Some thoughts on the Electoral College…
The Daily Dose/November 14, 2016
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Foremost Humorist
BACK TO THE FUTURE: As they do from time to time, some of our fellow citizens are getting their shorts in a knot over the Electoral College, the quaint, archaic method America uses to elect its president. Last week the Electoral College elected Donald Trump as president even though Hillary Clinton received more popular votes.
This is the fourth time in American history this has happened.
We’re In For Some Dry, Technical Matter, Aren’t We?: In 1824 Andrew Jackson received more popular and electoral votes than John Quincy Adams. Jackson did not receive a majority of electoral votes, however, and the House of Representatives elected Adams president.
Some Places Have Interns For This: In 1876 Samuel Tilden outpolled Rutherford B Hayes in the popular vote, but there were 20 disputed electoral votes from four states. Nobody really knew what the hell to do, so a 15-member commission was formed. A complete recap of the Compromise of 1877 is, thankfully, beyond the scope of even this crap, but a series of 8-7 votes gave the disputed electoral votes and the presidency to Hayes.
Oh, Jesus H: In 1888 Benjamin Harrison handily won the electoral vote, though Grover Cleveland barely won the popular vote.
This Is The Last One, Right?: In 2000 George W Bush won the presidency when the Supreme Court gave him Florida’s electoral votes, which gave him a majority, despite the fact Al Gore won the nationwide popular vote.
Please Pass The Dry, Technical Matter: The Electoral College came about because some Founding Fathers didn’t really want the masses directly electing the president, while some of the smaller states favored it because they felt the large states would otherwise dominate presidential elections.
Get Your Official Daily Dose Policy Right Here: We’re not entirely sure the Electoral College should go. We wouldn’t violently protest if it did, but the Electoral College does a good job of emphasizing the fact we are a collection of states and not merely a single jurisdiction. It also forces the winner to have a broad base of support and those who think only winning the big states will be sufficient would do well remember Clinton won New York and California this year and still lost the election.
USA! USA! Despite having no qualifications for the job, despite being an insulting, bigoted hot mess, despite his only real talent being drumming interest in himself, despite not being endorsed by any major newspaper not owned by Sheldon Adelson, Trump showed the strength of the Electoral College: Trump won 30 states and Clinton won 20 because he was able to mobilize the white, working Americans to the polls.
Consider this: Trump won 90 percent of rural counties, 90 percent of counties where the median income is less than $50,000 and 91 percent of counties where five percent or less of the residents are foreign-born.
Trump won because he was able to muster broad-based support across the country, not too bad a way to elect a president. The candidate with most popular votes didn’t win? All right, not particularly ideal, but the Democrats should’ve won more than 20 states.
With Liberty And Student Loans For All: Clinton won 80 percent of counties where more than half of residents had four-year college degrees. Which says something, too, because Clinton – who did not have the good sense not to use a private email server as secretary of state nor the character not to lie about it – was no more qualified to be president than Trump is.
Read This And Weep: 240 years after the Declaration of Independence and 150 years after this nation abolished slavery, the Election of 2016 shows we are as bigoted and narrow-minded as ever.
AROUND THE WORLD IN 72 DAYS: Nellie Bly, an American newspaper reporter and one this nation’s first investigative journalists, begins a trip to travel around the world in 80 days on this date in 1889. The trip was inspired by one our species’ iconic books, Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne.
Bly left Hoboken, New Jersey by ship and after arriving in England traveled through the Middle East and Asia before sailing to San Francisco, and then taking a train back to New York.
All told, Bly traveled almost 25,000 miles.
No, Really, I’m Crackers: This was not Bly’s first meeting with Ms Notoriety. In 1887 Bly feigned insanity and spent ten days in a New York City mental institution. Tolerating lousy food and harsh treatment, her expose in the New York World prompted a grand jury investigation and numerous reforms.
This Is Reginald Counting Them Down: The first singles chart in the United Kingdom is published on this date in 1952 in the New Musical Express magazine. Al Martino has the first British number one song with Here In My Heart.
Get Out Your History Books: The biggest song on the British chart is I Believe by Frankie Lane, which spent 18 weeks at #1 in 1953, and Elvis has the most number ones with 21, four more than the Beatles.
USA! USA! II: Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men spent a record 16 weeks at the top of the American Billboard Hot 100 in 1995-96 with One Sweet Day.
Revenge Is Sweet: While only in the runner-up spot in their native country, the Beatles do have the most number ones in America with 20.
Thought For The Day: [Trees] endure rain, snow, wind and cold…they stand and they wait, the power of their growth apparently dormant. Theirs is the forbearance of being true to their inner natures…Neither bad fortune nor good fortune will alter what they are. We should be the same way. We may have great fortune or bad, but we should patiently bear both…We must always be true to our inner selves. – Deng Ming Dao, 365 Tao
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: According the Settlement Act of 1701, all British monarchs are descended from Sophia, Electress of Hanover.
Today’s Stumper: What was the Beatles biggest selling single in the British charts? – Answer next time!