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Jun 20th
Trump Leaves Us Guessing PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jack King, BT Contributor   
December 2016

What about our political, philosophical, and moral direction?

I bigstock--150696092can’t say the election of Donald Trump came as a complete surprise, but I can say I had hoped that Americans would be a little more intelligent when it comes to picking a president. Obviously, I was wrong.

The deed is now done, and I have no idea where this administration is going. If you listen to what Trump has been pontificating about over the past 18 months and you have an idea where forward is, you know more than I do. Trump has been all over the map when it comes to political direction, philosophical direction (if he has any philosophy at all), and moral direction.

So what happened to Hillary and the Democrats? I think it has a lot to do with electoral confusion. Trump didn’t invent the slurs that the Republicans have been slinging at Hillary for the past 30 years. He just refined them and sent them out over and over again.

After a while, even the weakest insults begin to stick. Once you open the door on these issues, it’s nearly impossible to go back.

One good thing about Trump is that he’s been on both sides of every issue, and none of his comments have great depth. This way he can shift positions at will without being accused as a flip-flopper, and then change his policies -- because he has none.

It’s a great situation to be in. No matter what he says, he can’t be wrong -- confusing, but never wrong. Or maybe never right.

If it hadn’t been for a very weird situation in the Electoral College, Trump would never have become president. Yes, he won a majority of the Electoral College votes, but he lost the popular vote by more than 1.5 million votes. It’s the second time in the past 20 years this has happened. Remember Bush v. Gore? Pretty much the same thing happened this time, but Bush-Gore was a much closer race and had to be decided by the Supreme Court.

There were several elections in the 18th and 19th centuries that had to be decided by the House of Representatives. That led to the Electoral College modifications in the 19th century and worked pretty well until Bush v. Gore. I think the situation was caused by the expanding differences in the populations of the individual states.

Right now California has the largest population and is assigned 55 electoral votes. But if electoral votes nationwide were apportioned according to population, each elector would represent some 602,400 people. Using that egalitarian formula, California would have 65 electoral votes; Florida would have 34 rather than 29.

Going down the list, Alabama should have eight instead of nine electoral votes. And going all the way down, Wyoming should have zero electoral votes instead of the three it currently has. Not exactly the American way of the majority vote-getter winning the election.

Do I think that Congress will ever change anything about the election system? Not really. The party in power, regardless of how it got there, is always reluctant to change the status quo, no matter what the intellectual reason for it.

And if you didn’t realize it, Florida again is at the center of national elections. According to NBC News, the average vote difference in presidential elections in Florida since 1992 has been 0.002 percent. I doubt that will change in the near future.

Florida is now the third most populous state, moving ahead of New York, but still behind California and Texas. No other state comes close to the top four.

If these four states were given the number of electoral votes they should have, based on population, their combined total would be around 180 electoral votes. That’s about two-thirds of what’s needed to be elected president.

Watch out in the future. Three of the four states are growing like gangbusters and could well be the controlling force in future presidential elections.

And a little closer to home, our illustrious Sen. Marco Rubio won reelection, even though he had promised not to run. Yes, he lied, but he certainly isn’t in the same league as Trump when it comes to that. Rubio has actually been rather quiet after the election.

And then there’s Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who won reelection for the 47th time (or so it seems). During her 27 years in the House of Representatives, she has an impeccable record -- she has not accomplished a single major piece of legislation. What she has done is bring home the bacon -- federal money for every nonprofit, civic club, Cuban exile group, and glad-hander.

She replaced the late great Claude Pepper, who in his 36 years in the House, was one of the most dynamic legislators to come out of Florida. Ros-Lehtinen’s career has been very nearly as long as Pepper’s, but not nearly as productive. Too bad.


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