Leave the anti-Trump protesters alone — and abolish the Electoral College

Anti-Trump protesters march Sunday in Santa Ana, California. (Ana Venegas,/The Associated Press)

Associated Press photo

Billary Clinton right now leads Donald Trump in the popular vote by about 800,000 votes, yet Trump “won” the presidential election — and yet we still criticize those who believe that their votes don’t count. Above, anti-Trump protesters demonstrate on Sunday in Santa Ana, California. (I especially like the “Make Fascism Afraid Again” sign.)

Often the intentions and the mind-control methods of our corporate overlords are made evident; often they’re barely even veiled or not even veiled at all, and the corporately owned and controlled “news” media are instrumental in controlling us commoners for our corporate overlords and their own selfish, treasonous interests.

This  “news” story from McClatchy News is an excellent example of how corporate-backed groupthink is to be imposed on all of us commoners:

After Donald Trump’s upset victory last week made him the next president of the United States, thousands of protesters marched in Portland’s streets to proclaim the businessman was “not my president.”

But, according to KGW, state election records indicate that at least half of those arrested didn’t register to vote or turn in a ballot in Oregon.

The television station cross-checked a list of 112 people arrested by Portland police and determined that 34 of those arrested did not return a ballot and another 35 were not registered to vote in the state. The voting records for another 17 protesters had yet to be confirmed, according to KGW. …

Just: Wow.

The fact that anyone’s personal voter registration status and voting activity shouldn’t be made available like that aside — that it even could be used against you like this is a reason in and of itself not to vote, I easily could argue — the “news” story actually is a pro-establishmentarian commentary and propaganda posing as a “news” story.

The subtext of the “news” story, of course, is that If you didn’t vote, you may not protest!

But voting and protesting are two different freedoms. One has the freedom to vote or not to vote, and one has the freedom to protest if he or she wishes — whether he or she votes or not.

Of course, the “news” story never delves meaningfully into why some of these arrested protesters aren’t registered voters and/or didn’t vote on November 8.* Because that would change the narrative of them being bad people (or, at the very least, spoiled, big ol’ hypocrites) to a potential exposé of the utter bullshit that we call the American “democracy.”

First and foremost, the “choice” between Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton and right-wing chameleon Donald Trump was not a choice.

Billary and El Trumpo are the two candidates whom the corporate sponsors of the duopolistic corporate parties found acceptable.

Bernie Sanders, for example, was not acceptable to the Democratic Party’s corporate sponsors, and he paid the price for it when the pro-corporate, DINO weasels of the Democratic National Committee did their best to shoot him down. And they (the Billarybots within and without the DNC) killed Bernie through a thousand cuts, such as through (in no certain order) e-mails discussing using his possible atheism against him, leaking presidential primary debate questions to Billary in advance, lying about “violence” committed against poor, wholly innocent Billarybots by savage “Bernie bros” (because while misogyny isn’t acceptable, misandry is A-OK), and even e-mails discussing leaking a photo of a shirtless Bernie, for fuck’s sake.

The powers that be do their fucking damnedest to deny us commoners any real, significant, meaningful choice on Election Day, yet we commoners are to be blamed if any of us don’t want to vote because we believe that voting is bullshit. The corrupt American system of “democracy,” as usual, is to get off scot-free while the individual is to be excoriated.

Fuck. That. Shit.

For the record, I vote, quite consistently (and I voted for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein both this year and in 2012, fuck you very much), but one easily could make the argument that we vote and we vote and we vote, yet everything magically stays the fucking same; the sociopoliticoeconomic status quo never fucking budges.

I vote, at least in part, because I know that the mean, old, right-wing white fucks consistently vote for everything evil, and therefore my vote is needed to help cancel out their anti-progressive, regressive vote.**

I choose to vote, but I don’t condemn those who don’t, especially if they don’t vote because they view the exercise as futile, because to a large extent, it is. So many of the important decisions already are made for us by the powers that be before we even get a ballot before our faces.

As far at the anti-Trump protesters go, knock yourselves out.

Whether you voted on November 8 or not, alone you have the right to protest the fact that thus far Billary Clinton won almost 800,000 more popular votes (with many thousands of votes, including vote-by-mail votes and provisional votes, remaining to be counted throughout the United States) than Donald Trump did, yet Trump, not Billary, is to be inaugurated in January.

I mean, the insanity of telling people that they’re bad when they don’t vote when twice in the past 16 years the loser, not the winner, of the popular vote went on to the White House — that’s at least as hypocritical as participating in anti-Trump protest when one didn’t vote him- or herself.

P.S. Of course the Electoral College must be abolished, and if we give a flying fuck about actual democracy at all, we must pick our presidents based upon the popular vote alone.

Unfortunately, the Electoral College is enshrined within the U.S. Constitution — the Electoral College was designed to protect the slave states and it still gives the former slave states more power than they’re entitled to — and to amend the U.S. Constitution requires a two-thirds vote of the U.S. Congress and the ratification of three-fourths of the state legislatures.

Don’t expect the Repugnican Tea Party members of Congress and the red states to do away with the unfair Electoral College, since it gives the red states an unfair advantage over the blue states. The Repugnican Tea Party traitors don’t care about democracy; they care about power, whether they come to it democratically and fairly and squarely or not, as evidenced (in part) by how they’ve been wholly untroubled that both George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump lost the popular vote in 2000 and this year.

The workings of the Electoral College mean that the strength of your vote depends upon where you live; not every American’s vote is equal. And that’s fucking unconstitutional.

Fortunately, there exists the National Popular Vote bill. From its website’s explanation:

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The bill has been enacted by 11 jurisdictions possessing 165 electoral votes — 61 percent of the 270 electoral votes necessary to activate it, including four small jurisdictions (Rhode Island, Vermont, Hawaii and D.C.), three medium- size states (Maryland, Massachusetts and Washington), and four big states (New Jersey, Illinois, New York and California). The bill has passed a total of 33 legislative chambers in 22 states — most recently by a bipartisan 40-16 vote in the Arizona House, a 28-18 vote in the Oklahoma Senate, a 57-4 vote in the New York Senate, and a 37-21 vote in the Oregon House.

The shortcomings of the current system of electing the president stem from state winner-takes-all statutes (i.e., state laws that award all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes in each separate state).

Because of these state winner-takes-all statutes, presidential candidates have no reason to pay attention to the issues of concern to voters in states where the statewide outcome is a foregone conclusion. As shown on the map, two-thirds of the 2012 general-election campaign events (176 of 253) were in just four states (Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Iowa). Thirty-eight states were ignored.

State winner-takes-all statutes adversely affect governance. “Battleground” states receive 7 percent more federal grants than “spectator” states, twice as many presidential disaster declarations, more Superfund enforcement exemptions, and more No Child Left Behind law exemptions.

Also, state winner-takes-all statutes have allowed candidates to win the presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide in four of our 57 presidential elections—1 in 14 times. [The webpage has yet to be updated; including President Pussygrabber, it’s now five out of 58 presidential elections in which the “winner” of the White House didn’t win the popular vote.] A shift of 59,393 votes in Ohio in 2004 would have elected John Kerry despite President Bush’s nationwide lead of over 3,000,000 votes. A shift of 214,393 votes in 2012 would have elected Mitt Romney despite President Obama’s nationwide lead of almost 5,000,000 votes.

The U.S. Constitution (Article II, Section 1) gives the states exclusive control over awarding their electoral votes: “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors….” The winner-takes-all rule was used by only three states in 1789.

The National Popular Vote interstate compact would not take effect until enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes — that is, enough to elect a president (270 of 538). Under the compact, the winner would be the candidate who received the most popular votes from all 50 states (and D.C.) on Election Day. When the Electoral College meets in mid-December, the national popular vote winner would receive all of the electoral votes of the enacting states. [Emphasis mine, because that language is key.]

The bill ensures that every vote, in every state, will matter in every presidential election.

The National Popular Vote bill preserves the Electoral College and state control of elections. … [Actually, it seems to me, the National Popular Vote bill actually so alters the current functioning of the Electoral College that while under it the Electoral College might still technically exist, it would be rendered pointless. Therefore, it seems to me, the National Popular Vote bill actually pretty much would scrap the Electoral College for the popular vote. It’s a roundabout way of scrapping the Electoral College — but a way that would be easier to realize than amending the U.S. Constitution to abolish the Electoral College outright.]

Additional information is available in the book Every Vote Equal: A State-Based Plan for Electing the President by National Popular Vote and at www.NationalPopularVote.com. …

Click that link above to ask your state legislators to adopt the National Popular Vote bill/interstate compact if your state’s legislature has yet to adopt it.

P.P.S. NationalPopularVote.com also reports that two-thirds of the 2016 general-presidential-election campaign events were held in only six states. The website reports:

Two-thirds (273 of 399) of the general-election campaign events in the 2016 presidential race were in just six states (Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Michigan).

94 percent of the 2016 events (375 of the 399) were in 12 states (the 11 states identified earlier in the year as “battleground” states by Politico and The Hill and Arizona). This fact validates the statement by former presidential candidate and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin on September 2, 2015, that “The nation as a whole is not going to elect the next president. Twelve states are.”

In addition to the 12 states that received 10 or more campaign events, 14 additional states received scattered attention (one, two or three events). …

The map above … [shows] all the post-[party-]convention campaign events by the major-party presidential and vice-presidential nominees (Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine). The count of Republican campaign events started on Friday July 22, 2016 (the day after the end of the party’s convention), and the count of Democratic campaign events started on Friday, July 29 (the day after the end of the party’s convention). The count ended on Monday, November 7, 2016 (the day before Election Day). …

*The two most common reasons the protesters arrested in Portland might not be registered to vote, it seems to me — even though, again, their personal registration and voting status should not be available to the “news” media like this — would be that they don’t live in the state and/or that they are anarchists (anarchists tend to get arrested at protests because they tend to go further than your average protester does…), and easy research via Google shows that anarchists generally don’t believe in voting, which is their right.

Of course, we can’t even mention anarchists in a corporately owned and controlled “news” story; we have to pretend that they don’t even exist because anarchists aren’t like the rest of us, who are sheeple who are quite easily herded into two pro-corporate, anti-populist, practically indistinguishable concentration camps labeled “Democrat” and “Repugnican.”

**And, of course, in this past election I got to vote on other things, such as the legalization of recreational marijuana here in California (which passed), gun control in the state (which passed), the reinstitution of bilingual education in the state’s public schools (which passed), and the abolition of the death penalty in the state (which, unfortunately, did not pass).

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