish them. Both are considerably more distant from direct democracy than the electoral college.
  2. Comey's intervention in the electoral process was more in favour of Clinton than against her. He should indeed have stayed out if it; and she would have been worse off for it. He should not have publicly advised not to prosecute, and he certainly should have gone more aggressively after the evidence at that point. This would have prevented the later announcement that hurt her campaign--but by leaving her under formal investigation, if not indictment, throughout.
  3. Trump's name calling? Who has been called more names than Trump and his supporters? Names like "basket of deplorables," "irredeemable," "racist," "white supremacist," "white nationalist," "Fascist," "misogynist," and on and on. As was Bush II in his day. Trump is just the first guy on the other side who fought back.
  4. Trump's possible illegal contact with Russia? Purely a theoretical possibility. We have no more evidence of this than of the same charge against Clinton. No, we have better evidence that Clinton was coordinating with Russia. What about that uranium deal while she was Secretary of State? What about the Clinton Foundation's "pay for play" in general? What about leaving her communications open to Russian intelligence? Could she have been that stupid, that it was not intentional? How about leaving Syria open to Russian intervention by not acting on the "red line" warning? Could Russia have done better with anyone else?
  5. Illegal hacking of the election by a foreign power is also purely speculation. If it did occur, we cannot assume who it was intended to favour. Most probably, the goal was to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the process, whomever won.
  6. Republican voter harassment schemes? Trump asked his supporters to be on the watch for voter fraud. Preventing voter fraud is not voter suppression. To assume the latter was meant by Trump, and understood as such by his supporters, implies some hidden and very sophisticated means of communication between them that the rest of us cannot detect. Sounds a lot like a paranoid fantasy.
  7. The author contradicts himself in objecting to the electoral college as undemocratic, and then demanding they overturn the results of the vote. If th electoral college were to ignore the vote, on the grounds that Trump is not fit to be president. it would certainly not be in favour of Hillary Clinton. A good argument could be made that she is at least as unfit, with criminal investigations ongoing. And the electors are mostly Republicans. If Trump is really the problem, the author should be appealing to the Democratic eletors not to vote for Hillary Clinton, but for some Republican other than Trump, Slim chance ,but this just might shake free enough Democratic electors to give us President Pence or President Romney. Happy now?

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