Photo credit: Nigel Parry
Nobody thought this could actually happen — but it did, and 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’s time to give a Republican a try.”
Right… But he shouldn’t have won at all — plain and simple as that. Because more people voted for Hillary 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 did 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, but they did, and that’s very interesting.
In a democracy, why is it like this? Why do we play these games people? Why are billions of dollars just wasted on a 2-year long performance? What else could you call it? The people wanted and voted for the Democrat to be President and look at what they got. Millions of citizens continue to protest against the results of the election — chanting out phrases like “Not My President” at the top of their lungs — it appears like nobody is listening to them.
What else can they do to communicate their anger? Their frustration? They went out and did exactly what they were told to do… And the mainstream media did as little, or no stories at all, on the protests. What does that mean? Millions of people are still protesting. And the media is still concentrated on frivolous issues like, what was 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?
This is from the 2004 South Park episode “Douche and Turd:“
Not everyone in the US votes. 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 of loved that!
Hillary has been in politics her entire adult life, which is longer than her husband, the ex-president, Bill Clinton. Several scandals popped up during the campaign which involved her deleting an absurd amount of confidential emails, and paid speeches that she—and Bill—have done for Wall Street bankers, making them millions of bucks in the process.
Donald has been in business his whole adult life. He’s a great talker and boasts that he knows how to make really good deals. He had his run-in with the press too, from sexual assault allegations to many speculations of his branded companies going bankrupt. He hasn’t paid his federal taxes in decades and continues to egg-on the fact that he’ll release his tax returns when they’re “finally” made available to him.
Hillary masqueraded the fact that she represented the workers but it was obvious that she didn’t. True liberals doesn’t exist anymore in the US. They haven’t since WWII. The Democratic party has been replaced by corporate goons, who say they’re representing the middle class, but they’re not. She’s tied down to the interests of the elites just like Trump is, showcasing the fact that both political parties — Republicans and Democrats — are both on a single mission.
How the debates are conducted on TV, by private corporations, is disgusting. On so many levels the policies are avoided to talk about gossip. PC culture has destroyed the concept of a good debate. Trump, of course, had taken a different approach, which seemed to work out for him.
Most people say that they don’t trust Clinton, and yet Trump was lying 69% of the time — compared to Clinton’s 28% of the time.
Fully 69 percent of PolitiFact’s 260 fact-checks on Trump so far have received a “mostly false,” “false,” or “pants on fire” rating. By comparison, just 28 percent of the site’s 255 Clinton fact-checks have received the same. Though PolitiFact is far from comprehensive, it does demonstrate a dramatic difference between the two candidates.
The taboo about a woman’s role in politics, is still a very controversial topic. I’m not saying she should of won just because she’s a woman, just like I don’t think Obama should have won just because he was black man.
The first black president didn’t automatically stop the racial gap, that still definitely exists today, and the first female president will not stop the misogyny. Both these people, Obama and Clinton, are both symbols which are both there to help us cure our sicknesses but they aren’t some magic potion which will just make everything bad go away.
Presidents aren’t in full control over anything anyway. They can’t just snap their fingers to make things happen. The slow, Western political process demands that each decision is checked and approved by many different people. We do live in a form of democracy — not in a dictatorship — something that most Trump supporters have seem to have forgotten. Trump’s slogan is “Make America Great” and he has been quoted many times saying that “I alone can fix it.”
This quote is by Obama:
Democracy is not easy, especially not in a big, diverse country like this. You’ve got to work at it. And there’s only one candidate in this race who understands that democracy in a big, diverse country doesn’t work if you constantly demonize each other — and I mean that literally, by the way. I was reading the other day, there’s a guy on the radio who — apparently Trump is on his show frequently — he said me and Hillary are demons. Said we “smell like sulfur.” Ain’t that something?
Now, I mean, come on, people. Democracy does not work if you just say stuff like that, or — and, apparently, there are people who believe that stuff, and they’re listening to it constantly. And you can’t have leaders who are promoting that. Because what happens, then, is we get so divided and people are so angry at each other that nothing gets done.
And Hillary understands that. She understands that on most big issues, it’s not always simple black and white. Things getting done requires compromise. Even when you’re 100-percent right, you think. She knows that for progress to happen, we have to listen to each other and we have to see each other. We have to fight for our principles, but we have to also fight to find common ground.
And she believes that we can and should conduct ourselves better. And you know, that’s not always flashy. It doesn’t always attract headlines. And our politics doesn’t always make that easy. We want progress right away, our way, and if somebody is getting in our way then we start calling them names. And the press finds it attractive to promote conflict, and that’s the flashy headline.
But I promise — here’s the thing. If we just — if we’re willing to work at it, progress does happen. And if you don’t believe that, ask the 20 million more Americans who have health care today that didn’t have it before. Ask the Marine who proudly serves his country without having to hide the husband he loves. Ask the young people who got more Pell grants and help to get a college education.
Change takes time, but change is possible.
But what did Trump offer Americans? Fear and Hate? How would a Trump supporter comprehend that quote by Obama? Do they see opportunity for change or only a message of never ending politics?
Most Trump supporters, are such, because of the simple fact that he’s not just another politician. Why would anyone want someone who’s not involved in politics at all to be the new leader of your political system? That’s like wanting a police officer to do your heart surgery… How can anyone expect results with that kind of character?
America’s exceptional attitude towards all other countries is the unique example of how they’re so different on the world’s stage. They’re a country which has been at the center of influence for 300 years and they’re the masters of entertainment, business and weaponry. They’ve rewritten the nature of the human being in their history. They’ve changed the world and ever since their victory of WWII, America has been the symbol for democracy, freedoms, opportunity and capitalism.
The Great Recession which began in 2007 has taken its toll on the American people and as a result the whole world is affected. The economic issues which we all face now have never been seen by our species before… Sanders is evident of that. His appearance as a socialist—8 years after the recession had started—is no fluke. Throughout the history of our crisis-ridden economic system (capitalism,) whenever there has been a financial crisis, new people start looking for and becoming more interested in alternative systems.
Of course with his defeat to Hillary Clinton, my temporary dream of change was once again destroyed. Sanders had mentioned everything I was concerned about. He leveled with me on my status towards the government’s involvement in education, healthcare and economics. He seemed to really have an intellectual grasp on the realities facing America as a country and I related to that.
His defeat wont be the end of his ideas though… He inspired millions, just like me, by shedding light on those important “blacklisted” issues. Sanders aligned a movement much like Obama did before him—just with a very different platform.
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 pretence 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 pretence—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 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
Policies On Taxes
During this campaign it’s been demonstrated clearly that the structure in which presidents are selected in the US is turning into a complete showcase with the totally childish attitude of Trump, the zingers that are coming from both of the candidates and the cheering live audience… It’s just a circus.
I do applaud Clinton for her patience in her dealings with her opponent but I feel like she’s being too nice. If I had to choose something about her that I didn’t like, that would be it. Her opponent is a rude, pathological liar with a human heart and he’s someone who’s lost touch with reality. He’s totally in his own world and doesn’t even acknowledge the world outside of America to the point that he’s forgotten that the rest of the world still exists. I really do think he’s forgotten which office he’s running for because it’s definitely not the Commander in Chief.
The role as President of the United States is insurmountable in importance during these complex and difficult times. War has been raging on for nearly 2 decades. The economy is in shambles and most people feel entirely misrepresented by politics.
Who is chosen to be the president is pinnacle to the stability of world order and the global stock market. The lives of hundreds of millions of people will be decided with just one vote. The decision which is based on their individual moral ethics, their past mistakes or their values could continue on for the next century and I really don’t think it’s important to look at such frivolous aspects of their careers and personalities to decide who I’d want to represent me on the world’s stage.
I understand that both of these candidates are just human beings like me—they’ve made mistakes and sometimes they’ll do or say something they regret and that’s completely fine. With the plethora of bullshit questions about scandals, the droning robotic talking points and the fact that both political candidates seem to speak in circles around whatever issues they’re being questioned on—it might be overwhelming to even understand what the issues really are—let alone to decide which candidate is providing an answer that coincides with your own individual values. What helps me to get a better understanding of what is being said, is that I focus on just one topic, one question and I break it down so that I fully understand what is being said by each candidate.
When you do decide to tackle the next question do it in the same way, find the salient points and discard the rubbish. Do this on and on until you actually understand what these representatives are actually representing. Then you can make an informed choice at the polls.
Let’s not concentrate for a moment on what they said or did in the past before this campaign. Let’s then only look at what they’re saying they’re going to do…
The question was: “What specific tax provisions will you change to ensure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share?“ (Actual answers are highlighted)
Trump: “Well, one thing I’d do is get rid of carried interest. One of the greatest provisions for people like me, to be honest with you. I’d give up a lot when I run cause I’d knock out the tax cut. And she could of done this years ago by the way. She was a United States senator. She complains that Donald Trump took advantage of the tax cut. Well why didn’t she change it? Why didn’t you change it when you were a senator? The reason you didn’t is because all your friends take the same advantage that I do and I do. You have provisions in the tax code that frankly we could change but you wouldn’t change it because all of these people give you the money so you can take out negative ads on Donald Trump and I say that about a lot of things. You know I’ve heard Hillary complaining about so many different things over the years: ‘We should of done this…’ But she’s been there for 30 years, She’s been doing this stuff. She never changed and she never will change. She never will change. We’re getting rid of carried interest provisions. I’m lowing taxes actually cause I think it’s so important for corporations because we have corporations leaving—massive corporations and little ones. Little ones can’t form. We’re getting rid of regulations which goes hand-in-hand with the lowering of the taxes but we’re bringing the tax rate down from 35% to 15%. We’re cutting taxes for the middle class and I will tell you, we are cutting them big-league for the middle class. And I will tell you, Hillary Clinton is raising your taxes folks. You can look at me. She’s raising your taxes and I’m lowering your taxes—that in itself is a big difference. We are going to be thriving again. We have no growth in this country. There’s no growth. If China has a GDP of 7%, it’s like a national catastrophe. We’re down at 1% and that’s like no growth and we’re going lower in my opinion. And a lot of it has to do with the fact that our taxes are so high, just about the highest in the world and I’m bringing them down to one of the lower in the world. And I think it’s so important. One of the most important things we could do but she is raising everybody’s taxes massively.”
Clinton: “Well everything you’ve heard just now from Donald is not true. I’m sorry I have to keep saying this but he lives in an alternative reality and it’s sort of amusing to hear somebody—who hasn’t paid federal income tax in maybe 20 years—talking about what he’s going to do but I’ll tell you what he’s going to do. His plan will give the wealthy and corporations the biggest tax cuts they’ve ever had. More than the Bush tax cuts by at least a factor of 2. Donald always takes care of Donald and people like Donald and this would be a massive gift. And indeed the way that he talks about his tax cuts would end up raising taxes on middle class families. Now here’s what I want to do. I have said nobody who makes less than $250,000 a year—and that’s the vast majority of Americans as you know—will have their taxes raised because I think we have to go where the money is and the money is with people who have taken advantage of every single break in the tax code. And yes, when I was a senator I did vote to close corporate loopholes. I voted to close, I think one of the loopholes he just took advantage of when he claimed a billion dollar loss that enabled him to avoid paying taxes. I want to have a tax on people who are making a million dollars—it’s called a Buffet rule. Yes, Warren Buffet has gone out and said somebody like him should not be paying lower taxes than his secretary. I want to have a surcharge on incomes beyond 5 million. We have to make up for lost times because I want to invest in you. I want to invest in hardworking families and I think its been unfortunate, but its happened, that since the Great Recession the gains have all gone to the top and we need to reverse that. People like Donald who pay zero in taxes, zero for our vets, zero for our military, zero for health and education. That is wrong. And we’re going to make sure that nobody, no corporation and no individual can get away without paying his fair share towards our country.”
Trump wants to lower taxes especially for corporations. He then added that there would be a massive tax cut for the middle class too. Clinton would like to see higher taxes for the wealthiest Americans and corporations. She does not mention lowering or raising taxes for the middle class at all. Most Western countries are Welfare States, which means that the government provides services and benefits (healthcare, education, infrastructure, retirement, welfare, unemployment insurance, etc.) to the people. How the government funds these programs is by taxing its citizens.
In Trump’s explanation—businesses will thrive again since there will be more money in their pockets. Since the tax rate will be lowered, they will hypothetically have more money to spend in the market. This is literally called Trickle Down economics. When Donald then mentions lowering for the middle class it gets very confusing because where is the money going to come from? If he’s going to lower the taxes for everybody, then how does he expect these services to continue?
What Clinton said does make more sense to me. She wants higher taxes on those who can actually afford it—the people who make over $250,000/year. She mentioned that she wants to invest in you—hard-working Americans. How she plans to do that, based on what I heard, is how FDR got America out of the Great Depression. She wants to target “where the money is” and use that money to support the vast majority of Americans.
And the whole debate, for me, comes down to this single discrepancy:
Will Trickle Down economics ever save the hardworking Americans? If we allow the richest to become richer by lowering their taxes, will they then create an environment in which the middle class can prosper? If we look towards history—has this ever been the fact? Or should we raise the taxes for the richest citizens, so that more public services can be provided to the middle class and needy? Will higher taxes bankrupt corporations so much that they’ll have to leave in higher numbers than they already are?
The Electoral College
Coming back to where I stared, how is it that more people, in the world’s most democratic country, 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)
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.)
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.
I’d recommend watching this short video:
In the US, 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 represents. However, how the whole elector system is set up—that didn’t have to happen for Trump to win. By the way that the nation is proportionately divided into districts of voters, with just as low as 22% of the popular vote, anybody can become the President! It really is that easy.
“57.5% of Americans voted in the 2012 Presidential election”
So about 42.5% of eligible voters didn’t try or even care…
Honestly, where’s Diddy when you need him?
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.
—Business Insider, Dec 26, 2016.
On one hand, they tried, but on the other — they didn’t try not hard enough.♦♦