Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Taking a Breath

So Trump prevailed! I wasn’t planning on staying up for the results, and I didn’t. However, my wife did and I was woke up at around 3am to be told that Trump had won and Hillary conceded. My reaction can be summed up in one word – relieved. Relieved that the corrupt Clintons wouldn’t be in the White House. I’m not sure I could take another 4 – 8 years of a president I could never trust or respect. So good for Trump!

Now I’m not usually a cup half full kind of guy. However, there are things that really bother me about this election. The simple fact is that nearly half or more of the ballots cast were for an incredibly corrupt individual.  That means that statistically, about every other people that you see today thought that was a good idea. But perhaps am I overstating it. Let’s be rational and do some math. 

According to Google, there are about 319 million people in the US. 24% of them are under 18, so that leaves about 243 million voting age adults. About 0.7% are in jail, leaving 241 million or so eligible to vote. There are 11 million illegal immigrants, and assuming 24% of them are not of voting age that leaves another 8 million you can subtract from the voting public, so you would have around 233 million voters. Round that down by 3 million to take off people who are dying, have Alzheimer’s, or are otherwise understandably not going to the polls and you have around 230 million people. However, only about 118 million votes were cast last night. That means only 51% of the people voted, leaving 24.5% voting for each candidate.

Give4n that, out of the four people you wait in line with at the coffee shop, two of them are yawning and wondering what all the fuss is about because, for whatever reason, they didn’t bother voting yesterday. My guess is they looked up from their lives just in time to realize that once again they had forgotten to register to vote. I’m like that too, so I can kind of understand the mentality. You can probably pick them out because they will be the ones saying ‘Aw, both of the candidates were crap! I’m wasn’t going to vote for either one of them’. Only one of the four people standing in that line with you voted for the Hidabeast. They are probably the one being real quiet and they probably has a big frown on their face.

For those reading this that were paying attention, up there at the beginning of this I said ‘votes cast’. I didn’t say 'voters'. Yes, that was purposeful. You see, this election, like the last two, was frightening for me. Suppose for a second that there are say nine people in that line, five of them didn’t vote, and there is one old sourpuss and four of you foolishly grinning at each other. We would then have to wonder where all those extra votes came from, and why those other guys in line are grinning thinking they helped their guy win? It’s a little scary, no?

So that’s where I am this morning. I am happy that Trump won. I really hope that with a majority in the house and senate, he can undo a lot of the mess that Obama will leave behind. However, there is still those two other grinning guys and one old sourpuss to worry about, because there is a real problem when the numbers don’t make sense and reality doesn’t match the mathematical facts. 

Now is the time for us to really take a good hard look at our election system. Notice I didn’t say process. Process is set down by laws and the constitution, and seems to be pretty reasonable and fair. No, I am speaking about the system that we use to cast, collect, and tally our votes – the machinery of the voting. My belief is that it, like much of our nation’s infrastructure it is falling apart. It is on the very brink of crumbling at our feet and demonstrably open to compromise. I suspect, given the almost even outcome and the dreadful Democratic candidate, that much of it is already compromised. We are poised on an abyss here. We can pretend the problem doesn’t exist and in the next, or the next election, we will fall headlong into a benevolent dictatorship where all the votes are counted and always come out the way that our government wants. That, or we can do something about it. Something to think very seriously about on the day after the Election Day.

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