I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. When will our reasonable leaders, progressive and moderate ― even clearheaded conservatives ― come to grips with the reality that we have an unelected, dysfunctional president, selected by an archaic, outmoded Electoral College that must be abolished or circumvented?
When are reasonable commentators, progressive and moderate ― and even clearheaded conservatives ― going to stop using the excuse “Well, the people elected Trump” in response to the damage he continues to do?
Forget lawsuits and investigations for the moment. Even if his campaign and administration were legally pristine, the policies and appointees (including a supreme court justice) coming forth from this White House and the man I call Trump the Pretender, were NOT endorsed by most people, in spite of what commentators and political leaders continue to say.
Yes, assuming he survives the investigations underway in congress and the criminal inquest by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, he ascended to the presidency in a legal manner, not by popular choice, but only thanks to narrow-minded and bigoted philosophies held by short-sighted founding fathers who forged the Electoral College. They counted Negroes as 3/5 of a man, denied women and non-property holding white men the vote. Over time, these inequities and wrongful decisions were eventually rectified by constitutional amendments, legislation and court decisions. Our nation similarly evolved, at least legally, past prejudice against black men and women, mandating that schools be integrated. It also turned a corner on the substandard manner we treated gay men and women. They now have full citizenship, allowing us to gain their expertise and courage in the military and are permitted to marry their loved ones.
Yet, because the Electoral College is still part of our system, no matter what he says or does, Trump the Pretender’s actions continue to be justified, almost helplessly, by leaders and commentators who otherwise decry his statements and policies, with the rationale that the people elected him, implying the people approved of what he wanted to do.
The people did NOT choose him. Hillary Clinton received close to 3,000,000 more votes than the man currently in the White House. What does that say? It says 3,000,000 more American citizens did NOT want the policies or political sensibilities of the men and women he’s appointing, so why can’t our political leaders and major commentators at the very least in the midst of their analysis of his presidency stop using the argument that the people voted for Trump, that whatever Trump is doing, the people elected him.
The Electoral College selected him.
Why can’t our leaders and reasonable commentators get their heads out of the sand and discuss whether, in light of everything that’s happened, most recently his decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, in spite of his Secretaries of State, Defense, Energy and daughter Ivanka urging him to stay in, the time might be perfect to debate changing our presidential election system to popular vote.
Why didn’t they counter Trump economic advisor Stephen Moore’s outrageous claim on CNN that Trump’s Paris pull-out was his grateful acknowledgment of “an almost national referendum on this....voters voted against it.”
Except, almost 3,000,000 more voters voted for the Accord, yet NO ONE on the panel, including David Gergen and Robert Reich, called him on it.
Why do they just accept this relic of 230 years ago as inviolate, that it can’t be changed, even as so many injustices have been eliminated? Why do they accept the notion that it’s okay for geographically large areas with small populations to have a disproportionate advantage over states with large groups of citizens, that it’s okay to cast aspersion on cities with large numbers, apparently favoring the views of those in small states? That it’s all right Americans are treated differently depending upon where they live, and that they’re more American in the South and Midwest than those on the coastline? That it’s fair for minority views on national issues to trump differing opinions held by more people.
We have to stop this outrage, and Trump the Pretender should make it easier for us to do that, by holding rallies and demonstrations to get legislators and governors in states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon and Pennsylvania to join ten states and D.C. which already ratified the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. It awards each state’s electoral votes to the national popular vote winner.
I’ve written to all the Democratic Senators and some fair-minded Republicans through their press/communication representatives, presuming the message would go through easier, urging their bosses to speak up and increase the volume for a cause that, with everything else going on, has been quiescent. I’ve heard back from quite a number of them and will continue to press the issue.
It’s not easy to pass a constitutional amendment, but this Compact can make it happen, since states control the methodology of their electoral votes.
We have to drum it into everyone’s head over and over again, just as surely as supporters of school integration, women’s suffrage and gay rights have done. But it cannot be done effectively without support from our political leaders and at least acknowledged as something to consider by TV journalists like Anderson Cooper, Chris Matthews, Brian Williams, Rachel Maddow, Lester Holt, Andrea Mitchell, Dana Bash, David Muir and others, including editors of newspapers, magazines and online groups. By remaining silent they are complicitly endorsing a system that is undemocratic and unjust, which must be eradicated.
Write your representatives to change our presidential election system to popular vote by whatever means is reasonable, one that will take effect as quickly as possible.
Michael Russnow’s website is www.ramproductionsinternational.com
Check out Russnow’s novel, Hollywood on the Danube on all Amazon sites and Kindle
Follow Michael Russnow on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kerrloy