If anyone here has been following me for the past year or so, you are well aware of my thoughts on this election and its results. I was as devastated as most of the country when it was over, and eventually resigned myself to waiting the next four years out in quiet anger and frustration.
For those who need a refresher in high school US Government or don’t live in the States (how I envy you) and thus have no need to learn the annoying intricacies of our complicated system, here’s how an election usually goes: every person in the country who is registered can vote for their candidate of choice.
This is called the popular vote.
This does NOT affect who becomes our next president.
What does is the vote that comes afterwards from the Electoral College. It is a vote made up of a minority in Congress that makes their decision based on which political party came out on top in each state.
The outcome of this election was that Hilary Clinton won the popular vote by a close margin, but Trump won because of the system in place. So what you may have read is in fact true; the people didn’t want Trump, but we got him because of our system.
It’s been nearly two weeks since the election announcements, and I have never seen my country in such uproar. There have been countless protests in streets, some peaceful, some not. Violence has openly broken out against gays, Muslims, women, and people of color because bigots feel validated that someone who shares their malodorous beliefs is in a position of power. Vandalizing places of peace and acceptance with swastikas has become a norm. I am reminded of it every morning when I get on the bus and find them etched in the back seats in permanent marker. Any time I go on Facebook I’m terrified that I’ll find one of my best friends is another victim of the neo-Nazis and KKK’s horrifying resurgence. The fact that all this is encouraged by a man who should be held to the highest of moral standards in our country makes me sick to my stomach, and even more fearful for the state of the world than any of the shootings, bombings or acts of terror that have taken place post-9/11.
It is not too late to stop this.
On December 19, the people of the Electoral College will officially cast their vote for the President of the United States, regardless of party alignment. Less than a few days after the election results, a petition went up on Change.org pleading directly to them to vote for Hilary Clinton instead of Donald Trump. The initial goal for this petition was for it to be signed by 3 million people.
It surpassed that goal within two days.
Since then, the number that the makers of the petition have asked for before it is officially presented to the Electoral College has gone up to 4 million, and now 6 million. It has gained enough traction to be mentioned numerous times in the media and is still passed around from site to site. I urge you to sign it and share it with anyone who also doesn’t wish to see the White House become Trump’s weekend home.
Now I know what you’re thinking. Online petitions and bitching and moaning on the internet doesn’t do jack, right? In this case, you’d be surprised. Not long after the petition went viral, two things happened.
One – it got people to thinking about the last time this sort of reaction happened over an election. In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote, but thanks to the Electoral College, George W. Bush was made the President, and we all remember what a wonderful eight years that was for our country. The Electoral College was put in place by none other than bastard, orphan, son of a whore and as of late musical Vice President “harasser” Alexander Hamilton to keep elections from being bought and sold by people like Trump, but these incidents have proven that it’s an outdated system that no longer speaks for the people. Petitions have popped up calling for the eradication of the Electoral College, and those either for or against this radical change have made themselves heard. Almost a week after the elections, Maryland became the first state to proclaim that they will bypass the Electoral College and stand by the outcome of the popular votes when it comes to Presidential elections, and from the looks of it other states aren’t too far behind.
Two – Around that same time, two Republican senators who are part of the Electoral College announced their intentions to vote against Trump in the upcoming final rumble. They don’t support Hilary either, and have asked fellow Republicans to write in a third candidate like Mitt Romney or Ted Cruz, but hey, I’ll take whatever I can get. Two more Republicans have also joined them this week and they’ve begun calling themselves the “Moral Electors”. Is it gimmicky? It sure is, but when going against someone like Trump who’s proven to have almost no morals, the Republican party and this country in general is in dire need of morality. That brings the number of electorates to 4, which, yes, is a far cry from the amount needed to fully turn the tide, though it is a start. “Faithless electors”, as they’ve been called, are nothing new in these kind of elections. There are punishments in place for anyone who tries to switch parties, but the worst is a fine that anyone in that position can pay without worrying about it taking a huge chunk from their bank accounts, or they get switched out with someone who will vote for the reigning party (see? Absolutely backwards.)
We are lucky to live in a land where the people, all the people, have a free voice. We do not have to lie down and take whatever the government says is so. We still have a voice, and we can protest to the heavens until we are heard. The worst thing we can do is be indifferent to the changes around us. If you are unhappy with this outcome and want to share your concerns with those who are paid to take the thoughts of the American people into account, you can reach out to them. Call your senators, governors, representatives and those running your state to tell them directly that you do not want Trump sworn in as our President. They are not as hidden or far away as you might believe. http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ can help you get in direct contact with them. This is the best way to let them know, through a direct line from you to them. Here you will also find the names of the Electorates slated to vote soon. I urge you to contact them as soon as you can.
We have less than a month. The fight is an uphill one, but then again it always has been. The voice of hatred has gotten stronger this past year, but I fervently believe the voice of hope and love can still overcome it.
I’d like to end this with two lines from two different but similar groundbreaking works of theater that have given a voice to the voiceless these past several years:
I am not throwing away my shot
‘Til the world turns upside down
The great work begins.