We call our country a Democracy. But if we had anything even close to a Democracy, and even if electors did what the Electoral College was designed to do, Hillary Clinton would be our president-elect, not Donald Trump.
David Wasserman from the Cook Political Report and the data geek blog FiveThirtyEight announced on Twitter that Hillary Clinton’s already massive lead in the popular vote reached 2.65 million — a full 2.0 percent. He keeps track of the latest vote counts on his frequently updated 2016 National Popular Vote Tracker spreadsheet.
Sacramento, CA: 18k new Clinton votes, 8k Trump. Clinton's national popular vote lead climbs to 2.65 million (2.0%): https://t.co/j58GaxfPmH
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) December 6, 2016
And as of December 15, Hillary Clinton’s stunning lead surged even further to over 2.8 million.
With 136.5 million votes counted, the final national popular vote result is very likely to be:
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) December 14, 2016
Wasserman added that Hillary Clinton’s total vote count is now approaching President Barack Obama’s from 2012.
Obama got 65.9 million votes in '12. Clinton now at 65.4 million. She could get really close w/ NYC absentees: https://t.co/j58GaxfPmH
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) December 5, 2016
On top of that, the United States Election Project reports voter turnout is now swiftly approaching 59.1 percent. That’s higher than 2012, and the third-highest since 1972, when the 22nd Amendment lowered the voting age to 18. The other high-turnout elections were 2004 with 60.1 percent and 2008 with 61.6 percent.
So why are we stuck with Donald Trump? Because of the Electoral College, in which people don’t vote for the president, electors elect the president based on how people in their states voted. But here’s the twist: Donald Trump didn’t just lose the popular vote, he likely lost the states that handed him the electoral votes required to win the presidency as well. But we’ll never know because Republican-run swing states do everything possible to keep us from voting, and to keep our votes from counting when we do vote.
Donald Trump’s margin of victory was so narrow in the swing states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania the Green Party’s Jill Stein filed lawsuits to demand recounts. In addition, some major vote irregularities were found in the state of Florida.
In any case, Donald Trump — a lying, scamming, racist, rage-tweeting, p*ssy-grabbing, homophobic, anti-Semitic, Muslim-hating demagogue — is clearly unfit to serve as President of the U.S. The Electoral College is a highly un-Democratic institution, yet our founding fathers created it as a safety measure to prevent the very scenario we’re seeing unfold. Instead, Trump and the most extreme elements of the GOP are swaggering around as though they’ve won a mandate.
In Federalist 68, Alexander Hamilton wrote that the Electoral College is meant to preserve “the sense of the people” while ensuring that “that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.” As for the electors, they’re supposed to be men and women with good judgement who care first and foremost for the welfare of our nation and the American people.
‘[M]en [and now, women] most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice.’
But instead of doing their patriotic duty and voting for Hillary Clinton, electors in GOP-run states see themselves as party apparatchiks hellbent on the Republican Party’s hostile takeover of America. In some cases, GOP electors’ responses to the desperate pleas of their fellow citizens have been cruel, insulting and downright disgraceful.
GOP to America: Screw you and your popular vote.
A response that stands out for its sheer cruelty and gall is this email auto-reply from Michigan’s John Haggard:
‘On Beaver Island Deer Hunting hope to kill 3 deer. Please hold all emails. Thanks. GO TRUMP’
The Electoral College has only overridden the popular vote four times: And never when the difference between outcomes has been this vast and the margins of victory in swing states so vanishingly small. According to FactCheck.Org, these exceptions were:
- 1825: John Quincy Adams became president instead of Andrew Jackson despite winning neither the popular nor the electoral vote. In that case, the results were so close, the House of Representatives decided.
- 1876: Rutherford B. Hayes squeaked into the White House with just one electoral vote, even though Samuel J. Tilden won the popular vote by 250,000.
- 1888: Benjamin Harrison lost the popular vote to Grover Cleveland by 90,000 but swept the Electoral College by 233 to 168.
- 2000: George W. Bush won the electoral vote by a narrow 271 to Al Gore’s 266 even though 540,000 more of us cast our votes for Gore.
Featured image: Brendan Smialowski via Getty Images.
H/T: Daily Kos