Posts Tagged ‘elections’

The Dark Spots in Our Republic

December 11, 2019

I am defining Dark Spots this way.

Dark spots: locations in which election vote numbers are suspect, due to fraud, corruption, tampering, discrimination or miscounting.

Dark spots in our democratic republic are everywhere. No doubt they can be uncovered in numerous locales throughout our entire system of governments. Such dysfunction is a symptom of our human predicament and the institutions we devise to help us all solve our problems together.

I think the number of suspect dark spots is revealed in higher and higher numbers as our counting moves downward to the local level.

There is no statistical explanation for this except that the complexity of voter rolls gets progressively higher and higher as the numbers get bigger and bigger.

In our massive system of vote-counting, the likelihood of corruptive shenanigans is everywhere throughout the nation. The extent of corrupt data/numbers is directly proportional to the number of polling stations in the nation. There will always be a few bad apples in any batch. Knowing which ones are suspect probably requires more time and integrity than our civil authorities can effectively monitor.

It is partly because of this fully expected complexity that the founders of our democratic republic instituted an Electoral College. Admittedly, there are other factors that determined the outcome of this foundational decision, such as: all the writers of  our Constitution were middle-aged white guys who had plenty of land and money. But that was 18th-century politics in the New World and there is nothing that can change that.

To amend the Constitution is a very long, difficult process involving all of our state legislators and Congress. If there are any parties among us who have a mind to do so, you are welcome to go for it. Good luck with that. The Constitutionally-prescribed procedure would require a lot of time and coordinated effort on the part of a large number of citizens.

Now, as to the matter of the dark spots, I continue.

Regardless of the inevitable hundreds or  thousands of illegal or deceased voters and subsequent illegal votes cast throughout our United States– the final number that actually determines who will be President —that number is systematically honed to  a very manageable, low number that is easy to count. So that we can make a definitive appointment that will be held as legitimate for the next four years.

538 electors is the number of Constitutionally determined delegates who declare who will become our President in each four-year period.

270 is the majority number that establishes the outcome of that Electoral College.

In 2016, those numbers were: 306 for Trump and 232 for Clinton. All ye Democrats, read ’em and weep. That’s life in the big country. There’s always next election, so get busy.

The integrity of our selection procedures, from the lowest precinct level all the way up to Congress and the Presidency, is a matter of interest for all of us in both parties.

Let’s keep it as clean and legitimate as we can, from the top to the bottom.

Now, what about those dark spots of electoral meddling that I mentioned earlier. . .

My theory is that in a democratic republic, especially one as huge as ours, there will always be some dark spots somewhere; to sniff them all out and correct them would be an impossible, never-ending project.

We will never get rid of all the irregularities of selective process that our Constitution has prescribed and our  nation has retained for 238 years.

We can try to clean up corruption, tampering, illegal voting and dead people voting etcetera etcetera.That’s all well and good, But we’ll never undo all the evil that men do.

Especially men; blame the men, haha, especially the ole white guys like me, although I am not one of the rich privileged ones.

Nevertheless, as a citizen of the United States of America, I am entitled to a vote, which figures at a certain level in the selection process. Then those who are selected by the compilation of my vote and yours will go on to vote on the larger decisions, including who will actually be President.

Along with the vote I am entitled to my opinion,  and I am endowed by the Constitution to express it in any ways that do not infringe on the rights of my fellow-citizens.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

And the Constitution, including the Electoral College—that’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

That’s our history and we’re sticking to it.


Like it or not, according to the above procedure, 270 is determined as the necessary majority number if you wanna be President.

Now let’s get started on the next election cycle. The American people will select our next President according to the systematic process that our founders instituted and we have retained for, lo, these many years.

And if you Democrats out there have a better person for the job, well let’s see what you come up with. Then we will  collectively render our decision in December of 2020.

May the best citizen for the job win.

Glass half-Full

Have Americans become risk-averse to freedom?

February 6, 2011

“If you think yourself a man, then come with me on January 25th…”

And the rest is, as they say, history.
With those words, Asmaa Mahfouz, a young woman brimming with courage, challenged the men of her nation to take a stand for freedom.  Little did they know it, but those men and women who chose to accompany her one week later to the heart of Egypt were making a date with world history.

Although Asmaa’s passionate appeal turned out to be a perfectly-timed ultimatum, the basis for her urgent Tahrir call is nothing new in Egypt. The cauldron of discontent has been heating steadily for many years. Now it is boiling over. Mubarak and his crew saw it coming, but instead of reforming their police state–as elected leaders should do–his government sought to repress the grievances of their people.

As it turns out, now with the going forth of a young woman’s impassioned youtube message, the captive genie of justice has been released from its bottle. No, the basis for demanding reform through free elections is not a new development in Egypt.

In 1993, Edward M. Said wrote:

“With literally no exceptions, every Egyptian I know and have discussed these matters with for the past half dozen years says the same disaffected, even disgusted things about the government. Deals on every conceivable commodity are made by middlemen and commission agents, usually with some minister or Mubarak-in-law as a front; public discourse is so devaluated that it is virtually impossible to tell the truth; the country is in effect ruled by a series of autocratic measures licensing the government to stop articles in newspapers, to jail and torture dissidents under emergency laws passed by Sadat but still in force now, and to prevent unions, political organizations, secular human rights groups from assembly or action.”

“We just want our human rights and nothing else…” pleaded Asmaa, on her grainy, un-hyped video posting of January 18.
“If you have honor and dignity as a man, come! Come and protect me and other girls in the protest…”

And come they did, by the hundreds of thousands.

Now cautious, comfortable people around the world are asking:  Does this impetuous demand for popular government portend a soon-to-come takeover by Islamofascists? Does it pave the way for usurpation of  rising democratic impulses by the Muslim Brotherhood or  some other extremist groups?

That could happen, yes. Freedom is always a huge risk. Recall from your middle school social studies class what our founders risked in order to emancipate themselves from the burdens of King George III.

But the freedom and prosperity of the people of Egypt is worth taking that risk.

As a Christian who supports Israel,  I say:  Go for it, Egyptians! Go for freedom and justice. Go for constitutional government.

And as a born-free American,  my insistence on freedom of assembly–my conviction that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth–requires that Egyptian citizens must be allowed to elect, in internationally-validated elections, their own leaders. And those elections should be arranged as soon as possible, before Mubarak’s crew has time to neutralize the presently positive thrust toward reformative democracy– and even, perhaps, before extremist elements have the chance to get their explosive ducks in a row.

It’s time for the people of Egypt to vote!  United Nations, figure out how to make it happen,  and how to effectively moniter those elections so that they are, as many have advocated, “free and fair.”

This could be a grand lesson in democracy for every nation of the world, including our friends the Israelis.

Glass half-Full