Rage Against the Dying of the Light, But Where to Focus?

Since the election, I am seeing the threats against minorities.  You can see my post here, (We All Have Work To Do) , for my thoughts on that.  I’m also seeing a lot of celebrities recommending good charities to support, like ACLU and Planned Parenthood, which I applaud.  I’m also seeing a lot of protests, which I think are amazing, unless there is violence or damaging of property.  Any of that will silence your argument and reduce you to a nuisance and a criminal.

I have also seen this petition to encourage the Electoral College to vote for Hillary Clinton on December 19th Electoral College Petition.  I have to unpack this, because it is no simple thing, that is being suggested here.  First off, we need to understand what this means.  When we all voted, that was the popular vote.  The projection of states to one candidate or another, made by news media, was done on the speculation of how the electoral college would vote.  This is historically done in line with each states majority vote, giving that state’s electoral votes to the majority winner of that state.  I tried to check and see if the electoral college has ever pulled off the “faithless elector”, essentially voting against the will of their state.  I couldn’t find a precedent.

Now, to make things fun and interesting, Trump tweeted that the electoral college should be abolished, in 2012.  This was in response to President Obama winning re-election. I thought Trump tweeted this , because Obama didn’t win popular vote. I was wrong. So was Trump.  President Obama won the popular and electoral, in his re-election win.  It is a not mirror of what is going on today. But if it were, how would we respond?  It would be hypocritical to suggest we should deny Trump this win, if we would have wanted Obama to have his re-election win stand.  This is, of course, suggesting a what-if scenario, so let’s not give that too much thought.  We need to stop over-analyzing the past.

I also think we must face the reality that racial tensions will not go away, if Trump is all the sudden denied the win his supporters believe he justifiably has accomplished.  I really do think we could end up with a violent modern-day civil war.  Upper and middle class may be able to stay relatively clean in such a war, but lower class minorities will be targeted and will get hurt.  We need to not just be sensitive to that danger, but we need to ensure that our fights and what we choose to push for, will include protecting those who cannot protect themselves.

Then we see that Trump is putting an Anti-Semitic white nationalist in the White House.  Steve Bannon is a terrifying person to have in the White House, and that won’t be the end of the racist, sexist, and bigoted over-reach that will be all over Washington, as the Trump team takes form.

I have been reading up on the Electoral College.  Is it to make things more fair? Does it disenfranchise minorities? Does it make sense to abolish it?  I really don’t know.  I can’t tell which way it should go, but I feel like it might be time.  Why should it matter if more people in towns vote 1 way, vs another in cities?  Why should an entire state go red or blue, when people in that state voted both ways?

My gut tells me we should get rid of it, but I was elated when President Obama won re-election.  I wouldn’t have wanted that to go any other way.  Now I’m terrified of what will happen to all the progress of the last 30-40 years, in terms of civil rights, environmental awareness and clean up, and furthering a goal for America to lead the fight in human rights.

I signed that petition, but I am pretty sure it won’t come to any good.  First, we would need an overwhelming amount of signatures. So huge that people smarter than myself can encourage the Electoral college (and the public) as to why this is a good move.  Also, I am sure that too many will sign the petition, but then won’t verify their email, which will effectively result in way less signatures than we need, in order to make the desired impact.

I know it is hypocritical to want the Electoral College to flip on this, but glad they didn’t when Obama won. I will say, that I have seen numerous sources reflect this sentiment of Hamilton’s, about the Electoral College’s purpose: “Hamilton and the other founders believed that the electors would be able to insure that only a qualified person becomes President.” (Why The Electoral College)  I have never seen someone win the office of the Presidency, who was wholly unqualified.  Donald Trump doesn’t even know the articles of the constitution. He doesn’t understand freedom of the press, and he doesn’t seek to protect it, in his rhetoric.  How can we respect a President-elect, who doesn’t have any education or understanding of what our democracy is? of what our freedom is?

If we want to work on changing our election system, and I hope we do, we will have to do that with whoever is sworn in on January 20th.  But for now, let’s focus on the fights that we should be fighting.  Either this fight to encourage the Electoral College, or a fight to ensure the Republican Party and the White House, don’t get filled with bigots by Trump’s transition team.

We must protect minorities, regardless of the fights we pick and choose.  We must be mindful of who will be most likely to get hurt, and ensure we protect them first, not cry after.

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