OBODY THOUGHT THIS COULD HAPPEN but it did. Here we are now with Donald Trump as the President of the United States. Although a record number of voters went out in November to support Hillary Clinton, the Electoral College system, in the end, had won. It seems to me that the attitude is this: “Who cares about her and those silly Democrats? They had their eight years with Obama! Now it is our time to give a Republican a try.” Put simply: Trump shouldn’t have won at all in a real democracy, plain and simple as that.
More people voted for Clinton and regardless if you’re on the left or the right politically, the results from the popular vote (the election results) did not seem to mean anything at all. So why does the US even have elections if the votes from the population don’t even matter? The 538 electors could have just put Trump in the White House without even having to involve the obviously dissident people.
Millions of citizens continue to protest against the results of the election, chanting “Not My President” at the top of their lungs and it appears like nobody is listening to them. What else can they do to communicate their anger and frustration with their government? They went out and did exactly what they were told to do. They voted. And the mainstream media did as little, or no stories at all, on the protests. What does that mean for democracy in America?
The media concentrates on frivolous issues like the last lie that Trump tweeted. The media has clearly shown how incapable it is to cover the real political issues during the election campaign. Should private, for-profit, media conglomerates conduct these Presidential elections anymore? I don’t think so. Definitely not, actually, after what I’ve seen this year.
The new administration is so disorganized and it’s a miracle anything in the government is actually getting done. The Electoral College is beginning to come under fierce debate, as more and more people start to notice that their votes don’t really matter at all. The social acceptance of worthless indirect elections, in a representative democracy, is starting to come to an end. Educated individuals in developed, industrialized countries—not just in the US—are starting to remember their crucial role in politics, as the most important factor.
In popular culture and in general consensus, voting in a democracy is technically mandatory. Not participating in the voting process makes you a national traitor. When the country is given legitimate candidates, then this is totally true. In this case, how can anyone expect any intellectual to believe in Clinton or Trump? Like… Really?
Not everyone votes. It’s a simple fact. About 40% didn’t go out and vote in 2016. And the 60% who did actually go out and cast their ballot, their votes didn’t matter anyway. The US has always had one of the lowest voter turnout numbers for any other industrialized nation. How different is 60% not voting, compared to 98%? You’re still only getting part of the vote from the population and therefore, they are not legitimate elections.
If participating in a democracy means that I’m voting for proxy-leaders, whom only represent a caucus of billionaires—I don’t want to have any part in it and I feel really bad for those that do. What would have been so wrong about not voting for either of these candidates? Neither of them are good choices. What’s the big deal? Maybe the US could of just started the whole process over again with some good candidates—the media would have loved that!
I have become very interested and concerned with the representative democratic system we have here in Canada and what’s in the U.S. I’m ever fascinated and worried that someone like Noam Chomsky would say that “It’s a pretense that we live in democracies.” If anyone has dug deep enough into the electoral system which is in the U.S., they’d quickly discover that American democracy is not literal democracy because democracy does not truly exist yet.
1. a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.
“capitalism and democracy are ascendant in the third world”
2. a state governed by a democracy.
“a multiparty democracy”
3. control of an organization or group by the majority of its members.
“the intended extension of industrial democracy”
The pretense—as Chomsky puts it—is the hoax. It is the conspiracy. The rigged set-up of the whole system is the real issue which cannot be solved with just transparency. Change will only come with new management. How the American Constitution was written was to enable only land owners and capitalists to vote for president. This was because the “masters”(the founding fathers) didn’t trust the mass of people to make the “right” decision to keep the new country going—and if you know your history—this action is slightly understandable. America was then rigged from the very beginning with this false image of being a place where you will have complete control over your “master.” Which was a total contrast to England at the time with their monarchy, however, the new capitalist and business-friendly financial system put a new reality into a spin.
Finally, after a revolution and a civil war, women and all men (even non-land owners) could vote. This is when a major conflict happened. A more realistic version of democracy emerged unlike what existed in the 1700’s when the Constitution was being written. And here we are in 2016, all of a sudden all people can vote (except those who are living in a territory like Guam, Puerto Rico, etc, or those who live in Washington D.C. or convicted felons.) This was exactly what the founding fathers were trying to prevent. They wanted the “masters” to keep everything going in the direction they wanted it to. They wanted a place for thriving businesses. A place where anyone could become a “master” with just an idea. A place to create a new voter—a brand new person out of thin air. A place where anyone could accumulate more wealth for them-self than they could anywhere else. America was designed in order to be a utopia for the elites—A New Kind of Kingdom.
We have a divided nation
In the world’s “most” democratic country, more people wanted 4 more years of the Democratic party in the White House, but they didn’t get it? Why did a member of the Republican party win the presidency when 3 million more people, in a democracy, voted Democrat? This confuses me to no end. After all the pussy grabbing talk, after not paying federal taxes, after making fun of every minority group, after threatening to throw his opponent in jail; after all of this, how did he win?
The Electoral College, that’s how. The rigid process, the rules that are in place in order to protect democracy, is chiefly to blame for this chapter in history. This phenomenon has happened before. Most recently—the 2000 election, when Al Gore actually got more votes than George Bush, but nope. The electoral college wins and democracy loses because just a few hundred citizens, out of 300 million, decided who would be the leader of the country. Many different systems come to mind when writing this; oligarchy, plutocracy, kleptocracy, but not democracy.
Here are the official numbers from the 2016 election:
#of votes: 62,984,825 for Trump (Electoral College 304)
# of votes: 65,853,516 for Clinton (Electoral College 227)
(PDF from the Federal Election Commission, posted on Jan. 30, 2017)
Electoral College Explained
The United States presidential election is an indirect election … citizens of the United States … cast ballots for members of the Electoral College, known as electors. These electors then in turn cast direct votes, known as electoral votes … for President and Vice President of the United States.
Here is where a lot of people misread a crucial piece of information. In the US, when somebody votes on election day, they are not voting for President. They are not voting for the party of their candidate—either the Democrat or Republican—they’re actually voting for the elector in their district—a house representative that’s Republican or a senator that’s a Democrat, for example. That elector, that dude, then decides what he wants to do.
The electors vote for the President on behalf of the people. It’s an indirect election. (Canada’s federal electoral system is very similar. Instead it’s called First Past The Post [lots of countries use other variations of FPTP for their elections too] and we just vote for a Member of Parliment instead of an elector. The major difference between the US and Canada, is that once a majority of popular votes comes in for a certain party—when it “passes the post”—then the leader of that party automatically becomes the Prime Minister, unless the Crown [her majesty the Queen of Canada] objects.)
In the US, however:
Each state chooses electors, amounting in number to that state’s combined total of senators and representatives. There are a total of 538 electors, corresponding to the 435 representatives and 100 senators … Because the national popular vote is irrelevant under the electoral college system … candidates base their campaign strategies around the existence of the Electoral College; any close race has candidates … focusing their get-out-the-vote efforts in … swing states and not attempting to maximize national popular vote totals by using limited campaign resources to run up margins or close up gaps in states considered “safe” for themselves or their opponents, respectively.
[The] Educational YouTuber CGP Grey … illustrated how it is … possible to win the necessary 270 electoral votes while winning only 22% of the overall popular vote.
“57.5% of Americans voted in the 2012 Presidential election” So about 42.5% of eligible voters didn’t try or even care.
More than 46 million people voted before Election Day, breaking early-voting records and fueling Democrats’ confidence in clinching the presidency.
Did Democrats get too confident that Hillary would win? A record amount of people voted this year but still:
Nearly 139 million Americans voted this year, according to the United States Elections Project. This sets a new overall record, surpassing the all-time high of 132 million Americans who voted in the 2008 …
But that total suggests that only 60% of the country’s 232 million eligible voters actually voted this year.
In America when the people think that they’re voting for the party they want to win the election — they actually aren’t. They’re only voting for the party of the elector. Then only 538 people vote for President, and those 538 people can choose whoever they want to—regardless of what party they represent.
On one hand, sure, the liberals tried really hard but on the other, they did not try hard enough. Or they were never going to win in the first place… By kicking Bernie Sanders out of the Democratic party—just because he was a pro-socialist thinker—the fight against Trump’s rabid populism couldn’t win with another conventional, lying, establishment-thinking, veteran politician (who could also have been the first female president,) as the runner-up for America’s highest office. Thanks to the Electoral College.
Header credit: Fortune