(yes….another political ramble…..sorry…..but I need to get this off my chest and it’s my blog, so deal with it!)
I really like to keep politics out of my life (and my blog) as much as possible. I’m a liberal married to a conservative. We know we disagree on most things politics and we do so quietly and as civilly as possible. My last post was urging people to go out and vote and to vote their own conscience. That’s about as “political” as I normally like to be. I see what’s going on, I have my opinion (and will voice it when I feel it’s appropriate) but in general, politics is one place where I prefer to fade into the shadows. However, my opinion here will be blatantly obvious and, if you don’t like it, well, like I say above, deal with it….it’s MY blog!
Since Tuesday evening, while I was watching the election results coming in, I’m seeing mayhem break out all around me. I’m seeing (and experiencing) the great disappointment that Hillary Clinton did NOT win the election and the terror that Donald Trump DID win. This is not the first time that the country is changing leaders and legislatures. And it’s not the first time that I have been unhappy with the results. Presidential elections happen every 4-8 years and the party associations of the new leaders are often different from their predecessors. But the transition is organized and peaceful, even back in 2000 where the election results were contested until the very last minute. It’s now nearly one week after the election and the transition has already begun (as it needs to) and the country is up in arms about any and everything.
People are protesting the results. The KKK is holding a celebratory march in North Carolina. Racist and anti-semitic signs are being posted on churches, schools, and out for everyone to see (including places within 10 miles of my home). Students are protesting and walking out in both high schools and colleges. And don’t even get me started on the whole safety pin garbage! None of us are “safe people”….as a nation we voted in Donald Trump, for crying out loud! If you want to be considered someone who understands, don’t put something on your shirt but actually DO something about racism and bigotry by directly standing up for someone!
I am Jewish and married a Christian. I am an educated woman who has opinions. I have tried to live my life knowing and believing that people are no more or less valuable because of their skin color, religion, political views, or any of the millions of other things that makes us different. But right now, I feel anything but pride in the majority of those who call themselves Americans. I’m talking here not only to Trump supporters, but Clinton supporters as well.
Let me start with those who are saying that the Electoral College (EC) needs to be abolished. I just want to point out to all of that group that the USA is not nor has EVER BEEN a DEMOCRACY. We are a REPRESENTATIONAL REPUBLIC. There are very few things that we have a direct vote about as average citizens. We choose our representatives. THAT’S IT!!!! Those representatives make every other decision for our nation. That’s why we’ve lasted for 240 years. No true democracy has ever lasted for long. Yes, HRC won the popular vote. But she didn’t win enough votes for the representatives actually DOING the direct voting to put her in office. We did, however, vote for the House of Representatives and Senate to have a majority of representatives in the Republican Party. But are people protesting that? NO!
I do agree that the EC system needs to be looked at very carefully. Right now, all states other than Maine and Nebraska employ an all-or-none policy for their votes. And each state is within their rights to have such a system. However, this doesn’t allow for the states to be appropriately represented when the final vote is being cast. The EC system exists to be sure that all votes count, regardless of whether you live in a densely or sparsely populated state. But all-or-none has undervalued the votes in the more densely populated areas rather than equalize the more sparsely populated areas of the country. We saw in 2000 that just a few hundred votes gave an entire state supporting votes for George W. Bush which, in effect, ignored just those votes short of 50% of the votes cast in the state of Florida. And that was the deciding factor in the election.
States such as NY, FL, TX, CA, VA, PA and OH (for example) have these diverse populations. An “all or none” system is failing these states, and is therefore failing the system. There needs to be a way to fairly balance the EC votes so that everyone is appropriately represented by the final and all-important Electoral College vote.
But the time has come to face facts. Donald Trump has won the election. He is the President Elect. Yes, I hate to say it and I have a terrible taste in my mouth at just the though of it, but it is the truth of it. The only other result that will happen now is that when the time comes, if he is believed to be completely unfit, Mike Pence will be made our new president (and no, that does NOT make me feel better…..in many ways it makes me feel worse).
Are you happy about this result? Then help make the transition happen smoothly and gently, the way it’s supposed to. Stop gloating. Recognize that there are MANY who disagree with you (the majority of voters who turned out) and realize that you have an uphill battle on your hands because I can guarantee you that the majority of the voters who did NOT vote for Donald Trump will not be happy until he is out of office (what else can you expect……he ran his entire campaign on everything that this country is supposed to be opposed to!).
Are you unhappy? Well, there are two branches to what I’m going to say. If you voted for Trump, then you only have yourself to blame. You made a bad choice and now we all have to live with it. If you didn’t vote for Trump, work harder to make people understand why this is such a bad idea without simply antagonizing everyone. Make sure that his abhorrent policies are never more than talk by making your representatives understand that the country represented by the Statue of Liberty should not be ruled by bigotry, racism, sexism or any other exclusionary “ism”s.
In 2 years, we will once again have a say as to who sets our policy when we vote for every member of the House of Representatives as well as 1/3 of our senators. In 4 years there will be another presidential election. Hopefully by then, we’ll be in a better place then we are in 2016.