The Election Was, Actually, Rigged

Among the many ironies of the 2016 election was Trump’s insistence that if he were to lose (and evidently only then), it would be evidence that the election was rigged.

The truth, as numerous election officials pointed out, is that tampering with the vote at polling sites–the only sort of “rigging” Trump would understand– is virtually impossible. Vote suppression is far more common.

That said, the actual “rigging” of American elections is quite legal; in fact, it’s baked into the system. I’ve written extensively about some of the more egregious examples, especially gerrymandering. But partisan redistricting isn’t the only structural element frustrating expression of the popular will.

Almost lost in the coverage of the election’s stunning result was the fact that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. She lost in the Electoral College, a structural throwback to a different time that has increasingly distorted national elections and failed to reflect the will of the voters as expressed at the ballot box. This is the second time in 16 years that a candidate has won the popular vote only to lose the Electoral College and the Presidency.

Many of the problems with the Electoral College are widely recognized: the outsized influence it gives swing states, the lack of an incentive to vote if you favor the minority party in a winner-take-all state dominated by the other party, and the over-representation of rural and less populated states.

Whatever the original merits of the Electoral College, it operates today to disadvantage urban voters in favor of rural ones. Hillary Clinton’s voters were women, minorities, and educated Whites, and they were disproportionately urban; Trump supporters were primarily less-educated White Christian males, and they were overwhelmingly rural.

In today’s America, cities are growing and rural areas declining. That decline undoubtedly feeds much of the anger and white nationalism displayed by Trump voters. One can be sympathetic to rural concerns without, however, giving the votes of rural inhabitants (already favored by gerrymandering) greater weight than the votes of urban Americans.

In Baker v. Carr, the Supreme Court famously upheld the principle of “one person, one vote.” The operation of the Electoral College violates that fundamental democratic tenet.

The cost of living is higher in cities, and most of us who choose urban life are willing to pay a premium in return for the benefits offered by more cosmopolitan environments. But a reduction in the value of our vote shouldn’t be one of the added costs we incur.

It is time to get rid of the Electoral College.

42 thoughts on “The Election Was, Actually, Rigged

  1. Agreed! It’s a throw back, with essentially no relevance today. It has given us George W. Bush and Donald Trump.

  2. With Republicans in charge of the House, the Senate and most of the statehouses, there’s no way to eliminate the Electoral College, since it would require an amendment to the Constitution. This antiquated, undemocratic institution principally benefits them.

    We have to work to change those institutions to Democratic control. At the same time, we have to keep calling for an amendment, even if the majority wins in the next election. We have short memories and short attention spans as a nation. We can’t be bothered with fundamental change when it seems everything is okay.

  3. No, click on the last link. It will take you to the Popular Vote Project, which is halfway toward eliminating the Electoral College without going through the Constitutional Amendment process.

  4. Don’t forget that he got a lot of white women votes, too, far more than I would have imagined before the results. But then patriarchy only thrives and survives when women support it.

  5. Watching both national conventions I became angered by an issue I had evidently overlooked in earlier years. I got angrier and angrier as I watched the Republicans transfer ALL electoral votes to Trump, disregarding hundreds of actual votes and rewriting history as it happened. This may be legal but it sure ain’t right! I was relived and supremely proud when Bernie Sanders maintained his 46% of the votes; which he earned and which will remain in the history books – we can only hope.

    The electoral college, no matter the wording of the explanation I found on Facebook this morning, amounts to the members of the electoral college in each state expected to vote for the political candidate of the controlling political party of their state – thereby totally ignoring the preference of voters in many states. Government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” has perished from the earth. President Abraham Lincoln must be beyond dizzy after rolling in his grave in recent years over actions of these neoRepublicans.

    One friend who began voting two years ago to stop my telling her “if you don’t vote you cannot complain”, messaged me after she voted on Tuesday. A friend of her’s, voting for the first time on Tuesday, contacted her to relay what happened when they asked for help from a poll worker. The worker pointed to the Republican straight party circle and told them to simply fill it in. Well; that was second hand but, coming directing from a friend I have known for about 50 years who wanted to vote straight party for the first time, I have to believe it. She asked for help and was told by the poll worker, who pointed to the Republican side, to fill in that circle and she was done. Fortunately, my friend saw the Democratic circle and filled it in. The fact that my ballot was rejected by one machine – twice – but accepted by the second machine has had me wondering ever since if my vote was actually counted. The poll worker had led me to the first machine and was upset when I inserted my ballot the second time before she could stop me. She took me firmly by the shoulder and walked me to the second ballot machine. Are there Democratic and Republican ballot machines at the polls? I didn’t wait to see if the man behind me at the first machine succeeded because the same poll worker told him not to insert his ballot till she returned. Any ideas out there, my friends?

  6. In re ending the electoral college as a 240-year old artifact whose application is antithetical to democratic values these days, I note that raw vote count seems to work well in congressional elections with the exception of a new geographical alignment of the House every ten years to suit the will of the then majority (aka gerrymandering) and there is no good reason to believe it would not work well in presidential elections which are immune to gerrymandering, but amending the Constitution is very difficult and takes years to do. So called “small states” such as Wyoming and Alaska could be expected to robustly defend the present system as it gives their voters powerful value over those of, say, California and Texas, and is a baked in constitutional happenstance they are unlikely to give up without a fight. It’s not just a gerrymandered House that fails to reflect the will of overall voters; we also have a problem in over-representation in the Senate. For instance, compare Wyoming with California. Both have two senators when based upon comparative numbers reflecting the will of the people California should have some fifty senators. Baker v. Carr does what it can to relieve the situation but no Supreme Court can amend the Constitution. If we are going to initiate the process of amending the Constitution with a view toward ending the electoral college we should just go for the whole enchilada and add reform of gerrymandering and senate count to the proposed amendatory language while we are at it. It won’t be easy; expect sturdy resistance.

  7. In 2007 Maryland approved to award their electoral votes to the candidate that won the popular votes. I think there about 8 states that have done that now. Then also, the electoral college was designed to prevent an unqualified candidate from being President by Alexander Hamilton. I think in this, the year of celebrating Hamilton, urging the electors to not go along with the state would be a first step in changing this system. http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/12897066

  8. You are all right on all points. But, nothing is going to change about this until a town like Grand Island, Nebraska has an urban area of a couple of million people, and other areas are the same.
    What to do? Have the Democrats actually pay attention to the great empty swath of states centered in the Great Plains. That means, campaign there, have party offices operating in most counties, and have Democrats run for local offices. Yes, they will not win very often, if at all, but they Do provide an optional voice, even if only once in awhile is it used.

  9. In 2007 Maryland approved to award their electoral votes to the candidate that won the popular votes. I think there about 8 states that have done that now. Then also, the electoral college was designed to prevent an unqualified candidate from being President by Alexander Hamilton. I think in this, the year of celebrating Hamilton, urging the electors to not go along with the state would be a first step in changing this system. http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/12897066

  10. Interesting link.

    I’m still in mourning for my home country. I saw and heard Michael Moore preach to us that Trump would win and I knew where he was coming from but didn’t want to believe it. But the DNC rigged this election against our favorite candidate and that was Bernie. He probably would have won by 10 points nationally but he was too far left for the DNC. I think Michael Moore was right all along, we were all living in a bubble and I’m ashamed of myself for believing the pollsters. They should all be fired, they should all have to spend 6 months in the ‘heartland’ and listen to the people that voted for Trump and get a history lesson. This election was set up for the Dems to fail and now we have lost the White House, the Senate, the House and we’re about to lose the Supreme Court.

    You know what, that affects us all no matter where you live. My Mother even said this result doesn’t affect her and I said, “B.S. Wait until they dismantle Social Security and Medicare and then it will AFFECT you.” And I found out my brother wrote in Homer Simpson for President. He’s a liberal! Damn it if I wasn’t so pissing poor, I’d come back to the states and kick all of the DNC asses myself.

    But I saw the writing on the wall a couple of years ago living in AZ with all of those cowboys and their open carry, Obama hatred and said, “I’ve had enough. I want out.” I am not proud of that fact. I don’t feel safe in my home country anymore and now you will have a clown in the WH and a bunch of evangelicals taking over and undoing all of the gains we made in 8 yrs despite them. Pence will be the President when Trump either gets indicted or quits because it’s way over his capacity and he really didn’t want to the job after all. I really think his actions in front of Obama on Thursday was telling. He is in way over his head and he knows it. Rioting is not the answer but maybe, just maybe the electoral college is a start. (But honestly, look at that map of the votes, Trump won the vote everywhere but in the cities). It’s a tough pill but you need to see the writing on the wall like I did.

    I cried for my gay friends, my friends of color, immigrants and for the poor people that will either lose their healthcare or their life because we let the GOP swallow the country in their quest for power. We really are the losers and I blame the DNC.

  11. By the way, speaking to a local Swiss guy a few months ago, they said that they have rewritten their constitution a couple of times recently to be more in line with the current economic and structural times and that was the first time I thought it was something the US should consider. What was written 240 yrs ago doesn’t apply anymore…just like the Bible. Maybe instead, it’s time to write constitutions that are actually applicable to the 21st century. Remove laws that don’t apply, don’t need to be defended and make new ones that can actually be read in an afternoon. Something to consider too.

  12. AginLGrl; after watching Pence announce on MSNBC his plan to take his anti-LGBTQ law to the national level I left my TV. No surprise there except; he couldn’t even wait till after he was sworn in. I turned on Facebook to find Pence making the statement “condoms are too modern for birth control”. I would laugh if this wasn’t a life and death situation in many cases. I believe it was ancient Egyptians who discovered that sheep bladders made a comfortable and protective form of birth control. I can’t help but question; is Pence really that stupid or does he believe we are?

  13. I disagree. The electoral system happens to result in “urban v. rural” in this election. What it does is place equal emphasis on each state proportionally to its population. Thus winning big in California or NY yields those electoral votes to the winner. But the excess votes in that state have no effect beyond that state for a reason. So to win the candidate must win enough states to have the majority of electoral votes. This is how the smaller states are not drowned out by larger or more populous states. Note that this system doesn’t favor one party or the other. It could help the Democrat party next time.

  14. Richard Nixon was actually in favor of modifying the Electoral College during his first term. If I read the comments on the legislation on it correctly it passed the House but died in the Senate.

    Given that the system has worked for the Republicans in 2000 and 2016 I doubt they would listen to any plan to lessen it’s (Electoral College) influence.

    The Democrats need to start their own reform process like trashing the Super Delegate system, and cleaning house in the DNC.

  15. To D – I disagree with your disagreement and note that it is not the big states over-running the small states today but rather the reverse, i.e., the small state are over-running the big states. I also note that we are talking about how many votes and not how they are allocated to suit a purpose long since extant. Whether they favor one party or the other in a given election is immaterial; the point is that the majority wins, and Hillary would be the president-elect today but for the anachronism of the long since outmoded electoral college. Someone tell me how this result reflects the will of the majority of the people. Truth be told, the Constitution itself as applied these days is yielding unconstitutional results. Things have changed. We are not a scattering of some three and one half million people scattered along the Atlantic seaboard as of 1789; we are instead approaching 330 million people and I say that we need a new constitutional understanding of how we today are going to allocate political power among our citizens in accord with democratic principles, and I think James Madison would agree.

  16. AgingLGrl,

    It’s not all lost. But, it is all lost for the Democratic Party. All the Republican legislators are not necessarily going to follow Donald Trump. They are not all insane. If they do, then we’re the ones who are insane for letting them get away with it.

  17. What has astonished me in recent years about these new “Republicans” is the fact that they seem unaware they are depriving the Republican voters of the same rights as Democrats and those who have never voted. Millions of Republicans depend on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, AFDC, WIC, a decent wage if they can find a job, and many other services. They are also denying Republicans the advantage of quality public education – although that may be their goal – keep the public dumb enough to reelect them.

  18. JoAnn,

    “…keep the public dumb enough to reelect them.”

    As I have mentioned more than once, it’s the LIFEBOAT THEORY of the majority…. Throw the minorities into the ocean and we all will be better off. It makes a lot of sense unless the minorities decide to tip over the lifeboat [like we starting to see]. I keep reminding myself of that every day by observing the antique , 4 foot, model of the Titanic’s lifeboat on the bar in my kitchen.

  19. Thank you for noting that the Electoral College frustrates the one-man-one-vote decision. It is patently unfair to award ALL a state’s electoral votes to the winner – even if that winner only wins by a single vote out of millions.

    The founding fathers feared a demagogue could fool a majority of voters sometimes and provided the electoral college as a safety net against a demagogic, popular vote winner. If the electoral college was ever to be tested on that principle, it is surely this year.

  20. It could become lost in the current analysis but the prime reason for America’s loss is that Trump broke with our political traditions and out lied Hillary by a staggering amount. That also allowed him hostile takeover of the previous record holder for lying, the GOP.

    This is not bitter me talking but what the record clearly shows. Trump simply has not ever had any allegiance to truth, an alligiance that we have traditionally insisted on as public servant table stakes.

    Hillary, and I, and most Americans are simply gobsmacked by even the idea, much less the reality, that prodigious lying and unprecedented ad hominem is accepted by so many of us.

    I personally don’t see how democracy is viable in this culture.

    What am I missing?

  21. Pence baffles me most. Dull, yet sincere but seriously living in another century for today’s issues. Gay marriage, What does he care? Abortion, Not his body, not his opinion, period. end of story there. I don’t need to go on. You all know this.

  22. The problem is about race, something Michael Moore seems to conveniently forget, and which 99.9% of white American’s can’t effectively deal with, so we continually shove it under the desk, making matters even worse.

    “Responding in 1940, to the unfolding catastrophes perpetrated by the rise of fascism in Germany, Walter Benjamin, a German Jewish philosopher and literary critic, wrote his now famous “Thesis on the Philosophy of History.” In the Ninth Thesis, Benjamin comments on Paul Klee’s painting Angelus Novus:

    “Angelus Novus” shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixed contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his arms are spread. This is how one pictures the angels in history. His face is turned toward the past where we perceive a CHAIN OF EVENTS, he sees one single CATASTROPHE which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of its feet [It started with the Regan revolution]. The angel would like to stay, awake the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has caught in its wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This is what we call progress.”

    “The meaning and significance of Benjamin’s angel of history has been the subject of varied interpretation by philosophers, literary critics, and others. Yet, it still offers us a powerful lesson about a set of historical conditions marked by a “catastrophe that keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage.” In this instance, catastrophes both undermined any hope of DEMOCRACY in Europe and gave rise to the dark forces of brutal authoritarianism and the cool ruthless homage to efficiency and industrialization of death. In the midst of such crisis, Benjamin’s angel is frozen in time paralyzed by a storm called “progress” that pulls him into the future without being able to “awaken the dead” or mend the catastrophe at his feet.”

    “Twilight of the Social: Resurged Publics in the Age of the Disposable” by Henry A. Giroux (London: Taylor and Francis, 2012) pp. 34-35

    Professor Giroux and I worked together on an important project about ten years ago. His work is very important today, especially with the concept of social democracy.

  23. I find that only two states apportion electoral votes. Is there another source?
    I cast my vote Tuesday knowing (as in every Presidential election) my vote would not ‘really’ count.
    U. S. Electoral College: Frequently Asked Questions
    https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/faq.html
    Jump to What is the difference between the winner-takes-all rule and … – In these States, whichever candidate receives a majority of the popular vote, or a plurality of the popular vote (less than 50 percent but more than any other candidate), takes all of the state’s Electoral votes. Only two states, Nebraska and Maine, do not follow the winner-takes-all rule.
    ‎How is it possible for the ..

  24. I’m very optimistic. The Germans were ruling the seas in the late 30’s and early 40’s with their “wolf packs” or U-boats (submarines), much like Donald Trump with the benefit of his campaign’s deceptive and sub-surface maneuvering, but then with the invention of SONAR, it all came tumbling down. Almost overnight, the advantage shifted to the Allies. The U-boats were no longer the threat as they were once perceived.

  25. Something to think about.

    Where would society be without credibility? Would life and business and governance and religion even be possible?

    Credibility has two enemies. Ignorance and lying. They won this election and those winners define to the world and to each of us what America stands for now.

    This is the plot of “1984”.

  26. Mary, thanks for bringing up voter registration purges. In doing some quickie Google searching, I found “No effective national standard governs voter purges; in fact, methods vary from state to state and even from county to county. A voter’s risk of being purged depends in part on where in the state he or she lives. The lack of consistent rules and procedures means that this risk is unpredictable and difficult to guard against. While some variation is inevitable, every American should benefit from basic protections against erroneous purges.”

    The above copied and pasted info is from a 2008 study published by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. It’s a quick summarization with four policy recommendations.

    I suspect voter purges are far more accurate in extremely small communities where everyone tends to know the whereabouts of everyone else, whether the whereabouts are a cemetery, another county or state, or off the grid in the French Foreign Legion.

  27. So wasn’t it speculated that the KS Sec. of State was collecting the Voter roles from all the states with a Republican controlled Election Board and then using names to cross check duplicates, without using social security numbers. If this is true, I wonder how it could get by all the powers that be. But then…..

  28. A couple of quick random thoughts:

    1) I don’t disagree with Professor Kennedy’s points that the Electoral College can result in the denial the will of the majority of the people. I also agree with other posts that, as a practical political matter, fixing it would be nearly impossible.

    2) Although I can’t prove, and I don’t know if anyone will or could research and either disprove or validate it, I still strongly believe that James Comey, for whatever reason or reasons, effectively rigged the election against Clinton. This seems all the more true because she won the popular vote, and in many States where she lost to Trump, Trump’s margins of victory weren’t large. I know, so much water over the dam. But how in the hell can any candidate for political office deal with and recover from something like that just days before an election?

    3) One can speculate on all the things the Clinton Campaign and the DNC screwed up, or that Bernie or Joe Biden would have won — I’m more inclined to believe that Biden might have, but I still think Bernie, as much as I liked his proposals, would have ultimately lost if he had been the candidate. Yes, the Dems should focus on those things, and perhaps could come up with better strategies or candidates to reach out to voters who used to be Dems, but who voted for Trump.

    4) But IMO here’s the real “elephant” in the room. The Repubs have now successfully “Swift Boated” 2 Dem Presidential candidates. They did it to John Kerry. Now they have successfully done it again to Clinton with Benghazi and the damn E-mails. Neither of which had a damn thing to do about anything. (What a gift Benghazi was to the Repubs, even if they couldn’t directly pin it on Clinton, it gave them the gift of her e-mails.) Do any of you believe, that Clinton would have lost the election, if the Repubs hadn’t double and tripled down on the e-mails? They successfully poisoned the well against her to the extent that around 60% of the public believed she was dishonest and doesn’t tell the truth.

    How do or can Democrats fight back against slick, orchestrated, smear campaigns designed to discredit Democratic Presidential Candidates based on total BS and lies? Anyone have any good ideas? Telling the truth doesn’t help much. Proving the BS and lies are untrue doesn’t seem to matter to a large portion of the population. Being exonerated by the FBI twice didn’t help Hillary all that much. Actually, I think she and her campaign initially did as about as well as anyone could to deal with it. Until Comey dropped the bomb on her.

    I know smearing your opponent with lies and mistruths has a long history in this Country. For example, that’s exactly how Tricky Dick Nixon won his first campaign for Congress in California. But when one side feels free to cheat and lie, and the public refuses to call them on it when presented with the truth, it’s hard to know what any candidate can do to successfully combat it. Clinton was probably more ill-equipped than many candidates because of all the baggage she carried from the previous phony scandals, she is a woman, and she isn’t the most charismatic of politicians.

  29. I think that the Popular Vote Project is a very good idea and Dr. Koza has been pushing it for a long time. An unknown irony is that Dr. Koza once invented a game called Consensus, the goal of which was to win an election based upon the map of the Electoral College.

    However, one flaw with this approach is that most state governments, including some that were “blue” in 2000, are controlled by Republicans who would never approve of such measures.

    It is still a good idea.

  30. The pollsters and media told us that Clinton was going to win. Now they tell us that the voters they interviewed said they voted for change; except there was almost no change. They still have the same congressional and state representation they had before.

    They want to participate in the economic recovery; why didn’t they prepare for it? Why did their representatives politicize education and starve it? A representative government could have funded training to prepare them for the new competitive global economy, but they didn’t.

    So, Trump’s promises of bringing their jobs back is empty and will fail. The republican majorities in congress and many state legislatures have not and will not fund training that could prepare underemployed for the jobs of the future/global economy.

    If the voters really wanted change they would have cleaned out congress and state legislatures. It seems that change is not really what they wanted, unless it was to prevent a woman from succeeding a black man as president.

  31. Just a quick clarification of my previous post. As soon as I hit the “post” button, I realized my comment that one reason Clinton was possibly less well equipped to defend against the attacks against her was because she “is a woman,” I realized it was a very inartful statement that could easily be misunderstood.

    I was trying to shorthand the fact that many men (and apparently a significant number of women too) in this country resent strong and powerful women, which I believe Clinton is. Traits and behaviors that they would find admirable in a man, they find not becoming or appropriate in women, and hold it against a woman when they wouldn’t a man. Those types, I believe, would be less likely to have given Clinton a pass on the e-mails, but would have a man. Not because I believe it’s right or should be the case. I’m married to and have been surrounded by choice most of my life by smart, powerful women.

  32. It is my understanding that Trump was ok with the Libertarian candidate participating in the 3 presidential debates, just as Indiana did with the 3 governor candidates. But Hillary blocked Libertarian participation in the Presidential debates, just as leaked (and probably accurate) e-mails showed that Hillary (and DNC officials) rigged results to make sure Bernie lost out as well. It sounds like the rigging was to make sure that Hillary appeared to be the only possible candidate. She knew she had problems winning on her merits, so it was important that a damaged Trump was the only competitor.

  33. Actually I believe that what’s closer to the truth is that unfounded conclusions from stolen emails by Bernie’s supporters cost HRC votes.

  34. We have become terrified with fears we know not of. No one know the style Pres Elec will pursue. I, for one, am willing to be decided by what I see, I ve heard all the rhetoric concerning the short comings of either candidate and nor one of them earned by faith , After having cast my loot with Hillary, I astonished to shortly discover that i was running against the tide,

    I the brightness of the new morning, I am blessed with a Donald Trump Pres and I will work as hard as I would for any other. We survived Jackson and Johnson(Andrew) and we wont be the worst for it .Maby the Baby Boomers will catch hell but they have plenty of time to make up a more better society.

    Let’ not get out panties in a bunch because he’s now the man,

    That is the proper way of this land. It could turn out a good thing. Look what Lyndon did for the poor. Look what Reagan did to THEM!

    we’ll SURVIVE AND YOU DON’T KNOW JUST HOW IT WILL BE.

    TRUMP CRAZES ADMIRATION. He’ll do anything to stay in the lights looking good. If the good also helps the nation, all the better!

  35. Earl,

    “TRUMP CRAZES ADMIRATION. He’ll do anything to stay in the lights looking good. If the good also helps the nation, all the better!”

    The BIG difference between the two of us is that you still believe in SANTA CLAUS Trump and I don’t.

  36. Earl; when was your last vision examination? You need a new prescription for those rose colored glasses. Did you NOT watch the same Donald Trump rallies the rest of this country and the world saw repeated, as our fears grew. Then the addition of Pence; you MUST be aware of his political activities in your home state. And he has already begun taking over this country’s domestic affairs as Trump promised; his first action will be to get his anti-LGBTQs law in effect on the national level. With the continuing Republican Congress; he will have no problem. He then added “condoms are too modern for birth control”. WTF that means can only be that his second action will be to take over all uteruses on a national level as he did in the state of Indiana.

    This country has elected a tyrant and a pseudo Christian; a duality of the distaff side of humanity. In case Trump gets his wish, and it is retroactive and includes all older Black Americans being shipped BACK to Africa; will you please watch over my biracial great-grandchildren for me and remind them I love them? I will give you their names if the time comes.

  37. Think Earl is right in two respects: 1) No one knows exactly what Trump/Pence has in store for us because I don’t think Trump himself does or will know until it happens.

    But Pence is an entirely different matter. God has spoken to him personally and told him to get rid of the Gays, and abortion and birth control for women — and men apparently too.

    For anyone who hasn’t been paying attention (most of the regulars here already know it), Pence is an evangelical Catholic. Evangelicals believe in the literal words in the Scriptures — at least the ones they choose to like. He is not a mainstream Catholic. Pence has repeatedly said God talks to him personally and tells him what he should do as the Governor of Indiana.

    2) It’s true. We have managed to survive many bad Presidents. But not without many needless deaths of our troops, who have been sent to fight stupid wars that have achieved little but more carnage not only to our troops but to countless other human beings in other countries. Nor without countless and needless harm to the citizens of this Country.

    So Earl, ask yourself this question: How often do you want to tempt fate?

    As Professor Kennedy has written here, the U.S. and its citizens aren’t really “exceptional.” There is nothing written in the laws of the Universe that says the U.S. couldn’t go down the same path to Fascism Germany went down. There are no guarantees that what has been will always be.

    We have proof positive from last Tuesday that half of the population of this country can be manipulated by an arrogant, narcissistic, demagogue who has spent his entire adult life doing whatever he wants to whoever he wants. We have proof positive that one party can manipulate the outcome of elections by relentlessly attacking the opposing party’s candidate with lies and half-truths about things (Yes, the e-mails) that don’t have a damn thing to do about anything.

    Doesn’t give me a lot of confidence, Earl, that things are going to get better instead of a whole lot worse in the next four years. How much worse is the only question.

  38. David F,

    “How much worse is the only question.”

    That’s the $64,000 question. And it is the most important. Because answering that question is, more than likely, the only thing we might have to neutralize Trump/Pence before they take office. “How much worse” for the Democrats is the worry for most of us, but it has little effect on our friends and neighbors on the Republican side. However, if for example, it can be proved that Republicans, in the NEAR future will also be living in SOCIO/ECONOMIC HELL along with us, then that’s a different story. That’s a game changer. If we had that FORECAST, I would never lose my case nor would any of you against Trump/Pence.

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