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[General] 2016 U.S. Presidential Election General

Last posted Jan 01, 2017 at 06:26PM EST. Added Aug 01, 2015 at 05:35PM EDT
2929 posts from 147 users

{ Why do we have electors? }

ok I didn't know I had to explain the US voting process to you.

They're representatives, we have a representative democracy. We start this at the primaries when we nominate delegates who climb the chain with the nominee they've pledged to back etc etc. You're not really voting for President when you vote, you're voting for the electors who pledged to vote for the candidate you chose. In a few states the ballot lists the delegates names underneath each Prez/VP pair. You elect them to represent you, not to be your mom and decide what they think is best for you.

poochyena wrote:

that didn't answer the question. I guess i'll ask this then
Why do we have electors?

I'll speak from my rear here. Please forgive if my breath smells a bit like methane and asparagus.
Electoral votes are middlemen. Whether they vote themselves based on the will of each state's vote or whether each state automatically "gives" the designated amount of electoral votes immediately as the popular vote for each state is determined is irrelevant. The votes would be the same: each state would give all of its electoral votes to the candidate that won the popular vote in that state.

This is not broken down to the county-level or other jurisdictions, because the counties are not nearly as sovereign from the state as the states are from the union. So that's why the states just use a popular vote to decide who the state supports. The state decides who to support as a "sovereign" entity. The counties do not decide as their own sovereign entities.
So I assume that state-provided electors keep "power" and sovereignty among the states as opposed to the national election and federal government just simply seeing who won the state and assigning votes itself. So even though it is forced to be as the people vote, the electors could choose to assign those votes differently. But at that point, they're neglecting the will of the people (i.e., the state's popular vote) and choosing what they think is best.

It's a bit of a formality.

I don't love the idea of the electoral college. But I also don't like making up rules without a proper process. And I certainly don't like the idea of an individual whose only role is to vote based on the vote of the people and not aligning their actions with their role.

Now if you're asking why we have the Electoral College, I think Lisa answered it just fine if you ignore the snark.

Basically, states are sovereign. One of the core tenets of the United States of America is that the USA is one country, but the states are (kinda/usually) sovereign under that umbrella. The US is both a united country and sovereign entities. How "united" the country is and how "sovereign" the states are is likely written in the Constitution (but probably vaguely). And how "united" or "individual" you think the states should be probably aligns with your political bent beyond what's written in the Constitution.

The Electoral College, I figure, is a part of that weird dichotomy of "united" and "sovereign." It's a way to make sure states have their say. It's true: there would be no state representation if the votes were straight up popular votes: you'd almost always have a president voted upon by where the most people live instead of the states (as the sovereign entities) voting for the POTUS. And that is problematic, because what a few people do specifically in rural areas (e.g., agriculture, fishing, farming) affects tons and tons of other people. Higher education and white collar fields can't be ignored but neither can blue collar stuff.
Simple popular vote will always ignore blue collar stuff. That is not good.
But the only way to avoid a simply majority that's just based on where you live while keeping voting power in the people's hands is to, oddly enough but logically enough and ultimately, give "rural" states more representation in the voting than the urban clusters.
Maybe to sum, the idea of the Electoral College is to emphasize the will of the STATES, even if it doesn't align with the popular vote.

The way we do that in the US is to skew representation that is a combination of "equal power to each of the states" and "popular vote." California is not equal to Montana. But California does not outweigh all of the Great Plains times two.
Yeah, it's weird that a ton of better educated folks don't "count" as much as…others. But it's not based on intelligence or education (and honestly, it shouldn't be. That's a can of worms neither party wants to open by assigning voting power based on anything other than "all men are created equal.")

Besides, if you wanted to be a farmer, you don't necessarily need graduate degree. Some farmers do, but a lot don't.

That answer anything better? I went off the rails, but I haven't posted in a while. I just lurked. Taking it all in.

It's a rare case that any one person's argument will even begin to swing the political stances of other people. It's what we all see, where you're looking, and what you care most about.

I can't stand to read anything with attitude and snark for news, so I just read conservative views and opinions here based on most of the news I've already read about (outside of the appointments, which (as I noted before) are crucial but haven't been touched on a lot here.)
…but srs is the sec of edu appointment cool that seems weird to me and i really dont like politics and dont consider myself a political junkie


Again, that doesn't answer the question, what is the purpose of the electors? to just vote for who we vote for? Just middle men? Thats not why they were created.

I mean, you understand you don't need electors to have a state voting system, right?

If you do a straight up majority vote you have the same exact problem on a national scale except at the state level…. that's why we break it down as far as we reasonably can and vote by precinct.

Solid color means at least 60% of the vote went to that party.
He was AWFULLY close in the Chicago suburbs.
That would have been the best killing blow, Illinois flips red.

GOP State Officials fully believe the Electoral Collage will easily vote Trump in.

poochyena said:

Why? The article didn’t explain,

The Colorado Attorney General intends have the electors swear an oath prior to voting. If they break the oath, they've committed perjury.

Not sure as to the exact legality of that as I'm unfamiliar with Colorado state law, but that's his intention anyway.

…it is their job to vote for who they think is best…

Please cite the relevant section of the constitution, US Code, or case law that says this is their job. Note that a Federalist Paper is not any of those three and has no legal standing whatsoever as they're anonymous essays written to convince anti-federalists to ratify the constitution.

which anyone for the EC should be against, right?

No, especially since the constitution very explicitly states;

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors…

State legislatures have ultimate control over how electors are picked and how they are to vote.

what is the purpose of the electoral college then.

When the constitutional convention was debating, one of the big arguments was over an executive. Some wanted a lifelong serving figurehead-like President, some wanted direct popular voting, and some wanted Congress to pick.

A national popular vote in 1787 would have been a logistical and bureaucratic nightmare (election day is on Tuesday specifically because, at the time, it could take some people over a day to reach their local voting place) and the framers realized this

Another big problem was the whole reason they were there making a constitution in the first place: the states considered themselves to be less a part of a whole and more independent bodies in a loose group. The Articles of Confederation and the ensuing crisis highlighted this issue.

If there were a national popular vote, it was nearly guaranteed that each state's citizens would vote for their own candidate--not just because of nationalism, but because it was unlikely voters would know a great deal about candidates from hundreds of miles away (remember: 1780s). The result would be no one even getting a decent plurality, let alone majority, of votes. Causing either long and complicated run-offs, or severe animosity among the states.

Very, very few liked the lifelong idea as it was too similar to a monarchy they had just fought a war against and Hamilton, the primary backer of it, got a lot of flack for it, so that idea never gained ground.

Congress seemed the best choice, but more and more concern grew over the fact that there'd be almost nothing checking Congress's power: they'd appoint the President, who'd then nominate the judges and control the veto that was intended to help check Congress's power. And who knew what a presidential candidate would offer congressmen in exchange for their votes (yeah, they were just as cynical about Congress as we are).

Enter the compromise: the electoral college. One of many compromises that makes up the constitution.

At first, the idea was to have the state governors pick the electors, but this was rejected because of how little involvement the general public would have. They then thought to have state legislatures do it, much as they did with the Senate until 1913. Voters vote for the legislators who in turn decide the president, but concern over "work of intrigue, of cabal, and of faction" (after all, a state legislature is just a mini Congress, isn't it?) caused them to back down somewhat.

Instead, they left it up to each state to decide. If the citizens of that state wanted a popular vote to decide how the electors were appointed or if they wanted the legislature to pick for them, they'd voice their desire to the legislature and it would pass the relevant law deciding the appointment of electors.

TL;DR: The electoral college was a compromise between those wanting a popular and congressional vote for President. It's purpose was to ensure: 1) that state nationalism wouldn't result in dozens of presidential candidates splitting the vote 2) that Congress or state legislatures wouldn't hold the keys to power and 3) because the electoral college wouldn't be a sitting political body, it was less likely their vote would be influenced or corrupted (a little ironic now given the death threats and "Hamilton electors").

Sauce if you want to read into it a little more.

Fun fact: for the first several Presidential elections, the popular vote in the states was utterly meaningless--all electors were picked by state legislatures. By 1832, only South Carolina still picked its electors that way. Everyone else had switched to popular vote.

Last edited Dec 17, 2016 at 04:52AM EST

As a foreigner observing this election from the other side of the planet, this election has not only been interesting but also quite informative regarding electoral college and how they work.
The country I live in, Taiwan, is smaller than a single state in the US despite having a population of 23 million. We elect our president based on the popular vote. So at first when I learned of the US electoral college and how people campaigning to have it change to popular vote, I also thought it would be better to change.
But during the time when the votes were still being counted, I noticed some states where the rural areas are all red, but a single blue leaning city could result in the whole state turning blue. It was around that time I realized that if US really changed from electoral college to popular vote, the deciding voices will always be the city folks, making it easier for the politicians to only focus on population centers while ignoring the people living in rural areas, further killing the American middle class.
So now, thanks to this election, I have now changed my belief that popular vote works every time, to that popular vote is more suited to smaller countries while electoral college would work better for the US.

poochyena wrote:

^still not answering the question of the purpose of the electors

how many times I gotta ask?

I find it funny that the people advocating for the voices of minorities to be heard are questioning the system keeping the voices of rural Americans from being drowned out by the people in the city.

JustSaiyan (aka good guy) wrote:

I find it funny that the people advocating for the voices of minorities to be heard are questioning the system keeping the voices of rural Americans from being drowned out by the people in the city.

That's a little too narrow. Most people considered a structural minority are not rural, specifically. Women, racial/ethnic minorities, sexual/gender minorities, various other defined minorities…most of those groups vote blue.

I think you understand. The rural white guy is underrepresented, but that's only one of several ways to define "minority."

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are you guys trolling me or what? still no answer

Alabama majority voted for Trump. Why is it not done right then and there? Why is there an elector that then votes again later on that is the "real" vote?

@JustSaiyan (aka good guy)
The EC prevents minority voices from being hard by making their vote useless against the majority. In popular vote, your vote is counted no matter where you live. If you live in Montana, no one could care less who you vote for. Without EC though, suddenly it doesn't matter what state you live in, your vote is counted equally.

Last edited Dec 17, 2016 at 11:42AM EST

Yeeeah, you being incapable of understanding this concept is no longer on us. So many different people have explained it to you in every way possible: snark, no snark, with pictures, with numbers. Maybe it's just something you should stop thinking about.

The EC prevents minority voices from being hard by making their vote useless against the majority.

If the majority of the population live in cities, doesn't that make the people who live in rural areas the minority?

If you live in Montana, no one could care less who you vote for. Without EC though, suddenly it doesn’t matter what state you live in, your vote is counted equally.

Isn't that the purpose of EC? To have your vote count no matter were you live? Popular vote also means that population centers will be the deciding factors in an election, meaning that politicians only have to focus on getting votes from big cities while completely ignoring the opinions of rural Americans. With popular vote, who would give a speech to a group of aging blue collars and expect like 1000 votes when you can give the speech to a crowd of upper middle class hipsters in New York and get 10 times more than that?

Federalist Paper No. 68


"It was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided. This end will be answered by committing the right of making it, not to any preestablished body, but to men chosen by the people for the special purpose, and at the particular conjuncture."

Translation: The people should have influence in whom becomes President.

"It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations."

Translation: It is necessary for educated and intelligent men to actually choose who becomes President.

"It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. But the precautions which have been so happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual security against this mischief. The choice of SEVERAL, to form an intermediate body of electors, will be much less apt to convulse the community with any extraordinary or violent movements, than the choice of ONE who was himself to be the final object of the public wishes….

Translation: Transitions of power are messy and sometimes violent. The EC reduces these problems by removing popular opinion from directly electing the President and dividing the electoral college among the States. This system avoids the potential of extremist pressures from popular opinion on the election process.

"Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union? But the convention have guarded against all danger of this sort, with the most provident and judicious attention. They have not made the appointment of the President to depend on any preexisting bodies of men, who might be tampered with beforehand to prostitute their votes; but they have referred it in the first instance to an immediate act of the people of America, to be exerted in the choice of persons for the temporary and sole purpose of making the appointment…

Translation: Established political bodies tend to vote their own interests. By creating a temporary group of electors through the popular vote, it was hoped this would be avoided.

"Another and no less important desideratum was, that the Executive should be independent for his continuance in office on all but the people themselves. He might otherwise be tempted to sacrifice his duty to his complaisance for those whose favor was necessary to the duration of his official consequence. This advantage will also be secured, by making his re-election to depend on a special body of representatives, deputed by the society for the single purpose of making the important choice. "

Translation: Because the body of electors is temporary in nature and dependent on the popular vote, the President has little incentive to bribe or pander to electors.

[Next section outlines the technicalities of the EC, I'll skip it as it doesn't explain its purpose]

"The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States. It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue. And this will be thought no inconsiderable recommendation of the Constitution, by those who are able to estimate the share which the executive in every government must necessarily have in its good or ill administration….

Translation: By decentralizing the process among the states, it becomes more difficult for a demagogue to rise to power.

[Last sections deal with the VP, and is not relevant]

Now, clearly there are some things to discuss.

a) The Federalist Papers are not official documents such as the Constitution. However, they are the arguments Constitution's writers used persuade the states to ratify it. As such, they are the closest and clearest insight into how these men intended our government to work and why they constructed it as they did.

b) The Constitution and the arguments presented above come from an 18th century reality. Our reality has a different form. The threats to representative democracy have a different form. But the underlying premises and philosophy: the importance of limiting centralization of power and the danger of extremist mass politics- are still relevant today. In fact, the contemporary arguments for and against the EC are still within the same framework they were over 200 years ago during the original Constitutional debate.

c) It is true the American government's form has changed since 1789. After the Civil War power began to shift away from the states and toward a larger and more active Federal government. Prior to 1865 Constitutional amendments limited the Federal government's power (the only exception being the 12th, which corrected election procedures). Afterwards amendments began, correctly, to extend or clarify Federally protected civil rights to former slaves, minorities, and women (13-15, 19, 24, 26), correct deficiencies in the Constitution (20, 22, 23, 25, 27), or expand the established powers of the Federal government (16, 18/21).

Now if you didn't notice, one amendment hasn't been mentioned. Amendment 17 changed the election of senators. Prior to its passage, senators were not elected by a state's citizens but rather appointed by state legislatures. That is because the Senate was originally intended to be a check on the influence of popular opinion, which was already represented by the House of Representatives. Like the electoral college, the Senate was intended to be insulated from the pressures of popular opinion. And this is why the Senate was given authority to do certain things considered susceptible to popular extremism, such as foreign policy and the approval of Federal judges.

That is the other big change in American government. Originally the Constitution was intended not only to provide a series of checks and balances between the branches of government. but a series of checks and balances between the influence of public opinion and serious, deliberation by the "qualified". As time has gone on, Americans have made changes to the government which favor far more direct and democratic participation in the government than was originally intended. The electoral college is an artifact of the original vision

While the electoral college is somewhat of a holdover from a previous era, I think its importance has changed rather than disappeared.

And I believe that because I entirely disagree with the premise that no one cares about Montana voters. Trump definitely cared about Montana voters. And Idaho voters. And Alaska voters. And Wyoming voters and Dakotas voters and voters in Maine's Second Congressional District. Without them, he would not be President elect.

You know which voters no one cares about? The 4.5 million California voters who chose Trump. And the 2.7 million New York voters who chose Trump. And the 3.8 million voters who chose Clinton in Texas. No one cares about them, because the respective candidates had no chance in those states.

If we scrapped the electoral system and went with a straight popular vote, no one would care about any of the voters living outside the major cities in large states since people in those areas make up a majority of the population. We would have a system where Presidential candidates pandered to the interests of urban voters and professional classes while completely ignoring the issues and interests of people occupying the vast majority of the land area in this country. People living in Montana would never see a President who needed to pursue policies ensuring a good and improving quality of life there. While Congress would halt the decline into serfdom, over time they would become peasants working for the interests of people living in New York, LA, and Chicago.

That is exactly the type of situation the electoral college was intended to prevent, even if the way it prevents that from happening today is different how it was originally supposed to do so.

Last edited Dec 17, 2016 at 01:25PM EST

>Ask for an explanation on the electoral college
>Get a short but summarized answer
>Ask for an explanation of the electroal college
>Gets a nice, longer, and more in depth answer as to what the college is and how it works.
>Asks for an explanation of the electoral college
>Gets the entire history of the electoral college and why it exists today.
>"Are you guys trolling me?"

My face when,

You know, there is a difference between applying the Socratic method in an attempt to give some sort of enlightenment to people, and just being obstinate, right? You have your answers, in fact, you have some really in depth and great answers that address why we have the electoral college, what importance it plays, and how it came to be.

The only reason I can see you aren't satisfied is that people haven't rallied to your side about the college being some cruel draconian group of shadowy figures who puppet the country from behind closed doors and want to suck out the blood from the newborn child.

Last edited Dec 17, 2016 at 01:55PM EST

No Record of Faithless Elector Chris Suprun Being 9/11 Responder

""He claimed to be a first responder with the Manassas Park [Virginia] Fire Department on September 11, 2001 and personally told us stories 'I was fighting fire that day at the Pentagon.’ No, I was on a medic unit that day at the Pentagon and you make a phone call to Manassas Park and you find out that he wasn't even employed there until October 2001,” said a first responder who knows Suprun and only agreed to speak about him if his identity was concealed.

The City of Manassas Park confirmed to WFAA that it hired Suprun on October 10, 2001, one month after the 9/11 attacks.

The fire chief there added that his department never even responded to the Pentagon or any of the 9/11 sites."

Suprun also hired former Obama advisor Van Jones' PR firm.

@Black Graphic T

i asked about the electors, not the electorial college system. I asked what the electors do, not how the EC works. I'm sorry you have reading comprehension issues.

Its like if I asked what the pilots of an airplane do, and you start going on explaining the physics of how planes fly. not what I asked.

Okay, let's see if I can help.

I believe Poochyena is asking "Why are there people voting, instead of just the state government sending in their ballots, or any other possible system?" Clearly, we know how the electoral votes are divided among states, and we know how the states voted, so why do people have to go and do it?

I think this actually was answered, at the very least in part, by Sanders:

Established political bodies tend to vote their own interests. By creating a temporary group of electors through the popular vote, it was hoped this would be avoided.

The electors get told how to vote (and in many states, but not all, are bound by law to obey) and then vote, officially sealing the deal for the office of the Presidency and Vice Presidency. By being a temporary group of electors who can technically vote for whoever they want, and are technically elected by the people when the people actually go to vote, it hypothetically dulls corruption.

Now, I do have to say, the snark is unnecessary. It's not helping. Communication issues happen – I had a long debate just last night where it turned out we agreed but has a misconception about what the other was arguing – but that doesn't mean the best path is to be snarky.

Last edited Dec 17, 2016 at 07:39PM EST

that is what I am asking, why are electors told who to vote for, why are they even there, why is it people vote > elector vote > president chosen why is it not people vote > president chosen.

idk why that is so hard to ask. If electors are bound by law to vote for what the people vote for, they why are they there? what is the point of them?

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied an emergency appeal by two Colorado electors to restrain the Colorado law ordering them to vote for Clinton. Importantly, the judges say:

…they fail to point to a single word in any of these provisions [of the Constitution] that support their position that the Constitution requires that electors be allowed the opportunity to exercise their discretion in choosing who to cast their votes for.(2)

(2) Instead, plaintiffs point primarily to statements made by Alexander Hamilton in The Federalist No. 68. E.g., Dist. Ct. Docket No. 2 at 6; Emergency Motion at 10. Although we turn to external sources when unable to discern the meaning of the Constitution from its plain language, we begin our analysis with careful examination of the words used. Here, plaintiffs make no textual argument, at all.

poochyena said:

are you guys trolling me or what? still no answer…

Are you trolling me? I just gave an eight paragraph description of the electoral college and it's purpose, which I'll reiterate: 1) that state nationalism wouldn’t result in dozens of presidential candidates splitting the vote 2) that Congress or state legislatures wouldn’t hold the keys to power and 3) because the electoral college wouldn’t be a sitting political body, it was less likely their vote would be influenced or corrupted.

Why is it not done right then and there? Why is there an elector that then votes again later on that is the “real” vote?

Because Article 2, Section 1 and the Twelfth Amendment state the process by which the President and VP are elected, which is through the Electoral College, through an election process determined by state legislatures and dates set by Congress. See the above emboldened text for why the founders choose to use an indirect method of presidential election instead of direct.

JustSaiyan (aka good guy) said:

Isn’t that the purpose of EC? To have your vote count no matter were you live?

Not really. At least not originally. There's been many armchair explanations over the years--small states getting bigger say, slavery states getting an advantage, electors being able to override the uneducated plebians who voted for the candidate the elites didn't want--but the truth is it was a compromise between those who wanted Congress to vote for President and those who wanted the people to. See my previous comment for a more detailed explanation or the above emboldened text for the EC's original purposes.

poochyena said:

i asked about the electors, not the electorial college system

No, you're first question was: "What is even the point of the EC if they can’t do what they are suppose to do?" Then, you asked "what is the purpose of the electoral college then." Then, when you apparently didn't get the answer you wanted, you asked "Why do we have electors?"

The electors meet in their respective state capitals to vote for president. State legislatures set the rules for how electors are appointed and political parties handle nominating and selecting the people who become electors. The reasons we have electors are because that's how the electoral college is set up and the reasons it's set up that way can be seen in the emboldened text above, more specifically points 2) and 3).

As protests go on in many large cities, Hillary's electors are the only to have defected so far. A Colorado elector who refused to vote for Hillary was dismissed and replaced on the spot. A faithless elector in each Maine (Hillary) and Minnesota (Hillary) tried to vote for Bernie.

And now Washington (Hillary): of 12 votes, 8 were for her, 3 voted for Colin Powell, and 1 vote for "Faith Spotted Eagle" a Native American pipeline protestor.

Last edited Dec 19, 2016 at 03:52PM EST

poochyena wrote:

that is what I am asking, why are electors told who to vote for, why are they even there, why is it people vote > elector vote > president chosen why is it not people vote > president chosen.

idk why that is so hard to ask. If electors are bound by law to vote for what the people vote for, they why are they there? what is the point of them?

The Electoral system is designed to have a President with the most appeal across the country, and not a particular region. States that produce a lot of the raw resources that the cities produce will be notoriously underpopulated in comparison to the few coastal mega cities.

Although people are the ones who vote, institutions, private/public businesses, unions, organizations, etc, all are dependent on each other and the various myriad of laws that govern their particular interest. Thus, federal laws that radically change how people export petroleum let's say would have far more impact on states that are gas/oil producers or refiners, than it would states that are just mostly high in population. As such, the power of regional concentration of voters would have the capacity to change the laws to detriment of people outside those concentrations. So, the founding fathers saw fit that certain states would have the value of their vote be higher, to give them better political leverage and power in major political elections.

An example: Hillary Clinton was popular in major cities, and major places where people demand better or stronger laws against green house gases. She was even running on the economic idea that we ought to close down our steel mills, coal mines, etc, and put pedal to the meddle into Alt-Fuel. Sounds good, for the various urban dwellers that aren't particularly affected by it, but it sent a clear message to a lot of rural areas that are now facing a Presidential nominee that is essentially telling them they are going to be losing their jobs, their way of life, and their communities if she wins. They can't possibly vote in the same numbers that New York would, and if this was a Direct Democracy, they would be utterly powerless against the tide.

She didn't have the "broad" appeal that Trump had, because her appeal was limited to a few highly populated left-leaning States.

And. If it wasn't for California, just 1 state, Trump would also have had a wide lead in the popular vote against her.

chowzburgerz wrote:

It's official! Trump has won the Electoral College!

Well America's fate is now sealed, for better or for worst.

As for me, I like to think on the positive side. At least now half my town won't be losing their jobs hopefully.

2 Republican electors defected. The fake 9/11 responder voted for Kasich, and another voted for Ron Paul.

As Lisa posted above there were more Democrat electors who either defected or tried to. But of course, most of these people were stripped of their electorship and replaced due to binding laws.

I'm sure all the celebrities who wanted Trump electors to vote their conscious will be protesting this stifling of free will, since their position was one of principle and had nothing at all to do with partisanship.

I’m sure all the celebrities who wanted Trump electors to vote their conscious will be protesting this stifling of free will, since their position was one of principle and had nothing at all to do with partisanship.

Conscience or freedom of speech be darned, it's neither of those and more of a role to play. If you have certain responsibilities, you must execute them. If you don't, then you're generally liable to lose your role.

It's very much like when people complain about someone saying something non-PC and getting fired. If your job asks you to do or not do certain things, and you don't or do them anyway, then you're liable to lose your job.
I do wonder if Clinton's election would have garnered any Democratic or Republican defectors though.

I agree Verbose, which why I find their presumed silence on the issue hypocritical.

If the celebrities and others urging Trump electors to defect were really interested in what they claimed to be, they should be pointing out that these incidents of Democrats being unable to defect are examples of why the EC needs to be scrapped completely, or why binding electors to the state's popular vote is wrong.

I look at this way. For the last weeks we've been lectured about why the EC is important to evaluate the fitness of the Presidental candidates for office. That was the entire pitch of the celebrity video. If the participants in that video truly believe that is electors' role, they should have a problem with laws which prevent electors from doing so. Why should Texas electors be free to vote their conscious, and not electors from Maine or Colorado? Someone approaching the problem from a philosophical position rather than a partisan one would call attention to such double standards.

I am not complaining about the electors being replaced. That is what the law calls for. Nor am I debating the merits of binding laws or the ethics of defecting. What I am complaining about is the people who played up the importance of electors' free will as if they were virtuous advocates of representative government, and who will never say a word about the suppression of such free will when an outcome aligns with their political ideology.

If I am wrong and some of them do speak up, then I will owe those individuals an apology. But I don't expect I will be needing to give any.

Last edited Dec 19, 2016 at 09:29PM EST

Eh. They won't say anything.

But that's the nature of politics and even casual political action for the most part. So for me, I expect corruption, hypocrisy, and all sorts of unsavory characteristics in politics. I don't expect any but the most admirable celebrities and political figures to be seen as "good" or "just." So I just default at the very beginning of most discussions (I think) to roles, tasks, and responsibilities. "Are you doing your job/are you pushing forth the merits of your political affiliation/party?"

It's part of why I threw in the bit about Clinton and whether or not folks would defect had she been elected. I don't think any states' elections would have pulled as many defecting electors had she won. But the Republican party probably wouldn't have said much because Trump wasn't expected to win but also because (I suspect) it would have been most advantageous for the future of the party. During the primaries when Trump was seen as losing to either of the major Democratic candidates, I remember there being a movement to rebrand the Republican party. Had he lost, I think that loss to an unsavory character like Clinton or a very liberal Democrat like Sander would have cemented that need in the collective party's future direction.

I'm fearful (as a "Democrat" who wants viable Republican candidates) that Trump's election has overshadowed that cry from within the party. It highlighted the need for new leadership in the Democratic party, so that's good for the future, but 4 (or even 8) years without changes in the Republican party relies mostly on Trump's success. And short of his economic…acumen and hard-nosed personality, I'm not sure if most Republicans I know like Trump as much as they disliked Clinton. And that's not good. That leaves the de facto leader and face of the Republican party to be based mostly on any success and every failure and shortcoming Trump has. I think that's a heavy burden for a non-politician to have. I don't even know if Trump will even bother trying to unite the Republican party.

Well, you and I are little better informed than most people. We have a better chance of seeing the BS for what it is when BS is thrown at us.

I have no problem with people pushing for their own agendas, as long as it is done honestly. Couching it in the virtues of republican (small r) values and then holding a double standard which demonstrates little consideration for such virtues doesn't strike me as honest. It's an underhanded way of pushing an agenda by wrapping oneself in the Constitution. It's manipulative. It's virtue signaling. And it's very cynical.

Now, I will grant that most people probably understood the whole video thing for what it was. But I'm not concerned about the people who didn't get tricked. And I'm not referring to electors but rather individuals in the general population who now perceive the electoral system as flawed due to a cynical ploy conducted by a bunch of partisan celebrities cloaking themselves in concern for democracy.

As to the other points, I still think one or two, but not as many, Democratic electors would have tried to defect. Especially the Maine elector who tried to vote for Sanders. I was actually surprised at how many Democrat electors tried to defect today, since the DNC is usually very good at party discipline. It indicates to me how angry many of the Sanders supporters were and are at the primary rigging. I really believe this factor is being underestimated in the reasons Clinton lost, especially in Michigan and Wisconsin.

As to the RNC and its future I agree that it will depend on what, if any, Trump has- especially in regards to the economy and on immigration reform. That was true for Obama as well. He came in on a massive personal image bubble that could not but fail to deflate over time, as it did. And when it did, it damaged down-ballot Democrats. Really this is true of all modern Presidents, but I think we have seen two rather extreme examples since 2008.

One consideration I think you are missing is the fact the the Republican base has been shifting for a long time now, and the changes are coming from the bottom.

Republicans have been winning local and state elections on a massive scale for close to six years now. This populism pushed out Eric Cantor from office, forced out Boehner as Speaker, and nudged Trump into the White House. The purging has been going on for a while, and there is a new generation of Republican office holders building behind those in holding office. It will be interesting to see what Trump decides to do in the next mid-term elections in terms of whom he supports.

I also think you're missing the cultural shift taking place. Younger Republicans have a different energy and different interests. Whatever you think of him, Milo Yiannopoulos- a flamboyant gay British man who dates inter-racially, has a following among Republicans. I'm not saying that is good or bad, but it is a sign of change. The culture wars are fading as a primary issue in American politics.

But what it ultimately will come down to is success. A successful Trump will be a validation of Trump's policies, and validation will increase support for both the man and his policies. That would have an effect on the party as well.

The same people that have been screaming about how the EC should be abolished made a 180 and wanted to empower it to deny Trump's presidency.

At this point anytime someone wants to bring up why the EC should be abolished, I stop them in their tracks, and tell them: You've got great points there, let's go abolish the EC, we would need to go through the Amendment process, which means you got to convince 2/3rds of the states out there why they should give up their representational political power, so you can feel less butthurt about an election. Do it. Go for it. Go convince them. Go convince the same people you are continuingly ignoring why they should support your view. Because the fact is, you don't have a single clue as to how our system works – and why we have a constitution that makes it work in this manner.

Op-ed Writer Believes EC, enumerated in the Constitution, is un-Constitutional. Also believes Supreme Court can nullify sections of the Constitution

Pro-Tip: If it's in the Constitution, it can't be un-Constitutional. It may, like slavery, be a morally reprehensible evil and need to be removed, but that does not make it un-Constitutional.

Pro-Tip: The Supreme Court doesn't issue rulings on the Constitution, it issues rulings in the context of the Constitution.

What the author doesn't realize, or care about, is that he is advocating the court assume a role which would allow it to abolish the Presidency, Congress, or even itself and replace the government with another system of rule. Which of, course, is actually un-Constitutional.

Last edited Dec 21, 2016 at 12:33AM EST

So I was talking with someone over Trump being elected, and said that I wasn't going to worry all that much about his presidency for now, in an attempt to give him some reassuring thoughts. Here's how he responded:

"Maybe you should be listening to people who are afraid for their lives and their families

That you have the luxury of a ‘wait and see’ attitude says volumes

I and others meanwhile are gonna take the promises they actively made on the campaign about repealing marriage equality and registering Muslims and mass deportation of Mexicans at face value because complacency isn’t something we can afford when white nationalists are already getting brave and Ohio took about 5 seconds to kickstart turning into The Handmaid’s Tale

I’m not discussing this anymore and i’m not interested in soothing your conscience because this sounds a lot like rationalization on your part. If you aren’t already worried about the cabinet picks (which are a culling of the most cartoonishly evil parts of the GOP to a degree that would be hilarious if i didn’t have to live here) then i don’t know what to say to you."

He's obviously really afraid about what the future holds under Trump's presidency. What can I say to him?

Don't know what to tell you about that honestly. He's angry that you have a wait and see attitude, when that's all anyone can do at this point cause nothing has happened yet. It already beings to show lack of desire to be swayed. A lot of people want to be angry and upset about this because it gives them excuse for their problem.(As is goes with most presidencies) they seem like the type to latch on to their fears and worries but try if you must, cause you never know and fuck if I do.

>mass deportation of mexicans

I bet he also thinks that we should care about felon rights, because black people are mistreated, too.

How ignorant of your friend. That statement's is as ignorant as his statement of "repealing marriage equality" as if A) the SCOTUS ruling ensured actual marriage equality and B) as if the executive branch could even do this singlehandedly; and his statement of "the Muslim registry" (when his first thought should be "that's actually impossible because anybody can change their religious affiliation, legally speaking, and it'd be much better if he just said he would monitor people from high risk countries like people in his transition team have been saying).

You know, I wouldn't be aggressive about this if not for the fact that he actually made the implication that all Mexicans are illegal immigrants, because that in itself implies that he's actually a racist by way of low expectations, which is unarguably more sinister than being a plain racist.

Last edited Dec 22, 2016 at 10:38AM EST

THE HANDMAID'S TALE because Kasich signed a 20 week abortion ban while REJECTING the totalitarian regulations his legislature passed in the bill (ie heartbeat limit). Has this little bitch ever actually read The Handmaid's Tale? They must be making a movie if snowflakes are suddenly aware it exists.

You know, I'm beginning to think we're just showing each other the worst parts of each party to ensure that we vote against the "others" rather than an effective government.

It does make sense from a business perspective though. No one's gonna read "person makes rational decision".


That person is indoctrinated. I don't know there's much you can do beyond giving reality a chance to expose the propaganda for what its. Nothing he's been conditioned to be afraid of is going to occur. When that becomes clearer, it is up to him to recognize his fears were irrational and that he was manipulated. That is something no one else can do. Trying to rationalize with an irrational person isn't going to work.


Enemies in the streets, friends between the sheets. Both parties whip up social issues to drive support, but when it comes to dividing up the money and power in Washington it's a very cordial relationship. That's a major reason why there has been no budget since 2008 and a series of continuing resolutions to re-spend the 1,000,000,000,000 "stimulus" for 8 consecutive years.

I've made the point over and over. Be skeptical of news stories which provoke an emotional response, whether it's a polar bear on a melting ice floe, a sonogram of a baby, a drowned Syrian boy lying on a beach, or a swastika on a black church. There are legitimate issues around such images, but the ideological messaging around such images is there to make you feel a certain way, in the hope that you will therefore think a certain way, and only in the certain way.

Colonel Sandor said:

Op-ed Writer Believes EC, enumerated in the Constitution, is un-Constitutional. Also believes Supreme Court can nullify sections of the Constitution

>The electoral college is enshrined in the Constitution, but that doesn’t necessarily make it constitutional.
Literally doublethink.

LightDragonman1 said:

What can I say to him?

First, show him Obama's campaign promises and remind him that: 1) Politicians promise the moon when they're running and rarely do what they say, 2) Congress and SCOTUS make fulfilling promises quite difficult (see: Gitmo's closure)--take Trump's "trillion dollar" infrastructure plan. It's highly unlikely the GOP will back it, and 3) Trump's already backpedaled on some stuff (lock her up, etc.).

TRULY, this is the scandal that brings this entire country down.
Nothing less from the hard-hitting professional truth tellers at Politico.

Another analysis of last minute voters, this time from Huffington "98% chance Clinton wins" Post. Based on the interviews, Comey's letter had much less of an impact than everyone thinks and, at best, was just one more thing thrown onto the pile of Clinton missteps that tilted the scales in Trump's favor for some voters--some were even more impacted by Clinton condemning and blaming a sitting Director of the FBI than by the letter itself

I read the article above and I'm flabbergasted….how can anyone with an iota of sense vote for Drumpft is incomprehensible to me. I guess I underestimated the American electorate: there are 60+ million completely stupid and ignorant people breathing air….how sad for the country…..dark and bleak days ahead….

Never change, Huffpost Comment Section. Never change.

Tyranid Warrior #1024649049375 wrote:

…please don't make things worse with Russia when they're starting to get better…

Obama won't. Obama can't.

Trump doesn't need to follow, and won't follow, any of Obama's retaliatory measures.

Putin is savvy enough to realize this, and will won't make a big deal out of it because he will have a new American administration to work with.

Obama has about ~25 days left in office and is still on vacation. Every hour whatever he does or says becomes increasingly irrelevant in regards to American policy.

Last edited Dec 27, 2016 at 11:56PM EST

In what is turning into a diplomatic shitshow, Trump calls out Obama for leaving a wake of "inflammatory roadblocks" as John Kerry gets on stage and says Israel must choose between being Jewish and being democratic. No comment on Palestine.

International politicians arguing across the globe – LIVE!

Bibi fires back: { Netanyahu accused Kerry of barely touching upon "the root of the conflict – Palestinian opposition to a Jewish state in any boundaries". }

Trump tells Israel to "stay strong, Jan 20th is fast approaching", reinforcing his previous comment to the UN that things will be "different soon".

What a time to be alive.


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