The Electoral College is a good idea

The are many people who question the need for the Electoral College. After all, the popular vote lost.

Hamilton originally proposed the idea in 1788. He offered it as a safeguard against the election of populists and demagogues, who having hoodwinked the voters, might prove unsuitable to be President of the United States of America.

His idea was that electors be citizens

“most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.”

Hamilton argued that the

“electrical college affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States.”

It was a time when civil intellectual debate about politics was common, and opposite views were encouraged, so that differing opinions could be fully understood. That time is gone. The debate is no longer intellectual nor civil.

Worse, many states legally bind the electors to the voters’, and the choice of electors is constrained more by who they should not be, rather than their eligibility to make an informed decision about the suitability of the voters’ choice for President of the United States of America.

The idea is a good one. It is sabotaged by the people implementing it who didn’t see how important it might be.

Trump is about to conduct the lesson.

More at:
About the Electors
The Mode of Electing the President
State Laws Regarding Presidential Electors

Trump didn’t win the election. Clinton lost it

Nevada is the only state that provides an option “None of these candidates”. Clinton won the state by 26,434 votes. None of these candidates won 28,824 n Nevada.

Trump and Clinton were the two most unpopular candidates in American history.

In the states other than Nevada, the options for voters to express their dissatisfaction were to write in an unregistered candidate, or not to vote at all. In both Florida and North Carolina the protest votes cast exceeded the difference between the candidates.

The presidential election usually draws far more votes than those cast for the congressional candidates. In 2008, less than a third of Senate races had 98 percent as many ballots cast as were cast for one of the presidential candidates. In 2012, about half of Senate contests did. This year? Nearly two-thirds of the Senate contests were within 2 percent of the number of presidential ballots cast.

Why was Clinton so unpopular? It seems she was unable to conceal her belief that a politician should have a private and a public position on policy. From her leaked emails, it is evident that she believes in telling the voters her public position, and then implementing her private views. To make matters worse, she was prepared to share these views with people who paid her to do so.

The distrust was earned.

More at:
HRC Paid Speeches
Hundreds of thousands of Americans cast a ballot without voting for a presidential candidate
Podesta emails
WikiLeaks releases what appear to be Clinton’s paid Wall Street speeches

What was the point of that?

The result of the 2016 US presidential election would’ve been completely different had the independents not split the vote. With only the addition of the votes in favor of Gary Johnson with those of Hillary Clinton, she would have won 308 electoral college votes. Gary Johnson is infamous for his response to the question on CNN about how he would solve the issue of Aleppo by asking “what is Aleppo?” The results in Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin would’ve gone to Clinton instead of Trump.

Johnson’s aim was to make history. He did.

Michelle Obama says what we feel about Donald Trump

It has been clear for some time that Donald Trump is not fit to represent the American people in any capacity.

Without any need to explore the depths of political rhetoric that has blemished this campaign, and the reputation of all Americans, Michelle Obama’s stirring speech shows how decent people feel about Donald Trump.

The majority of Americans are disgusted by the pride that Trump has displayed, boasting about sexual assault and then denying that he actually committed these crimes.

Not so fast, say his victims.

Let the games begin

With the appointment of Paul Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney has confirmed his intention to focus on the state of America’s economy as a primary issue in the run up to the election. That’s a good thing.

In probability the Republican’s candidate will continue to blame the incumbent for the current state of affairs and promise that he will do much better. He’s already said as much.

What positive effect can a politician’s policies have on an economy?

Efficient government is key. And that’s where the disagreement will start – at least after the blame game’s ended.

Functional overlap
One issue that rarely gets raised is the level of duplication that exists across agencies – sometimes within agencies. For example there are 16 fiefs covering the intelligence responsibility. These agencies duplicate efforts, each trying to outdo the other, instead of sharing critical information. The details of the issues were set out in a Washington Post exposure following a two year investigation.

The challenge of fixing this is the responsibility of the Director of National Intelligence. This position has had a regular change of incumbents who, undermined by a lack of authority, struggle to fulfill the mandate.

Costly tax code
An unnecessarily complex tax code, with thousands of tax breaks that favor interest groups, exacerbates wealth inequality, and costs the country hundreds of billions in breaks and incentives, administrative overhead, and expert advice for tax payers.

Congress
The belief that congressional oversight provides democratic control over the President’s powers is a myth. When dominant party in the house is not the same as the President’s the country sinks into a morass of partisan bickering.

It would preferable for America to adopt a system of referenda, with proper controls and balances to avoid California’s mistakes, to enact significant legislative changes.

Direct involvement demands that electors understand the implications of important decisions. Rather than having partisan commentary, public debates between experts educates voters, and permits them to make decisions that are informed.

Dream on.

More at:
Seeking a new spy-in-chief
A bad job
Shirtsleeve time
What’s your security clearance?
A hidden world, growing beyond control
Another fine mess