[ExI] Is the USA doing too much to prevent COVID-19?

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Sun May 3 03:39:52 UTC 2020

John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:

On Fri, May 1, 2020 at 9:24 PM Keith Henson via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> *> Trump isn't the problem, it's the people who elected him.  Why do
> such people support him?  It's rooted in our evolutionary past and not
> hard to explain.  I have done it several times on this list.*

> That's not entirely fair, the American people never supported Donald Trump,
not before the election during it or after it.

Agreed, he was a few million votes short of a majority.  But under the
system we seem to be stuck with, a majority is not required, just, as
you say, a majority of the Electoral College.  The same thing happened
with the Busin/Gore election.

> The American people made it
clear they wanted Hillary Clinton to be the next president, but under our
system the wishes of the American people don't matter. Only the 538 members
of the Electoral College are allowed to vote in the only presidential
election that matters, and 304 of them decided that what this country
really needed was a president who was an imbecile; and so like it or not
that's exactly what the American people ended up with in addition to
unconventional suggestions on where to place Clorox to cure viral disease.

Again, you hit the nail on the head.  The question though is why
enough people voted for him in the "red" states for him to get a
majority in the Electoral College?  What is special about those

> Meanwhile, the German people picked somebody who has a doctorate in Quantum Chemistry,  Angela Merkel, to be their leader, and because Germany is a more democratic country than the USA the people got what they wanted.

May I remind you that the German people have not always been so
sensible?  Or perhaps a better word would be lucky.

Close to 100 years ago the German government was taken over by a
madman. That madman got considerably less than a majority vote and
still took over.

Think about it, what is in common between the red states in 2016 and
Germany in 1920?  For that matter, how does present-day Germany differ
from 1920 Germany?

If you want to go deeper, think about the selection that went on back
in the stone age.

We are stuck with the Electoral College.  We are even more stuck with
human psychological traits selected in the stone age.  We could, in
theory, get rid of the Electoral College.  It would be much harder to
modify human psychological traits, but there does seem to be ways to
keep the worse aspects turned off.


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