“The Democrats lost an election which, frankly, they should have been able to win, because the Electoral College is much more advantageous for Democrats, as you know, than it is to Republicans.” – Donald Trump at Helsinki News Conference
No, the sane people in this country did not know that.
Move over, Burger King. You’re no longer the exclusive Home of the Whopper.
Since January 2017, the structure which variously was entitled the President’s Mansion, President’s House, and Executive Mansion now claim that title. For the White House, what used to be called black lies are now part of a daily, quite toxic hot baloney concoction, a cheesy, greasy fare served up at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, now the undisputed Home of the Whopper.
In the Age of Trump, there are so many lies and misstatements generated daily that the enormity of one lie tends to suck out any remaining oxygen and light for as far as one can see and breathe. Those with respiratory problems should be on the alert for the ever-changing atmospherics set in motion by the noisome eruptions of this maladministration.
Plunderbund readers might remember this observation from a year ago:
Trump’s penchant for lying is so bad that he inspired (?) me to compose this ditty, a la Mark Russell – with apologies to Lerner and Loewe:
We’ve grown accustomed to his lies
They almost make the day begin
We’ve grown accustomed to the tune of
prevarication night and noon
The lies, the frowns
His tales, no bounds
Are second nature to us now
Like breathing out and breathing in
We used to fret about the disappearance of the ozone layer. Now, in the Age of Trump, everything in and about the planet seems to be disappearing, including honesty and integrity in the governance process. If ethics could somehow be placed on the periodic table, it would be the rarest of elements found in terrestrial life, and certainly not found in any undrained swamp near the Potomac.
A week after the debacle in Helsinki, the commentary continues to be focused on the toxic fallout created by the eruption of Mount Trump, as the toxic gases and lava flow from Kilauea took a back seat to the boulder-size whoppers expelled from the incredible hulk of this bloviating orange mass. That commentary has centered on the mysterious Putin-Trump soiree, but the volcanic ash fallout has obscured Trump’s outrageous whopper about the Electoral College favoring Democrats. Consider this:
We should be burdened by the ghosts of elections and Electoral Colleges past. Andrew Jackson, Samuel Tilden, Grover Cleveland, Al Gore, and now Hillary Clinton are forever enshrined in the American Asterisk Hall of Fame, where the winners are losers, exemplars of a flawed electoral system that is embedded in an 18th century constitution, designed by the Founding Fathers, many of whom determined to protect the “Peculiar Institution,” viz., slavery, by counting enslaved people as 3/5th of an individual to determine a state’s population. The population count, of course, determined representation in the House and the amount of a state’s electoral votes.
If only we could ask Andrew Jackson about his popular vote win but a presidential loss in 1824. Better yet, if only we could ask Samuel Tilden about his popular vote win in 1876, or Grover Cleveland, who won in 1888 but lost.
But we can ask Al Gore, who won the popular vote in 2000, and we can ask Hillary Clinton, who led Trump by nearly 3,000,000 popular votes but lost the presidency.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Forsaken Five of American history.
Would Trump say it was fake news or fake history that all five people who won the popular vote but lost the election were Democrats? Sure, Jackson was triumphant in 1828, and Cleveland returned to the presidency in the 1892 election, but these five individuals are the best examples of what Trump would never call the Crooked Electoral College, even though he said in late July 2016 that the election was rigged.
He was right about that but left out that the election was rigged in his favor.
So much for Trump’s non-scholarly, fact-free observation that the Electoral College is advantageous to Democrats.
Yes, the Crooked Electoral College, an 18th century relic that continues to make this the only country in the world where presidential elections are decided by an asterisk, the anti-democratic system (based on the evidence of five elections, you can make that a capital D if you wish) where you have to take the time and qualify that there are two kinds of votes – popular and electoral. Even Trump, perhaps in a more lucid moment, said in a famous 2012 tweet that “the electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.”
If you believe that Trump’s mega-whopper about the Electoral College is in a class by itself, then you are invited to review a series of articles on needed constitutional reform that were published by Plunderbund in early 2016, well before Trump emerged as the likely Republican contender. The country’s current crisis and the proven illegitimacy of this president make it imperative that we start an urgent conversation on the flaws of our Republic. We must provide remedies for what is termed the “fault lines” in our current system that makes the country potentially unstable.
In this series, the foundational issues of election by popular vote, dark money, access to voting by all citizens irrespective of residence, along with national holidays for voting, are all explored. Some may view these ideas as mere dreams, but our present reality demands that we at least make an attempt at serious constitutional reform – and soon.
One more thing. We owe Donald Trump our thanks for forcing this issue to the front burner in our political discourse. With his earlier advancement of birtherism and attacks on the First Amendment, among many other outrages, the time is ripe to start the discussion.
Friends of democracy, please find your homework assignment below. And yes, there will be a quiz. It will be based on your knowledge of national issues, the scope of the work to be done, and your determination to seek profound change in November. Happy reading!
Part Three – Fault Lines That Impair the Voting Process
Part Four – Amendments 28- 30: Voting as a Fundamental Right, Popular Vote, National Election Days
Part Five – Amendments 31-34: Universal Voter Registration, Eligibility for Office, Eligibility to Vote, Funding for Federal Elections
Note to aspiring conspiracy theorists: Has anyone mentioned that the Forsaken Five listed above, popular vote winners of the elections of 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000 and 2016, were all Democrats? So much for Trump’s statement that the Electoral College is advantageous to Democrats.