Democracy? What democracy?


Dear Editor:
For the second time in the last five presidential elections, the candidate with the most votes didn’t win. That means that two of the three recent presidents (Bush and Trump) will have taken office undemocratically. With votes still being counted, the most recent victim, Hillary Clinton, has received nearly a million more votes than Donald Trump and the expectation is that Clinton will end up with almost two million more votes than Trump when all are counted. That’s more votes than there are people here in West Virginia.
You may remember that Al Gore received more votes than George W. Bush in the 2000 election. A recount of the close race in Florida was to determine the winner of that election. When a busload of Republican interns were shipped down from Washington and stormed the recount center, the (Republican) election officials called off the recount and declared Bush the winner. A friendly (i.e. conservative) Supreme Court allowed that ruling to stand. There was no such drama in this year’s election, saving us from the prolonged confusion experienced in 2000. The ripoff was swift and simple.
So, the absurdity of the Electoral College system has reared its ugly head yet again. This system is part of our constitution. It was put there by the founding fathers specifically to ensure that presidents would be one of their own, meaning the wealthy and/or the well connected. They didn’t trust the common people with democracy. It’s funny, actually it’s not, that we go around the world fighting (literally, meaning we kill people) in the name of democracy when we don’t actually practice it ourselves. Many people around the world realize this disconnect but I expect that very few Americans do. Think about that the next time our government invades some other country in the name of spreading democracy.
We’re #1, We’re #1
West Virginia is movin’ on up. At 69 percent, West Virginia had the highest percentage of votes for Donald Trump of any state. I’m sure many of you are very proud of this. Let’s wait a couple of years (or maybe we will only need a couple of months) for things to play out and then see how proud you are. The last time I saw West Virginia ranked number one in something was when the Princeton College Review ranked WVU number one in the category of “Colleges whose students studied the least.” Watch out Mississippi.
It hasn’t taken long for Trump to start backpedaling on his pledges. On “60 Minutes” this past Sunday, Trump admitted that he plans to retain major portions of the ACA, otherwise referred to as Obamacare for its racist effect. Allowing children to be included in their parent’s medical insurance up to age 26 is one thing that may remain. Requiring insurance companies to insure people even if they have pre-existing conditions is another, something that Trump referred to as “one of the strongest assets” of the ACA. You might not realize, however, that you can’t have this “strongest asset” without having (OMG!!!!) the “Individual Mandate” as well. And you thought you were going to get rid of Obamacare. Silly you.
On the same program Trump also admitted that “the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality will remain the law of the land.” I’m not surprised. He said this in his speech at the Republican Convention. I remember the dead silence that followed from the previously cheering and raucous crowd.
Not again!
Trump and his fellow Republicans are planning on massive tax cuts for the wealthy along with huge increases in military spending. This is the same foolish policy that brought us the worst economic recession since the great depression when George W. Bush was president. Do Trump voters not remember this? If their memories are that bad maybe their voting privileges should be revoked on the grounds of mental deficiency.
No one knows where Trump is going from here. With a campaign based on lies, contradictions, hypocrisy and personal insults there is no telling what he will do. You might want to fasten your seat belt. Mine is already buckled.
Greg Zafros