The System Still Works (For Now)

20 Dec

My son isn’t well, so I ended up writing this instead of We Lead.

There is a story – I don’t know if it is actually true – that goes a something like this.

Ten years after the Vietnam War ended, an American general met his North Vietnamese counterpart in Geneva. Not having any particular dislike for one another, the two generals went out to the bar and ordered drinks. Midway through the second round, the American turned to the Vietnamese and said “you know, you guys never beat us on the battlefield.”

The Vietnamese thought about it for a moment. “That may be true,” he said, finally. “But it is also irrelevant.”

He was right. If one judged by tactical success and body counts, the US won the war by a very long way. But if one judges by the real issue – one side managing to impose its will on the other – the North Vietnamese won handily. South Vietnam fell to the North, the US ended up looking weak and communism looked unstoppable. The US achieved precisely none of its war aims, such as they were, in Vietnam. And that is why the US lost.

The comparison should be obvious. Hilary Clinton may have won the popular vote. (This has been hotly disputed, for various reasons.) But it doesn’t matter. Victory conditions in US presidential elections don’t take the popular vote into account. The winning candidate is the one who commands a majority of the states

… And by that standard, Donald Trump won outright.

The Founding Fathers were not interested in creating a federal government where big states could dominate smaller states. That would have been a recipe for civil war. Indeed, without California, Donald Trump would have carried the popular vote too. Why should California be allowed to dictate the winner to the other states? And wouldn’t Trump (and Hilary) have followed different pre-election strategies if the popular vote actually mattered?

This isn’t (and wasn’t) exactly a secret. These rules have been laid down for years. You can’t demand the rules change merely because you lost, can you? If Hilary had wanted to win, perhaps she should have concentrated her attention on appealing to more states – and not insulting roughly half the American population. In the end, Hilary made so many mistakes that she lost an election she should have easily won.

She lost. Get over it.

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I believed that the vast majority of electors would remain faithful, as indeed they did. (Only a tiny number of electors switched sides, more Democrats than Republicans.) And yet I was nervous, despite it all. The consequences of not confirming Trump’s – perfectly legal – victory could have been dire.

There is a stereotype about conservatives (small-c) and liberals that, like most stereotypes, has a gram of truth. Conservatives are ruled by their heads, coldly logical, intent on the rules; liberals are ruled by their hearts, focused on their feelings. To a conservative, the rules are near-untouchable, applicable to all and only to be changed after long and careful consideration; to a liberal, different groups follow different rules and, when seen as unjust, rules can be changed at a moment’s notice. A conservative believes that facts should be put ahead of emotions; a liberal believes that emotions should trump facts.

In real life, of course, there is no such thing as a ‘pure’ conservative or a ‘pure’ liberal. I’ve known conservatives who were guided by their emotions first, then reasoned out their more logical justifications. And I have known liberals who questioned the emotion-driven arguments they were given, then dismissed them after examination. But conservatives tend, in my experience, to be more questioning than liberals. And, oddly, they are often more tolerant.

The average conservative, for example, may not care for abortion. (To pick a hot-button issue.) But would he support a full abortion ban? On one hand, no more unborn babies would die; on the other, it would create a whole stream of moral headaches and put a vast amount of power into the government’s hands. How long will it be until the power is abused? If antiterrorist laws can be used for trivial purposes, how long will it be before these laws are used to harass expectant mothers who have miscarriages? Given some of the other absurd – and yet somehow legal – abuses of power committed by barmy bureaucrats, my answer would probably be not long.

Conservatives believe that government power should be minimised as much as reasonably possible. And, perhaps more importantly, that private lives should remain private. Very few conservatives would support a government witch-hunt for homosexuals, whatever they may think of homosexuals, because the power used to hunt homosexuals could easily be turned against conservatives next. Or any other group you care to mention. What happens between consenting adults in private should remain private – and legal.

But conservatives also believe that the same laws should apply to everyone. People should not be judged by different standards, based on different factors. Murder is murder, regardless of who carried out the attack; rape is rape, regardless of the situation. And yet, there must be proof of these charges. Conservatives seek to withhold judgement until the evidence is presented, in a court of law, and assessed. Liberals, by contrast, seek to have the accused tried in the court of public opinion long before the court of law can be put together. And when – if – the accused is proved innocent, their lives are still ruined.

Conservatives did not recoil in horror from Barrack Obama because he was black. They recoiled because Obama showed a striking lack of concern for the fundamental structure of American politics. Obama’s famous “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone” statement suggested that Obama thought of himself as an absolute ruler – a king, if you will – rather than a president bound by limits on his power. It was intolerable.

And one of the many reasons conservatives hate Hillary Clinton was that she got away, constantly, with crimes that had seen lesser personages jailed. Her constant evasion of criminal charges was a slap in the face to everyone who believed that the law should apply to everyone.

Conservatives knew, even though they disliked it, that Obama had won a perfectly legal victory in 2008 and again in 2012. The rules were clear. Whoever took most of the states took the presidency. Conservatives did not riot in the streets – unlike liberals, after Cameron’s victory, BREXIT and Trump’s victory – because conservatives are fundamentally wedded to the system. Obama won fairly, so the conservatives gritted their teeth and accepted it. (And concentrated on legal ways to counter his increasing incompetence.) It was their faith in the system that kept them from turning against it.

If there had been enough faithless electors to overturn Trump’s victory – almost certainly by voting for Hilary, as there was no other reasonable option – it would have shattered conservative faith in the system. Trump won, by the rules. If those rules could be changed, if the will of the majority of the states could be overridden, what then?

Trump was elected, at least in part, because the Democrats routinely smeared every halfway-decent Republican with charges of racism, sexism, bigotry, homophobia, Islamophobia, stupidity, etc. They played dirty. Identity politics were turned into a weapon. Protest groups screamed, moaned and whined at electors, demanding that they change their votes. Trump, as I have noted before, is not the cause of the problems, but an antibody. His election came about because he refused to bow and scrape to nonsensical charges that had been used so often that they became meaningless. Many conservatives had their doubts about him (and still do) but they saw him as preferable to Hilary.

But what would happen if the system fell apart?

I don’t think it would be pleasant. If one cannot win by the rules, if one’s opponents regularly break them without consequence, why keep the rules yourself? Why not pay the other side back in their own coin?

This, thankfully, is a question that won’t be answered – this time. Conservatives see the system itself as more important than any president, regardless of his political affliction. The system did not fall apart, for better or worse. Trump won fairly and he will take office in January. And then …?

Conservatives will not, I think, let him go too far. Liberals, perhaps, should take note.


48 Responses to “The System Still Works (For Now)”

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 20, 2016 at 10:02 pm #

    The Democrats still haven’t “given up”.

    Now some of them are talking as if the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution applies to Trumps’s “foreign holdings”. (It’s mentioned in the article that I linked below). ;sad:

    • shrekgrinch December 21, 2016 at 9:24 pm #

      Yes, ALL OF A SUDDEN..details matter!

      Didn’t for the emails. Or Bill Clinton suborning perjury. Now all of sudden tho..they matter like nothing else in the world.

      It’s why the Russia Hacked The Election! thing is turning into their version of the Birther Whackjob stuff on the Right.

      • Conrad C Bassett, Jr. December 22, 2016 at 3:55 pm #

        Actually you’re wrong the details have always mattered. The problem has been there has always been political hypocrisy on both sides of the isle. You talk about e-mails that were not classified, and Bill Clinton’s actions during an investigation of an extra-marital affair that should not have been investigated but those are just details. No one is talking about the blatant violations of the Bush Administration, his hiring of Blackwater, war crimes etc or that he could not find Bin Laden for 8 years. You see facts don’t matter. If you are going to be outraged then do it for the right reasons. Let’s see in order for Obama to be president he had to release his tax records, show his birth certificate the long form etc. Donald Trump has not had to do those things. What happened to Republican outrage against Trump for spending too much money by allowing his wife and son to stay in NYC. 1 million per day? Obama had to move two children to attend school in DC. So let’s not pretend that hypocrisy does not ring true on both sides. It’s rather trite.

  2. Dick Moncure December 20, 2016 at 10:35 pm #

    The thing to fear if the system truly breaks, and what you’re alluding to, is Sulla – the conservative who said to Roman radicals, “Oh. So you don’t play by the law, but you expect us to – because conservatives believe in law? No, not now, there IS no law -because you destroyed it.” Whereupon he proscribed (dead) thousands of his radical enemies. Trump isn’t Sulla, because the system righted itself in time. But we should truly fear anyone who feels they can just change the rules because they feel like it, blithely thinking there are no consequences to cheating like that. Nobody will EVER be able to hit back at US, after all!

    Addendum: Hillary Clinton has to be the stupidest woman on the face of the earth. She lost the state count, which is all that matters, AFTER being taught a brutal lesson eight years ago – she blew the primary to Obama then because she was too damned arrogant, entitled, and dumb to read the rules of the Democratic Party. She blew huge amounts of money and effort in winning big state primaries, which only got her 40% of the delegates because of oddball proportional delegate-allocation, Obama cleaned her clock, and won the nomination, by getting all the delegates in caucus and winner-take-all states that she didn’t even understand the rules on, She learned nothing from that, and lost even bigger this time in a real election.

    Thanks for the good commentary, this and all your others. Hope the little guy feels better.

  3. Bob Wilson December 20, 2016 at 11:03 pm #

    Both comments were spot on, one more so than the other, but suffice it to say: Thank You, Christopher(Would you rather Chris??).. It is most refreshing to read what all the rest of us are thinking ! !

    • FarWalker December 20, 2016 at 11:33 pm #

      I think Christopher and Dick were both spot on. Well said gentleman.

    • chrishanger December 25, 2016 at 9:19 am #

      Chris or Christopher. I don’t mind


  4. thundercloud47 December 20, 2016 at 11:56 pm #

    For me this the election was summed up by something I witnessed back in August.

    I was at one of those small engine shops here in Missouri where they fix your stuff while you wait. It was a busy day and their waiting area was full of normal everyday country people who work hard for a living,

    There was a farmer in the group who was talking about trying to comply with new EPA regulations. His words as best I remember were; ” I have tried to the best of my ability to comply with them but they are gonna fine me anyway.”

    The heck of it is, that farmer will face far worse consequences than Hillary ever will.

  5. Ryan December 21, 2016 at 2:28 am #

    Your last paragraph can be summed up with a 1962 JFK quote: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

  6. Don December 21, 2016 at 3:27 am #

    “This, thankfully, is a question that won’t be answered – this time. Conservatives see the system itself as more important than any president, regardless of his political affliction. The system did not fall apart, for better or worse. Trump won fairly and he will take office in January. And then …?

    Conservatives will not, I think, let him go too far. Liberals, perhaps, should take note.”

    Hope you are right.
    As I wrote before Hillary is a has been, past. Get over it, Trump won. But now both Republicans (in the past) and Democrats (now) would of complained about the Electoral system.

    It is more important what Trump does and see if Conservatives confirms Trump’s cabinet and pass anti-middle class and poor laws including the tax reduction for the rich. If Mr. Oil get confirm then I got my answer and so should it be for you. No draining of swamp.

    As I said all major parties is about supporting and making it easier for big business making money anyway it wants so if Mr Oil is confirm then Exxon is going to make 500billion with Russia. Enemy of US and keep Putin firmly in power.

    Want to know what would it be the red line for your support of Trump?

  7. Andrew Jones December 21, 2016 at 5:32 am #

    The most interesting comparison I see between reaction to President Obama’s re-election and the election of President-Elect Trump is as follows:

    Reaction to Obama:
    Popular calibers out of stock
    Few guns on the wall
    Long wait times for range lanes
    Back order on storage food
    Markets mixed
    Uneasy NSA is watching jokes.
    Celebrations in the street

    Reaction to Trump:
    Ammo in stock
    Guns on the wall
    No back order on survival supplies
    Gold down, Oil flat
    POTUS-Elect is Literally Super Hitler according to Twitter

  8. PhilippeO December 21, 2016 at 7:09 am #

    as a Liberal, my thinking is the reserve.

    Liberals is the one who obey the rules, while conservatives is ones who endangering them.

    Liberals use Senate advice and consent once, to stop Robert Bork, who is regarded as far too right wing, they didnt stop Scalia, who while right-wing regarded as normal. Conservatives had stop almost Obama appointment for last two years without good reasons, they didnt even arrange hearing for Merrick Garland, while Bork receive hearing and vote.

    Liberals never brought debt limit to danger, they even accept Bush large expenditure of tax cut and Iraq war, while Conservatives nearly make America default twice during Obama years.

    Filibuster while both side has used it on the past, it always rare. but in last two years Conservatives had used it as standard legislative practice.

    as i always remember from history lessons, Gracchi win legitimalely, its conservative assassination of them who broke the system. leading the way to Marius, Sulla, Caesar and Empire.

    as a note, i think using Electoral College to stop Trump is destined to fail and rather stupid effort, but also Purely Legal. Founder made it so that States appoint Elector, who then meet and appoint President.
    it is also part of rules, you couldnt cherry picking.

    Conservatives often made habit of cherry picking in their politics.

    abortion, homosexuality, rape, murder, etc. Liberals who stand on equality of the law on allthis case, while conservative stand on altar of status and prejudice. if Stanford athlete rape women, he should be punished just like if he is non-athlete. if police murder people, they should be punished just like if black man do it. if men is allowed to have prostate cancer removal, then women should also be allowed abortion. if straight men can have his wife join his company insurance, then homosexual men canalso have his spouse join company insurance. if Eastern European allowed to immigrate without quota, then Mexicans should also be allowed to immigrate. is Steelworker can have union, so does Walmart employee.

    Law is Law, Citizen is Citizen. what apply to white farmer in Oklahoma, should also apply to black nurse in Georgia.

    • Bruce Fullerton USN(ret) December 21, 2016 at 8:27 am #

      Then by your statement Hilary belongs in Jail right?

      • bexwhitt December 21, 2016 at 9:24 am #

        Probably less than most, including the last three presidents and the orange one. It’s all rhetoric anyway the rich and powerful have to really fuck up to suffer any real consequences. Prison is for the little people mostly.

      • Don December 21, 2016 at 10:11 am #

        Yes if she is guilty then she should go to jail as same as all those politicians who leech off us the taxpayers and screw us the normal people.

        So if/when Trump do same or out do Hillary then Trump has to goto jail as well then?

        If yes then I am with you if not then your full of it.

    • Andrew Jones December 21, 2016 at 8:26 pm #

      I’ll use some fairly universal liberal positions as examples of “special exceptions”. They’re all topics that you’ve referenced.

      FREX: It would be wrong to force someone to participate in a religious ceremony…unless it’s a particular kind of wedding.

      FREX: It would be wrong to use force to compel someone to buy a particular corporate product…unless its health insurance.

      FREX: It would be wrong to use force to make someone pay for something and compel them to consume it, especially if it was a particularly poor product…unless its public education.

      FREX: It would be wrong to use force to compel someone to donate to a political party…unless we call the process a union.

      I’m not saying that Republicans are particularly consistent on things either, but the left doesn’t have moral high ground on the subject of “laws apply equally to all”. That’s kind of the whole point of identity politics. The rest of the stuff about liberals being virtuous about debt and appointment of judges is probably just uniformed.

      At this point in time, it’s not the conservatives that are invading my business and telling me how to live my life. You’ll note that all the positions above involve compelling people to act according to a government defined standard, typically in a way that concretely limits their freedom. For now, it’s the conservative side that wants to shrink the size and power of the guys with guns who can throw me in jail.

      • Don December 22, 2016 at 5:40 am #

        Well I can’t wait for karma to catch up with Trump. Not that I liked Hillary but I can’t stand any form of hypocritical action from people like Trump saying jail Hillary and will drain the swamp then do same as her but in your face about it.

        Making a billionaire and millionaire club in his cabinet does not fill me with hope that he really understand what we average guys are going through by the action of said rich people who will continue to act in their self interest.

        So Trump supporters stop been self righteous that he won but make sure that Trump actually keep all of his promises to kick the establishment and fight corruption. If not then he should be impeached. I feel all lying politicians should be sent to jail for lying to get elected then do whatever they want. Politicians should be keep accountable more then at the next election but there should be huge negative result for doing so then politicians would be less likely to do so.

        Sick and tried of politicians lying and not keep promises.

      • Andrew Jones December 22, 2016 at 8:21 pm #


        I’m kinda done being angry at politicians for their failures to keep campaign promises. I’ve got just as much irritation at people who still believe them.

        As for the millionaires and billionaires club thing, I’d generally rather have successful people running the country. I mean, blame the rich and feel my pain sounds good and all, but it’s really just a trick to get people focus on an enemy so you can co-opt that energy as the one fighting the enemy.

        Politicians aren’t going to solve our problems. I’m amazed anyone thinks they can or will.

  9. FarWalker December 21, 2016 at 1:08 pm #

    Christopher it is good to see that your books attract folks with very different political ideologies. At least we have some common ground – Great science fiction/fantasy. Hopefully President elect Trump will do a good job. Time will tell. In the meantime merry Christmas to all or happy holidays which ever you prefer.

  10. Bob December 21, 2016 at 2:44 pm #

    My bad for not asking how your son is doing now.. That should have been the first thing I said..

    • chrishanger December 25, 2016 at 9:25 am #

      Still not too well, but doing better.


  11. T December 22, 2016 at 12:59 am #

    Pretty sure there absolutely were riots by conservatives after Obama was elected.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 22, 2016 at 1:03 am #

      Provide evidence of those riots.

      • T December 22, 2016 at 9:03 am #

        I think I will instead reply with what I see a lot of conservative people on here say every time someone asks how exactly Obama’s presidency was an ‘unmitigated disaster’ – I’m not going to do your research for you.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 22, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

        Sir, if there had been riots because Obama had won, they would be common knowledge because the News Media wouldn’t let anybody forget about it.

        So if you really believe that there were such riots, you’re an idiot.

        Otherwise, you are a liar.

      • Conrad C Bassett, Jr. December 25, 2016 at 10:39 pm #

        I will chime in here. Not only were there riots but death threats.
        Here is you proof after Obama was re-elected. Watch:

        You also should read this:

        Anyone remember the Tea Party? Not only did they riot, and burned effigies, but they attacked blacks all over the country. How about the guys that attempted to murder the President and cut the heads of off 66 black people? Are you actually from the USA because most of us that live here remember these things.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard March 1, 2017 at 10:15 pm #

        See my response to BobPM.

        Oh, yes I’m from the US and I apparently know more about the Tea Party movement than you.

      • BobPM December 27, 2016 at 11:49 pm #

        Lets start with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of post-election violence after the 2008 election:

        And then, lets try the summary from The Hill:

        While I’m not sure “riots” is the correct term for events on either side, the fact that “Obama’s presidency was marked by effigies of our first black president hanging from nooses across the country, for example in Kentucky, Washington State, and Maine,” to have been particularly deplorable, Overall, I think there has been enough violence to go around.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard March 1, 2017 at 10:13 pm #

        No News Media cites?

        The Southern Poverty Law Center has become very Leftish and is always looking for excuses to its continued existence.

        The Hill article is just an Opinion Hit Piece that is about Trump.

        Sorry, I want News Articles dated from the time of Obama’s election concerning “Conservative” Riots.

  12. Anarchymedes December 22, 2016 at 1:12 am #

    With all due respect, Chris, hasn’t enough been said about the Donald and his landslide victory? We’ll all find out soon enough (if not sooner) what it means for the world, and whether he’s the new Nero or the new Cyrus the Great – or, more likely, nothing new at all. I’m surprised I haven’t yet read a (scything, of course) review of Rogue One: a Star Wars Story from you. Some call it the best Star Wars movie to date: isn’t that a challenge? Critique it to death – right now! 🙂

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 22, 2016 at 1:26 am #

      But but but….

      All Proper Thinking People must get out there and fight the Evil Trump to Prevent His Evil Plans From Happening!!!!!! [Sarcasm]

      Seriously, can’t speak for Chris but it’s hard to “move on” to other things when the “Proper People” are still making silly gestures that they believe will “Stop The Evil Trump”. 😦

      • Andrew Jones December 22, 2016 at 5:01 am # “Breaking News” top of the page story today was about the vote totals. There’s a terrorist responsible for a score of deaths loose in Germany, but hey look at this! vote totals from a six week old election that will change absolutely nothing about anything.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 22, 2016 at 1:27 am #

      As for Rogue One, I’ve heard good things about it but sadly I’ve also heard about the usual nut-cases trying to make political hay from it. 😦

      • Anarchymedes December 25, 2016 at 11:28 am #

        Political nutcases will do that to any movie: there have been talk about a political message in 300.

    • chrishanger December 25, 2016 at 9:28 am #

      The problem with having a baby (well, 2 years old now) is that i can;t go to the movies so often. I have to wait for DVDs.


  13. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 22, 2016 at 5:59 pm #

    There was a recent news report of some asshole harassing Ivanka Trump and her children on an airline flight. (The asshole got expelled from the flight).

    I voted for Trump because I severely disliked Hillary Clinton, not because I “loved” Trump.

    However, Liberal Assholes are making Trump look better and better.

    You Liberal Assholes want a war?

    Harassing people is a good way to start that war. 😦

    • Don December 23, 2016 at 7:22 am #

      I was agreeing with you till you wrote “However, Liberal Assholes are making Trump look better and better.

      You Liberal Assholes want a war?

      Harassing people is a good way to start that war.😦”

      It does not help generalize people together with extreme example of that group.

      I would of expected you would be very unhappy when people put all the Trump voters into same type of people as very small number of people who voted for him. ie. all the ‘isms.

      Like when I saw an interview of Trump voter saying that slavery was good and was done for the good of the people who was enslaved. Then would you like me to class all the Trump voters into conservative assholes that would like to enslave all the non-whites into slaves for their own good.

      So you Conservative assholes want a war?
      Want to enslave people because of race is a good way to start that war.😦

      Condemning that person for their action is good but then putting all the people into the same is bad move by you.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 23, 2016 at 2:46 pm #

        I call Bull Shit.

        Where were the “Good” Liberals over the last forty years when Liberal Assholes call anybody who disagreed with them “fascists”, “racists”, “sexists”, etc.

        If you don’t want to be “lumped in with the Liberal Assholes”, then speak out against them.

        But of course, you never do and get “Holier Than Thou” about expecting us to “speak out against the people you consider “Conservative Assholes”.

        Double Standards is the Name Of The Game For The Modern Liberal.

        And Trump won because plenty of people were sick and tired of Liberal Nonsense.

      • Don December 23, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

        I call for reading comprehension.

        Read what I have written and comprehend. As in don’t lump people together with extreme example of that group.

        Get back to me when you get some English education into comprehension.

        “And Trump won because plenty of people were sick and tired of Liberal Nonsense.”

        That is your personal issue. Not all people who voted for Trump think like you so get a clue.

        I never said I was liberal. I never said I like liberalism. So you write bull shit without facts or comprehension.

        Also what with this collective responsibility for sin of few? So you think that if one person in the family murder someone then that whole family have to be call out as murderer? But with your limited comprehension this would be not understood by you.

        “If you don’t want to be “lumped in with the Liberal Assholes”, then speak out against them.”

        What is this bullshit? Why would I need to speak out against anyone? So black and white. Reality is lots and lots of grey. There is not just two – Liberal and Conservative. As in there is spectrum.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 23, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

        Yawn! Same Old Same Old Garbage.

    • Conrad C Bassett, Jr. December 25, 2016 at 10:41 pm #

      One comment does not equate to harassment. Was it inappropriate? Yep but it wasn’t harassment.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 25, 2016 at 10:48 pm #

        Shakes Head.

        I’m very sure that the News Media would have called it “Hate Speech” if it was directed toward members of Obama’s family.

        I’m tired of Liberal Hypocrisy.

  14. Conrad Bassett Jr. December 26, 2016 at 7:55 pm #


    You need to learn the difference between hate speech and an expression of an opinion. You also need to learn the between racism against the Obamas and the anger against the Trumps. These meaningless labels of liberalism is a waste of time.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 26, 2016 at 8:25 pm #


  15. BobPM December 28, 2016 at 12:22 am #

    Chris: You didn’t really repeat that “remove California line”! California represents 1/10 the US population and has a GDP equal to the 6th largest country in the world. If you remove states totaling the equivalent population from Trump’s ledger, Trump would have lost the popular vote by another 3,000,000. So one in ten voters shouldn’t count because they live on the West Coast?

    My point is that this and your maps are a lame argument that emphasizes that the fact that rural farmers and communities have more clout in governing the US than do the more educated and more productive urban voters. This may or may not strike you as a good thing, but it does not represent one person one vote democracy. I grew up in remote rural Texas, and don’t find my classmates that stayed in that small town to be particularly virtuous or helpful in addressing problems that are more and more urban. The US is not a rural farming country any longer and the problems in Kansas are not the same as they are in LA or Houston (Houston, Dallas and Austin went for Clinton, and that great swath of West Texas has like two people per square mile).

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 28, 2016 at 1:23 am #

      but it does not represent one person one vote democracy

      So what?

      The Electoral College has never been about “one person one vote democracy”.

      It was about preventing the most populated states of the US from deciding “who was President of the United States”.

      This has been the System for choosing the President since the Constitution was ratified.

      If you want it changed, then start the process for amending the Constitution.

      Of course, it takes a two-third vote in the House and a two-third vote in the Senate to send an amendment to the States for ratification.

      Then two-thirds of the States have to ratify the amendment for it to become part of the Constitution.

      Of course, those people who you look down on likely won’t like the change thanks to how Liberals have been sneering at them for voting for Trump.

      On the other hand, if it had been Hillary who won in the Electoral College and Trump who had won the Popular vote, Liberals would be Shouting Hillary Won and to hell with the Popular vote.

      • BobPM December 28, 2016 at 4:08 pm #

        Can’t read very well since I do not argue or consider Trump as illegitimate in that sense (unlike the right – I remember 4 years of Rush starting his show every day with “America Held Hostage day XX,” because Bill Clinton didn’t receive over 50% of the popular vote).

        The rural bias of the original constitution may have made sense in the 1700’s but I’m not sure every citizen of Wyoming having 500% more electoral power than California is a positive in the 2000’s. Would love to see a change to the Constitution but we both know Republicans reap too great a benefit from the status quo.

        Let’s be clear, however, what I am arguing is that the let’s lop of California argument is dismissive of a large portion of the US and that this election was no mandate for a radical rightward shift in policy. Trump was the first first-term president in over 100 years to lose seats in both houses on his election, his electoral college margin ranked 46th out of all 58 elections (bottom 15%), he lost he popular vote by the biggest margin ever, and he won as a result of a total of ~ 60,000 votes in the three closest states.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 28, 2016 at 5:00 pm #

        In other words, it isn’t about the EC but it’s about the Wrong Person Won and about the Wrong People Voting.

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