[ExI] Electoral College

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Thu Aug 16 14:08:28 UTC 2018

Stuart, this was the best post I have read in a long time.  I left it all in there rather than trim a word, in case anyone missed the original discussion.

Your comment really caught my eye:

>... There is in actuality 51 separate and independent elections for the POTUS, one in each state and DC. This decentralization means added security from voter fraud. Because of this, the election for the POTUS is hard to steal as opposed to election by popular vote which has but a single point of failure...

This has worried me for a long time.  Voting machines are inherently dangerous.  Having an electoral college means that the commies need to hack machines in several different states:


The framers of the constitution didn't foresee voting machines, but their safeguard worked anyway.  The framers did foresee a sitting president refusing to accept an election and declaring himself POTUS for life.  So they wrote it such that the SCOTUS only needs to swear in a new POTUS, with no need for an actual ceremony to swear out the old one.  That's why none of the former occupants of that office have attempted to hold on.


-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of Stuart LaForge
Sent: Thursday, August 16, 2018 12:39 AM
To: extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
Subject: Re: [ExI] Electoral College

John Clark wrote:

> I don't care who framed it, the Electoral College has proven itself to 
> be a disaster.

Not if your goal is to remain 50 sovereign states united in a common wealth under a federal government limited by the decentralization of power afforded by multiple branches with checks and balances between one another and between the states themselves.

>> it is a feature and not a bug.

> That's what every programer says when defending his crappy software, 
> and slavery wasn't the only bug in the constitution software.

Except that the constitution is not crappy software. No crappy software boasts over a one million well-armed and highly-trained killers waiting to defend it at a moment's notice.

Don't you see what makes the USA so special is that the constitution limits and decentralizes governmental power in this country by spreading it out? That you can simply choose which laws you want live under just by moving from one state to another?

The balancing of state and federal powers is one of the things that make the USA such a unique experiment in governance and you owe all of that to the Constitution. It represents the distilled consensus of hundreds of learned men analyzing and debating the successes and failures of Athens, Rome, and other historic powers.

That nobody, not even Trump, a billionaire and POTUS, can throw people in prison for bad-mouthing him and must resort to silly flame wars over Twitter is testament that the Constitution is working precisely as advertised.

And don't blame the constitution for slavery. Slavery was the way of the world long before the constitution was penned and regardless the 13th Amendment fixed that error.

> Yes the exact same boneheaded rationale was given for both. A voter in 
> Wyoming has 68.3 times more influence over what happens in the US 
> senate than a voter in California, and that's just nuts.

No what is nuts is that 12% of the U.S. population would willingly choose to live asshole to elbow in a state that burns for 3 months out of the year and will put them in jail over a soda straw. If you envy Wyoming's senatorial influence, then move to Wyoming. For the price of a 3-bedroom house in the Bay Area you could have a thousand acres of land.

>> It was to express the egalitarian concept that the various states of 
>> the union were in some sense peers or "equal partners" in the United 
>> States and were of similar standing in the eyes of the federal 
>> government.
> But in any rational system all the states should NOT have equal 
> standing in the eyes of the federal government because neither the 
> state of Wyoming nor the state of California is a rational being, but 
> individual voters are. A Wyoming voter has 66.7 times as much 
> influence over who the president should be than a California voter, and that's just nuts.

Both states and voters are rational beings, but they are emergently manifest at different scales of complexity. There might very well be some abstract thought-space analogous to your mind that emerges from the network of people within groups such as cities and states, just as your own mind arises from the network of neurons in your brain.

Of course, I can't prove the state of California is conscious but I can't prove you are conscious either. All I see are two entities, one much larger than the other, acting in their own self-interest so I deem them both rational.

As far as Wyoming goes, once again, if influencing elections is important to you, then move to Wyoming.

>> The alternative is to have the interests of coastal mega-cities 
>> completely dominate the interests of the farmers, miners, and 
>> factory-workers of the entire interior of the country.
> The coastal mega-cities SHOULD dominate if that's where the people live!
> If the number of cows or wheat fields you own determine how powerful 
> your vote is why not the value of your stock portfolio or the square 
> footage of your penthouse apartment?

First off, it isn't about how much land you have, its about the sovereignty of that land and the people that thereon dwell. The Electoral College and Constitution protect the sovereignty of the individual states.

If you have a penthouse apartment and a sizable stock portfolio, then write a substantial check to presidential candidate of your choice. I think every dollar spent on campaign funding and lobbying is worth hundreds of votes in this country.

> And its not as if the cow owners have
> displayed exceptional wisdom, in recent years the Electoral College 
> laid turds in our laps in the form of Donald Trump and George W Bush, 
> and they are the 2 worst presidents in my lifetime. Trump has only 
> been working on it for 2 years but is already well on track to become 
> the worst president not just in my lifetime but in American history.

Well maybe if a presidential candidate that can't find common ground with the farmer who feeds the nation doesn't deserve to be president.

>> If you want to condemn the Electoral College, then you have to come 
>> up with a better, more rational reason than "it allowed Trump to 
>> mobilize the vote in the fly-over states and get elected".

> Why? The people picked Clinton but they don't count, the Electoral 
> College picked Trump and they do count. That reason alone is more than 
> enough to condemn the Electoral College.

No it is not. I think part of the problem is that you think there is, or should be, but a single election for the POTUS but that is not the case.
There is in actuality 51 separate and independent elections for the POTUS, one in each state and DC. This decentralization means added security from voter fraud. Because of this, the election for the POTUS is hard to steal as opposed to election by popular vote which has but a single point of failure.

Diversity is a hedge against extinction and the Electoral College allows all 50 states to be beautiful diverse sovereign entities rather than cookie cutter provinces of California or New York.

>> Otherwise, you are talking about amending the constitution over the 
>> election of a president that you
> don't like
> Trump is far more than just another president I don't like. In its 
> history America has had good presidents and bad but never a creature 
> like Donald Trump, he is unique. I'm really worried about 2020, and 
> not just about what will happen if he wins reelection, I am even more 
> worried about what will happen if he doesn't. In 2016 Trump won but 
> was a sore winner and bizarrely claimed the election that he won was 
> fake,  if he looses in 2020 does anybody really think he will be a 
> good sport about it and say it was a fair election?

If the democrats win the midterms, there is a chance they might be able to impeach him. If not his opinion of the election won't matter one way or the other. If he loses, then there might be recounts, lawsuits, and what not but come January the new president will be sworn in regardless. After that, if Trump refuses to leave, he just becomes a nut job squatting in the White House and will be forcibly removed by the secret service.

> I don't know if Trump has the ability to make himself President For 
> Life but if he thinks he does there is not a doubt in my mind he will 
> try for it. Trump is not very smart and is known to vastly 
> overestimate his ability so he might fail, but even a failed attempt 
> will be extremely ugly and dangerous.

When the time comes, he will have no choice but to step down. The armed forces of the USA are sworn to be loyal to the Constitution and not to a man, not even the president. Without the support of the military, he has no chance of staging any kind of coup d'etat. He is but a draft dodger in the hotel business, not Napoleon Bonaparte or Julius Caesar.

Stuart LaForge

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