President-Elect Trump: Don't Expect My Respect

President-Elect Trump: Don't Expect My Respect

A reaction to the 2016 presidential election and the failure of mainstream liberalism

With Donald J. Trump now the President-elect of the United States of America anxiety is, quite understandably, high. This election has been a roiling buildup of demagoguery, reductive politicking and mass media fuelled absurdity. The Republicans offered up a selection of blowhards, theocrats and fascist-lite man-children while the Democrats attempted to sweep their only progressive, left-wing, populist option under the rug in order to seemingly coronate an oligarchic political elite.

The 2016 election has been a mass expression of egocentric politics that has ended up dividing not only the country, but the Left as well. Hillary Clinton is the champion of smug modern liberalism, the status quo fair weather progressive that does just enough to be on the moral high ground when compared to the oppressive selfishness of the right wing. Even seen as the morally superior option she, as is the case with much of mainstream liberalism, represents the oligarchy of political and corporate elitism. A large part of what killed her campaign and set the stage for Trump’s victory was her disconnection from the people and the real problems facing them. Hillary is the opposite of a populist, simply following social media trends and courting celebrities to make up for what many saw as a complete lack of charisma or even minute human likeability. By pushing an individual that many saw as corrupt the DNC and Democratic Party base sealed their fates in the election

All of that being said about Hillary Clinton does not change the negativity surrounding Trump’s victory. After a campaign of racially charged speeches and divisive, strong-armed politics, many people across the country are fearful. From Mike Pence’s strong anti-LGBTQ+ views to Donald Trump’s overly sensitive bullying of others, these are men hardly fit to lead the United States. All we have seen from them, and a majority of their most hardcore supporters, has been embarrassing and regressive, throwing science and social acceptance out the window to appeal to an angry, distrustful, corporate propaganda fed population that has been taught to fear change and hate others. This spike in more outwardly xenophobic rhetoric has been a pronounced centrepiece for the Trump/Pence ticket.

As the divide caused by this election deepens and the population attempts to understand the implications of a Trump presidency, there have been those that have called to “respect” Trump due to his victory and future position. This moderate, “don’t rock the boat,” approach is inherently flawed, especially in an election such as 2016’s. Respect is earned, not given blindly on some symbolic pretence. Trust is built, not spewed with cult-like fervour. To those who say "respect the office and the process" you are speaking from a place of symbology that disconnects you from the reality of an individual. You say this as demographics divide further and people are truly fearful for the future. Do not ignorantly try to be the "good guy" that plays the middle ground, believing that it gives you some sort of self-righteous clairvoyance. You only end up looking like you are trying to take legitimacy from people's fears. If something threatens you and your peace of mind you do not grin and bear it, you steel yourself and deal with it head on.

Cover Image Credit: ABC News

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A Recipe For Disaster

The labyrinth of the United States' politics.

"Avec l'émeute déjà qui gronde Paris ressemble à un volcan Prêt à vomir la lave de sa colère" - Enjolras, Les Miserables French Musical version, Donnez, Donnez (Look Down)

"with the rumbling riots here, Paris resembles a volcano with its angry top ready to explode!" - English translation of those lines.

My poor Patria! You sink further and further into the labyrinth and ignore the cries of the people. Patria, how long will the people cry? Before our people all leave and emigrate, the only option left for young people living in the USA.

Well, not the only option- the other one is be involved in a field you are totally not passionate about, or talented in- but heyy that's what the economy needs! who cares if you hate it?

What about this? a world where everybody gets jobs in fields where they are passionate about, a world where you work at what you are good at?

My friends, this is a recipe for discontent that shouldn't be ignored.

Before anybody calls me a Communist- no, I'm not. Communism was a terrible and oppressive system.

This article is to mainly address there is a problem here in the United States and we must address this problem and instead of doing nothing about it, before the volcano erupts.

What is this division? We are all talking about it, and we all know its bad to have a nation this sharply divided. What caused it?

Citizen, you are requesting me to enter into the labyrinth of politics (thank you Simon Bolivar for the cool term) and I shall do my best to emerge unharmed, after all I'm already in the labyrinth. Time to take you into the labyrinth with me, so you can see up close these issues that are effecting you today...

Welcome to the Labyrinth;

Once upon a time, we were 13 colonies fighting to throw off the chains of a tyrannical empire! Now it was pretty hard to unite these colonies into a union but we did it-- kind of.

The father of our country, George Washington warned us not to form two parties.

What did we do??

Form two parties anyway. I'm looking at you Alexander Hamilton and your centralized government buddies, and you Thomas Jefferson and your states rights.

Now both Hamilton and Jefferson were interesting men and I strongly encourage you to read their works. But like all historical figures, they did some awful things and this was one of them.

The two party system successfully divided us into two camps.

Now the 19th century, easily the most heated century in US Politics- it makes the current mess seem like child's play!

Pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces divided strongly into two camps. Now sadly, the abolitionists were a minority-- most people were more concerned about saving the union.

Excuse me citizen, hand me that soapbox

Slavery, a terrible ugly stain on this nation was a major point of contention. Of course many other factors came into the Civil War- cultural misunderstandings, deaths of major compromisers, states rights, constitutional issues, etc.

After the Civil War our nation tried to "hide our wounds" instead of "mend up our wounds" (as Lincoln said) we glossed over the ugly points of history, we put talking politics and religion to the backroom.

With the Cold War, politics and religion were strongly discouraged discussion points because we needed to be united against the Soviets.

20th Century USA was dominated by fear- fear even of refugees escaping both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Fear of those ideologies, so we became like a turtle in a shell.

While many great medical and technological advances happened in the 20th century, it was a dark century for human rights.

Please stay turned for Part II

Cover Image Credit: Emily Hausheer

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The Electoral College Needs To GO

In which I discuss the history of the Electoral College, why it was created, and why it must be abolished.

The Electoral College is a system that has complete power to decide who will be the next president of the United States of America. It is actually the worst way to decide who will become president because it gives no power to the people to make the decision. It has was created in 1803 by our founding fathers to help elect the president. There a variety of reasons why people believe the founding fathers thought it was a good idea to create it.

The college is a process where a group of 538 electors come together in December of the election year and vote for president. The number of electors each state has varies depending on how many congressmen they have in their state. Electors are mostly chosen by the political parties within each state, although this process may vary depending on each state.

After the state receives which political party won the popular vote in their state they will then send the winner's party's batch of electors to vote for the US President. Twenty-nine states out of fifty have laws stating that the electors must vote based on what the popular vote, while the other twenty-one states allow them to vote however they choose to do so. This has caused a stir within the United States due to past elections and the president the Electoral College elected.

There has been a total of five different elections in the past where the candidate who won the Electoral College vote, lost the popular vote. The first time this affected the United States was during the sixth US election in the year 1825, and the last time it happened was the last election in the year 2016.

John Quincy Adams was the first president who did not get the popular vote but received the honor of becoming president. Andrew Jackson received 152,901 popular votes to John Quincy Adam's 114,023. None of the candidates received the total number of required Electoral College votes to be elected president. Therefore, the choice was left up to Congress. Congress then revealed that they chose John Quincy Adams to be the 6th president of the United States of America.

The next time it happened was fifty-two years later when president Rutherford B. Hayes won with 4,034,311 votes against Samuel J. Tilden with 4,288,566 votes. After president Hayes, Benjamin Harrison beat Grover Cleveland and secured the presidency even with Cleveland receiving 90,596 more votes than Harrison.

In 2000 George W. Bush Jr. won the presidency against Al Gore who secured 543,895 more votes than Bush. Finally, and most recently Donald J Trump was named president after receiving 2,868,686 fewer votes than Hilary Clinton.

There have been six occasions where the people's vote did not matter, and because of this many people are questioning the policy and how the US could change it to better suit how voting results turn out, some are even trying to abolish the Electoral College altogether. Many states have laws stating that the Electors must vote according to the popular vote, if this is implemented throughout all fifty states then why have the Electoral College at all? Why not just use the popular vote alone?

When addressing the question whether we should abolish the Electoral College many people ask why it was created. There are two major theories as to why the founding fathers created such a law.

The first major theory is that the Electoral College was created because regular uneducated Americans would not have enough information (due to lack of fast communication) to choose the most qualified presidential candidate. This is a very valid reason for the creation of the Electoral College, but we no longer have a lack of knowledge problem. Therefore, we should remove the policy.

The second theory was that the Electoral College was created in order to balance the interests of high-population and low-population states. Although the Electoral College does helpless populated states, it hurts the more populated states. Those of smaller and less populated states’ votes matter more than those of more populated states; which is not a good reason to keep the Electoral College.

As a result of the Elector College voter turnout is declining in safe states, and not enough people are voting because they believe their vote no longer matters. If we continue to keep the Electoral College, fewer and fewer voters will be coming out to vote in safe states, and most likely in all states. We must make a change to the Electoral College, or else the future result may be dire.

Cover Image Credit: Art Bastard

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