There’s No Such Thing As the Popular Vote

It certainly hasn’t been a smooth ride, but it looks like the people–specifically, Democrats–are going to have to move out of the Bargaining Stage, since there are no bargains left to be made. I want to also credit them for mostly skipping over denial, because there weren’t very many people who really took the #NotMyPresident crap earnestly. I suspect that Denial is always the shortest stage of grief, at least when it comes to politics and elections, because people woke up on November 9th and there wasn’t really any way to live in denial. Denial requires people to enable it, and no one was willing to do that. Of course, we could make the argument–and I would make the argument–that anger and bargaining are both encapsulated by “Denial,” so the Denial Stage is actually three parts: abject denial, anger, bargaining. I would also contend that “depression” is part of the acceptance phase, but none of that is really important; it just occurred to me that anger and bargaining are part of denial–last ditch efforts to escape the consequences, to deny the outcome.

So the Electoral College voted and, to the surprise of no one with a brain and experience in politics and the ability to look at the issue rationally, Trump has been named the next President of the United States. That’s pretty much it for the denial, though, isn’t it? There are no tricks left up the denier’s sleeve, no cards left to be played, and no more opportunities to overturn the results of the fifty state elections. Jill Stein’s recounts were a total bust, only verifying the outcome in the one state that actually had a recount, and all of the anti-Russian propaganda has amounted to nothing.

It’s fascinating that so much attention was paid not just on the Electoral College but on the people themselves. One day Democrats argue that the Electoral College should be abolished, that it isn’t democratic, and that it’s not right. Then the next they’re lining up and begging the Electoral College to curtail the will of the people they represent. All of this confusion comes from the misunderstanding Democrats have, not realizing that we are fifty individual republics and there is no national popular vote; there are fifty elections on Election Day–one in each state–and the outcome of those elections determine who those states give their votes to. The people of Mississippi didn’t vote for the President. The State of Mississippi did, and the People of Mississippi simply told the state who to give its votes to.

Not as long as I’ve been paying attention to politics has so much focus been put on the Electoral College, not even in 2000. Both articles I’ve seen on the subject tonight express a sort of disappointment, saying things like “Trump clears the final hurdle…” and “Trump completes the final lap…” as though there was ever any doubt. The election is over, and it has been over since 2:00 AM on November 9th. Everything that has happened since in the mainstream media–all of the anti-Trump stuff anyway–has been a form of denial, up to and including the absolutely preposterous notion that there was ever any chance at all that the Electoral College might fail to install Trump.

This is the first time in my life that I’ve even bothered to look at what the Electors’ results were; even though I fully expected them to be what they were–though I didn’t expect any Republicans to defect*–but that really speaks to how sensationalized and extravagant the media and Democrats have been, that even though I knew beyond the shadow of a reasonable doubt that the electors would elect Trump, I still went to see the results. I can only imagine how people less grounded in reality–like the Democrats who have accepted the swill that Trump is a tool of Putin–feel right now, their hopes again dashed on the rocks.

But none of this is really what I want to talk about. I want to talk about this fully insane article from the Washington Post.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-electoral-college-is-poised-to-pick-trump-despite-push-to-dump-him/2016/12/19/75265c16-c58f-11e6-85b5-76616a33048d_story.html?utm_term=.aa42daef7342

Donald Trump clinched the presidency Monday as members of the electoral college cast ballots declaring him the victor, a perfunctory conclusion to the most stunning presidential contest in modern history.

Trump became the winner Monday afternoon after electors from Texas cast ballots and put him over the 270 electoral votes needed to win. Results will be officially announced Jan. 6 in a special joint session of Congress.

While Democrat Hillary Clinton amassed a nearly 3 million-vote lead in the popular vote, Trump won the state-by-state electoral map, making him president-elect. That political dichotomy sparked special scrutiny and intense lobbying of electors by Trump’s opponents in recent weeks, including mass protests. It also drew outsize attention to the usually overlooked, constitutionally obligated gatherings of 538 electors in 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Sorry, but I do have to call you out on this. See, Washington Post, I went to your article from the Electoral College votes in 2012, and… Oh. You don’t have such an article. You didn’t write an article when the electors voted in 2008 or 2012, because the process is pretty automatic, isn’t it? It’s a formality.

Anyway, the reason I bolded that part is that it’s kinda sore-loser-ish, isn’t it? First of all, stop saying “the popular vote.” There is not, and never has been, any such thing as “the popular vote.” When you speak of this, you are cultivating and spreading a myth and a lie. Hillary Clinton absolutely does not “lead in the popular vote” because there is no “the popular vote.” There were fifty popular votes. By a large margin, Donald Trump won most of the popular votes. Popular votes. As in–plural. Because there is no “the.”

The mostly symbolic calls for an electoral college rejection of Trump grew after revelations of a CIA assessment that Russian hacking could have boosted his campaign, which in the view of many Trump critics raised doubts about his legitimacy.

You just can’t help it, can you? I compared this to your article from where Obama defeated Romney in 2012. For it to be fair, you would have had to have mentioned the possibility that Obama was born in Kenya, because I’ve figured it out, Washington Post and Democrats. This whole “Trump is a Russian puppet!” thing–it’s just your Birther Movement. Don’t pretend like it’s more than that, or that it’s more dignified than that. This is you demanding to see Trump’s long-form birth certificate. However, you didn’t mention the possibility that Obama was born in Kenya in your article celebrating Obama’s victory.

And why did you say Obama won? Well, obviously, for very positive reasons. Let’s take a look at your language:

  • “reassembling the political coalition that boosted…”
  • “remaking himself from a hopeful uniter into a fighter…”
  • “scored a decisive victory…”
  • “capped a night of gains…”
  • “run as a symbol of limitless hope…”
  • “Obama’s promises had won…”
  • “had promised to fight the hardest…”

Wow! One might say you had your lips to his ass so fully that you were tonguing his large intestine.

For curiosity’s sake, let’s compare that to your language about Trump’s victory on November 9.

  • “Hillary Clinton’s quest to become the first female president…” [C’mon. Seriously?]
  • “Trump, a 70-year-old celebrity businessman who had never before run for office, is poised to become the oldest president ever elected to a first term. ” [Just had to take that whole sentence.] [Age Discrimination–you liberals aren’t fans of that, right?]
  • “After running a divisive campaign…”
  • “With Trump’s ascension to the White House, the nationalist wave that has swept capitals around the world — including in Britain, which voted to break from the European Union this year — came crashing onto U.S. shores.” [Again, just… wow.] [“Came crashing” is obviously heavily loaded language]

In fact, I’m going to stop here a moment to reflect on the horrifically biased language, because word choice is exceedingly important–it’s what gives away the bias. Hillary, you see, was on a quest. Quick, what do you think of when you hear the word “quest?” Unless you’re a World of Warcraft player, you think of an honorable, just mission undertaken to do something good and righteous. Trump is a “celebrity businessman.” Quite a contrast to Hillary’s quest.

Obama “capped a night of gains.” Powerful, positive language. Trump “came crashing onto U.S. shores.”

The primary reason I care isn’t that I like Trump. I don’t. I care because lots and lots of people don’t see the bias, and generally believe the Washington Post is neutral. You can’t claim neutrality while using language like “run as a symbol of limitless hope” for a Democrat, language like “quest to become the first female President” for a democrat, and stacking it against “built his campaign around the single contention…” [Romney] and “came crashing onto U.S. shores.” [Trump]

Moving on.

Trump has dismissed the intelligence community’s analysis of Russia’s role in the election and has boasted, including on Monday, of a “historic” electoral landslide. But his 305-to-232 win over Clinton ranks just 46th out of 58 electoral college margins.

I honestly don’t know what you’re talking about. The intelligence community’s analysis? There has been no such analysis.

You mean this one?

I realize you guys are the experts at this, but isn’t this, you know… bullshit?

His detractors called on electors to buck the president-elect in favor of Clinton — or Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, or another Republican such as Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Yes, and you denialists enabled that delusion by pandering to those detractors and giving the false hope that there was ever any chance in hell that this was a possibility. I don’t mean to say that it was a “one in a million” chance or that it was “really long odds.” There was no chance; there were no odds. It was an impossibility, and you guys knew it. You knew most of these states have laws in place preventing it, and that most of the electors would be replaced if they wouldn’t vote for the person they were supposed to.

But not even once did any mainstream media outlet mention that little detail. I read the news everyday, and a lot of those are liberal outlets, and I never once saw any of these liberal sites mention the fact that most of these electors have alternates standing by and ready to go if the first elector doesn’t vote for the person they’re supposed to vote for. That’s a pretty big detail, but I never saw it mentioned. If it was mentioned, it certainly wasn’t stated nearly enough, and why not? Because that little fact nips the whole delusion in the bud and renders it absolutely impossible.

Across the country, critics of the president-elect braved cold temperatures and rallied outside state capitol buildings in hopes that electors might act as an emergency brake on Trump.

More examples in shockingly biased language. “Braved cold temperatures… rallied outside… hopes that electors… act as an emergency brake…”

And how does it convey the message about Republicans immediately after that sentence?

In Pennsylvania, which voted for a Republican president for the first time since 1988, a few hundred shell-shocked Democrats protested in Harrisburg while all 20 electors backed Trump. In Utah, protesters booed and shouted “Shame on you” as the state’s six electors cast votes for Trump in a capitol building conference room in Salt Lake City.

  • “shell-shocked Democrats…”
  • “booed and shouted…”
  • “‘Shame on you'”

I know what you’re thinking. “They’re just reporting what happened!” Yes, and that’s the problem–the language with which they are reporting it is extremely biased. Allow me to rewrite this <sigh> two sentence “paragraph” without all the loaded language:

In Pennsylvania, which voted for a Republican president for the first time since 1988, Democrat detractors continued protesting while all 20 electors backed Trump. In Utah, protestors jeered as the state’s electors cast their votes from Trump.

See? That is just reporting what happened. I’m not a big fan of “jeered,” to be honest, and if I was a journalist I would spend the time to look for a more neutral word, as “jeered” sounds negative to me. Why is that? The use of “jeered” paints the protestors as snarling, grimacing, unhappy people–which, by all accounts, is exactly right. “…booed” and “shouted” have the same effect, of course, unless you agree with those people, in which case it doesn’t sound so negative.

Ooh! I especially love this:

In Florida, a crucial swing state where Trump defeated Clinton by about a percentage point, Trump won all 29 electoral votes.

I’ll fill that out for you. I’ll fill you in on what the Washington Post actually meant.

In Florida, Trump defeated Clinton by one measly percentage point. One freaking point. But even though he won by only a single point, Trump gets all 29 electoral votes, which is bullshit and unfair. At the very least, Clinton should have gotten 14 of them. Fuck you, white America, you racist, misogynistic pieces of sh–

Okay, maybe not that last part.

What’s the point of even bringing up this info about Trump’s victory in Florida, the margin of his victory, and the distribution of electoral votes? Specifically to make you think what I said. Really, I mean that–they said that, and they put it the way they put it, precisely to make you think what I just said. It’s called manipulation, and there is a reason they spend billions upon billions of dollars each year learning the best ways to manipulate public opinion. Look how subtle it is!

They don’t have to state it. They just have to tell you the facts in the right way.

Again, I can hear you. “But that’s all they did! They just stated the facts!”

But they didn’t. Here. I’ll state the facts.

Due to his narrow victory in Florida, Trump claims its 29 electoral votes.

See? That is what the facts look like. The other stuff–that’s called “slant.”

And they are good at it. Man, are they good at it. It’s all about context, phrasing, and word choice–calling attention to the right facts at the right time and using the right words to convey it.

Some held signs, including one that read, “Resist Putin’s Puppet.”

Pictured: signs with EXACTLY as much truth, credibility, and decency as the sign that called Trump Putin’s puppet.

I mean, if you’re going to hold up a stupid sign, you might as well go all the way, and hold up the most stupid sign you can find, right? “Resist Putin’s Puppet,” are you freaking kidding me? It’s no surprise this idiot was out protesting the electors and evidently believing that there was even a remote chance that the electors wouldn’t elect Trump: clearly, this person is woefully out of touch with reality.

It’s probably because he gets his news from the Washington Post.

* On that note, congratulations Ron Paul, on securing an electoral college vote!

3 thoughts on “There’s No Such Thing As the Popular Vote

  1. Yes, there is a national popular vote. It doesn’t decide the outcome of presidential elections, but it exists both as an obvious calculable number (the aggregate of state popular votes) and as a government statistic with legal bearing on certain things (for example, 5% of the national popular vote is the threshold for a political party to become eligible for future taxpayer campaign funding).

    • Certainly, from a utilitarian perspective, it exists. I meant it more in the sense of what I mean when I say there’s no such thing as a “stamp collection,” because there are only stamps. It’s useful for us to treat them all as a single unit–a stamp collection or popular vote–but at the end of the day, the only “thing” that really exists are the stamps, and the “stamp collection” is just a human construct. That would apply to the states’ popular votes, too, it’s just that we’ve written into law that the states hold elections and have given the legal weight of electing the president to the states’ popular votes. So you are correct, and I’ll need to edit it later to fix it. Thanks.

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