A Few 2020 Bits

Electoral College

I do not hear anything.  Where is the thunderous outcry of advocates for removing the constitutionally powered Electoral College and replacing it with a straight plebiscite?  Once again, as demonstrated during each presidential election cycle, the systems has worked as designed.

In the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama received 69,456,897 votes, giving him 365 electoral votes. In the 2012 presidential election, President Obama won 65,899,660 votes, and 332 electoral votes.

In 2016 President Trump received 62,984,825 compared to his opponent’s 65,853,516.  Trump received 304 electoral votes compared to his opponent’s 227.  This was not a failure of the system, it was entirely due to the blunders of President Trump’s opponent.

In 2020 Trump actually received more votes than President Obama’s two presidential elections or his 2016 opponent by nine million and 6 million votes respectively with 74,111,116 votes!  Clearly a record, and he lost.   Because a record number of votes cast for President Trump only earned him 232 electoral votes.   The reason for this is President-Elect Biden had 81,009,468 votes (an even larger record) cast for him but more importantly they earned him 306 electoral votes; far less than President Obama earned in both his presidential elections but more than President Trump.

This is the system working as designed.  Trump received nearly nine million more votes in 2020 than he did in 2016 and lost.  The difference is President-Elect Biden won critical mid-tier states that he was absolutely required to pay attention to because our system shares the power effectively among all states.  If the presidential election were a pure plebiscite, then only the states with the largest populations would garner any candidate attention.  Mid-tier and smaller states would not be heard and carry little weight post-election with the Office of the President of the United States.

President Trump’s 2016 opponent lost because insufficient attention was paid to the critical mid-tier states, period.  Their support was assumed, their blue color voters were offended, and Trump wooed them effectively.  While garnering more votes, she failed to offer all these critical states the attention they are due from a presidential candidate.  Thus, only 227 electoral votes were earned, the lowest total in 20 years and President Trump won an election virtually no one believed he would win.  These are simple lessons Presidents Obama, Trump and President-Elect Biden all understood intrinsically.  Critical lessons driven by an Electoral College system brilliantly designed by our founding fathers to ensure fairness and a voice to all citizens in all states.

2016 was, however, an aberration in a macro-political trend largely because of the blunders by President Trump’s 2016 opponent.  The 2020 election returned us to the trend line supported by demographic data and President-Elect Biden made no major blunders to turn away constituents that should be his.  The demographic data supports growing political strength in the number of the liberally minded, especially for overtly Socialist leaning politicians.  This may be a permanent change in the American political landscape but minimally for a generation.  As but a single example, it is widely reported that the majority of the Millennial generation prefer Socialism.  It is preferred until they actually have it.  Ask the majority of the citizens of China, Russia and North Korea if they’d rather live in the United States where democratic, free-market capitalism has produced the greatest standard of living for the most people in the history of the planet, or their country where many, many millions are desperately poor and starving.

2000 Electoral Map – Electoral Vote Map

2000 usa electoral map results – Bing

2020 usa electoral map results – Bing

2016 electoral college results – Bing

1How many votes did Barack Obama receive? – Answers

Gaslighting

The term originates in the systematic psychological manipulation of a victim by her husband in Patrick Hamilton’s 1938 stage play Gas Light, and the film adaptations released in 1940 and 1944. In the story, the husband attempts to convince his wife and others that she is insane by manipulating small elements of their environment and insisting that she is mistaken, remembering things incorrectly, or delusional when she points out these changes. The play’s title alludes to how the abusive husband slowly dims the gas lights in their home, while pretending nothing has changed, in an effort to make his wife doubt her own perceptions. The wife repeatedly asks her husband to confirm her perceptions about the dimming lights, but in defiance of reality, he keeps insisting that the lights are the same and instead it is she who is going insane.

Today we are living in a perpetual state of gaslighting. The reality that we are being told by the media is at complete odds with what we are seeing with our own two eyes. And when we question the false reality that we are being presented, or we claim that what we see is that actual reality, we are vilified as racist or bigots or just plain crazy. You’re not racist. You’re not crazy. You’re being gaslighted.

New York State has twice as many deaths from Covid-19 than any other state, and New York has accounted for one fifth of all Covid-19 deaths, but we are told that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has handled the pandemic better than any other governor. But, if we support policies of Governors whose states had only a fraction of the infections and deaths as New York, we are called anti-science and want people to die. So, we ask ourselves, am I crazy? No, you’re being gaslighted.

We see mobs of people looting stores, smashing windows, setting cars on fire and burning down buildings, but we are told that these demonstrations are peaceful protests.  And, when we call this destruction of our cities riots, we are called racists. So, we ask ourselves, am I crazy? No, you’re being gaslighted.

We see that the major problem destroying many inner-cities is crime; murder, gang violence, drug dealing, drive-by shootings, armed robbery, but we are told that it is not crime, but the police that are the problem in the inner-cities. We are told we must defund the police and remove law enforcement from crime-riddled cities to make them safer. But, if we advocate for more policing in cities overrun by crime, we are accused of being white supremacists and racists. So, we ask ourselves, am I crazy? No, you’re being gaslighted.

The United States of America accepts more immigrants than any other country in the world. The vast majority of the immigrants are “people of color”, and these immigrants are enjoying freedom and economic opportunity not available to them in their country of origin.  But we are told that the United States is the most racist and oppressive country on the planet, and if we disagree, we are called racist and xenophobic. So, we ask ourselves, am I crazy? No, you’re being gaslighted.

Capitalist countries are the most prosperous countries in the world.  The standard of living is the highest in capitalist countries. We see more poor people move up the economic ladder to the middle and even the wealthy class through their effort and ability in capitalist countries than any other economic system in the world.  But we are told capitalism is an oppressive system designed to keep people down. So, we ask ourselves, am I crazy? No, you’re being gaslighted.

Communist countries killed over 100 million people in the 20th century. Communist countries strip their citizens of basic human rights, dictate every aspect of their lives, treat their citizens as slaves, and drive their economies into the ground.  But we are told that Communism is the fairest, most equitable, freest, and most prosperous economic system in the world. So, we ask ourselves, am I crazy? No, you’re being gaslighted.

The most egregious example of gaslighting is the concept of “white fragility”. You spend your life trying to be a good person, trying to treat people fairly and with respect. You disavow racism and bigotry in all its forms. You judge people solely on the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. You don’t discriminate based on race or ethnicity. But you are told you are a racist, not because of something you did or said, but solely because of the color of your skin. You know instinctively that charging someone with racism because of their skin color is itself racist. You know that you are not racist, so you defend yourself and your character, but you are told that your defense of yourself is proof of your racism. So, we ask ourselves, am I crazy? No, you’re being gaslighted.

Gaslighting has become one of the most pervasive and destructive tactics in American politics. It is the exact opposite of what our political system was meant to be. It deals in lies and psychological coercion, and not the truth and intellectual discourse. If you ever ask yourself if you’re crazy, you are not. Crazy people aren’t sane enough to ask themselves if they’re crazy. So, trust yourself, believe what’s in your heart. Trust your eyes over what you are told. Never listen to the people who tell you that you are crazy, because you are not, you’re being gaslighted.

Sophocles said: “What people believe prevails over the truth.” And that’s what the media are trying to exploit.

Think through what you are being told. Don’t listen with a deaf ear or see with a blind eye. Question everything — even things from people who you think you can trust. Question why you are being told whatever, by whoever. Question their motives. Question who benefits. Question if there is a hidden agenda behind the propaganda. Question, Question, Question. Then do your own research and use some of your own critical thinking skills to get to the truth.

Sadly, 95% of the masses don’t even know that they are being gaslighted. At least now you do.1

Gaslighting – Wikipedia

1Some of the content of this section is copied from an anonymous source.

Covid-19

Vaccines with remarkably high efficacy levels were injected into healthcare workers and first responders in the U.K. this week December 6, 2020.  In Virginia, nearly a half million doses will begin to be provided to these same professionals by the end of this month.  This, after only approximately ten months from the commencement of the outbreak in the United States.   This is an example of how important it is to have political leaders, and especially a president, who have real-world, commercial enterprise leadership experience.  Life-long politicians, who are intimately comfortable with government bureaucracy and interminable delay would have said okay to a path that traditionally takes three years to produce fully tested vaccines.  Their only weapon would be shutting down the country and destroying our economy.  How many more would have died?  Would the economy not completely collapse no matter how much money was printed out of thin air? 

The American system of a capitalistic, market-driven economy produces strong and demanding commercial enterprise leaders who, when engaged in governmental leadership roles, understand how to squeeze the most from commercial healthcare organizations.  These commercially trained leaders when combined with, yes, a profit-driven, private commercial healthcare system that is alone in the world in its capability of these amazing feats of producing highly effective vaccines in the hundreds of millions of doses in a remarkable ten months, producing something no other nation could dream of accomplishing and saving hundreds of thousands of lives around the world; not to mention saving the world economy from total collapse.

Honoring the Second Amendment Constitutional Right

The NRA reported1 that studies indicate that firearms are used more than 2 million times a year for personal protection, and that the presence of a firearm, without a shot being fired, prevents crimes in many instances.  {To be clear} shootings usually can only be justified where crime constitutes an immediate, imminent threat to life, limb, or, in some {rare} cases, property.  It can only leave one to muse about how many crimes, including murder, attempted murder and manslaughter, could have been prevented had the victim be able to produce a firearm.  

It is estimated that 600,000 people go missing in the U.S. each year.  Unfortunately, many of these missing person cases go unsolved because of a late response by law enforcement or poor coordination between law enforcement agencies.  (This most clearly argues against the assertion that we have too many sworn officers or that police agencies should be “defunded”.)  How many of those that “go missing” (likely murdered and disposed of or sold into human trafficking) would be saved if they could produce a firearm?  Certainly not all of them, as many of these cases involve children, but how many, possibly 50,000, perhaps 10,000 abductions, could be prevented?   Even if it was 1,000, how much is each one of these lives worth?

1NRA published “American Rifleman” magazine, December 2020 issue, page 10

China – A Clear and Present Danger

As a follow up to other posts this year a small piece in the Richmond Times Dispatch Nation and World Briefs section on December 12, 2020.  Further evidenced that the PRC represents a far greater threat to freedom and peace than any other nation since Nazi Germany and its Axis partners Japan and Italy (Italy only in so much in their alliance with two true world powers in Germany and Japan).  The PRC will strip Hong Kong citizens of their freedoms by crushing the democracy movement right before the world’s eyes just as the brutal Nazi fascist regime did in Germany in the 1930s.  The Nazis began by arresting those who disagreed with their ideology and imprisoning them in “work” (concentration) camps.  Then using their brutal, murderous, totalitarian fascist methods to control all of Germany, then to virtually all of Europe and nearly the world.   It is not a stretch to shine this same light of freedom loving countries upon the brutal, murderous, totalitarian fascist methods and actions of the People’s Republic of China.

Tycoon in Hong Kong Charged under New Law

HONG KONG – Jimmy Lai, a media tycoon and longtime backer of Hong Kong’s struggle for democracy, could face life in prison after he was charged Friday with “collusion with a foreign country” under Beijing’s new national security law.

Earlier this week in Beijing, authorities leveled another apparent blow against Western media outlets with the detention of a Bloomberg News employee held on suspicion of endangering national security.

Lai, who was arrested by investigators in August, is the fourth and highest profile person charged under the new law, which seeks to eradicate dissent on Hong Kong by curtailing constitutional rights, including free speech.

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