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Thread: How far can it go? [presidential race] Who knows. Until then, how about some fiction?

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    Senior Member fountainpenkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far can it go? [presidential race] Who knows. Until then, how about some fict

    I was not alleging a conspiracy, but stating one of the more unsavory outcomes of the electoral system. Dilution is inherent in and at the philisophical core of voting, and if everyone has equal voting power, their votes are diluted along the lines of reality; their status as a minority in the country at large is represented as it should be. The current system distorts the political realities, diluting and enlarging power undemocratically. As for the concept of 'majority tyranny', I admit I've never found it a compelling concept when adressing the fairness of a national election: why should the vote divide its power by states when the position being considered is one of national scope?
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    Default Re: How far can it go? [presidential race] Who knows. Until then, how about some fict

    RE: "Tyranny of the majority", California's prop 22 and 8 are perfect examples. The majority said same-sex marriage would not be recognized. They removed "loophole" language in the first instance, and amended the constitution in the second instance. There are checks and balances on the system (the California constitution in the first case and the U.S. Constitution in the second).

    The electoral college in effect does the same thing. It allows electors to not select someone who is unfit for the Presidency (which was the last-ditch effort we saw in the pleading video filled with actors), and it protects the less-populated States from a few that have large populations. Again, the latter principle was always the intent. Metropolitan areas will always have a higher population density than rural areas, and can otherwise impose their will on less densely populated rural areas. Technically democratic, but hardly "fair"; and the system we have is designed to mitigate that.

    We are not a nation of 330M citizens. We are a nation of 50 States that happen to total 330M citizens. The citizens of the States select the President. The federal government was supposed to be limited in its scope, responsibilities and authority. It has usurped that with Wickard v Filburn. We used to not directly elect our Senators, but we were led to believe that the various "political machines" ensured whoever they wanted to received the appointment via the State legislatures. But we forgot that the Senate represented the will of the States in the Congress, to balance the directly elected House members. Now we see Senators at odds with State legislatures, and we discover we have removed an important check on the system. Eliminating the electoral college is not an entirely dissimilar notion, and a mistake IMHO.

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    FP Enthusiast Emeritus mhosea's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far can it go? [presidential race] Who knows. Until then, how about some fict

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    We are not a nation of 330M citizens. We are a nation of 50 States that happen to total 330M citizens. The citizens of the States select the President.
    Yes. Literally everyone you actually can vote for (for federal office) is part of your state delegation. The EC reflects the fundamental structure of our government as a federal system, a unity of states. You don't vote for President of the United States, you vote for your state's electors. This nuance, that the ONLY federal offices you can vote for as an individual voter are constitutionally connected with the state you live in, is apparently lost on most voters today.
    Last edited by mhosea; January 21st, 2017 at 11:19 PM.
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    Default Re: How far can it go? [presidential race] Who knows. Until then, how about some fict

    There's a lot of talk about what people voted and how they're represented. But none about how and why they voted.

    True, each vote is equal. But what of the mind that drives it? What if you have an enormous number of people who are misled to believe falsehoods crafted by a particular party, who may have even had external help from a nefarious nation? There was a monumental disinformation campaign afoot. I saw it. Many people I know saw it as well. So many lies thrown all over the place.

    Our media is supposed to help keep our government in check. Report on what is happening, both bad and good, lie and truth. But if they get caught up in the money game and begin to skew their information with political leanings, then it is hard to trust them completely.

    Trump may have gotten in by votes, but if there was underlying nefarious manipulation of those voters... then... it's not legitimate. The Russian connection. This is why he's so fervently against revealing his financials. Otherwise he'd have done it in a heartbeat to boast about his wealth, because he loves to do that. "There is super-suspicion... writing on the walls." -- Stevie Wonder.

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    Senior Member dneal's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far can it go? [presidential race] Who knows. Until then, how about some fict

    Quote Originally Posted by myu View Post
    There's a lot of talk about what people voted and how they're represented. But none about how and why they voted.

    True, each vote is equal. But what of the mind that drives it? What if you have an enormous number of people who are misled to believe falsehoods crafted by a particular party, who may have even had external help from a nefarious nation? There was a monumental disinformation campaign afoot. I saw it. Many people I know saw it as well. So many lies thrown all over the place.

    Our media is supposed to help keep our government in check. Report on what is happening, both bad and good, lie and truth. But if they get caught up in the money game and begin to skew their information with political leanings, then it is hard to trust them completely.

    Trump may have gotten in by votes, but if there was underlying nefarious manipulation of those voters... then... it's not legitimate. The Russian connection. This is why he's so fervently against revealing his financials. Otherwise he'd have done it in a heartbeat to boast about his wealth, because he loves to do that. "There is super-suspicion... writing on the walls." -- Stevie Wonder.
    There has been piece after piece about why people voted, what was important to them, and why Trump handily defeated Hillary. Even Jimmy Carter recently noted that Hillary's failure to address the working class of the country was a key factor in her loss.

    Stop reading HuffPost and the like. Denial is not a river in Egypt.

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    Default Re: How far can it go? [presidential race] Who knows. Until then, how about some fict

    Trump is President because he chose the side of the Republicans.

    The Republicans wouldn't have lost against Hillary, they might have lost against Sanders; people make a big deal about Trump but are being distracted from the more truer issue of the time - Republicans versus Democrats and, more specifically, Republicans against Hillary Clinton.

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    Henry David Thoreau - "Civil Disobedience"

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    Senior Member R.A. Stewart's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far can it go? [presidential race] Who knows. Until then, how about some fict

    Interesting and thoughtful arguments, even if I'm not quite convinced, from dneal and mhosea in favor of the electoral college system. It's good to hear something beyond just an appeal to tradition.

    I will say, though, that if a Republican ever wins the popular vote for President but loses the electoral (not a likely scenario), the Electoral College will be gone before the next election.

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    Default Re: How far can it go? [presidential race] Who knows. Until then, how about some fict

    Quote Originally Posted by R.A. Stewart View Post
    Interesting and thoughtful arguments, even if I'm not quite convinced, from dneal and mhosea in favor of the electoral college system. It's good to hear something beyond just an appeal to tradition.

    I will say, though, that if a Republican ever wins the popular vote for President but loses the electoral (not a likely scenario), the Electoral College will be gone before the next election.
    Thanks for the kind words. As to your last sentence, that would take a Constitutional amendment. The electoral system already favors the Democrats, with the large States' cities and 'winner take all' allocation of electoral votes (e.g.: New York). Were States to allocate more equitably, you would see something aligned with the distribution of seats in the House and Senate.

    I would like to see Wickard overturned, the 17th amendment repealed and the 10th Amendment restored to its proper function. Federal elections wouldn't be so important then, lobby groups (and the money that it brings) wouldn't be so influential, and we would have more control over government as it applies to our daily lives.

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    FP Enthusiast Emeritus mhosea's Avatar
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    Default Re: How far can it go? [presidential race] Who knows. Until then, how about some fict

    I'm not sure I would characterize my point as being in favor of the EC so much as just noting that it is a natural and logically consistent mechanism for a federal system with a strong sense of state sovereignty. The narratives that it is evil or anachronistic, that it exists solely for some elitist reasons, etc. are political pitches. However, it was always a choice. In the language of logic, it is not "necessary". I happen to think it provides a certain amount of stabilization to the system and would best be left alone, but that is my political pitch, as anemic as it may sound in comparison to arguments that it is "unfair".
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    Default Re: How far can it go? [presidential race] Who knows. Until then, how about some fict

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    RE: "Tyranny of the majority", California's prop 22 and 8 are perfect examples. The majority said same-sex marriage would not be recognized. They removed "loophole" language in the first instance, and amended the constitution in the second instance. There are checks and balances on the system (the California constitution in the first case and the U.S. Constitution in the second).

    The electoral college in effect does the same thing. It allows electors to not select someone who is unfit for the Presidency (which was the last-ditch effort we saw in the pleading video filled with actors), and it protects the less-populated States from a few that have large populations. Again, the latter principle was always the intent. Metropolitan areas will always have a higher population density than rural areas, and can otherwise impose their will on less densely populated rural areas. Technically democratic, but hardly "fair"; and the system we have is designed to mitigate that.

    We are not a nation of 330M citizens. We are a nation of 50 States that happen to total 330M citizens. The citizens of the States select the President. The federal government was supposed to be limited in its scope, responsibilities and authority. It has usurped that with Wickard v Filburn. We used to not directly elect our Senators, but we were led to believe that the various "political machines" ensured whoever they wanted to received the appointment via the State legislatures. But we forgot that the Senate represented the will of the States in the Congress, to balance the directly elected House members. Now we see Senators at odds with State legislatures, and we discover we have removed an important check on the system. Eliminating the electoral college is not an entirely dissimilar notion, and a mistake IMHO.
    +1. Very well said! Local, accountable, government and Citizen Virtue is and has always been, the true strength of all great nations.

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