Who Will Change? US/Us or Them?
December 01, 2016 -Steve Hays
I usually enjoy this often contradictory planet of ours and its people, but I have to say I’m stunned right now. Even getting on the news sites I normally enjoy just seemed too much to ask. Leaving and coming back later didn’t change the results at all. The election came out the same every time.
I even wrote several times that Donald Trump could win it. The media kept saying he would have to change after winning the primary, then after nomination, and once he was under scrutiny of the press and faced Hillary Clinton. He would clear, specific plans. None of that happened. I wrote that it probably wouldn’t. Why change your game plan when, against all odds, you are winning?
Still I was stunned seeing the vote counts.
I studied how people voted and all the possibilities that could have shifted it, but as far as the consequences and what will come next I didn’t want to go there anymore. I’m tired of the OMGs.
It was amazing how many things combined to give us this result. So many factors, not necessarily by themselves but together, made a difference.
Think of those who stayed home, including many black voters, young voters, Bernie voters, voters confident Clinton would win and others who didn’t care. About 43% of all eligible voters stayed home. That all made a difference.
Those who voted for Jill Stein made a difference, or will she be a hero for uncovering corruption? There were reports of unrecountable votes eaten by voting machines.
One interesting graph showed how the same number of people voted for the Republican candidate in the last three presidential elections. On the other side, however, each of the last three elections showed a steady drop in the number of votes the Democrat received. Each race showed a decline for the Democrats, but not a rise for the Republican.
One fascinating survey found that one of every three people who voted for Trump were not even supporters of him—they just wanted to shake up the system and didn’t think he’d win.
If that’s true, a lot of people lost—more people than the popular vote difference. In some ways it looks like an election we all lost, doesn’t it? But does anyone really know yet?
I’m still the guy who looks at the news and wonders if a reversal is in the works. I know it’s not likely, but consider this.
The San Diego Union-Tribune wrote numerous letters supporting the Electoral College and basically laughed at all the democrats for forgetting we are a Republic—we don’t go by the popular vote. One even suggested we go back to the way the Founding Fathers originally had it: that State legislatures choose US Senators. Enough of this mob-like democracy stuff. And I agree. No mobocracy.
But are we forgetting that the American Revolution came in reaction to nobility, privilege, wealth and a distant government with an armed force that occupied us—not in reaction to democracy?
Democracy in those days wasn’t well thought of. Mob rule was a concern. But we weren’t running from democracy we were moving toward it. We wanted a government closer to the people—not more distant—just not too close. Isn’t it clear who they thought they were protecting us from?
Some who defended the Electoral College system over a popular vote complained about corruption and money in politics also.
If I got the message correctly, if we have State legislators chose U.S. Senators that means that people with money, people like the Koch Brothers, can simply buy the legislators in each State and control the US Senate, as they control the House. That’s the solution to mobocracy and money in politics?
Doing that is easier than buying a State-wide U.S. Senate race—fewer people to pay off. I’m guessing, but it sounds like some of those letter writers must have been fiscal conservatives trying to save the Koch brothers money.
If people think that’s a good idea, then how can they object if we apply that principle to the Electoral College? What if we suddenly discover the Electoral College is full of very wealthy—newly wealthy—electors and when they decide who will make the best president, they pick someone we don’t expect? Our Constitution says that this is their job. It’s not to rubber-stamp someone from some political party—a party that was never mentioned or empowered in the rule book, i.e, the Constitution. Can we fault them for voting their conscience?
This generous contributory system of government we have has proven to work over the long term. It works for Congress. Why not the Electoral College? Why should those mobs in the states decide?
I understand some states have laws that require electors to vote a certain way, but conscience trumps law, doesn’t it?
If they didn’t vote as their states wanted, what might happen? We would hear of electors with sore wrists and lighter wallets—fines that any civic-minded supporter of a contributory government would be happy to take care of for them. We should get the mobs out of government, right?
I think the problem is too many of our legislators live in the flow too much. That’s good if you mean the flow as written in the book Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. But their flow is money determined. “Everybody knows,” to quote Leonard Cohen.
I also know one thing that Csikszentmihalyi taught: “The integrity of the self depends on the ability to take neutral or destructive events and turn them into positive ones. Getting fired could be a godsend. . . .”
Well, no need to get political and talk about Trump doing God’s Work by firing people, that’s not it.
What if this election meant that people started participating in government? What if we could find a way to coexist with people who think differently than we do and not feel attacked?
Have you noticed that there are people who are deciding what issues are most important to them and joining with others to look at possible actions to take? I have friends doing it. Isn’t that what the Founding Fathers intended? Participation?
One thing I differ with the media on—as I mentioned earlier—is they say now that Trump has been elected, his methods will change. Why?
I think what we see is what we get and will get. He runs the media in circles by making unsupportable statements. Details to follow? (Not yet). It sends them running to research the facts and get back to him. When they do, he simply says he didn’t say that or more often, he will be on to something new that sends them off again. He owns them.
It’s a great way to distract people from noticing other things that are going on, isn’t it? It never allows for resolution to anything. It’s chaotic.
Maybe we need new bumper sticker, None Dare Call It Terrorism. That’s what a terrorist does, isn’t it? Distract and cause chaos.
I hope that changes. I’m looking for evidence. Maybe we will finally look at those machines or the Electoral College. Maybe we will decide to participate. Maybe people will realize that their vote counts. Maybe we will discover it’s important.
I wonder who will change? The people or the government? Us/U.S. or them?
Just as Thanksgiving came at a great time, isn’t it a great time to hear the universal message of the coming season right now?
Peace on Earth, and goodwill toward men. For all of us/U.S.