Ok, Are We Done Here?


The Electoral College has had their say, and that’s that: Donald J Trump will be the next president of the United States of America.

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Nicely done, America.

So that’s the end of this. We Democrats lost, despite Hillary getting about 3 million more votes. It’s over. It’s done. We need to move on.

Our next steps? Support Trump’s initiatives where we can. They aren’t all terrible.

But where they are terrible, we need to fight back and stop him. He really is a very terrible person and has much evil planned. He’s a bullying, dangerous, ignorant buffoon. Fight him. Stop him. Plan for 2020.

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Our Last, Best Chance? No.


The Electoral College is meeting in a few days to rubber-stamp the election and make it official: Donald Trump will be our next president.

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Such tiny hands.

Nevertheless there remains a core group of people who really, really don’t want this, myself included. Some of that core group, myself not included, are appealing to the electors to vote for someone else. Anyone else, really, but ideally for Hillary.

This is, to put it mildly, a terrible idea. Can you just imagine? Suppose that we wake up on the 20th to find that on the 19th, the electors, to protect democracy and our nation, put in Hillary instead of Trump. Just think of the great hue and cry we’d get from the Trump voters who would say, not without some inaccuracy, that the election was stolen from them. Never mind that Hillary won significantly more votes than Trump; all they’d care about is that the Electoral College stole away the election.

I can’t picture a worse way for Hillary to begin her time in office. A nation already deeply-divided, with so many people hating Hillary because she’s, well, Hillary, and then compound that with electoral shenanigans. Add to this a Republican controlled House and Senate, and you have a recipe for four years of deeply unpleasant politics.

Now maybe you think this is worth it, and perhaps it is. From what Trump has done so far, I have no faith at all that he’s going to be a decent president. And an argument can be made that the Electoral College exists to stop runaway democracy. Indeed one could argue that due to how extremely unqualified Trump is, just maybe they should put a stop to him. But the only way to do that and make it work would be with a third party candidate, and that’s just not likely.

So, no, fellow liberals. We need to just suck it up and spend the next four years fighting the worst excesses of the Trump regime. At least it’ll give the No DAPL people something to do.

Our Broken Electoral System


So Iowa has their caucus in about eight days, as CNN never tires of reminding me. It’s the first official stage of the 2012 Presidential Election, and I take some serious solace in the fact that, within a month after Iowa, we’ll largely be done with the GOP race, and we’ll have the Romney vs Obama race confirmed.

Recently I came across a series of videos about the electoral system and how, basically, the one we have simply doesn’t work. The general election is skewed heavily toward only two parties and the electoral collage, with its 5% failure rate, is a joke that needs to be elminated.

Sadly, the only way to make these changes is by amending the Constitution, and that happens so very rarely. It’s certainly not likely to happen anytime soon. But I can hope, and dream, and in the meantime, I can look at these vids that explain exactly what the problem is and how to fix it! Enjoy!

Make sure you check the rest in that series, then check this:

My Last, Best Guess


Election Day! I hope all of you who are eligible to vote are going to go out and do so!

Here’s my final guess on how I think the Presidential race will pan out.

360 votes for Obama, 178 for McCain

360 votes for Obama, 178 for McCain

Now, some explanation.

Despite McCain’s efforts, Obama will win Pennsylvania pretty handily. I expect he’s going to barely win in Ohio as well. Despite Indiana being listed as a toss-up by most people, I think they’re still going to end up going for McCain, same with Missouri.

Meantime, I think North Carolina will barely end up in the Obama camp. I think it will be by less than one percent. Florida will do the same, but probably by about two percent or so.

There’s a bit of wishful thinking with Montana and North Dakota, but not much. Montana has a very popular Democratic governor who has been pushing hard for Obama. As for North Dakota, pollster.com shows Obama up by three points there.

And since I’ll have to explain Nebraska, here we go: I’ve read from a number of sources that there’s a large enough black population in Northern Omaha that they might be able to turn that one and only district in the state blue, thus giving Obama one electoral vote there. I may end up wrong, but I don’t think I am.

Further I think in a lot of the traditionally red states that stay red, the race will be closer than people expect. Watch for narrow victories in Georgia, and possibly even here in Arizona, where I think McCain will win, but by less than four percent.

Mind you, I’m just going by my instincts here. All this is entirely a guess on my part based on things I’ve read and seen. Regardless, the details might end up different from how I describe, but I think the conclusion will still end up the same.

Our 44th President will be Barack Obama.

Doing the Math


CNN has an electoral vote calculator you can play with. It’s fascinating.

On the map we see blue and red states. The darker the color, the more likely they are to vote GOP or Democratic. The yellow states are Libertarian. No, not really, but wouldn’t that be interesting? No, those are toss-up states.

Go to the map. You there? Ok. From this you can see McCain has something of an uphill battle. Just with this map as it is, Obama has 250 electoral votes to McCain’s 189. Now let’s go play with the numbers some.

Assign the following states to McCain: Nevada, Colorado, Missouri, Florida, Virginia, Wisconsin and New Hampshire. Then give only Ohio to Obama. See what happens? McCain loses.

Let’s try a different method. Give Obama the states of Nevada, Colorado and Wisconsin, three states where I believe he’s likely to do well. Give the rest to McCain. Obama wins. Give Obama only Virginia and Wisconsin. He wins. Give Obama only Florida. He wins.

The math is really working against McCain. If Obama wins only Florida or only Ohio from the toss-up states, he gets the White House. McCain has an uphill fight. I don’t think Obama will get all those toss-up states, mind you, but I do expect he will get Wisconsin and Virginia and just those two give him the win.

Maybe, just maybe, if all goes well we’ll have only the second Democratic president I can ever remember (since I don’t remember Carter). I can hope.

Your Vote Doesn’t Exactly Count


As some of you might have noticed, there’s a presidental election cycle happening in the USA right now. I know the media hasn’t really bothered to talk about it too much, but it’s happening.

Anyhow, all sarcasm aside, did you know that how you vote on Election Day doesn’t really count all that much? It’s true! If you vote for Candidate X, who gets 48% of the Presidental vote, and then Candidate Y gets 48.5% of the vote (we can assume the rest goes to Bob Barr), then your vote will not count. This is due to a fun little thing in the USA called the Electoral College.

For those who don’t remember from the jolly little 2000 Presidental Election, the Electoral College is the group that actually selects the President of the United States of America. They get together and cast votes based on what the people of their state decided, and that’s what selects the President of the USA. This is a very simplified version of what happens, mind you.

There’s two fun side-effects of this. First, the popular vote winner can still end up losing the election. This happened in 2000, when Gore had more votes (543,816 more), than Bush. Bush ended up with more electors and so won the election. Similar things happened in 1824, 1876 and 1888.

The other fun thing is that it’s possible for an elector to change their mind and vote for whomever they want. These are called faithless electors, and while they haven’t changed the outcome of an election, 158 of them have happened in our nation’s history.

This is a really bad system and needs to be done away with. Sure, there’s plenty of arguments people will make to keep the Electoral College (like the fact that it gives small states like Wyoming, who has three votes, a say in the process), but on the other hand, it means that per voter, the voters in a state like Wyoming have a lot more say than the voters in California. And don’t think three electoral votes don’t matter. Gore lost the election by 266 to 271 electoral votes.

It also keeps third-party candidates out of the running for President, at least in any meaningful way. While I don’t think we’re ever likely to have a viable third-party in this country, we should at least balance the playing field and give them a shot at it.

Besides, this is a democracy. A federal republic form of democracy, true, but the will of the people matters, and the Electoral College serves to undermine that. Yes, it would take a Constitutional amendment to change the current system, but we can do that and shoud. While we’re at it, we might as well remove the requirement that you have to be born here to be President (if someone is born in, say, Monaco and moves here at the age of two months, they can’t be President, no matter what other qualifications they might have. Heck, Madeline Allbright and Henry Kissinger were both good enough Americans to be Secretaries of State, but they can’t be President), and we should do away with the two-term limit the President has. If someone is genuinely popular enough and good at their job we want to give them three or four terms, that should be allowed.

I’m not under any dellusions that the Electoral College is going to go away anytime soon. I think it would take a scenario like one I read about online to happen before that occurs. But I hope we do change it, cause right now it’s more trouble than it’s worth.