Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson

The election is over as far as the voters are concerned in deciding the outcome. They were given their opportunity to elect the presidential candidate of their choice. OK, they were given the chance to vote for those put before them by a two-party system aided and abetted by the mainstream media.

Fifty-five percent of those eligible voted. The lowest turnout in twenty years.

Without every vote being fully tabulated, the popular vote on election night was deemed as going to Hillary Clinton. She and Trump both managed to get 48 percent of that calculation. Three percent went to Gary Johnson. One percent to Jill Stein. Clinton beat Trump by 2 tenths of a percent.

The electoral count went to Trump. Two-hundred seventy was the number necessary to become the president elect. He received 290 electors to her 228, enough to safely call the race for him that night. More accurate post-election tallies put him with 306 to her 232 and her popular win at near half of a percent. Like it or not, and though not democracy at its most pure, the electoral vote trumps the popular vote. This election will be officially over when those 538 electors cast their vote on Dec. 19. How they cast them depends on individual state observance of the elector process. That may sound dishearteningly similar to the superdelegate conundrum of the Democrat’s primary process, because it is.

Thanks to Maine Rep. Diane Russell’s leadership, the DNC has agreed to change the number and function of superdelegates going forward. Thanks to 52 percent of voters, ranked-choice voting will become Maine’s bold, first state in the nation attempt to improve and increase democratic multi-party participation.

Contrary to much that has been expressed by those displeased with the result of this election, this is actually not the end of the world. Their prophecy of Armageddon, if true, still won’t begin until January 20th. The humiliation of our nation in letting the politically unthinkable actually come to pass is something we’ll just have to try to surmount. Vulgarly sounded, and frightening in its expressed phobias, the voice of the people has spoken.

Any blame for Trump’s victory rests with those that voted for him, but equally with those that chose Hillary over Bernie in the primary race. And, most tragically of all, with Hillary herself for risking Armageddon in order to pursue her obsessively myopic, if not totally blind, ambition. Instead of breaking the ultimate glass ceiling, she’s reignited a regressive White male governance in a way Carly Fiorina, Jill Stein or Liz Warren would not have enabled. She didn’t lose because she’s a woman, but because she’s a person whom the “unredeemable” “basket of deplorables” couldn’t abide, whom Millennials distrusted and whom Sanders rightly nailed as having repeatedly wrong motivation and judgment. The Clinton machine has finally been disabled. Its reckless hubris has gone unrewarded. Pundits are finally realizing that the DNC, in their elitist distance from the disenfranchised Everyman, backed the wrong horse.

Eleventh hour endorsements by Bernie Sanders and Liz Warren nevertheless warned that progressive Democrats would have to mobilize against a Clinton administration’s transparent intent to shift still further to the right. Hillary’s defeat isn’t the end of the world, but thanks to Trump it could well be the end of the Democrats’s downward spiraling politics-as-usual. Hopefully, there’s some solace in that.

Some blame Trump’s victory on the Electoral College, that the election was stolen by political gamesmanship, just as in the election debacle of 2000, and that such a miscarriage of democracy must now stop even if it’s the long-standing design of our representative form of governance.

Though not well known, there’s been a growing movement to do just that. If adopted by enough participating states, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes. Ten states and the District of Columbia have already adopted the plan. Together they hold 165 of the 270 electoral votes needed to make the Electoral College reflect the popular will of the electorate.

Participation doesn’t require a constitutional amendment to replace the existing Electoral College process.

Proponents of The National Popular Vote believe it will make every vote equal throughout the United States, ensuring that every voter, in every state, will matter in each presidential election. The rigged system of gerrymandering and the disenfranchising importance of “swing” or “battleground” states would be eliminated.

Shortly before this historic election, Bowdoin College hosted a public invited lecture by Norm Chomsky entitled: “The Democratic Experiment: Its State, Its Prospects.” Though conveying an underlying optimism, Chomsky, 87 years informed, very quietly led a rapt audience through America’s dismal historical reality of systematic democratic suppression protective of the oligarchical and racial-gender privilege of America’s ruling elite.

With passage of ranked choice voting, Maine’s democratic experiment is leading the nation. Additionally, for the first time in its history, in this election Maine split its electoral vote. Though that doesn’t seem altogether like-minded with The National Popular Vote movement, I somehow suspect a 2017 ballot initiative towards such will soon present itself.

Gary Anderson lives in Bath.

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