Donald Trump was right: the system is rigged! But it is rigged for the Republicans, not the Democrats, for conservatives, not progressives. And the result is the election of an extreme racist, misogynist authoritarian who may change the course of U.S. and even world history.
There are several essential reforms needed in our political system and governmental structure.
Elimination of the Electoral College ranks first among them.
Good article that weaves various strands (history and present) together for readers.
There are other issues that have to be considered here with all due respect.
Consider this. Here in british Columbia over 60 percent of the population lives in the Lower Mainland. This is just a tiny part of the province of British Columbia. This means vast swathes of territory from which the bulk of resources extracted and from which the wealth of the Province is created are underpopulated.
This means in a straight one person one vote system the people in the Lower Mainland can dictate policy to everyone else.
So what of those First nations peoples living in the Great Bear Rainforest. Their population is dwarfed by those in the lower mainland. Should the people of the lower mainland be able to dicate how the resources of that area of land used? If we in the lower mainland wnat more cheap electricity can we dictate to the peoples in the peace River valley that their lands should be flooded and forests drowned so we can get that electricity?
If we in the lower mainland wish to promote mining in the North because it will fatten our bank accounts , can we dictate to the peoples living there that their lakes and rivers and streams can be polluted so as to allow those mining compnaies to turn a profit?
Is it not true that our First Nations peoples are dispersed across wide tracts of land and only represent 5 percent of the population meaning their power in our legislature and parliament is diminished?
So to those Cities in the USA and those more populous states. Is it for the greater good that those concentrations of people in New York City , California or Chicago get to dictate how the people in rural Montana or Alaska live simply by virtue of their greater population? If the people living in New York City do not have to live with the consepquences of their actions because those consequences happen in a more sparsely settled area, is that a good thing?
There is an underlying problem with centralizing power in a democracy and basing all of that power on population alone WILL centralize all power in the more populated areas just as the greater population of Whites
Proportional representation would surely seem a simpler and more intuitively fair system if true democracy is the goal.
I don't think either the United States nor the rest of the world can afford even a one term Trump presidency.
The whole idea in ditching the neoliberals was and is, I fervently hope, to now ditch the neoconservatives and replace both with something better, or at least different. To put an end to endless war as an 'economic' policy, and I use the word 'economy' loosely, for what passes as 'economy' in the western democracies is not true economics, it is the Greek chrematistics - the accounting for the flow of money (and hence power), in our system, into the hands of the few - a rigged racket - guess who is losing ?
Jill Stein is the only one, and I mean only, in consistently demonstrating common sense, honesty, integrity and courage, the last of which Bernie Sanders fails miserably on.
Green jobs might be considered the only realistic path to the future - and jobs, decent paying, meaningful to the real economy, are I think what we are all looking for but don't know it yet.
Yes - agreed.
Majority rule, according to the nineteenth century constitutional lawyer and later individual anarchist Lysander Spooner - is simply another form of might makes right.
But one thing at a time perhaps ?
I am a firm believer in the theory that if you want to get it right you do it from the start. If the US as example, reforms its election system and that Electoral college and it took them 200 years to do so , how long for the next fix?
Justin Trudeau recently gave the go ahead on the Kinder Morgan pipeline. he suggested that the revenues from all of this extra oil going to China will help transition us to a Green Economy. At the same time he gave this approval he nixed Northern gateway.
This is "one thing at a time". I am not sure we have the time.
Once again, this fatal flaw in the champion of the masses who questioned the integrity and threated the iron grip of the system like no other is still being used to dishonor and disqualify him. I see it differently, that the powers-that-be found the chink in his armor and he made the only choice that a doting grandfather of seven could make. Since he continues speaking truth and organizing the masses, how can his efforts post primary be called anything but courageous? Go Jill! Go Bernie!!
The winner take all system in most states alone negates the principle of one person, one vote and renders voting in most states (all but the so-called battelground states) for the most part meaningless in Presidential elections.
Elections being rigged is nothing new, but I would argue with the authors of this article that POTUS are never elected; they are previously selected by the 1% oligarchs and then they put on a dog and pony show for the masses called an election. Both the Democrats and the Republicans with rare exceptions, ( like JFK)are just their proxy's.
No, to this poser it has NOTHING to do with the fact that corporate servicing powerful Democrats, including Obama worked to crush the actual populist message of Sanders, leaving the fake populist standing.
The fact that Trump leveraged support from racists is indeed a fact, but Sanders was polling well ahead of Trump in the polls, and Sanders clearly stood against the racism of Trump.
Corporate governance, unassailable power, a corporate captured MSM, none of this matters to this poser.
He distracts from that reality, and blames the masses.
It is his corporate governance servicing shtick on these threads.
Yes, I know I am being hard on Bernie. I wish he would have accepted Jill Stein's offer to lead The Green Party - because although The Green Party had no chance, at least Mr. Sanders would not have had to latch on to the Democratic Party. As an Independent - this would have been to me - the honorable course to follow.
But these times appear to require heroes in the mythic mold - bold and courageous and damn the torpedoes type thing.
I see Bernie as part of the establishment - these days I am afraid that is a fate worse than death.
Why not, even now, join the Green Party - it is system wide change that Mr. Sanders purports to espouse - or am I missing something ?
You mean the racist hate that catapulted Obama into the White House, and then re-elected?
I mean, I voted for him the first time having been hoodwinked into believing that he was anything other than a corporate servicing post DLC New Democrat. Given his record and his big money supporters I should have known better. Mea culpa.
Specifically on Obama's OWN actions according to his OWN power and agency as the executive of the Executive Branch, what criticisms do you hold against Obama?
Any at all? Well of course you don't.
"The system is rigged! And changing the system would take a constitutional amendment approved by three-fourths of the states."
Why don't Dems try to introduce a constitutional amendment to abolish the EC if only to get the issue discussed and minds changed for future success? Perhaps it is because the Democratic Party is ruled by racist Republicans in Conservative Democrat clothing.
I take it you are a Canadian, like me ?
Getting it right from the start is, I think, a virtual impossibility - so improbable as to be almost a law of nature.
This is a going to the wire type of time. Yes - we are in for it big time - the only question is how big ?
My reading says we will come around to the knowledge of how serious just before the curtain comes down.
It will be touch and go right to the end.
In the meantime, we would be wise, I think, to avoid the needless loss of life at Standing Rock - to give Rachel Notley a chance to survive and herself come up to speed on climate change and other existential threats. She means well, but I don't think I can say the same for Premier Christy Clark in British Columbia.
Suzuki was "gobsmacked", so he says. Try as I might, I have never liked the man a lot, and this stupid demonstration of being caught off guard, or purporting to be, is not what we need.
We need realists is the truest sense of the word - heroes in fact and in action - someone who can deliver results despite impossible odds.
Fidel Castro did this in Cuba - and it is I think easy to see how many enemies he still has (and had) - how venal are most people. He laid his life on the line - and won - rare to the point of astonishing. Whether you agree with his policies is besides the point.
In my adventures I have found the ability to likewise lay one's life and future on the line will evoke, almost universally, the admiration of almost everyone. It is like objective danger in the mountains - it never goes away - you cannot control it - you need a wee bit of luck on your side.
Maybe I'm rambling ?
All I want to say is don't turn you surfboard sideways to the wave - or you will be made supremely aware, and instantly, of just who is in charge. (for Garrett_Connelly - a surfer who posts here on CD).
You know your racist shtick is losing any credibility whatsoever, you fool.
Tell us once again, what are your criticisms of Obama protecting war criminals, and engaging in countless actions, as Executive, on behalf of war criminals including those engaged in torture.
Tell us your criticisms of Obama's servitude to corporate interests, especially Big Pharma and the Big Insurers, that he worked so diligently for to kill the public option and sign into law the individual mandate, straight out of the Heritage Foundation.
Elizabeth Fowler ring a bell?
Dear Reader, this poser doesn't give a whit about racism.
This poser's real shtick here is to distract from real criticisms regarding corporate governance. Corporate control of every aspect of the lives of US citizens, and that this corporate coup has amassed currently unassailable power.
By the way Don, is the fact that Obama has deported more Mexicans than any previous Administration indicative of racism? Do you have any criticism of Obama having arranged corporate run holding centers for these caged individuals?
Do the policies of the Obama Administration that have led to the closing of public schools in primarily black neighborhoods, by his embrace of neoliberal economic policies of corporate takeover of education amount to any shade of racism?
I mean, look at what his political twin, Rahm Emanuel did to Chicago schools. The devastating impact that has had on the primarily black communities in Chicago has been enormous. Did Obama counter this action in any way politically?
Well of course not. It is the same type policies his Administration has been pursuing.
Have any problem with the Obama Administration's approach to education? You know, the weakening of teachers' unions, embracing of corporate owned charter schools, and the systematic dismantling of public schools through the continuation of the worst parts of "no child left behind" that represented a corporate attack on public education?
Any criticism of that there poser?
I don't agree that a democracy centralizes power, on the contrary, representative government does. It centralizes power in a few conservative politicians and their bosses. They would decide what to do with resources like the Great Bear Rainforest depending on how big their fossil fuel or timber company bribes are. The Electoral College makes them even more powerful.
In a decentralized direct democracy, people have the right to petition for redress of grievances by voter initiatives and referendums. Today, it could be done rapidly and securely with online voting. (Snowden recommends encryption for maximum security.)
Your example is valid only when a few investors, CEO's and politicians of the 1% call the shots instead of the grassroots 99% who have nothing to gain by destroying a beautiful rainforest.
Getting private money completely out of politics and going to proportional representation (parliamentary system for example) would go further toward creating democracy than eliminating the electoral college.
How about NO jobs?
Well, first off, I have been a critic of the electoral college for some time. Baring a constitutional amendment though, It is with us to stay. Perhaps allocating the electoral votes as a percentage of the popular vote, like they do in a couple of states might be a better solution. That said, I disagree with much of this article. To say that Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and others set it up to discriminate against minorities and help the Republicans is just plain silly. It is anachronistic and wrong to try to apply modern thought and sensibilities to the Constitutional Convention 230 years ago. Virtually no where in the world in 1789 did ANY citizens have the right to vote for their leaders...They were Chiefs, Kings, Queens, and Emperors, ect...and then everyone else. So, the delegates basically had to invent it from scratch.
"Disenfranchisement" is whoever is on the losing side in each state. And states switch over time. The South went for over 80 years after reconstruction without casting a single electoral vote for anyone that was not a Democrat. California was solidly Democrat, then switched to Republican, then switched back. New York and many other states have also switched back and forth.
If non proportionate power is a problem, then we need to get rid of the Senate too. As SuspiraDeProfundis pointed out though, the majority rules rule can cause it's own problems without protections to the minority. The old two wolves and a sheep voting who will be dinner thing. Peace.
In our culture, money and power are interchangeable commodities; you can buy either one with enough of the other. As long as the culture values material wealth above ecological functioning, justice, fairness and freedom of expression, the political-economic system causes or exacerbates inequality, the rich will rule whatever political system you can devise.
And as long as our psychological health continues to go unhealed--attachment problems, addictions, and splitting, projection, dissociation, objectification and domination/submission dichotomies being the standard modes of being, it will be difficult if not impossible to change either politics or economics. Sometimes crises offer opportunities to radically change the expression of a society; we can work to offer a humane, nature-based, science- and reality-accepting progressive view, from conception through infancy and adulthood to beyond death, in time for it to become the accepted culture as this one unravels under the weight of ecological collapse.