Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Preventing A Second Trump Term Only Requires Electoral College Fine Tuning By A Few States.

Image result for Trump rage images
"Yeah! I'm gonna win in 2020 too, once I get my deplorables back on board!"

In earlier posts I had bruited the use of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution or impeachment to rid ourselves of the malignancy we currently have occupying the White House. I even advocated the abolition of the Electoral College which most of us know won't happen anytime soon. But there is another way, one that is actually more faithful to the Founders' will and also which would be much more practical in ridding ourselves of any conceivable 2nd Trump term.

Let's begin first with a basic statistical fact pertaining to Trump's winning the three "Brexit states" (MI, PA and WI) and how this catapulted the maggot into office. In those three states - which would normally have been blue-  Dotard  amassed 46 Electoral College votes. Note that his cumulative winning popular edge was a bare 107,000 - or enough to maybe just fill the LA Coliseum. Had Hillary Clinton won those three states she'd have garnered 278 electoral votes to win the 2016 election.

But this still misses a more fundamental point, including the media overemphasis on  HRC winning the popular vote by about 3 million. That is, in retrospect,  we see that the Electoral College itself   did not function properly even according to its own logic.  Never mind my earlier (still serious) objections to the Electoral College failing to properly assess an unqualified candidate and allowing him to ascend to the highest office. I referred to this as permitting a "mischief of faction".

No, what I am all about here is that despite everything said about Hillary's reasons (see her book, 'What Happened') for losing the 2016 election, insufficient attention has been paid to the basic fact of an Electoral College malfunction in specific states.  There were 6 states in which Trump won without a majority because there were more than two candidates on the ballot. Without Jill Stein and Gary Johnson's names on the ballot, Clinton might have received more votes than Trump in some of these six states. If she had done so in just Florida and either Pennsylvania, Michigan, or North Carolina, that would have been enough for her to win the White House.

What this means is that Donnie Dotard technically achieved an Electoral College victory without genuinely receiving the support of the electorates in the states responsible for his Electoral College win. But this is exact the opposite of what the creators of the Electoral College had in mind.

This point is germane because there is little  realistic chance of replacing the Electoral College with something different, but there isn’t. And meanwhile, it blinds us to the problem that in 2016, the Electoral College did not function properly even according to its own logic. As long as we are stuck with the Electoral College, we should make it operate as intended.

Here's the skinny:  the Founding Fathers believed each state should ensure that a candidate must not receive its Electoral College votes without support from a majority of its voters. States initially complied with this expectation, because a) it was rational, and b) it issued from the very advice of the Founders.  So who would declare it absurd? . In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, for example, if no candidate won a majority of the popular vote, the legislature would appoint the state’s electors. New Hampshire then switched to a runoff, in which voters cast a second round of ballots if no candidate received a majority in the first round.

In other words, states went the proverbial extra mile to assure one and all that the candidate to be awarded its electoral votes had attained a majority of the votes.  The Founders  understood that an election with multiple candidates (like the 4 in 2016) might produce a winner with under 50% of the votes. But this was an outcome they wanted to avoid, which explains why they insisted that to win a candidate had to receive a majority, and not merely a plurality, of  the votes cast.  If no candidate hit that threshold, then s/he needed to get the support of a majority, and not merely a plurality, of state delegations in the House of Representatives.

None of that transpired in the 2016 election. Trump won with only bare pluralities in those 6 states but still snatched all their electoral votes. That was not cricket, not one bit.  How did we end up with this travesty. this violation of the Founders' will? Well, over time the states adopted a mutation of the original premise, i.e. they.moved to allow a presidential candidate all of a state’s Electoral College votes with only a plurality of popular  votes. This was not only a serious mistake and corruption of the original system but grossly inconsistent with the architects' original vision.

What does it mean?

Just that that state electoral laws must be changed before 2020, lest the maggot in chief somehow squeak through again by horrendous happenstance, or voter apathy.  That requires fixing the state laws that implement the Electoral College system.   Some nervous Nellies may wring their hands and whine "it's impossible!" at the prospect, but not so fast.

The good news is that each state already has the constitutional power to adjust its applicable laws, without the need for a constitutional amendment or some sort of multi-state compact that would not take effect until enough states sign on. In truth, if just a couple of states  (FL, PA) had adopted the necessary fix before last year, Clinton might well be president now.

Conclusion? Forget the 25th amendment getting Trump out, we want his whole cabal out. Also, forget the Electors abiding strictly by their conscience to prevent mischief of faction. That has about as much chance occurring as aliens from Tau Ceti's sixth planet kidnapping Trump and doing  a long overdue lobotomy.

NO, the evident solution is for states to fix their electoral process to ensure it is once more consonant with the Founders will: NO candidate gets all of its electoral votes any more unless he or she wins a majority of the popular vote.


toto said...

the Founding Fathers did NOT believe each state should ensure that a candidate must not receive its Electoral College votes without support from a majority of its voters.

In the nation’s first presidential election in 1789 and second election in 1792, the states employed a wide variety of methods for choosing presidential electors, including
● appointment of the state’s presidential electors by the Governor and his Council,
● appointment by both houses of the state legislature,
● popular election using special single-member presidential-elector districts,
● popular election using counties as presidential-elector districts,
● popular election using congressional districts,
● popular election using multi-member regional districts,
● combinations of popular election and legislative choice,
● appointment of the state’s presidential electors by the Governor and his Council combined with the state legislature, and
● statewide popular election.

toto said...

Your "solution" would not guarantee the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country.
All voters would not be valued equally in presidential elections, no matter where they live.

In Gallup polls since they started asking in 1944 until this election, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states) (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided).

Support for a national popular vote for President has been strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in every state surveyed. In the 41 red, blue, and purple states surveyed, overall support has been in the 67-81% range - in rural states, in small states, in Southern and border states, in big states, and in other states polled.

Most Americans don't ultimately care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state or district. Voters want to know, that no matter where they live, even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans think it is wrong that the candidate with the most popular votes can lose. We don't allow this in any other election in our representative republic.

toto said...

The National Popular Vote bill is 61% of the way to guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by changing state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), without changing anything in the Constitution, using the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes.

All voters would be valued equally in presidential elections, no matter where they live.
Candidates, as in other elections, would allocate their time, money, polling, organizing, and ad buys roughly in proportion to the population

Every vote, everywhere, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election.
No more distorting, crude, and divisive and red and blue state maps of predictable outcomes, that don’t represent any minority party voters within each state.
No more handful of 'battleground' states (where the two major political parties happen to have similar levels of support) where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 38+ predictable states that have just been 'spectators' and ignored after the conventions.

The bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes—270 of 538.
All of the presidential electors from the enacting states will be supporters of the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes among all 50 states (and DC)—thereby guaranteeing that candidate with an Electoral College majority.

In 2017, the bill has passed the New Mexico Senate and Oregon House.
The bill was approved in 2016 by a unanimous bipartisan House committee vote in both Georgia (16 electoral votes) and Missouri (10).
Since 2006, the bill has passed 35 state legislative chambers in 23 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 261 electoral votes.
The bill has been enacted by 11 small, medium, and large jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the way to guaranteeing the presidency to the candidate with the most popular votes in the country


Copernicus said...

Thanks for your inputs. Point 1 is I never claimed there weren't exceptions (such as in 1789, 1792) to the template I proposed. Point 2- I actually believe the National Popular Movement solution is to be preferred (which would comport with elections in other developed nations), but Point 3- I don't accept the states' electoral college solution ought to be ignored. It CAN overturn any 2020 Trump effort for reelection IF applied in the right states!