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John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

Really, this is an idiotic column.

America’s way of electing governments has never been what could be called democratic.

Indeed, the Founders went out of their way to call the new political entity a “republic” rather than a democracy. And the word “republic” is one of the most undefined terms in political science, meaning little more than government by some kind of representatives, however selected, and the absence of a monarch.

America has had many minority presidents, including the very George W Bush you mention, in 2000.

It is because of the Electoral College system set up by the Founders in the Constitution. These were mostly men who did not trust democracy and wanted safety valves against popular votes disturbing the privileges and wealth of the upper class.

Until 1913, the Senate, that most powerful body in the American government, was an appointed body for the same reason that the President is not directly elected by the people. All that grand pageant through the Nineteenth Century of American history, involving many famous and infamous names of Senators, was in fact about appointed officials, a fact few Americans even know.

The Electoral College system of election could be changed, but the Founders deliberately made it exceedingly difficult to change the Constitution they were creating. An amendment would require approval of the Senate, the House of Representatives, the President, and a vote in all fifty states. That’s a lot of effort and political capital spent to correct something that only pops up to irritate people once in a few decades.

The matter has never generated the intense public and political momentum necessary. Hillary Clinton, after Bush’s minority win in 2000, said it should be abolished, but, as with so many things Hillary said, she never did much about it.

What your column boils down to is a statement something like Trump was elected exactly according to the rules for American elections with an added sentiment, owing to ignorance of history and the rules, of “Gee, that ain’t democratic.”

No, it is not, but then neither is America.

Added thoughts.

As a reader below has pointed out, does the rising Clinton total of popular vote include the 3 million non-citizens who are said to have voted, completely illegally?

This behavior was definitely a form of vote fraud, and it was encouraged and enabled by Obama and Clinton in a kind of burst of faux populism put on just to keep their losing cause going.

And further, academic studies have shown, Hillary in fact stole the nomination of her party from Sanders. It was a long and shameless set of behaviors, and things just do not come more anti-democratic than that.

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