Friday, November 11, 2016

Painting By Numbers

Once again we have painted the American flag, red, white and blue and white wins by a wide margin. White as in absence. No-shows are half the electorate while the reds and blues fight it out at 25% each.

White is our symbol of innocence, virginity. In this most historical and hysterical of elections fifty percent of the people couldn’t be bothered or had a mind they couldn’t make up. Or maybe they were too busy caulking their bathtubs on Tuesday. In political terms white is the word for duh.

In Asian cultures white symbolizes death or mourning. Inscrutable as
they are the Chinese got it right. White is the absence of color but not of light. In fact it contains a spectrum of every wavelength of light. If voting were mandatory nobody knows who these non-voters would be. They could stretch from urbane cynics to know-nothings. More’s the pity.

Hillary is approaching a three million vote plurality in the popular vote. The problem is one of distribution. All we need to do is move 120,000 Blues of the 2 ½ million vote margin in California to Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. We can spare them. Now let’s see a show of hands ready to relocate.

How to explain ourselves to the rest of the world? The Electoral College is the last vestige of the 18th century. It is a form of voter suppression, an indefensible hurdle to representative democracy. It is now theoretically possible for a candidate to win the presidency while winning just 11 of the 50 states. Or for a third party to garner twenty million votes and not a single electoral one. (Think Ross Perot). This will be the fifth time in history that the presidency was awarded to the loser of the popular vote.

The abolition of the Electoral College requires a constitutional
amendment. It’s time we graduated from this college but it ain’t going to happen. There is another path which is also a longshot. It involves each state to pledge their electors to vote according to the National will rather than their State preference. So far eleven Blue states have signed on to this. Notably the Reds, unblushingly, have not.   

In Dec. 1940 there was a professional football game between the Chicago
Bears and the Washington Redskins. In an amazing upset the Bears won 73-0. They used a new offense called the T-formation for which Washington had no defense. I thought of this Tuesday night trying to grapple with what had just happened.

Hillary ran her campaign by the book. But the book was an outdated playbook no longer relevant. Trump created his own, instinctively. It was one of daily outrage and inanity. We Blues spent the entire contest attacking his character instead of addressing the rage of his constituency. His Reds paid no mind to his temperament. We won the talking points. He won the day.

Numbers count but only on the electoral scoreboard.


  1. I can not express how I have never been so invested before and so at risk now. It's difficult to understand however I will pay the consequences with personal currency. The question is just when and I don't even know who benefits by my payment. Diana

    1. I feel your angst. Having installed a confederacy of dunces certainly concentrates the mind

  2. The Confederancy of Dunces is one of my favorite books. But I like it as a book not reality. Brad and I agree about the electoral college and have thought as you do for a long time. What to do?