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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Post Election Observations

An interesting mind experiment would be to speculate as to which major presidential candidate would retain the highest percentage of their votes had they run as third party candidates. Would Hillary retain a higher percentage of her votes if she ran as a third party candidate or would Trump? As was seen on TV, a primary reason why many supporters voted for both of these candidate was to vote against the other candidate. So the question becomes, how many Trump and Hillary voters were voting for the candidate because of how that candidate represented them? And yet the winner will appeal to the election results as a voter mandate for what they want passed by Congress.

The above is an important question in terms of using this latest election as a barometer for where our nation is. Whereas we know that abortion was a deal breaker for many conservatives who could have voted for Hillary, Trump's opportunistic use of racism, his sexism in both speech and conduct, and his mocking of a handicapped person during the campaign was not a deal breaker for them. That doesn't mean that they liked those traits in Trump; but at the same time, that does mean that such characteristics did not make Trump unacceptable to them.

If anything is to blame for the lowering of the bar of our presidential candidates this election year it is allegiance to the two-party system. For with the two-party system comes the problem that many voters are stuck with voting for a candidate they don't like simply because that candidate is not the other candidate. This problem can be solved by voting for third party candidates. However, third party candidates need to up their game if they expect to draw people from the two party system. The reason for their need to up their game is that having people vote for third party candidates demands that people change. And nothing requires more energy, and thus produces more resistance, than change. Thus, third party candidates need to become far more qualified if they expect draw votes from a reluctant voting population.

Because of the above, we might repeat a line said by Yoda at the end of Episode 2: 'The shroud of the Dark Side has fallen.' We would then add to fit our context: 'Elected to be President Donald Trump has been.' That a person of Trump's behavior and character has been elected to the office of President says much about the state of our nation today. Gregg Popovich, the head coach for the San Antonio Spurs ranted against the election results (click here for one of many sources as well as audio of his reflections on the election). That despite all of the intolerance shown by the xenophobic, homophobic, racist, and misogynistic tone and comments made, our nation elected Trump. In disgust, Popovich said:

 My final conclusion is, my big fear is --- we are Rome.

What more can be said? With control of the Executive and Legislative branches of our government being given to the major political party that, for the most part, denies climate change, opposes social safety nets like Social Security, wants to underfund public education, and treats big businesses' social responsibilities like prison shackles, what is to stop our government from being completely taken over by the wealth of private sector elites. In addition, what will inhibit America's emerging black hole that could suck the rest of the world down into the vortex of its own self-destruction? After all, didn't the world follow Wall Street's lead when the stock market collapsed in 2008?

So if anything, the most recent election has shown that it is America that has failed democracy and not vice-versa. And that by blindly voting for a candidate because that candidate was a not-them candidate in a two-party system, we could very likely be the cause of our own demise while we xenophobically point our finger at the rest of the world for the troubles we will now inherit.





 

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