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A Popular Vote Election

There have been many people on both sides who advocate for getting rid of the Electoral College process when the candidate they support loses an election. Republicans and Democrats, alike, pick and choose when they think our election process is good for the country. Take a long look at history and how the citizens of this country pick their president and then remove the Electoral College. The history of this country would be very different. The current state of this country would be very different. It has happened just five times, but there have been meaningful elections that would have gone differently if we used the popular vote instead.

If we went with the popular vote instead of the electoral college, Andrew Jackson would have won his election bid in 1824. Jackson, a slave owner, did not advocate for the rights of African-Americans. Jackson also implemented the Indian Removal Act, forcing Native Americans from their own lands. Adams, who was actually elected in 1824, was a widely known opponent of Slave Power in government and supported increased education. Adams also negotiated with Britain and Spain to eventually annex expansion on our northern border and in Florida.

Tilden versus Hayes, another disputed election that saw the winner of the electoral college take office, would have created a different country. Tilden, who won the popular vote, had some similar political views with Hayes. They both wanted civil service and social reforms. However, Hayes was a big proponent of civil rights for African-Americans and fought for policies that helped to keep the rights of “freedmen” moving forward. No one can know if Tilden would have followed the same path but we do know that Hayes was a supporter of civil rights and the movement for more freedoms for African Americans. He lost the popular vote.

Harrison, who won the electoral college but lost the popular vote, was also a supporter of civil rights and fought, in vain, to enforce voting rights laws for African-Americans. His election was controversial due to some accusations of voting fraud but eventually won through the electoral college anyway. Cleveland, who ran as the incumbent, was also a supporter of civil rights and won the election against Harrison the second time. Harrison is not widely known for major successes or failures in his administration but he has been credited with improved protected trade rates, the creation of National Forests, and the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Finally, there is Al Gore versus George W. Bush in 2000. The Florida recount is widely recognized as one of the most controversial disputes of a presidential election. While I personally cannot defend Bush or Gore, I can point out the gleaming differences between them. Gore, a very left of center Democrat, advocates for increased awareness, spending, and policies to decrease climate change. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War but did not support the war. He enacted legislation during his terms in congress that made the internet available to everyday people. Gore publicly criticized Bush for his decision to send troops to Iraq. Gore, for most of his life, was opposed to the gay and lesbian lifestyle. He believed it was wrong. He did come out in support of gay marriage in 2008 but it could be said he did it to support the Democratic candidate for the office of the President. Gore supports more government intervention in our economy and is an anti-war advocate. His win of the popular vote would likely have resulted in a much different scene than we have now. However, with a Gore win, we would have seen voter fatigue for Democratic views and policies after eight years of Bill Clinton. It is likely that President Obama would not have won his election in 2008 following 12-16 years of having a Democrat in the Oval Office.

In contrast, Bush, who is also a veteran and whose father was a sitting U.S. President before Bill Clinton, represented the Republican party. He did not support climate change theories. Bush believed in less government intervention in the financial markets which has been attributed to the fall of the economy in 2007-2008. Bush took the country to war after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 by garnering American outrage and anger over the ability of terrorists to attack on our own lands. Controversy around his decision to send troops to Iraq in response to the attacks are still being debated today. The war in Iraq and, subsequently, Afghanistan cost the country billions of dollars over the course of Bush’s two terms in office. He was able to accomplish a few other things while in office, however, that have helped the nation. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act into law which was created to close the gap between low-income disadvantaged children and more advantaged children in regards to education. This was also a push to make schools more accountable for the outcomes of students in their schools. In addition to this, Bush and the First Lady were huge advocates and funded the AIDS relief program, PEPFAR. Other credits for Bush are the Late-Term Abortion Ban, expansion of Medicare coverage to prescription drugs, and broad tax cuts for millions of Americans.

As controversial as each of these presidencies could have been or were, they are part of history. Our country would be, likely, a widely different place had these five presidents lost to the popular vote instead of winning the electoral college.

Currently, the majority of the population of this country reside in less than a third of the states. Those states, without the electoral college, would decide each president despite the will of the other two-thirds of the union. The United States is not a collection of people. We are a collection of states, each with its own set of laws and sovereignty. Every state must have a voice in the election of our country’s leadership or we lose our uniqueness as a nation. We lose our ability to fairly govern the country as a whole. If we did not have the electoral college, California, New York, and others who have a Democrat majority of residents in high concentrations would choose for you. The voter in Oklahoma, South Dakota, Iowa, Texas, and more than 20 other states would be ruled by tyranny of a few states. Is that the way we want our country to go?

What happens if the population of voters who lean the other way, not Democrat, start to outnumber those who live in the “elite states”? Will the elite then choose to reinstate the electoral college because they feel their voice no longer counts?

Right now, while you are angry and sad that your candidate did not win the election, the popular vote sounds like a good idea. This is not the country’s last election. Voters change. Ideals change. What will you do when you are in the minority and the popular vote that you fought so hard to enact turns against you? What will you do when your candidate would have won the electoral college but lost the popular vote?

This election is over. The results will not change. Nothing you do now will make Donald Trump lose the election for President of the United States in 2016. What you do now, however, could affect the outcome of an election in a way you did not foresee. In more than 200 years, this country has changed many times. Our voting demographics have moved from radical to conservative; Democrat to Republican and back again. Are you sure they won’t change again? Are you sure the popular vote will go your way next time? Think.

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For Hillary Voters

I sympathize with your pain. I understand the feeling of hopelessness. I know how much it hurts to think that you have been ignored and marginalized by the government and the rest of your country. I feel you when you talk about how hard you pushed for Hillary and the issues that are important to you but lost anyway. I can relate to all of these things because I have been there. The entire country has been there at least once in their voting lives, unless you are a first time voter.

These are not new feelings. You are not unique in your feelings of despair. Many voters have spent the last eight years feeling exactly the way you are feeling now. Millions of us were saddened and hurt when President Obama won both of his elections in ’08 and ’12. Contrary to what you may have heard in your own little political bubble, there are millions of voters out there who hold different beliefs and values than you. There are actually people who do not think abortion rights are more important than the economy. I know. Its crazy right? There are huge populations of people out there that may not think LGBT rights are more important than terrorism. That doesn’t mean they don’t support LGBT rights but it may not be their number one priority. Shocker! A huge, I mean huge, number of citizens in this country support fixing the immigration system while not simultaneously hating immigrants themselves. I know you didn’t think that was possible but, unbelievably, it is.

Your candidate did not win this election, this time. It happens. You know what that means? You go back to the polls in four years and vote again for the next candidate that shares most of your beliefs and priorities. That is how our election system works. We do not have do-overs. We do not recall electoral college votes just because we are not happy with the results. We do not promote violence against those who have voted in opposition to our views. We do not protest and riot in the cities’ streets as if we are toddlers throwing a tantrum because mommy took away our favorite toy.

This country has survived many wars, external and internal, to become the great nation it is today. We have evolved with the change in times. People of every race, religion, gender, and belief have the same right to vote as another. We have a two-party system that allows people of different values to align themselves with the candidate that represents them the most. This is what has worked for more than 200 years.

What Hillary supporters, mostly Democrats, have shown us these past two days is that they are not willing to accept an election if it does not fit their needs or wants. A party that claims to want equality for everyone and for all people to have the same opportunities is attempting to negate and silence half of the country. A petition on change.org to have the electoral college voters change their vote to “faithless voters” on December 19th so Hillary can win is completely opposite to what this country’s entire election system is about.

Imagine if Hillary had won but she was just a couple hundred thousand votes shy of winning the popular vote but the electoral college vote wasn’t even close. Imagine that she flipped counties and states that used to be solid Republican. Picture in your mind that nobody thought she even had a chance of winning a few states, much less states that used to be red. Now imagine that while you were happy she won, because you voted for her, you didn’t come to that decision lightly. Then, imagine watching the news and seeing thousands of protesters screaming foul names and chanting “not my president” and “fuck Clinton”. Imagine the news anchors, pundits, celebrities, and YouTubers all crying and telling you how horrible it is that she was elected and that the country is going to be destroyed. Imagine every person who voted for Trump attacking you and calling you hateful names and telling you how pissed they are that you voted against them and their livelihood.

That is what Trump voters have been dealing with for months and 1000% worse since the election. Our friends, classmates, and even strangers have been attacking us and our views. Friends telling us that we cannot possible have any love for anyone and still vote for Trump. Students in high school accusing other white students of being racist because Trump was elected. Hispanic students making jokes about deporting white people because their ancestors were immigrants. People afraid to speak to anyone about how they voted for fear of being chastised and “unfriended” by people who claim to care about them.

I have had my own “friends” tell me that I voted against them. I do not understand this. Are we not supposed to vote our conscience? Do we vote for the betterment of our friends or do we vote the issues we care about? Is my family supposed to suffer so that my friends can be happy?

There was a hidden voter this election cycle. We were silent but we were not silenced. We made our voices heard through our vote. Our vote was a referendum on all career politicians and corruption. We made it clear that we were tired of the same policies and ideals from the same political families over and over. We wanted something new. We were willing to try an unknown. 60,000,000 people voted for a man who has a dirty mouth, a loud and obnoxious personality, and a sometimes questionable character because we are sick and tired of wondering when our elected officials are going to hear us. They hear us now.

I will not apologize for my vote. I feel for you. I know you are upset but I will not be part of a process that doesn’t include each person having a voice. I will not be silenced because you don’t like what the other half of the country thinks. I will not allow you to bully me into voting what you believe or who you believe in. This is OUR country. Not mine, not yours. Ours. In this country we make compromises. Its your turn.

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Why I Voted for Trump

I am a Trump voter.

Just because I voted for Trump does not mean I have always supported him. Many people confuse the two. Too many people think that voting for one candidate over the other means you supported everything they ran on during the election. I am here to explain why, despite not supporting him beforehand, I voted for him on election day.

During the primary season, I had a lot of choices on the Republican side. Most of my support back then went to Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio. I had hoped that one of them would win. The Democrats put up Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton and those were just not logical choices based on the majority of my beliefs. So, I watched the primary debates, the news, and read article after article about Trump and my candidates exchanging jab after jab. As the months rolled by the choices became fewer and fewer. Finally it came down to the last few: Trump, Cruz, and Kasich. Kasich was out of the question. Trump was out of the question. Come on Cruz! Dang it! How in the world did obnoxious, loud, belligerent, flip-flopping, pretend Republican, Donald J. Trump, win the Republican primary and become the nominee for President of the United States?

Turn to the Democratic primary process. Socialist, Bernie Sanders, or life-long political hack and multiple investigatee, Hillary Clinton. I watched the debates and thought, well, I may be able to get behind Bernie…maybe. He doesn’t really share many of the same views as I do but I thought he would be a better choice than Hillary or Trump. But, after only a few debates and months, Bernie was done.

After both conventions, I watched the news religiously. I follow all outlets and read as many articles and Twitter feeds from all sides as I could. I engaged in debates with friends and family and strangers alike. I watched the investigations into Hillary unfold. I watched Trump make ludicrous statement time and time again.

Then came the leaks.

That was a game changer for me. Actually seeing some of the horrible things that were being said about other candidates and Americans made me sick. How could anyone possibly support a woman who surrounded herself with these kinds of people? How could anyone vote for a person who casually handles our country’s most valued information with such carelessness?

I started paying more attention to what Trump was saying underneath the inartful and sometimes offensive way of saying it. I started to compare what he was saying to what Hillary was saying.

Some of my strongest views are about late-term abortion, punishing the wealthy for being wealthy (which I am not), lying, and our economy.

Late-term Abortion

During one of the debates, Hillary Clinton stood on that stage and defended a woman’s right to abort her child up until birth. She stood there and excused the barbaric procedure of ripping apart a child as part of her argument for “choice”. (I will not get into the debate about abortion or a woman’s right to have an abortion. I will say that I am not completely opposed to abortion as long as it is not used in lieu of birth control or performed in the 3rd trimester with the exceptions for the life of the mother or child). So that was a big deterrent for me with Hillary. Trump came out in support of defunding Planned Parenthood and defended a child’s right to life so he got a plus.

Wealth

I am not in any way nor have I ever been financially wealthy. My family and I struggle on a regular basis to save money or improve our way of living. We are not poor by normal standards but we do not have the ability to live outside of our tight budget. Despite of my financial situation, I do not loath or am I jealous of wealthy individuals or families. I believe in rewarding hard work with increased success and encourage my children to strive for greatness. With success, usually, comes increased wealth. Democrats, in general, promote a form of punishment for success. Higher taxes than the rest of the country based upon your success seems like a punishment to me. Some politicians have promoted as high as a 90% tax rate for the “rich”. The category of being rich can be for anyone making as little as $250k a year. That really isn’t that much money in this country. Hillary likes the idea of rich people “paying their fair share” and that is an unpleasant thought for someone who wants to be rich one day. Trump has encouraged tax cuts for the job creators. That means more money to pay more employees. More employees means more money spent. More money spent means a better economy.

Dishonesty

I will not claim that Trump has been honest with anyone 100% of the time. He has lied about many things over the years and this election cycle. I am not naive. However, I have never seen a politician lie, cheat, and obstruct as much as I have seen come from Hillary Clinton. From before she ever held any elected office, she has been known to have been involved in multiple corruption scandals. Her husband, with whom she has stood by and supported over the years, was impeached as President. She held a Senate seat in Congress and became Secretary of State after running a horrid and brutal campaign against President Obama in 2008. During her time as SoS she made mistake after mistake and ended up being investigated for one of those mistakes. Then the New York Times exposed her and her staff for maintaining a private email server in her home while serving as Secretary of State and putting our country’s national security at risk, in the name of convenience. Instead of owning her mistakes and apologizing, Hillary tried to obstruct an investigation and lied to the American people every time she was asked about her server. It was only when she thought the lying and obstruction was starting to affect her chances of winning the Democratic nominee, did she admit her mistake. This lying and attempts to hide her actions from the very same people she was trying to get votes from was the last straw for me. Trump may have lied about some comment he made 20 years ago or flip-flopped on an issue but he had not lied about something as serious as keeping an unsecure server containing classified information in his basement.

Economy

The economy is very important to most Americans. If you have money and want to spend it or save it then you should care about the economy. When the economy is suffering, prices soar, the value of the dollar falls, and jobs become scarce. Trump may not be a career politician with years of experience in office but he is a successful businessman with billions of dollars in assets and funds. He owns many businesses worldwide and most of them are extremely profitable. Yes, he has filed for bankruptcy. That does not necessarily mean he sucks at his job. As a business owner, he is responsible for making choices and taking advantage of the existing laws and benefits this country has to offer. Paying less taxes is a smart business decision. We all try to pay less taxes. Anyone who claims that they have never tried to claim a deduction or a tax break and have always paid the maximum amount of taxes they could each year is a liar. The same concept applies to bankruptcy. Many businesses file for bankruptcy each year. They do this, not because their business is failing, but because it is a beneficial tool that businesses can use to reduce their debt. To individuals this is a bad choice because it looks bad to have bankruptcy on your record but for a business it can be the difference between failure and prosperity. I do not fault companies that use this practice. I many not agree with its use but I cannot fault a business for making good business decisions. Trump’s ability to make wise business decisions to keep his companies’ profitable and employing thousands of people all over the country can be applied when he is POTUS. Someone who understands the economy, global markets, and what it takes to increase profitability is a great asset to this nation.

All in all, I made the choice that was best for me and my family. Every voter faces a decision at the ballot box that affects their lives personally. That decision does not always benefit our friends or others. I have many friends with different views than my own. I know members of the LGBT community who are angry at voters like me for voting Trump. Many are worried that a Trump presidency means they will lose their right to marry. To them I say: This country is tired of fighting that battle. There is little if no support for a repeal of the Right to Marry decision made in the SCOTUS. The old and tired argument against marriage equality is fading fast.

I also have friends of different races who are concerned about their safety under Trump. I do not understand this. Why, under Trump, would you be any less safe than you are under Obama? Because some crazy Klan members threw in their endorsement for Trump then that must mean Trump hates anyone who isn’t white? When did intelligent and logical people start believing everything they hear just because some doomsday liberal said it? Have there never been presidents in the past that you didn’t agree with? Did you fear for your safety then too?

I am ashamed of the response that this election has gotten just because the candidate you supported didn’t win. Protests in the streets right now over a presidential election! Colleges cancelling classes because the students can’t handle the results of the election. People on Facebook and Twitter using hashtags like #NotMyPresident and #FuckTrump. I understand being sad or upset that your candidate lost but this country was built on a fair election process that has worked for over 200 years. I didn’t hear anyone crying about the process when President Obama was elected. I did not support Obama but I whined about it for a couple of days and moved on. Why is this election so different? What is a protest going to do? Your vote was your voice but our voices were just louder this time. It happens. Get over it. There will be another election in four years and you can try again just like we did.

This country is more divided now than it has ever been and that scares me more than a President Trump ever will. Until people start waking up and realizing that unless we come together force this government to work for the people instead of against the people, we will never fix anything. And until people stop blaming each other for their problems and start advocating for themselves they won’t be happy. My vote was not about you; not even the issues that are important to you. My vote was about me, my family, and my future. I may care about you as a friend or as a person but your life is yours and I will not sell my vote to you so you can be happy while my family suffers. Vote your conscience and I will vote mine. I will not attack you for your choice and expect the same.

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A Real Contradiction

I am a true and confusing Contradiction to almost every person I debate on social media.
To most, I’m a conservative who hates Mexicans,  Muslims, and black people. I hate The Gays and hope they burn in Hell for their disgusting sins.
I liked G.W. Bush as president while I was serving in the Army and deployed to Iraq during the kickoff of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.
I’m obviously very racist and a war monger.
I love to own big guns that shoot 200 rounds per second so I can hunt and also be ready for the occasional shooting in a public place, of course.
I think all immigrants should go back to where they came from and hate the current President,  Obama,  because he’s black and he talks all uppity.
I have a rebel flag on my truck and in my window at home. 
I get up everyday, drink some booze and smoke some weed and cigarettes while beating my children  right before we head to church. Then go home afterward to my trailer park home and barbecue chicken and ribs with beer while listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd blared up real high.

Sound about right to all you liberals?

Reality check:
I am a multi ethnic white woman who has no racism in my mind or heart. I don’t hate anyone that hasn’t personally given me a reason to hate them.
I absolutely agree with LGBT being given the same rights to marry and love who they love just like the rest of us. I am bisexual, myself.
I did like Bush as my president while I was in the military because he treated us with respect and compensated us more fairly based on the hard work that we do instead of what some politician thought was okay. 
I don’t go to church. I’m actually not a religious person. I am noticing as I get older that I may be more agnostic than anything.  Church is a business used to take money from believers. I’ve seen a lot of religious people being hateful and full of sin so I believe it is a personal decision and practice if you are a Christian.
I don’t ever use religion to deny anyone anything and don’t agree with those who do; although their rights say they can choose not to go against their own morals and beliefs. But that’s a whole new post.
I do love guns but don’t own any at the time. My family comes before the guns we’d like to purchase so for money reasons alone we decided to wait. I believe people should be allowed to buy guns as long as they pass a rigorous background check system, a repaired and previously flawed system. 
As for immigration, I think our country has a lot of leaks in the boat. You don’t take on more weight when your ship is filling up already through the leaks. I think we need to fix the system and then talk about getting rid of criminal immigrants and making current law-abiding immigrants run the system full of fines, testing, educating,  and starting at the bottom for benefits and jobs.
I do not like Obama but only because he’s making very bad choices for this country and it’s making things worse. He was elected because of the color of his skin to prove something to everyone from every ideology that it could be done without regard for experience or ability.  I do not necessarily care for Trump, at all, but if he was the only other name on my voting ballot with Hillary , I’d either vote Trump or rip up my ballot and walk out. I’m still not sure. I don’t do drugs. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. I do like to barbecue though and I do live in a brand new mobile home we purchased last year with a large piece of property.    
I do own a truck with a veteran license plate and a veteran sticker in the window. No flag though.
I hate abortion but think it should be allowed only in emergency cases and/or for one time per woman when she realizes she made a mistake. I empathize because I’ve been there. But I wouldn’t do it again. I’d do everything to prevent it even if it meant quadrupling protection methods.
I’m pro death penalty for violent sex offenders, murderers,  and other violent crimes. Something inside a person breaks when they kill or rape someone.  You can’t rehabilitate that with 100% trust it won’t happen again. Why waste 25 years, 24 hours a day, 3 meals, showers, beds, electricity, etc on those people when there are innocent civilians and Veterans homeless on our streets.

I think we need less regulations on social issues such as gay marriage and less anger over gay wedding cakes. Let people love who they love and leave them alone.

I think false victim hood perpetuates the unwillingness to work hard for what you have. Always blaming the system or someone else isn’t ever going to help you move up in the world.

I think we need to focus money on things we can actually accomplish to help real people instead of studying the effects of pig farts on the ozone.

I say all of this because I realized today that all conservatives are labeled as the first set of stereotypes but that we are all different. We don’t blindly follow one party or ideology. Some of us can engage people we disagree with without insulting or screaming but rarely get it in return. So this is me. This is how I think. Briefly. Stop worrying about who you can be friendly with based on their ideology or beliefs and start worrying about how you can find some common ground and understanding to build on to make things better.

*typed from my cellphone so pardon any errors*

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A&E Suspends “Duck Dynasty”, Phil Robertson; Takes Away His Freedom of Speech

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Let me start this off by saying that I don’t agree with Phil Robertson from “Duck Dynasty” when it comes to his beliefs about the LGBT community. However, I believe that this man, who has never tried to pretend to be anything other than what he is: an old-fashioned Southerner with strict Christian views, has the right to have those views. It is one of his freedoms as a United States citizen. He has made his views clear to viewers before. There is no denying his is a Christian with strong Christian views.

ImageNow that I have that out of the way, I want to ask the LGBT community, the executives at A&E, and anyone else who thinks the decision to suspend Phil was the right think to do: Is it right to silence someone for their beliefs just because they aren’t your beliefs? Did Phil use a slur or trash anyone who is gay? No. He simply stated that he did not agree with the act of being gay or lesbian and that he thought being heterosexual was better.

Is it not Phil’s right to believe whatever he wants to believe? Isn’t it his right to speak freely without being unfairly silenced by some liberal nutcases at a television network? What is wrong with A&E letting the viewers decide how they feel about Phil’s remarks through that little thingy we call *ratings*? If the ratings drop because of what someone on the show says, then by all means, do what you gotta do. Taking away the opportunity for viewers to make their voices heard is wrong and, frankly, pretty douchey on their part.

So I think anyone who thinks that we should all have the right to believe what we want to believe, even if it isn’t popular, to stand with Phil Robertson for his right to speak freely and practice his religion without persecution.

#NoMoreAE #NoPhilNoShow