30 Oct Presidential Election 2016
THE RED STATES & THE BLUE STATES
- Let me say up front, 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 that elevates the America of the future.
- Please don’t read into any of my phrasings to be separatist thinking.
WHERE HAS ALL OUR POWER GONE?
- Americans aren’t quitters. “Inspiration brings innovation but not without perspiration.”
- Americans don’t lie 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.
- But somewhere along the way, 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.
- Today more often people vote based on the lesser of two evils instead of voting for a candidate they really support.
- 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 respectful when discussing certain topics in “polite company”.
- But once you found people with different ideas, but able to share them with a “getting to yes” headset, you had intelligent discourse, not always agreeable but respectful of different points of view.
- Social media allows anonymity. Therefore, “trolls” can make comments without normal protocols of accountability for what one says.
- On the plus side, social media makes it easy to find out who runs your school board, who sits on your zoning board and other local roles.
- These local roles are of great consequence.
- The sheer size of the nation makes local government more important to the individual.
- It’s also easier to get an appointment with your State officials than it is to reach Federal officials,
- If we speak toward resolution and understand each other’s point of view, we’d get a lot of
THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE
- I have to take a moment and speak about the Electoral College, who ultimately selects 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 vs. Andrew Jackson won the popular vote but was not elected president
- 1876 Samuel Tilden vs. 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 vs. Nixon; JFK won the EC 303 vs. 219 (+38%)
- Stack Exchange cites 158 events where faithless electors skewed the vote away from the popular plurality
- worldatlas.com has a good map worth looking at: https://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/namerica/usstates/electorl.htm
- Even though the electoral college outranks the popular vote, your vote is vitally important. A freely elected government is a cornerstone of America.
- Stack Exchange cites 158 events where faithless electors skewed the vote away from the popular plurality
- The Electoral College creates the illusion of a true two party system.
- Look beneath the surface and you will see the two parties have machines that may appear alike are different at both Federal and at the state level.
- Being politically active once every four years just doesn’t cut it anymore.
- We have to invest in our communities, our locally 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 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 doesn’t report information anymore. They read conclusions.
- The media thinks we need that level of editing lest we get confused. Many of us oblige them.
- When a country has less than 10 parent 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 a three-ring circus where the population is focused on that first ring “Look over there, look over there,” as other, often more pertinent issues play out in the third ring.
- Hey, we all get caught up, but we need to distinguish between emotional hyperbole and 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.
Profitable businesspeople seek the lowest cost of production. If people in another country are willing to work cheaper and their taxes are lower, businesses will move to those countries for certain jobs.
Consider the need to maximize profitability a given and focus on what America needs as a result. America is a country of innovators, of people unafraid to think outside the box.
Example: A Large Machine manufacturer was unable to hire enough skilled people to keep their machinery up and running (2011). This company decided to train people themselves.
They incentivized loyalty so the newly trained people would remain with the company long enough to recoup the cost of training them.
RESULT: The company was able to service all of the machines in the field within 9 months.
REFRAME YOUR EXPECTATIONS
Americans are innovators. We’re resolution-based. The freedom to meet and discuss resolutions, innovations or differences of opinions is one of the hallmarks of this country.
Discussion alone doesn’t change the situation, but it puts all issues on the table and allows a voice for everyone. Consider the following realities:
- Neither candidate is going to change things: snapping fingers::: like that
- Ships can’t change course in a bathtub quickly
- No single president creates change in “the economy” or “the markets”
- 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
- Where 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 IN 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 and 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 that get made in other areas of our government. For example, he replacement of late Supreme Court Justice Scalia.
FOUR STEP PROCESS TO INFORMED VOTING
2) Research each candidate and
3) Make an informed decision for each race.
4) Then vote for that person. No need to over-complicate it.
PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE WELL-MEANING IDIOTS
- 10 days to go! The media 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.
- Don’t shrug your shoulders and say “Well, everyone votes with their wallets”.
- Consider that a given. Everyone votes in favor of their best interest and you should too.
- But at the end of the day, I’m pretty sure everyone votes with their hands.
One final thought for everyone. This summer we were playing a word game: a letter is given to the player; Let’s say the player is given the letter M.
The following player has to use a word beginning with the letter “M” to describe the first player.
My cousin was first to answer. The word she used to describe me, (the player who proposed the letter “M”) was 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
JFK said, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”.
I’ll make the statement more local and say “do what you can within your community”.
If there’s a heat wave buy bottled water to give out to people who don’t have access to clean water at home.
Check on elderly neighbors and make sure they’re ok.
This isn’t rocket science. This is just helping people in your direct sphere of influence in whatever way you’re able.
SUMMARY & CONCLUSION
- Vote for every seat open in every election in your area
- Do what you can to make your community a better place
- Use the maps included in this article and remember to vote. (see three steps to voting above)