Throwin’ Away My Shot

In what sense can someone claim to win when they failed to get the majority vote? A crooked one, by definition. Some might say “rigged,” to use language that has mysteriously disappeared once one party “won.” The definition of crooked is “not straight; bending; curved.” We cast our votes, and depending on which imaginary lines we live within, those votes are diverted to a party of electors. That means that the person who actually wins the majority vote might not win. When it happens—not often—it always benefits the Republican Party. So it has been in my lifetime. And the “winner” never mentions that the majority voted against him. It’s always a “him.” By a recent count Hillary Clinton had over 400,000 more votes than Donald Trump. That final figure may be closer to a million. Whose votes didn’t count? Compare that conservative 400,000 to the 2,000 votes that “won” Pennsylvania. Go ahead, Trumpetters, you like numbers. Isn’t that an order of magnitude or two out of whack? Doubled? Crooked.

The point of the electoral college is that it has now become a game. Games, as we know from each time George W. Bush was elected, can be cheated. “Hanging chad” is engraved on the tombstone of democracy. Was my vote one of the 400,000 that didn’t count? Most assuredly so. If you know how to read, chances are so was yours. Gaming a system hardly seems to be the basis for the will of the people. The people have spoken and they have been, once again, ignored. W didn’t endorse Trump. I wonder what he thinks of the electoral college now. How does it feel, Mr. President, to have thrown away your shot?

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Some who claim that Republicans know what it feels like to lose need to stop and think. When has their opponent never won both the popular vote and the electoral college? It hasn’t happened in their lifetime. The electoral college may have made sense once, but it no longer does. When we try to tell young people that their vote counts, then put the candidate in office who decisively lost the popular vote, we’re really telling them “throw away your shot.” Still, Republicans are gloating even as the Democrats play by the rules (they’re nice people) and politely throw away their shots. It’s time we stood up for ourselves. When the most contentious candidates (the mind reels at where the GOP can go from Trump), not backed by any previous presidents of their own party, can win based on a technicality, we all need to stand in Weehawken and contemplate what this country has come to.

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