A few days ago I wrote about having no choice except to vote for Hillary Clinton. These are just a few of the hundreds of comments I got (these are the PG-rated ones):
“VOTE JILL STEIN SO WE CAN GET OUT OF THIS MESS” – Donald C.
“This bitch is nuts” (not sure if he’s talking about me or Hillary) – Jerry J.
“You and this site are BS…There is a choice for once…Jill Stein…so shut up with your Pro Hillary non-sense. We all know the truth.” – Edwin B.
“Unliking this page” – Michael H.
“The Hell you say” – Don R.
” Go die bitch” (that was directed at me) – Jack J.
“I have no choice but to vote for Jill Stein” – Stephen W.
“Hillary blows goats” – Rob C.
“Shut up and vote Green. There are more of us than there are of them” (which is sadly not true) – Nick B.
“You voted for Obama TWICE [yes. because I DON’T LIKE HILLARY] – Although you write beautifully you must consider the fact that your perception is faulty…” – Mark B.
“I’m only voting for Dr. Jill Stein” – John C.
“Just because you got a grant does not mean you owe her anything. Wise up.” (this person didn’t even understand what I wrote, which is that I did NOT get a grant, so there’s that…) – Janice W.
That was on Facebook. My Twitter feed was beyond vicious and insulting. I couldn’t repeat much of it. It was mentally scarring, to be honest. But here are a few ways that the November election can end up with Donald Trump being president, or, maybe even worse: Scenario #1: Say hello to President Trump!
Here is an extremely simplistic pie chart that hopefully illustrates what happens if people 1) choose not to vote, 2) vote for Jill Stein, 3) vote for Gary Johnson:
So think about it like this: if the “pie” above represents all US voters and the red side represents the conservative, right-leaning voters, there is only one choice for them: Donald Trump. Sure, some of the right-leaning registered Republicans may shimmy over to “Will not vote” status or vote for Hillary Clinton (although highly doubtful), but keep in mind that GOP participation in presidential primaries was high and spirited. However, if you are on the other side of the aisle (left-leaning, Bernie Sanders supporter, Democrat or Progressive), your choices are plentiful. To re-state the obvious: people are balking at any kind of support for Hillary Clinton. They are having none of it, and I totally get it, but it’s time to re-set our 10,000 year old brains (gee thanks, evolution!) and think outside our initial tribal leanings. And while it’s hard to separate out the trolls from real people “chatter” on Twitter and other media sites where there are a high number of anonymous and/or fake accounts, what I see on my Facebook page (which is overwhelmingly made up of either real people, or fairly easily identified trolls) are people who hate Hillary Clinton so much that they can’t think logically about the bigger picture. And while it’s impossible to predict what’s going to happen in voting booths across America come November. I for one do not want to wait until it’s a done-deal and be stuck with what could be some really horrible outcomes. There are a few unsavory scenarios which could become reality if too many voters either decided to sit at home and pout OR thumb their nose at the candidates and the system and vote for a third party candidate (who has zero chance of winning). The fact is that voting for Stein, Johnson, or not voting at all is essentially voting for Trump (again, the pie chart).
Scenario #2: Let’s party like it’s 1824!
The title of this post says, “or worse,” and that wasn’t an empty threat. You can read a relatively short re-cap of the 1824 presidential election on Wikipedia here. It sounds absolutely lunatic, even by today’s standards, but it actually happened. Thanks to an extremely fragmented electorate (each candidate had support from distinct regions of the US), all kinds of animosity and mud-slinging, and bad health experienced by various candidates, there was no clear “winner.” This election remains the only time in US history where no presidential candidate secured the necessary majority of electoral votes, meaning that because of the 12th Amendment, the US House of Representatives was required to decide who “won.” Let me say this again: A majority of electoral votes in the electoral college is required to be considered the winner of the presidential election or else the decision about who becomes president defaults to whoever is chosen by the US House of Representatives.
In case you haven’t noticed, or you’ve tried not to stare at them too long so as to avoid going blind, the current “members” of the US House of Representatives re-define the term, “low energy.” Hell, I’d say that they’ve managed, en masse, to slide backwards.
How does this scenario, as outlined in the 12th Amendment, play out in your head:
“The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.”
I just love the part about what happens if the House of Representatives doesn’t choose by THE FOURTH DAY OF MARCH. Holy cow. Forget building a damn wall to keep people OUT. If this thing gets dragged out until March, they’ll need many walls to keep people in because some serious shit is going to go down.
Scenario #3: No “tie-breaker” on the Supreme Court til 2017
Or how about a scenario reported on by Rachel Maddow way back in February 2016 (when the whole Supreme Court nominee whack-a-mole game was going on) which I’ve boiled down to this clip:
You can read the transcript from her show last February and view the entire clip, which I highly recommend (it’s approximately 17 minutes long) here.
Basically, the voting results in Florida (it was George W. Bush vs. Al Gore) were in dispute which resulted in a case (Bush v. Gore) heard by, and decided on by, the US Supreme Court. This happened in the year 2000, so it’s not like people were driving stagecoaches or anything, and the new phrase, “hanging chads” became (bizarrely) a household expression…
In the year 2000, there were 9 Supreme Court justices, so there could be no “tie,” but today, thanks to Congress, we are left with only 8 justices, so, theoretically, if things got tight and ugly, we could be left with no decision on who won the election.
Back in 2000, thanks to Justices like (now dead) Antonin Scalia, we Americans, and the rest of the world (which they went on to destroy) were saddled with the gift that keeps on giving, aka George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. That Supreme Court
fiasco decision gave us, among other lasting “things:”
$1.3 trillion dollars in tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 (bad idea);
Increase in offshore and onshore drilling for oil;
The wonders of fracking and the Halliburton Loophole;
Department of Homeland Security:
The Patriot Act (spying on own citizens);
Two of the most expensive wars in US history with the Afghan invasion in 2001 and the Iraqi War in 2002, with these two completely baseless acts of destruction costing the US public over $2 trillion dollars and counting;
Let’s not FORGET that George W. Bush also gave us the Great Recession, thanks, in whole, or in part, to all of the above.
One of my daughters, who is in high school, was recently telling me about a saying on the cafeteria wall of her school. It says something along the lines of, “We may not have it all together, but together we have it all,” which can be applied to the Democratic and Progressive parties here in the US. While liberals and progressives may not have it all together, we need all of us, acting together, to make the very best choice possible for our collective futures. Yes, it’s almost, but not quite, Sophie’s Choice.