Presidential Election 2016

Presidential Election 2016

The 2016 Presidential Election might be one of the most important decisions Americans make in the 21st Century. 

Red Hats & Blue Hats

Let me say upfront, I’m not writing this blog to sway your vote to Clinton or Trump.  It’s not a matter of Red Hats or Blue Hats.

As a country of immigrants we’re risk takers by nature and I cherish the freedom for which our forefathers fought so hard.  Immigrants today are the Americans tomorrow.  So, when I say Americans – I mean ALL people who make the 50 states their primary residence and contribute to their communities, pay taxes and function in a way which elevates the America of the future.  Please don’t read into any of my phrasing to be separatist thinking.

Where Has All Our Power Gone?

Americans aren’t Quitters, “Inspiration brings Innovation but not without Perspiration”.  Americans don’t lay down and give up.  But we changed somewhere along the way.  Perhaps it started with the 1963 assassination of our president in broad daylight.   Perhaps it was 12 years later when Nixon, having been caught breaking into the DNC offices at the Watergate Hotel resigned from office instead of being impeached. We lost faith in our government.  Yet we still look to the Federal Government to solve our problems (i.e., to create infrastructure projects and create new jobs).

Be It Ever So Humble…

There’s no place like home.  Your state, your city, your town, your village or community is tremendously important in the political process.  Many Americans forget about the political power they do have.  They vote every four years – typically based on the lesser of two evils and call it a day.  They have four more years to grab some lovely gooey Brie cheese to have with their whine.

The days of pleasant discourse about politics has become skewed by social media.  Growing up, we were careful about discussing certain topics in “polite company”.  But once you found like-minded people you had intelligent discourse, not always agreeable but respectful of different points of view.  Social Media, which allows for anonymous “trolls” to join conversations makes it more difficult.  But knowing who runs your school board, who sits on your zoning board – all manner of local roles are significantly more important to your daily life than POTUS.

The Electoral College

I have to take a moment and speak about the Electoral College who ultimately select our  POTUS.  Here’s a

good look  at 2016’s electoral college map

Even though the Electoral College elects our president, they don’t need to vote with the popular vote.  There were four times when a president won a plurality of the popular vote, but not the electoral vote.  The four presidential campaigns were:

  • 1824  Andrew Jackson v.  Andrew Jackson won the popular vote but was not elected president
  • 1876  Samuel Tilden v Rutherford B. Hayes: Tilden beat Hayes by 3% (popular) (although it’s been written this is due to suppression of the black vote).  However, Hayes won in the Electoral College
  • 1888  Grover Cleveland beat Benjamin Harrison by 1% (popular).  Harrison won in the EC and became our president.
  • 1960 JFK won the popular vote by ~100K (< 1%)votes v. Nixon  JFK won the EC 303 v 219 (+38%)
  • StackExchange cites 158 events where Faithless Electors skewed the vote away from the popular plurality.

Even so, your vote is vitally important.  A freely elected Government is a cornerstone of America.  I point out the Electoral College to put things in perspective when debating the two candidates.  We’re a two party system with convergence (whereby both parties are looking more like each other not less).  But that’s only on the crust of the Crème Brulee.  Look underneath and you will see the two parties have machines that, although experiencing convergence are different in congress and at the State level.

Becoming political once every 4 years just doesn’t cut it anymore.  We have to invest in our communities, our elected officials and the manner in which the constitution is being carried out.  Otherwise, we may as well raise the white flag, cede control of any area of our personal lives and truly become “sheeple”.

Fear and Self-Loathing in America

Our media helped create a climate of fear.  Fear of what?  FEAR OF EVERYTHING!!  They also create a climate of divisiveness: red hat or blue hat – no purple hats allowed.  Media tells us what to think, they don’t report information anymore. They have decided the American public is unable to do their own research and come to their own conclusions. Sorry if the truth hurts.  But the media think we’re all idiots.  Many of us oblige them.

When a country has less than 10 parents companies controlling all of the media we see, hear or read – IT’S A PROBLEM.  The problem grows exponentially when those companies are pushing content out through no less than 350 conveyances.

Media creates the sleight of hand magic trick “look over there, look over there” focusing viewers away from other, often more pertinent issues.  Hey, we all get caught up, but I get caught up seeing Alvin Ailey’s Ballet troupe perform Revelations.  It’s theatre.  Enjoy it, but please leave room for the real issues.

Focus on Solutions Not Problems

Not only does the media spoon feed us pabulum but they feed us the same blame based pabulum all the time.  I got 99 problems, but the media ain’t one of them.  Allow me an example, if you will.

Is everyone clear that there are countries which produce goods and provide services cheaper than America?  Good.  Throw that on the trash heap.  Any profitable business person seeks the lowest cost of production and the lowest price of consumption.   Consider the loss of jobs to low paying countries as a given and focus on resolutions.

Reframe your Expectations

A resolution-based country is AMERICAN.  The freedom to meet and discuss resolutions, innovations or differences of opinions is one of the hallmarks of this country.

Discussing resolution doesn’t eliminate the need to vote.  Consider the following realities:

  • Neither candidate is going to change things :::snapping fingers: like that
    1. Ships can’t change course in a bath tub quickly
  • No single president creates change in “the economy” or “the markets”
    1. The economy and markets are a continuum regardless of who is President of the USA
  • Changes are important but change takes time to take root
    1. Where those changes require local approval via voting is another opportunity to have your voice heard.
  • As Leader of the Nation and Commander in Chief the President takes responsibility for what happens while they’re in power.  It will also write their legacy.  Keep that in mind when speaking about resolution.  History Repeats.

So, why vote if no quick change results?  Because in our system of government, voting is the first step.  Consider that important at every level of government.  You have to vote for EVERY OFFICE OPEN FOR ELECTION – NOT JUST THE PRESIDENT.

Your Senate Vote 2016

This year, the Senate has a chance of being recaptured by the democrats.  Take a look at Senate maps and stats here and here. 

If you live in any of the States where these races are important, get your list of candidates and do some research. Specifically: If they were a US congressman or a local government official in your State look at their voting history and see if it’s consistent with your thinking.  If they’re true newbies to the congressional process, do some googling & find out about his or her business, their work in philanthropy, etc. to make your decision.  The important thing is to do your homework before you vote.  Just voting for someone because they fit into your political party scheme is a non-vote in America nowadays.  The parties are not sufficiently different for party lines to be an issue.  Do yourself a favor and read about your local politicians.

In fact, this year depending the state you live in your vote for Senator is more important.  A switch from a Republican Senate to a Democratic Senate could mean huge changes in the decisions which get made.  The replacement of late Supreme Court Justice Scalia for starters.

If you haven’t done so already, look for all of the campaigns in your area and gather the names of the candidates.  Research each candidate (from Federal to Local) and make an informed decision for each race.  Then vote for that person.

Pay No Attention to the Well-Meaning Idiots

10 days to go!  The media can and will try to do a lot of damage and damage control in that time.  Please don’t become a student of stupid.  Don’t become a victim to laziness.   And whatever you do, don’t shrug your shoulders and say “well everyone votes with their wallets”.  Because I will tell you that no candidate cares about “your wallet” and I’m pretty sure everyone votes with their hands.

Meliorism

One final thought for everyone.  This summer we were playing a word game and a letter is given to the next plater. The player was given the letter M.  My cousin was first to answer.  The word she used to describe the player starting with the letter “M” was their belief in MELIORISM.

The Merriam Webster Definition of Meliorism is:

mel·io·rism:     ˈmēlyəˌrizəm/ noun / PHILOSOPHY

  • The belief that the world tends to improve and that humans can aid its betterment
  • The belief that the world can be made better by human effort.

  For a brief history of Meliorism in America, read this article. 

JFK said, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”.   I’ll take that one step further, albeit not as eloquent and say, do what you can within your community.  For example, If there’s a heat wave and people are thirsty, buy whatever bottled water you can afford and give it out to the kids or check on your elderly neighbors and make sure they’re ok.

It isn’t rocket science.   If it were, they would call it …hmmm?  Rocket Science, perhaps?  This is just helping people in your direct sphere of influence in whatever way you’re able.

SUMMARY & CONCLUSION

  • Vote in every campaign
  • Do what you can to make your community a better place:
    • From checking on a neighbor to making sure you have a dialogue with local politicians
    • Use the maps included in this article and remember to ignore the well-meaning idiots.
  • Happy Halloween and Happy Election Day from MHDS.

 

 

 

The Presidential Election 2016 might be among the most important decisions Americans make in the 21st Century. 

Red Hats & Blue Hats

Let me say upfront, I’m not writing this blog to sway your vote to Clinton or Trump.  It’s not a matter of Red Hats or Blue Hats.  My concern is how apathetic Americans have become.  This has nothing to do with who is elected as POTUS next week.  This has to do with the American people taking back some of their power and working for a better America instead of looking ti the office of POTUS as the center of activity and change in our country.

As a country of immigrants we’re risk takers by nature and I cherish the freedom for which our forefathers fought so hard.

Where Has All Our Power Gone?

Americans aren’t Quitters, “Inspiration brings Innovation but not without Perspiration”.  Americans don’t lay down and give up.  But we changed somewhere along the way.  Perhaps it started with the 1963 assassination of our president in broad daylight.   Perhaps it was 12 years later when Nixon, having been caught breaking into the DNC offices at the Watergate Hotel resigned from office instead of being impeached. We lost faith in our government.  Yet we still look to the Government to resolve

 

The Electoral College

Many people learned it was the Electoral College who ultimately chose our leaders when they were in High School.  This process alone could leave a person feeling that their vote doesn’t matter. Here’s a good look  at 2016’s electoral college map

The Electoral College does not need to vote with the popular vote.  There were four times when a president won a plurality of the popular vote, but not the electoral vote.  The electoral college vote is the vote which elects our president.  The four presidential campaigns were:

1824      Andrew Jackson v.  Andrew Jackson won the popular vote but was not elected president

1876      Samuel Tilden v Rutherford B. Hayes:

Tilden beat Hayes by 3% (popular) (although it’s been written this is due to suppression of the black vote).  However, Hayes won in the Electoral College

 1888     Grover Cleveland beat Benjamin Harrison by 1% (popular).  Harrison won in the Electoral College.

1960      JFK won the popular vote by ~100K (< 1%)votes v. Nixon  JFK won the Electoral College 303 v 219 (+38%)

Stackexchange cites 158 events where Faithless Electors skewed the vote away from the popular plurality.

 

Your Senate Vote 2016

This year, the Senate has a chance of being recaptured by the democrats.  Take a look at Senate maps and stats here and here. 

If you live in any of the States where these races are important, get your list of candidates and do some research. Specifically: If they were a US congressman or a local government official in your State look at their voting history and see if it’s consistent with your thinking.  If they’re true newbies to the congressional process, do some googling & find out about his or her business, their work in philanthropy, etc. to make your decision.  The important thing is to do your homework before you vote.  Just voting for someone because they fit into your political party scheme is a non-vote in America nowadays.  the parties are not sufficiently different for party lines to be an issue.  Do yourself a favor and read about your local politicians.

Fear and Self-Loathing in America

For those people over 80, I apologize for The America you’re witnessing now.  America has changed.  Our media helped create a climate of fear.  Fear of what?  FEAR OF EVERYTHING!!  They also create a climate of divisiveness: red hat or blue hat – no purple hats allowed.  Media tells us what to think, they don’t report information anymore. They have decided the American public is unable to do their own research and come to their own conclusions. Sorry if the truth hurts.  But the media think we’re all idiots.

When a country has less than 10 parents companies controlling all of the media we see, hear or read – IT’S A PROBLEM.  The problem grows exponentially when those companies are pushing content out through no less than 350 conveyances.

Focus on Solutions Not Problems

Not only does the media spoon feed us pabulum but they feed us the same blame based pabulum all the time.  I got 99 problems, but the media ain’t one of them.  Allow me a simple example, if you will.

Is everyone clear that there are countries which will produce goods and provide services cheaper than America?  Good.  Throw that on the trash heap.  It’s an excuse. Obviously any business person with common sense is going to seek the lowest cost of production – and the lowest price of consumption.   Take all other similar excuses and toss them away.  Consider resolutions to those excuses and I’m all ears.

Reframe your Expectations

Think of resolution.  A resolution-based country is soooo AMERICAN.  The freedom to meet and discuss resolutions, innovations or differences of opinions is one of the hallmarks of this country.

Further, IMO:

  • Either candidate winning isn’t going to change things :::snapping fingers::: like that
    1. Ships can’t change course in a bath tub quickly
  • No single president creates immediate change in “the economy” or “the markets”
    1. The economy and markets are a continuum regardless of who is President of the USA
  • Changes are important but it will take time for the changes to take root
    1. Also, many changes require State passage as well (if not first)
  • However, as Leader of the Nation and Commander in Chief without question the President takes responsibility for what happens while they’re in power.

So, why vote if no quick change results?  Because in our system of government, voting is the first step.  Consider that important at every level of government.  You have to vote for EVERY OFFICE OPEN FOR ELECTION – NOT JUST THE PRESIDENT.

In fact, this year depending the state you live in your vote for Senator is more important.  A switch from a Republican Senate to a Democratic Senate could mean huge changes in the decisions which get made.  The replacement of late Supreme Court Justice Scalia for starters.

If you haven’t done so already, look for all of the campaigns in your area and gather the names of the candidates.  Research each candidate in order to make an informed decision for each race.  Then vote for that person.  It sounds so simple doesn’t it?

Pay no Attention to the Well-Meaning Idiots

10 days to go!  The media can and will try to do a lot of damage and damage control in that time.  Please don’t become a student of stupid.  Don’t become a victim to laziness.   And whatever you do, don’t shrug your shoulders and say “well everyone votes with their wallets”.  Because I will tell you that no candidate cares about “your wallet” and I’m pretty sure everyone votes with their hands.  If you listen to nightly newscasters & talking heads, you may as well have them prepare your rubber room and straight jacket now.  For you will have become one of the well-meaning idiots.

Meliorism

One final thought for everyone.  This summer we were playing a word game and a letter is given to the next plater. The player was given the letter M.  My cousin was first to answer.  The word she used to describe the player starting with the letter “M” was their belief in MELIORISM.

The Merriam Webster Definition of Meliorism is:

mel·io·rism

ˈmēlyəˌrizəm/ noun / PHILOSOPHY

  • The belief that the world tends to improve and that humans can aid its betterment
  • The belief that the world can be made better by human effort.

  For a brief history of Meliorism in America, read this article. 

 

JFK said, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”.   I’ll take that one step further, albeit not as eloquent and say, do what you can within your community.  For example, If there’s a heat wave and people are thirsty, buy whatever bottled water you can afford and give it out to the kids or check on your elderly neighbors and make sure they’re ok.

It ain’t rocket science.   If it were, they would call it …hmmm?  Rocket Science, perhaps?  This is just helping people in your direct sphere of influence in whatever way you’re able.

SUMMARY & CONCLUSION

Vote in every campaign.  Do what you can to make your community a better place.

Use the maps included in this article and remember to ignore the well-meaning idiots.

Happy Halloween and Happy Election Day from MHDS.

 

Authors

Related posts

« »
Top