US General Elections 2020

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Nov 14, 2020 4:13 pm

{{ There is one part of this whole process I just dont understand- or if I am understanding it Im not sure why it exists- the Electoral College.
Can states appoint people to this that favour Trump and if so then ignore the actual eletion vote and award states to Trump anyway? What exactly are 'faithless electors'? }}

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Post by halfwise on Sat Nov 14, 2020 4:38 pm

The Electoral College was created for times before mass media and easy travel, when people were not expected to actually have much real knowledge of the candidates.  It was decided not to let Congress select the president because there was too much chance for chummy back deals.  So instead the states chose electors, by a process completely undescribed by the constitution, and those electors choose the president. These electors are expected to be familiar enough with national politics to make informed decisions, yet largely (not completely) obedient to the wishes of the state's legislatures.

So the states can choose electors by whichever system they want, but clearly want to include some direct vote - though most of them take the majority vote and throw all the electors that way, which in my thinking almost invalidates the direct vote.  But in any case, the states select electors with certain expectations as to how they will vote.

But the vote is completely in the hands of the electors, and they have occasionally voted in contradiction to expectations.  If you can somehow get such "faithless electors" in, there is nothing to stop it.  And since state legislatures pick the electors, if the population votes one way but the legislature leans another way, such a thing is indeed possible.  Hasn't happened out of expectations of a riot, but it is constitutionally valid.

Right now the republicans see an advantage to the electoral system, so would not provide the supermajority votes (2/3 of congress plus 3/4 of states) to get rid of it.  So here we sit.


Last edited by halfwise on Sat Nov 14, 2020 4:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Nov 14, 2020 4:44 pm

{{ So can Trump still get states likes Arizona or Pennsylvania to pack their electors with ones who will vote Trump, regardless of the actual people vote and overturn the results? if so, that seems mad and the opposite of democracy!}}

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Post by halfwise on Sat Nov 14, 2020 4:49 pm

There was no country doing direct vote at the time, and the founders did not trust mob rule.  It was also before a two party system, so they expected no candidate would get a majority and the final decision would fall to congress.  The electoral system was cobbled together to keep the election out of the hands of either the congress or the mob.  I don't think they thought the exact method was all that important, or that people would care that much so long as they got direct vote of congress, which held the primary reins of democracy.  The president was just an executive, and at a time when nobody wanted a king they didn't foresee the prominence the post would come to have.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Nov 14, 2020 4:54 pm

{{ So in theory Trump culd still win if he gets enough 'faithless electors' to vote for him even though people voted for Biden? }}

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Post by halfwise on Sat Nov 14, 2020 5:01 pm

Yes, in theory. But the idea of direct vote for the president is so ingrained in people's heads that no state legislature would consider doing such a thing. But technically it's completely acceptable by constitutional standards, which is one reason why Trump wanted to pack the supreme court with constitutional originalists.

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Post by Lancebloke on Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:47 pm

The actual electoral college itself, I believe, was set up to ensure that the bigger, more populous states that had a tendency to lean one way wouldn't overpower the less populous and more rural states.

They would get a proportional set if electors but not to their actual population. I think those numbers have been revised a few times and could probably do with it again.

Also, I think you are right halfy, especially in this climate. If the state nominated someone other than those that the people voted for then there would be chaos!!
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Post by halfwise on Sat Nov 14, 2020 7:05 pm

It's basically a substitute for having Congress elect the president, which has built into it direct population representation and state government representation. I don't think there was any discussion of big states overwhelming smaller states directly with regard to the presidential elections.

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Post by halfwise on Sat Nov 14, 2020 7:17 pm

If you want a fuller explanation of the reasoning of the constitutional convention on this rather strange way of selecting a president, you can do no better than the Federalist Papers.  For those outside the country who are not familiar with these, there was a period of time between the drafting of the constitution and its ratification by the people in which prominent members of the convention wrote articles to convince the public why the current version was worth supporting.  Alexander Hamilton and James Madison wrote the bulk of them, and they provide a fascinating view into the original intent of the document.  For the issue at hand, we turn to Hamilton:

https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed68.asp

Note that their main concerns were chummy backdoor dealing and rule by an uninformed mob. It's especially interesting that they foresaw that direct election of the president was more likely to lead to tumult as it inflames passions of the populace.  Our modern system of claiming the electors should be directly beholden to the voters circumvents this second safeguard.

The method of choosing the vice president was later changed to our current system.

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Post by halfwise on Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:57 pm

For Petty and those who don't understand why being a Trump voter doesn't make you a bad person, this tallies with my experience:

https://gen.medium.com/i-worked-the-polls-in-trump-country-and-left-more-confused-than-ever-d6ccd5fec10f

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:41 pm

{{ Good people can still make bad choices. Trumps a bad choice. }}

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Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Nov 17, 2020 2:54 pm

Trump is a bad person, anyone with an iota of intelligence can see that. Its a no-brainer.
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Post by halfwise on Tue Nov 17, 2020 2:59 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{ Good people can still make bad choices. Trumps a bad choice. }}

Yes, that's the point.  You were previously saying Trump voters are de facto bad people.


Figgs - though I can (with much effort) come to understand why some people think Trump is good for the country, I still can't wrap my head around why people can look right past his obvious flaws and make a hero out of him.  They really like him, and I think it's because they see him as a sort of lovable buffoon who happens to be doing what they want.  Still doesn't jibe though; nearly everyone I know who supported him would strongly support his intelligence and his ability to see and speak the truth (Shocked).  I only know one guy (a staunch Libertarian) who switched and called him "dumb as a post" once Trump's love for tariffs was exposed.

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Post by Lancebloke on Tue Nov 17, 2020 4:06 pm

I know of someone who voted for him because he is seen as someone who "gets shit done."

I think we can all agree that there are plenty of leaders that seem to get nothing done (regardless of the reason). That is often why we vote people out of power.

I dont particularly agree that Trump actually did achieve very much, but the spin machine has made it seem to a lot of people that he has and the only reason he hasn't in some areas is because the other team blocked him.
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Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:32 pm

thats his whole schtick the businessman on the Apprentice who gets shit done, but he doesn't, he is bankrupt.

and his tantrums are threatening to nuke Iran. fucking unbelievable someone needs to put him in a straightjacket and stop him tweeting.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:49 am

{{ So Trump just fired Chris Krebs by tweet the head of the cybersecurity department at Homeland Security (a Trump appointee) for putting it out there that this was the most secure election in American history - speak the truth get fired for it by Trump. So now what? Will Trump just appoint someone who doesnt know anything about it but will say Trumps right the election was stolen and fraudlent?

Meanwhile in reality yet another baseless attempt in the courts to overturn the result got chucked out in Penslyvannia. }}

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Post by halfwise on Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:54 am

All Trump does is appoint people that are incompetent but loyal kiss-ups. Krebs snuck through so had to go.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Nov 18, 2020 3:09 am

{{ The Republican party is the most gutless thing I think Ive ever seen.
Trump also fired his defence chief and then announced a troop reduction in Afghanistan which seems to be against the wishes of everyone, from US generals to NATO generals with any knowledge of whats happening on the ground, and handed Al-Queda a massive boost and an even bigger boost to the Taliban.
But it does explain why Trump fired the previous head as he had sent Trump a memo, countersigned by US Central Command leader Marine Gen. Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie and commander of NATO's mission in Afghanistan Gen. Austin Miller saying that 'the necessary conditions had not been met.'
And a committe which overseas American forces abroad, the Pentagon IG said in its report- '"The DIA reported that al-Qaeda leaders support the agreement because it does not require the Taliban to publicly renounce al-Qaeda and the deal includes a timeline for the United States and coalition forces to withdraw—accomplishing one of al-Qaeda's main goals," which itself is based on what was said by the Pentagon's Defence Inteligence Agency.

Didnt trump mock Obama for pulling troops out of Iraq too soon? And for giving a timetable to do so, saying he would never give a timetable?

Interestingly Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a Trump loyalist seems to have risked the wrath of Trump by disagreing with him on this one- "We're playing a limited -- limited -- but important role in defending American national security and American interests against terrorists who would like nothing more than for the most powerful force for good in the world to simply pick up our ball and go home." McConnell said that the consequences of a "premature" exit "would likely be even worse than President (Barack) Obama's withdrawal from Iraq back in 2011, which fueled the rise of ISIS and a new round of global terrorism." McConnell said it would be "reminiscent" to the "humiliating" end of the Vietnam War.
The Senate Republican leader said that "abandoning our partners" would "embolden" the Taliban, be "welcome news" to Iran, and give al Qaeda a "big propaganda victory and a renewed safe haven for plotting attacks against America."

Wonder what Trump will make of that! }}

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Post by halfwise on Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:00 pm

In Trump's eyes he's fulfilling one of the promises he made, and therefore he looks strong. Nothing else matters.

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Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Nov 18, 2020 3:01 pm

He doesn't care about world politics, he doesn't give a monkeys about any of it, he just wants revenge on everyone.
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Post by halfwise on Wed Nov 18, 2020 5:18 pm

Trump out of official power but pulling strings as an influencer may be as bad as Trump in power. The nightmare is far from over.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-in-exile-how-he-will-remain-a-force-in-the-gop-and-a-threat-to-bidens-politics-of-unity-152709807.html

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:22 am

{{ Going well for Trumps lawsuits!

'Giuliani alleged that authorities in every one of those jurisdictions had participated in a vast concerted effort to deliver the election to Biden.
“It’s widespread, nationwide voter fraud, of which this is a part,” he said. "This is not an accident. You’d have to be a fool to think this is an accident. You’d have to be a fool to think that somebody woke up Philadelphia, and in Pittsburgh, and in Milwaukee, and in Detroit, and in Phoenix, and all the way in Las Vegas, and way back in Atlanta, and said ‘I’m going to shut out all the Republicans today.’”
Lacking evidence of specific wrongdoing in Pennsylvania, Giuliani cited everything from a county commissioner race in Las Vegas to dubious historical claims that late Chicago Mayor Richard Daley manipulated returns in 1960 to help elect John F. Kennedy. During the course of oral arguments, Giuliani offered varying estimates of 680,000 to 770,000 to 1.2 million ballots cast in the Keystone State that he claimed were illegal.
"As far as we're concerned, your honor, those ballots could've been from Mickey Mouse,” Giuliani declared...in the midst of reading the word “opacity” from the Trump camp’s complaints, he admitted he did not know what it meant.
“It’s a big word, your honor,” Giuliani said.
Giuliani confessed to Brann under questioning that the campaign’s complaint presented no specific evidence of fraud. But he claimed that the complaint’s attacks on COVID-19 restrictions in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh that kept campaign observers at a distance from the tabulation of votes were in fact allegations of a “planned fraudulent process,” and he further asserted that mail-in votes are “inherently fraudulent.”
Earlier, he had volunteered the information that he had frequently voted absentee in the past himself.
The judge concluded by giving both teams time to file additional paperwork, including another amended complaint, before he renders a decision on whether to dismiss the case outright. He expressed skepticism, however, over the request he should stop the certification of the entire state’s election.
“You’re asking this court to invalidate more than 6.8 million votes, thereby disenfranchising every single voter in the Commonwealth,” he said.'- Daily Beast

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Nov 19, 2020 6:39 am

{{ Ever wondered what you could do with 14 billion dollars? Well it could pay for 195 thousand nurses for an entire year, or alternatively you can pay for a single US election! Money well spent or utter madness?}}

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Post by halfwise on Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:33 pm

Are you talking about money spent on running the elections or campaign funding?

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:36 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/election-us-2020-54696386

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