Picking That President

Paper #2 of 2

2020 and we are in the process of picking our next president……all of which does not in the least represent what the people actually want or need.

Is there a better way to pick the leader of the free world?

Of course there is…..the quickest way in my opinion is to eliminate the Electoral College…..

Americans are understandably disillusioned with how the Electoral College picks presidential winners. The system arguably functions contrary to expectations of how a democracy should work, and inconsistently with the purpose the founders intended.

There are some bold reform proposals on the table that deserve consideration in the long run—ideas that would solve the problem that presidents can be elected despite the majority of voters opposing them, an outcome unthinkable in any democracycommitted to majority rule. The problem is that most of these proposals either aren’t going to be feasible by 2020, if ever, or, on close inspection, would actually worsen the problems they’re intended to solve.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/05/04/electoral-college-reform-2020-226792

But are Americans truly wanting to eliminate the stupidity?

The Electoral College, which allowed the past two Republican presidents to win office with fewer votes than their opponents, has officially become a joke.

In a skit last week, Saturday Night Live lampooned how the US is picking its leaders by highlighting the fact that most voters have no say in who will become president. But the Electoral College is no laughing matter. 

As long as the same person won the popular vote and the Electoral College, this wasn’t a problem. But with the last two Republicans owing their election to an antiquated system and not the support of a majority of voters, it has dawned on many Americans that something is amiss — especially because things seem to be getting worse.

If recent history is any indication, this is not just a problem for the loser but also for the winner. The former will miss out on being president despite getting more votes, while the latter has to live with questions about their mandate — or even their legitimacy.

Are Americans Ready to Junk the Electoral College?

There is yet another possibility that needs discussion……on the Electoral College and their voting for president….

Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case challenging state laws that bind Electoral College electors to vote for the presidential candidate they are selected to support. The case was brought in response to four 2016 electors — three from Washington and one from Colorado — who tried to vote against their state’s popular vote winner, and, in the case of the Washington electors, faced fines for having broken their pledges.

These so-called “faithless electors” have long been a feature of American presidential elections, but it’s possible that the Supreme Court could shake up the Electoral College system, striking down state laws that try to guarantee electors’ votes by replacing or punishing those who don’t vote as they promised to. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the overall lack of enforcement of electors’ pledge to vote for the winner of their state troubled her, saying, “I made a promise to do something, but that promise is unenforceable.” But Justice Samuel Alito said that overturning the state laws could “lead to chaos where the popular vote is close.”

If The Supreme Court Lets The Electoral College Vote However It Wants, Will Chaos Ensue?

There are a wealth of ideas to fix the stupidity of the picking of the president/nominee….personally I kinda like the national primary thing…….Let people nationwide cast their primary ballots all at once.

There are others as well…here are 6 ideas….

Every four years, Iowans are deluged with the talking points, the stump speeches, the polls and, of course, the ads.

They also hear that they shouldn’t be first. Iowans are too white, too old and too few to merit first-in-the-nation status, say the critics.

But if Iowa shouldn’t be first, who should be? For more than a century, reformers have been proposing ideas for how to change the primary system. And they’ve been failing. And they’ll probably continue to fail.

No one is going to persuade state and party machinery to change the current primary system anytime soon. However, these ideas can at least help show what works (and what doesn’t) about the way things are now.

Here are just a few of the ideas people have proposed over the years:

https://www.npr.org/2016/01/26/463870736/no-way-to-pick-a-president-here-are-6-other-ways-to-do-it

One last thought on the presidency……a little historic rambling…..

If the prospect of the Trump – Biden presidential election fills you with horror and despair, you might give some thought to not just replacing both candidates but the presidency as well, at least as we now conceive it.

For some time now, but maybe since the Kennedy administration (which ended in a hail of voter-suppressed gunfire), I have been thinking that one of the biggest problems with American democracy is the presidency itself, the idea that the chief magistrate of the country should be one person elected every four years by a few swing voters in Ohio, North Carolina, or Florida.

Get Rid of the Presidency

Any thoughts on this topic?

One closing cartoon…..

Image

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Undermining The Process

There is lots of news these days about Trump and his minions undermining the election process for 2020….almost daily there seems to be a new accusation that the voting process is either being ruined or compromised.

Unless you watch the news every hour then you will most likely miss many of these attempts…..and that is where I come in….

Nate Silver and fivethirtyeight.com have put together a summary of these attempts…..

There has long been conflict in the United States over who gets to vote and how. In the years since Barack Obama’s election as president, those voting debates have become increasingly partisan, with Republican elected officials often pushing measures like requiring photo IDs that make it harder for people to vote, and Democratic officials advancing provisions like same-day registration that make it easier to vote.

That long-running conflict over voting has reached a new, more critical phase for two reasons. First, the outbreak of COVID-19 means that people might be risking their health if they opt to vote in person. Secondly, Donald Trump, unlike previous presidents, regularly breaks with democratic norms and values and is now openly suggesting that he might manipulate the electoral system to help him win a second term.

“Trump aides exploring executive actions to curb voting by mail,” was the headline of an article in Politico last weekend (that was a news article, not an opinion piece). Politico’s reporting found that the White House was considering using executive actions to insert itself into the election process, which is usually run by states, including finding ways to make it harder for people to vote by mail.

I think it’s totally appropriate for people to, well, freak out about the potential undermining of the electoral process by Trump and his allies. That said, there is now a flurry of lawsuits, judicial rulings, decisions by election officials at the local and state levels, and claims of voter fraud and voter suppression that can be a bit of minefield to wade through. It’s a lot and it can get confusing.

Five Ways Trump And GOP Officials Are Undermining The Election Process

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–14Aug20

WE as a nation are about to vote for our next president……these days it appears that knowledge og civics is in short supply……

I think that a little knowledge would be best for everyone and especially for the nation.

This can only help for the acquisition of that knowledge….

Civic education is crucial in America. Every American should know why the Declaration of Independence was written, why the colonists fought to break away from Great Britain, and what caused the Civil War. Americans should know their rights, duties, and responsibilities. All of these things—American history, principles, and virtues—are what it takes to be a good American citizen. 

Fortunately, learning about America and what citizenship means can begin at an early age. 

The following portals are designed to be used by parents, teachers, and students in elementary school, middle school, and high school. We’ve curated the best resources from institutions that teach about America, which will be especially valuable to teachers looking to fortify their curricula with quality American civics content. These resources are separated by appropriate grade level in order to help students better understand, or even encounter for the very first time, the American story. 

We hope that these portals will help you learn something about your country that you didn’t know. We hope that they will encourage you to become better students and citizens of the country that you call home. 

The best source for civic education is our veterans…..if anyone knows what it means to serve this country it is they…..

… their long history of providing critical support to civic education initiatives, veterans and veterans organizations have generally been overlooked as a resource in these recent efforts. But few citizens have more at stake in the preservation and inculcation of American values and civic knowledge than the men and women who have put their lives on the line in their defense. The recovery of this role for veterans and veterans organizations is crucial both to the well-being of veterans and to the revival of civic education. Those who seek to help veterans thrive should consider exploring ways to once again engage them in the crucial work of civic education, while those who seek to bolster civic education should look to veterans as assets in their work.

The Joe Foss Institute at Arizona State University’s Center for Political Thought and Leadership — named for World War II Medal of Honor winner Joe Foss and supported by Arizona philanthropists Randy Kendrick and Jim Chamberlain, among others — engages veterans in civic education through their Veterans Inspiring Patriotism program. This program brings trained veteran volunteers into K-12 classrooms to share their personal stories as well as to deliver educational content on American institutions and founding documents, symbols such as the U.S. flag, and the responsibilities of citizenship.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/08/07/enlist_veterans_in_the_war_on_us_civics_ignorance.html

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VOTE!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Will You Vote Democrat In November?

Just a mere 3 months before the vote of the century (at least that is what some are calling it)…..do you know what your candidate is promising?

So far we have two choices for our vote for president of the United States…..Repub Donald Trump or Democrat Joe Biden…this post is for those that think they will vote Dem in November.

Here is the platform that Joe Biden will be running on when he meets Trump in the head to head……

New draft text of the Democratic Party’s 2020 platform calls for bringing “forever wars to a responsible end” and pledges to end the U.S. role in the conflict in Yemen — a sharp reversal from the Obama administration’s policy of arming and assisting the Saudi-led intervention.

The 80-page text, first reported by the Washington Post, is a sign of how far the party’s center of gravity has shifted in four years. The draft was released Tuesday evening to the more than 150-member platform committee for an amendment process. It will likely be ratified at the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee next month.

With lengthy sections on racial justice, immigration, climate change, and health care, the document hews closely to many of the policy recommendations produced by a Biden-Sanders unity effort earlier this month. But that unity report largely left out foreign policy, which is where some of the Democratic platform draft’s most significant departures from the 2016 platform lie.

https://theintercept.com/2020/07/22/democrats-unveil-draft-foreign-policy-platform-with-promises-to-end-forever-wars-and-regime-change/

A Grand Plan….but Dems have always had great plans and ideas….they just suck at the game of politics.

Since I try to be an FYI blog during this election season……if you would like to see what is being promised to the voter buy the Dems…..

Click to access 2020_07_21_DRAFT_Democratic_Party_Platform.01.pdf

Let me inject my thoughts on Biden……can Joe breath new air into out international standing?

My answer is yes…..he is a centrists and that makes him a devotee of Neocon thought……

Centrist Democrats do not only see American interests and values threatened by Beijing’s growing assertiveness, on the contrary, they will also expect that American foreign policy remains committed to keeping in check Russia’s military assertiveness in Eastern Europe. Democratic Party centrists will particularly hope that Joe Biden will seek to leverage U.S financial and diplomatic support to the Ukrainian government while also keeping tough on Russia through economic and financial sanctions for its interference in Donbass and Crimea.

These pressing strategic priorities could spell out the gradual decline of U.S foreign policy presence in the Middle East. This is plausible given that centrist Democrats are now openly questioning whether the region is worth the high levels of military engagement that the U.S has maintained for decades. While Democratic Party centrists want Joe Biden to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, they would also want him to cease American defence support to Saudi Arabia. Centrists democrats aligned with South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttieg, are also calling for U.S troops to return without delay from America’s post-9/11 wars. As for Israel, while there is consensus among centrist Democrats that it remains in America’s national interest to support the security of the Jewish state, its survival is no longer in question, given Israel’s military power to defend itself.

Opinion – Can Joe Biden Revive Transatlantic Relations?

Do not settle!  Know your candidate!

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Mail-In Voting

This seems to be the biggest situation for this vote in November…should mail-in voting be the rage as to protect people from the possibility of contracting the Covid-19 virus…..Dems want the mail-in vote and Repubs do not…and the debate goes on.

First why would the GOP not want it….they have done very well in the past?

Or is it just Trump and his minions that do not want it?

Even a close Trump adviser has said they do not want Americans to vote……

President Donald Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow said that the administration does not want protection of voting rights to pass as part of the coronavirus stimulus package.

“So much of the Democratic asks are really liberal left wishlists we don’t want to have,” said Kudlow. “Voting rights, and aid to aliens, and so forth. That’s not our game.”

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/08/trump-adviser-we-dont-want-to-have-protection-of-voting-rights-get-through-congress/

Donald the Orange has gone so far as to threat the use of his extensive Executive Orders…..

President Trump escalated his criticism of mail balloting in a big way on Monday, first in a press conference in which he hinted at using executive action to curtail it and also in an interview. Coverage:

  • Two months: In a sit-down with Axios on HBO, Trump said widespread mail voting would lead to chaos. “You know, you could have a case where this election won’t be decided on the evening of Nov. 3. This election could be decided two months later.” He added: “Lots of things will happen during that period of time. Especially when you have tight margins. Lots of things can happen. There’s never been anything like this.”
  • Executive order: At his White House press conference Monday, Trump said some kind of executive order on mail voting is within his authority. “I have the right to do it,” he said, per Politico. “We haven’t gotten there yet, we’ll see what happens.” Trump didn’t provide specifics about what is under consideration.
  • Nevada: Trump also said the White House would sue Nevada after lawmakers there passed a bill to provide mail ballots to every voter ahead of the election, reports Reuters. “We will be suing in Nevada. And that’s already been taken care of, we’ll probably file something tomorrow,” he said.
  • The evidence: Trump continued to assert that mail balloting is vulnerable to fraud, while news stories (including this one at the AP) continue to assert that he has no evidence to back that up. Politico calls cases of fraud “exceedingly rare” but adds that mail voting might have higher risks if proper safeguards are not in place.
  • A GOP worry: The Washington Post reports that GOP leaders around the US are worried about an unintended consequence of the president’s campaign against mail voting—his supporters are refusing to embrace the practice. “As a result, state and local Republicans across the country fear they are falling dramatically behind in a practice that is expected to be key to voter turnout this year,” write Amy Gardner and Josh Dawsey.

SCOTUS has finally stepped into this fray….and the GOP did not come up too good…..

A Supreme Court ruling on Thursday means that it will remain easier than usual for people in Rhode Island to vote by mail in the November election. In an unsigned order, the justices kept emergency rules in place that allow people to cast their ballots without the signatures of two witnesses, reports Reuters. Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo suspended the two-signature requirement in April, ahead of the June primary, because she said it would have posed a health risk during the pandemic, per the AP. State lawmakers agreed to keep the looser restrictions in place for next month’s primary and the November general election, but the Republican National Committee and the state’s Republican Party objected.

On Thursday, though, the court allowed the rules to stay in place, noting that no “state official has expressed opposition.” This marks the first time the court has ruled on a voting matter related to the pandemic, notes the Washington Post. The ruling said justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch would have granted the GOP request. Republicans oppose easier mail voting because they say, as does President Trump, that the process is vulnerable to fraud. But a rep for the ACLU says the ruling means “hundreds of thousands of Rhode Island voters will be able to safely cast their ballots without risking their health.”

Then the president has said that he is blocking cash to stop mail-in voting…..

During his daily Covid-19 briefing Wednesday evening, Trump dismissed Democratic congressional leaders’ demands for $3.5 billion in election assistance for states and $25 billion for USPS as “ridiculous” and vowed to continue blocking the funds. While USPS leadership insists it has “ample capacity” to meet election needs, postal workers have warned that without emergency funding, the agency could struggle to deliver mail-in ballots on time in November.

“Therefore, they don’t have the money to do the universal mail-in voting. So therefore, they can’t do it,” said the president, who repeated his false claim that mail-in voting is highly susceptible to fraud. “How are they going to do it if they don’t have the money to do it?”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/08/13/just-comes-right-out-and-says-it-trump-declares-postal-service-cant-handle-mail

One final note or maybe two……Donald and his wife will vote by mail…if it is good enough for them then why not the rest of us?

Next, how do you prevent American citizens from voting….there is a Constitution no matter how much some may hate it that guarantees my right to vote….nothing is said how the vote gets there.

Then Pelosi says…”we don’t agonize, we organize”……cute saying but how has that worked out in the last decade?

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Trump In 2020

There is lots of talk about the polls showing Biden a big league in most contest in November…..but is it really that big of a lead?

Sorry voters but if you can think back to the Dark Ages, 2016, Clinton had a commanding lead in the polls and she had her ass handed to her…..so the moral of this story is do not believe the bullshit spread by the media.

Here is a couple of things about the upcoming election……

This article in the American Spectator (too conserv for my liking)……about Trump’s so-called Silent Majority…..

When President Trump insisted last month that his supporters included a substantial silent majority that isn’t represented in the polls, the Democrats and the corporate media devoted a surprisingly large amount of energy to “debunking” the claim. Indeed, their reaction was so shrill and ubiquitous that they seemed, to paraphrase Hamlet’s hapless mother, to be protesting too much. A new poll released Wednesday by the Cato Institute suggests a reason for this frantic reaction to Trump’s assertion. The survey of 2,000 Americans 18 years of age and older unambiguously indicates that the reluctance of moderates and conservatives to share their political views has increased significantly since 2017.

According to the poll, conducted on Cato’s behalf by YouGov, “The share of moderates who self‐​censor increased 7 points from 57% to 64%, and the share of conservatives rose from 70% to 77%, also a 7‐​point increase.” Perhaps more significantly, strong liberals constituted the only ideological cohort that indicated more freedom to express their political opinions. Only 42 percent indicate that they self-censor. A majority of committed liberals (58 percent) feel free to say what they think. This is why those with left-leaning political views seem to dominate the political discourse. They are doing most of the talking while moderates and conservatives keep their own counsel and wait patiently for Election Day.

More Evidence That Trump’s Silent Majority Is Real

Personally, I think that is “putting lipstick on a pig”…….

But Sen Mitt Romney has a few thoughts……

Mitt Romney is one of Donald Trump’s biggest Republican critics on Capitol Hill. He’s the only GOP senator who voted to convict the president for abuse of power earlier this year, and he regularly calls Trump out on policy and personal conduct.

Yet the Utah lawmaker, who was his party’s presidential standard-bearer in 2012, believes Trump is likely to win reelection this November.

Asked why he foresees that outcome, especially with most public polls showing Trump trailing badly behind presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, Romney offered three reasons.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/mitt-romney-trump-election-2020_n_5f19bdf6c5b6f2f6c9f31c6f

I cannot end on a note like that….so here is a thought of what Trump is doing to the GOP…….

Before beginning this assessment of Donald Trump’s campaign and the impact that it’s having on the Republican Party, it’s important to state that the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day. However, it cannot be ignored that the signs aren’t good for the President.

In 2016, at this stage of the campaign, polls showed that Hillary Clinton had a narrow lead, sometimes within the margin of error. Four years later, polls regularly show Joe Biden with a more substantial lead of 10% or more. This is supported by the state-by-state polls that give a greater insight into what’s happening on the ground in key battleground states, including places that Republicans once considered safe. The reality is that Donald Trump’s campaign is a sinking ship and he is taking the rest of the Republican Party with him.

Trump Is A Sinking Ship Taking The GOP With Him

Some are predicting the election of 2020 will be a major clusterf*ck…….

People often deploy the “perfect storm” metaphor incorrectly, using it to describe a surprise collision of events that catches its victims off guard. But that’s not how perfect storms really work: In Sebastian Junger’s book about a deadly Atlantic Ocean gale that popularized the term, the storm was a well-foreseen event, with serious warnings, that people saw coming and chose instead to ignore—until it was too late, and the waves overwhelmed them. That’s how this election is starting to look to experts.

What’s likely to go wrong, and is there any way to head it off?

Conversations with election specialists and security officials, plus analysis of recent government reports, make clear that there are eight distinct but connected challenges. At the technical end are the uncertain new voting technologies and processes put in place for the pandemic; on the geopolitical end, we face foreign adversaries energized by their success sowing confusion in 2016. And at the center is the unprecedented human factor: The dislocations and risks associated with voting in an uncontrolled viral outbreak.

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/07/24/2020-election-disaster-perfect-storm-372778

2020 will be something for political students to study for many many years to come.

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VOTE!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Biden’s Large Lead With Blacks

Every poll you see about the choices of candidates for 2020 and the media lets the world know that Biden by far leads among blacks in the coming election.

But is that just bluster or is it truthful?

Just like Trump’s lead on older white voters it appears that Biden is popular with older black voters……young Blacks are not all that thrilled about Biden’s presidency.

Perry Green doesn’t believe that Joe Biden is listening to what young, Black Americans want right now.

Across the country, young people are protesting systemic racism and calling on political leaders to reallocate funding from local police to other community resources. Green, who is Black, criticized Biden for not supporting the “Defund the Police” movement that many activists support.

“You got Black youth across the country, calling for defunding the police and thinking differently about law enforcement, and … a couple days later, in the midst of all the protests … (Biden’s) campaign says ‘Let’s spend more money on community policing,'” Green told USA TODAY.

https://news.yahoo.com/young-black-voters-arent-enthusiastic-090013613.html

I have been writing about why I am not a supporter of the candidate Biden….I do not think he is what is needed to bring this country out of the Trumpian funk.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Joe Biden For 2020

Now that we have a Dem candidate to run against Donald the Orange in November….most people are happy either they think someone can beat Donald or vice versa…..

The polls are looking good for Biden…..

… former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, holds a big lead over President Trump in national surveys — about 10 percentage points …

Biden Has A Historically Large Lead Over Trump, But It Could Disappear

And some say he is on the rise in battleground states…..

The polls in battleground states are getting worse for President Trump.

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is pulling away in four of the six core battlegrounds that represent each candidate’s likeliest path to the White House.

States that did not begin the cycle as competitive — Iowa and Ohio — are suddenly too close for comfort for Republicans. Trump and Biden are also running neck and neck in Texas and Georgia, two states that Democrats have long dreamed of turning blue.

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/504790-where-things-stand-in-13-battleground-states

And the peasants dance!

All polls show Biden slamming the president at this time…..which for some is excellent news….but you guys know me I gotta look beyond that silver lining……

Voter registration, thanks to the pandemic and the tactics of the GOP and way down……

The spring of a presidential election year is often a busy time for adding new voters to the rolls, and a recent report from the Center for Election Innovation and Research, a nonprofit organization that aims to improve voter turnout and election security, shows registration numbers were even stronger in early 2020 than early 2016. But things changed dramatically in March, at least in the 12 places where FiveThirtyEight or CEIR were able to obtain data on new voters, a category that includes first-time voters, voters who recently moved to the state and, in some states (Texas, for example) even voters who moved between counties in the state.1

Consider Florida, for example, where 109,859 new voters registered in February of this year, compared to 87,351 registrants in February of 2016. But in April 2020, only 21,031 new voters registered, compared with 52,508 in 2016. The same pattern holds in 10 other states, plus Washington, D.C.: Each one registered fewer new voters in April 2020 than in April 2016, including in states where online voter registration is available.

Voter Registrations Are Way, Way Down During The Pandemic

We are still 4 months away from voting….so a lot can happen in those months to change the dynamics.

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“lego ergo scribo”

The 2020 Vote

NOTE:  This is an old draft but the thoughts are still valid.

There are a few things we need to look at before the big day when we Americans decide who will lead the country in the next 4 years.

First let’s look at the last couple elections…..and the candidates…..

Al Gore (centrist) – lost, John Kerry (centrist) – lost,  Hillary Clinton (centrist) – lost…… While also a centrist, Barack Obama campaigned as a progressive and won handily in 2008….then reverted back to the centrist he truly was.

Just a thought

There are issues that have never made the debate stage and I feel that they should be discussed so the voter knows where these people stand.

Remember several years ago, I know that is hard in the trials and tribulations of a Trump presidency, the main thing we all were writing about was the discovery of the NSA’s spying on us mere mortals.

National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden said Tuesday that 2020 White House candidates should publicly declare their stance on the U.S. government’s “unconstitutional mass surveillance program.”

Snowden made the comments following a New York Times report showing the agency’s sprawling photo data collection effort was hugely expensive and largely useless.

Charlie Savage’s reporting on the program under the USA Freedom Act of 2015, which is set to expire March 15, showed the suspended call records program “cost $100 million from 2015 to 2019” and produced “a single significant investigation.” The Times report cited a declassified, partly censored version of a report from the congressionally-created Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

The NSA shut down the program—initially exposed by Snowden in 2013 and then modified in 2015—last year.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/02/26/presidential-candidates-should-declare-their-stance-costly-failure-nsas

There are only a couple of candidates left…..so they should go on the record about the NSA programs.

Just one of those situations that the next president needs to handle….I am not all that confident that this one will do anything but throw words at it.

I realize that the normal American has the attention span of a goldfish so this needs to refresh their meager minds on the violations of our right to privacy.

But the elections have become high entertainment….Voters need to take voting seriously…..instead of a hobby they delve into every few years…..

Has politics become a form of entertainment? With debates every week, opinion polls every day, the insatiable appetite of 24/7 cable news for fresh “content,” heated arguments online around the clock, and the clickbait casting of heroes and villains, politics may indeed be America’s new national pastime. 

We know the names of all the players. We know the odds, the delegate counts, and the morning line.

That’s what this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast guest, professor Eitan Hersh, calls “political hobbyism” — another shallow, home-based, and technology-driven activity that takes us out of our community and away from personal engagement. In his view, it runs counter to the very idea of what politics should be.

Political Hobbyism Is Not Politics

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Picking A Nominee

College of Political Knowledge

2020 and we are off to the races as they say in picking our next president….personally I think it is a silly operation from the start…..but we continue to do the same thing over and over (and you know what that means)……we, as voters, need to take stock in the nomination process and other political theatrics……..

There is always criticism but it seldom leads to any reform or change….2020 is no different….

Want evidence that our process for selecting presidential nominees is a joke? Look at the last Democratic debate: “Three candidates in their 70s—and no African-American or Latino,” writes David Leonhardt in the New York Times. “There are two people who have never won an election—and zero who have ever run a state.” Want more evidence? Look at the “reality-television star” who hijacked the GOP nomination process in 2016 and now sits in the White House, he adds. People say this is merely democracy in action, but it’s not, writes Leonhardt. “It’s one version of democracy,” and the US is pretty much the only nation that relies on this weird mix of polls, donor numbers, and “distorted” primaries. Other countries give political parties more say in picking nominees, and Leonhardt thinks a middle ground can be found here.

“I’m not suggesting we return to the smoke-filled rooms of the past,” he writes. “But the current process puts a higher priority on the appearance of democracy than the reality of it.” Some suggestions: On the debates, it’s fine to give poll leaders guaranteed spots, but the party could also reserve spots for a governor and perhaps a swing-state senator. In the primaries themselves, more states should embrace ranked-choice voting, rather than the winner-takes-all approach. And the primary calendar should rotate every four years to end the ridiculous prominence given to Iowa, New Hampshire, etc. The first to vote would always include “a mix of states: big and small, young and old, urban and rural, coastal and heartland.” Change is long overdue, writes Leonhardt. Read his full column.

Primaries and such are nothing more than beauty contests and a gold mine for the media….beyond that they are worthless in picking the nominee.  Real issues are seldom on the agenda…..the voter gets one liners and slogans….and in the end NOTHING ever changes.

Can we please change this silliness?

Can we please get back to that lost art of democracy?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”