Days of Change

A Binary Choice | June 17, 2016

One of the reasons why I prefer the Electoral College system is that it preserves the concept of the United States of America as a set of voting states with individual identities. If only bulk voting were important, Democrats would set up shop in the most populated urban centers and bus people to early voting polls until election day. If you don’t believe me, look at the rest of the Western World. They are all like the Democrats, unable to pay their financial obligations while providing welfare and free crap and trying to pay for it by bringing in foreign labor from Muslim countries.

An do, like over half the people in this country, my vote has little impact, even if it does technically affect my state’s total. It will not sway the eventual winner of all the electoral votes in the state. My vote would have an impact on the Libertarian Party, however. Popular vote thresholds are the basis for recognition and matching funds from the federal government, even if the Libertarians decided not to take them. If I vote for Gary Johnson, he would be the only person I’d be close to voting for and not against.

In terms of the White House, it’s probably between Trump and Clinton because the many reasons for them not to be nominated have not been played out and are unlikely to happen with just a month or so to go. Trump supporters continue to crow about how Donald Trump proved everyone wrong and won the nomination despite predictions from “the elite.” By the way, I am an elite or something now.

So, how did Trump win? The Republican Party fought the last war and wrote rules in 2012 that would stop candidates from Ron Paul from getting delegates in every state contest. They created mostly winner-take-all contests that would starve candidates who had less than a plurality of the vote. Trump had a floor of 35% (the percentage of people who would usually choose him) in what was a mostly 4 way race. Unlike Trump’s failure to get the Reform Party nomination, he was able to exploit institutional weaknesses in the GOP.

Here’s what’s really ugly. Donald Trump got the highest number of primary votes among GOP contenders. This is kind of a pointless metric. The population, and therefore number of voters, goes up every year. George W. Bush got the second highest primary vote total in 2000 and lost the popular vote (even while winning the Electoral Vote). Here’s who got more primary votes than Donald Trump; the other Republican candidates combined and Hillary Clinton alone. Bernie Sanders even came in about 1 million short of Trump’s total. Trump ended up with only 44.7% of the Republican primary vote total, a feat not achieved in the Republican contest since Richard Nixon won the nomination with 37.5% of the GOP votes in 1968.

Donald Trump did manage to strip support away from well-funded GOP candidates and bankrupt popular ones. John Kasich refused to give up until the day Ted Cruz did, an indication that the GOP’s contingency plan was not supporting Cruz, but giving in to Trump. It seems to me that Cruz was the candidate who was the real opposition to the GOP elites.As bad as Trump is as a candidates, the fact that the GOP’s decision was to fight against Cruz until the bitter end to elevate Trump makes me disgusted with the Republican Party more than  even Trump himself.

What’s worse is that while Trump was not part of a binary choice in the Republican primaries, he will be against Hillary Clinton. She will not quit the race. She will not lose her funding. Donald Trump will have to find 57 million people who did not vote for him earlier this year to choose him in November in order to become president, only slightly less than the 59 million votes Bush was able to get the last time a Republican won the presidency.

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