The Electoral College and Popular Vote

EDIT: Whoops. Forgot to proofread my work and left in the notes to myself to add the links to support my words.

rxl2yIt seems like the proctologist business is booming because there seems to be a lot of butts that are hurt over the recent United States 2016 Presidential Election. Namely, over its results. The God-Emperor Donald J. Trump, the madman himself, has won the presidential election. That’s right, despite almost every news station, newspaper, news website, celebrities, hell, despite what several popular YouTubers said about Trump being ‘deplorable’, he won. I guess it just goes to show that attempting to no-platform ideas you disagree with doesn’t work forever.

So being the tolerant leftists that they are they stood down and accepted… oh wait. They didn’t. Which is fairly odd because Clinton herself said that Trump was undermining democracy by saying he wouldn’t accept the outcome if he lost. She said this on national television during the third (and I believe the second) presidential debate. Now those of you that watch the full clip will know that Clinton called Trump out on it because he’s a Presidential candidate, but if we are to believe the idea of citizen representatives we have to extend it to all citizens of the United States. So these (presumably) Clinton supporters (or at least a large chunk of them are) are protesting, undermining democracy in the same way their candidate said that which they hate was undermining democracy! Irony and hypocrisy make such a delicious combo. So now they’re protesting, blocking streets, beating up 74-year old men, and damaging property. Now the point of this post isn’t to point out the hypocrisy in people or even the left, I’d be here all day. However, I believe there is something of value to come out of these… protests.

There’s a kink in this victory, the Honorable President-Elect Donald J. Trump may have won the electoral college votes (barring any shenanigans in December), but he LOST the popular vote by about half a million votes (illegal immigrant vote came out this time). So now we run into the fifth case of the person that won the popular vote losing the electoral college vote (again, assuming no elector shenanigans). We’ve had this happen five times in the history of our United States. George Washington was our first president in 1789 and Donald Trump will be our president in 2017. 2017-1789 = 228. But we only have an election every 4 years, so 228/4 = 57. So we’ve had 5 out of 57 elections or 8.7% of elections in which the president did not become the president with the popular vote.

So where are we at today? Well, those same leftists I mentioned earlier are proposing that Clinton should be the president despite losing the Electoral College system vote because she won the popular vote. I cannot agree to this and I’ll tell you why. It’s a simple matter of cities holding the most power.

First, CGP Grey (fantastic YouTuber, highly recommend just watching a playlist of his content) argues against the Electoral College because of a mathematical quirk. In this, he counters the ‘Presidential candidates will only visit densely populated states in a popular vote system’ argument with the swing state condition that we’re in right now. I don’t like his argument here. Right now and for the past several elections, candidates have focused on the swing states. While true, the argue is entirely based on the situation now. That situation can change, and his argument only holds while those swing states remain those swing states. Theoretically any state can become a swing state and I would not be surprised if with some population distribution we could make ALL of them swing states. So I don’t like the ‘swing states exist and presidents ignore all other states’ argument.

Second, CGP Grey (same video above) lists the more pressing problem with Electoral College in that 75% of the country can vote against a candidate and that candidate can still win. This would be a problem if we Americans lived in a true democracy, but we don’t. I think the question here is whether or not we want to accept such a possibility if it were to occur. Is it really fair that 25% of people in the country can decide who leads our nation for the next four years?

Third, CGP Grey has made (another?) follow-up video in which he addresses the concerns that I might have with the Electoral College – trust. Do we really trust the electors to vote as the states requested? It’s illegal in some states to not do so, but are the consequences of not doing so steep enough? The answers to these questions are up to you but I do believe they’re worth talking about.

Now onto my contribution. The reason I brought this up is because all of a sudden people care whether or not the United States President is selected democratically by popular vote or continues to be selected by the Electoral College. More specifically, I wanted to take a look at this:

15036676_10154270392883422_3538333482266454776_n

So this is a list of the most highly populated areas in the United States. The implication being that such a small area of the United States would have great power over the United States. Should the president be elected solely by people that live in what looks like an impossibly tiny faction of the United States? I disagreed, but I wanted to see how far this rabbit hole goes so I went digging.

First, I found the average number of electoral votes per state. We have 538 electoral votes, 50 states and 1 Washington D.C. That’s an average of over 10 electoral votes per state. A state cannot have a fraction of a vote, so let’s round down to 10 electoral votes per person. If you look at every state worth 10 or more electoral votes, it looks like this:

rxl2y

(Don’t focus too much on them being marked for Trump, it’s for visualization purposes only)

10 is the average number of electoral votes, therefore there should be about 25 states here, right? Half of the states should be above the average, half of the states should be below it. There are 21 states here. That’s not too far off, but it’s still only 80% the number of states that it should be. What’s the problem? As you can see, 42% of states control 70% of the electoral college votes. Is this fair? It might be. Let’s look at this list of cities with the most population in the United States.

Of the 50 cities, only 4 are not listed within the states I’ve marked red on the map above. Which means if, assuming you win the most populous cities in the United States under a popular vote system, you control the presidency. But I wonder, how many cities do you need to control to control the presidency? For the 2016 election, there were 146,311,000 registered voters. You only need 50% + 1 vote to win, so you need 73,155,501 votes to win. So how do the cities stack up? Well, if every person in every one of those 50 cities voted for you, you’d have 50,102,395 votes. You wouldn’t have the presidency outright, but you’d be 67% of the way there. The odds of this happening are probably negligible but visiting these areas can still give you impact on surrounding cities, so hopefully that balances things out. Assuming you won every state that had one of these major cities in them, you’d have an electoral map that looked like this:

zkmdk

So this is better in that it includes more of the country, but it’s still 29 states (well, 28 states and D.C.). Most of those states would probably be ignored because they had little to no population. I suspect the midwest as a group would probably be mostly ignored under a popular vote system. So there’s no reason for someone in the Dakotas to bother getting excited about any president because they can disregard the Dakotas completely.

I think the main reason people are opposed to the electoral college is because of the influence a republican vote has in California. Why bother voting republican if you’re in California? It’s loaded with democrats and there’s no way you can topple that might. Because you vote for the votes of your state, you may as well not bother getting out of bed that day. But if you’re in a popular vote system, aha! Now your vote matters even if you’re a republican in California. I don’t like this line of logic. Surely if the republicans made themselves distinguishable in California, they might attract more campaign time for those sweet 55 electoral votes. Maybe after a few cycles of this, republicans can make a swing state of California. But you’ll never be heard if you do not vote.

I think the main press for popular vote by the left is because of their base demographic. Democrats are known for their love of social programs. Where are the people that are on these social programs? They’re in the cities! So the left is confident that in a popular vote system that they’ll have more power. Of those 50 cities, how many were in California? 8. There were 8 cities that account for 9,066,724 votes. These 8 cities in California account for over 10% of the votes needed to win the presidency. And they’re all in one small area. The electoral college allows the states with fewer people to be competitive with the larger states… in theory (swing states are still a thing whether we like it or not).

To be clear, I’m not saying that the current system is perfect, but I do believe that it is better than one based on pure popular vote. I’m not suggesting any alternative method. I’m just asking you to reconsider your outrage when it comes to popular vote and the electoral college. That’ll be it from me, thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

Advertisements
The Electoral College and Popular Vote

2nd Amendment: You’re Doing It Wrong

I’d like to preface this post by saying that I fully support the 2nd Amendment and the citizen’s right to bear arms. That said, I do think that the argument isn’t being had the correct way.

The Second Amendment and Prior Action:

First, what is the Second Amendment? The text is as follows:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” – Second Amendment

As a native English speaker, the way I read this is “Since a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. From a cursory glance (with no constitutional law degree) it seems to suggest that no law may be passed which infringes on the individual’s right to keep and bear arms. That stuff about a militia in front seems to be a justification for why the amendment exists. I also notice something special about its words. It says “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”. To me (again, no constitutional law degree) this suggests a presupposed right to keep and bear arms. The 2nd Amendment doesn’t give you the right to keep and bear arms, it protects it. You already have the right to keep and bear arms. This amendment prevents laws from being passed that restrict it.

Now we need to ask the question what a restriction on your right to keep and bear arms is. Suppose certain firearms are prohibited from use or storage, that could be a restriction on your right to bear arms. Requiring all guns to be stored at some government facility, that could be a restriction on your right to keep and bear arms. Really, what we’re looking for is any law that prevents the user from owning their firearms.

This is why I never buy the argument on the right that gun regulations, making guns more difficult to obtain legally is against the 2nd Amendment. Sure, some things that have been done could be argued to be unconstitutional. For example, the assault weapons ban of 1994 is unconstitutional. It restricted firearms you may legally own to those with some number of modifications. It seems incredibly silly to me, because it seems that you could have all of the components of a prohibited weapon but as long as they’re all apart from each other it’s fine. It’s like if vehicles with six wheels were illegal so you took out a middle row of wheels and put them under the vehicle. You’re still driving on four wheels but you have the ability to switch to a six wheeled vehicle…

The purpose of the assault weapons ban was to prevent mass shootings. You can argue about whether or not it was effective. In terms of mass shootings we see that during the ban there were 16 mass shootings or 1.6 per year of the ban. After the ban we have had over 30 mass shootings over a ten year period (2004-2014). The rate has practically doubled. This is also somewhat troubling because crime rates have been dropping for decades. Despite an overall crime rate drop, why do we see a doubling in the number of mass shootings?

I tend to favor reading this as a correlation rather than a causation. Especially when we see 17 mass shootings from 1984 to 1993. The rate seems to have spiked since the 2000’s. Did anything happen in the 2000’s that may have led to more mass shootings? In today’s political climate, I’m sure people want to hop on the War on Terror argument. Looking at the names of the perpetrators at a glance, I wouldn’t want to hop on that train at all. I do not believe mass shootings are a War on Terror problem.

The (Poor) Arguments:

With all of that hullabaloo out of the way (and I can’t believe spell check isn’t throwing a fit over hullabaloo) let’s get down to the right vs. left argument. The right maintains that a regulation of who may purchase guns is an infringement of rights. I disagree. The laws in gun regulation by and large regulate who may purchase guns. This is not restricting who may own guns. However there are restrictions are who may own guns in federal law. Among the list are people addicted to controlled substances, fugitives, and domestic abusers. There are also a series of non-citizen clauses but if you’re not a citizen then you’re not protected by the United States constitution so I wouldn’t bother going down that rabbit hole.

Focusing on the United States citizens cases, (fugitives, domestic abusers) I don’t think people would generally disagree that these people shouldn’t have firearms. However restricting their right to bear arms is a violation of the Second Amendment. The right to bear arms was presupposed. There wasn’t an exception “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed unless they abuse their spouse”. I imagine the laws stand because of public opinion and safety concerns. But to me, this is a clear case of the Second Amendment being hit. I’m a firm believer of “slippery slope” applying to arguments in law because of how precedent is used. But that’s just my take on this.

“It’s to prevent tyranny”

This is an argument from the right. It’s suggesting that the purpose of the Second Amendment is to prevent tyranny, so that if the United States ever wanted to crack down on the people, they could defend themselves. If the United States wanted to enact martial law (and the armed forces were willing to comply) there isn’t a whole lot you can do with your gun against their tanks and nukes. Seriously, what is this argument even. Again, that doesn’t mean that I believe you shouldn’t have your guns, it’s that the argument itself doesn’t pan out. Could a guerilla warfare force take down the United States? I suppose it’s possible, but highly unlikely. There’s just too large of a technological gap/organization for the people to win. Would this be solved if civilians could own tanks? We’d probably need a lot of tanks. Especially since civilians currently cannot own tanks that actually fire rounds (which I personally find odd because again… the firing mechanism is the “arms” part of the tank).

I do not believe that there is a way to fix this argument.

“…Historical context…”

This one gets played a lot. It is used to justify arguments about what the founding fathers intended. It may be a correct in all terms of historical context, I won’t argue that. But we don’t live in the time of the historical context. If it only makes sense in context, and we’re not in context, then why should it apply? I think this is actually a recurring theme in the arguments from the right. Even if the arguments are justified, most of them seem to be focused on observing tradition. I’m sorry to say that requiring us to observe tradition because we observe tradition is a circular argument.

A way to fix this argument is to apply the reasons for that tradition and see if they still hold today. For example, let’s suppose at some time it was illegal to sell cow meat because all cows were infected with mad cow disease for some reason or another. If we’re here 200 years later and we’re pressing to lift that sale restriction, do we say “No, cow meat has been illegal for 200 years, why would we change it now?” Or do we say “That ban existed for a reason. We have now addressed the cause, as cows no longer have mad cow disease. We may now safely lift the ban”.

“It’s what the founding fathers intended”

I personally find this one to be the worst argument (and it comes from the right) despite being backed up by quite a bit of history. What this argument is really saying is that there is a religion of the Constitution in which the founding fathers are Gods. This is a faith argument. It has ties to a ‘social contract’ argument (which would be valid) and a ‘precedent’ argument. However, it fails out of the gate if we accept EVERYTHING that the founding fathers intended. The founding fathers said that standing armies were dangerous yet here we are with the armed forces. The founding fathers had intended that only educated land-owning citizens be permitted to vote because they had a larger stake in the running of the country than the plebes. Yet here we are with voting rights for any person over the age of 18 years old. The question then becomes, if you want to follow this line of reasoning, why are some intentions of the founding fathers followed yet others are not?

Now I don’t like the idea of the religion of the founding fathers. I like to think that the founding fathers intended for our nation to grow and change with the times, which is why the Ninth Amendment exist. I do not believe there is a way to fix this argument to suit the debate.

“The founding fathers never expected these weapons”

This one comes from the left, often as response to the argument above. I refuse to accept it on premise. I find it odd that the founding fathers didn’t know about the existence of tanks (they should’ve been familiar with Leonardo da Vinci). They knew about machine guns, grenades were used in the Revolutionary war, cannons had existed for years… So to think that these educated individuals didn’t one day expect us to be flying spacecraft or have weapons that fire 10x faster than the fastest firing weapon of the time seems ludicrous. I also don’t think that it’s relevant. Again, there is no religion of the Constitution. We should not be worried about what the founding fathers would’ve wanted. We should examine the Constitution as it is and see how it applies to law.

Ultimately, these ‘intention’ arguments boil down to ‘Not what you said but how you said it’.

“Don’t you care about the 32,000 people that die every year?”

This is an appeal to emotion. It’s not an argument. Suppose we did remove guns from the hands of every law-abiding citizen. The non-law-abiding citizens would still have guns and you have no proof that removing guns makes crime happen less often. We actually have an experimental test case to look at: Australia.

In 1996 and 2003, Australia released mandatory firearm buyback policies. The question now follows, did crime drop after the buyback? Certainly not for homicide. In fact, the homicide rates go UP after the gun ban. It seems crime goes down as enforcement officials go up, not as guns go down. Who would have thought?

I do not believe that there is a way to fix this argument. If the intent is to get the opponent to recognize guns to be a threat to society, you need to bring in numbers. To put this into perspective, about as many people die in the United States by firearm (this includes suicides) as people that die due to motor vehicle accidents in the United States. The average household has about two vehicles (a wash and a wear I suppose) while the average household has 4.4 guns per household. If we look at this from a very elementary point of view, the more guns we have, the more gun deaths we have. If we have twice as many guns as we have cars, we should see twice as many gun deaths (or at least substantially more gun deaths) as we see motor vehicle deaths. But we don’t. So where’s the data that says more gun regulation means less deaths?

On top of that, this ‘argument’ presupposes that I do care, and that I would like to reduce that number. What if I don’t care? Then you need to convince me that we’re better off with those people alive. And since a good majority of them are suicide, removing guns from the picture won’t save 2/3 of these people. The short version is, to fix this argument you must make it a logical argument.

Conclusion:

That’s all of the arguments that I could think of off the top of my head that I have a fundamental disagreement with. I believe that if we want to have this gun debate, we need to move it into the realm of logic and away from these arguments of ‘faith’. We need to look at the arguments for increasing gun regulation and the arguments for decreasing regulation. Yes, people seem to agree on more regulation. Not many people have put forward what that regulation is, but they seem to agree that it is necessary. And if that’s what the people want, then our representatives should get on it. This is how our democracy works.

I think that we, as a nation, have to decide how we want to handle gun ownership. I maintain that as the Second Amendment stands, there are no restrictions on what you may own. That said, addressing how guns are sold through legislature does not seem to have an impact on the Second Amendment. What you are really arguing about there would be your right to purchase a firearm. It should be covered by the Ninth Amendment, in that you have a right to purchase a firearm. But restricting how you purchase a firearm isn’t an infringement of your right to own a firearm. Worst-case scenario you still be able to make whatever firearm you want and own that firearm.

If as a nation we decide to continue to produce and sell firearms, we should be ready to accept the consequences when those firearms are used to commit not only acts of evil but acts of good. If that means 32000 deaths a year and 75000 injuries per year, then that would be the cost of having this freedom. This has been my opinion on the gun debate. I’ll get back to work on the voter stuff soon. Thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

 

2nd Amendment: You’re Doing It Wrong

Why I Oppose Free College Tuition

It’s weird to hear that out of a millennial and possibly hypocritical to hear it from someone with a college degree but here we go: I oppose free college tuition. Here’s why.

The first and perhaps most important reason I don’t want free college tuition is because I do not want to invite the taxpayer into my education decisions. I think something most people forget when it comes to subsidization programs is that when you subsidize something like health care, you’ve invited the taxpayer into your life. Let’s consider an example: birth control. There’s a funding of birth control argument going on in the United States right now. Some people want the government to fund birth control to those that wish to claim it. That’s fine, you’re allowed to want whatever you want to want. When you want something subsidized by the government though, that’s when things get hairy. Now it’s not you paying for it, it’s not you spending your money on something that you want but rather you spending my money, and my neighbor’s money, and so on for something that you want. And now that you’re spending our money on something that you want, we get to have a little say in how we’d like our money to be spent.

Now let’s apply this to education. Secondary schools have a curriculum set by the state and partially by the feds. Some schools offer electives, but by and large they conform to an education standard that you have no control over and the student has no control over. We already see this in part for higher education in the general education courses. But those usually take 1-2 years to complete, after which you are free to select courses that suit your major and your liking. If we were to subsidize education, those options could be largely restricted, in fact even the degrees you may obtain could be severely restricted. Now that the taxpayer is funding your education, the taxpayer gets to decide what gets taught and what doesn’t get taught. They get to decide what degrees get handed out.

What you’ve also done is invited the taxpayer to set minimum requirements on entry into college. I may be wrong, but at this time I think pretty much anyone willing to pay for college may go to college. There’s a joke which says colleges would offer underwater basket-weaving as a major if it were profitable to do so. Which I personally find great. If you want to go to school for underwater basket-weaving and you can afford it, good on you! That’s the American dream! But if the taxpayer gets involved and says that they think that it’s a waste of time to send students with a high school GPA less than 3.0 to college, suddenly colleges get a lot emptier.

You’ve also invited the taxpayer to set the requirements to maintain that funding. Let’s say you have to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher throughout all of your years in college. Seems reasonable enough, right? Well let’s take that bright student and suppose something happens in their lives halfway through their education which causes their grades to drop. Let’s not use romance… let’s say there’s a death in the family. The student’s uncle dies. The student gets depressed, their grades drop below the 3.0 GPA minimum and now they can’t get funding for the year because of something entirely beyond their control. The student, no matter how bright they may be has lost their chance because their funding got handed to someone else who fit the requirements through no fault of their own.

Let’s revisit the restriction of majors thing. Now I don’t suspect majors will no longer be offered, rather that the student that wants to major in whatever may not be eligible for free tuition. Let’s take a relatively useless degree like Gender Studies. A Gender Studies degree isn’t good for a lot of jobs. Taxpayers don’t want their money to be handed out to degrees which don’t enrich the country. They don’t want their money going to degrees that don’t result in good jobs. What this means is that STEM degrees will likely be the only degrees in which a student may be eligible for free tuition. A possible benefit to this sort of system is that it will encourage people to go to higher education for STEM degrees, but it’s not like those programs aren’t in place right now. If you’re a black woman that wants a STEM degree, the government and various charities will THROW MONEY AT YOU to get it (for the sake of ‘diversity’).

People also tend to note that we’ve run into an issue of ‘escalation’ in which a college degree today is the high school degree of 30 years ago. While true, you don’t solve the problem by making college tuition free. We actually have the exact experiment to prove the results already – high school (depending on location) is already subsidized mostly by the government. It has been that way for quite some time. Pretty much everyone is getting a high school degree. Imagine now that you subsidize college and everyone gets a Bachelor’s degree. You’ve raised the floor to where a Bachelor’s degree is no longer useful and now employers will want a Master’s degree. And then you’ll inevitably turn around and say ‘Now we gotta subsidize graduate school’ to the point where all education is subsidized. You’ve turned an investment towards getting higher income potential into the floor. College will no longer increase income potential like it (arguably) does today. Instead it will become the minimum requirement, and people who fail to excel in high school, or people who fail out of high school will be left to the wolves. The dropout rate in the United States is about 6.5%. Do you think that 6.5% is struggling today to get jobs because of high school diploma requirements? Imagine a world in which the high school diploma is no longer the floor. They’re going to struggle even harder. To put that into perspective – the current unemployment rate is around 5% (I know about the workforce participation business, let’s just set that aside). If the high school diploma is the floor right now, and the unemployment rate is 5%, do you imagine that if we raise the floor to college degree that the unemployment rate will increase or decrease? Do you think that 6.5% will be able to get a job or not? Those inter-city students that Teach for America focuses on? They are probably screwed.

In summary, I don’t see free tuition as a benefit. I only see it as a way of restricting options and harming the lower class. I do see the benefits that it may yield in the way of providing a path for more STEM degrees, but I don’t see the trade-off as worth it. I already complain about public education as being a way of putting all students into boxes by manufacture date, with a curriculum designed to make them all equal. Do not bring this to higher education. The only outcome I see for free tuition is a fleet of drones produced every year, and that’s not the America that I want to live in. Thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

Why I Oppose Free College Tuition

#BernieMustDisavow

Oooh boy. I want to ride the clickbait train because you know all 3 of WordPress readers are going to be paying attention to the Democratic Convention that begins on July 25th, 2016. However, I often take about a day to write blog posts (more precisely, it takes me about 3-4 hours) and I want to to get a quickie in for Philadelphia Predictions! So here it is.

First, DWS has to resign. She’s confirmed her resignation already so there isn’t much more to it. This likely hands her post over to her opponent, Tim Canova. An individual that Sanders himself has endorsed. Can we talk about endorsements while we’re here? Sure. Let’s talk about endorsements. Sanders has officially endorsed Democratic Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton (let me just pad my word count by using her full name and this aside). He has justified such a decision with a promise he made at the start of this entire cycle, in which he said that he will pretty much give up being an independent. Perhaps it’s better to say politically unaffiliated despite Sanders describing himself as a socialist… hmm. Anyway, he’s typically sided with the democrats in Congress, he’s caucused democrat, and probably voted democrat. Granted, democrats don’t own the right to ideals like gay marriage, as libertarians tend to have a similar view on it but with a different implementation. Sanders has promised to remain a democrat after this cycle which is pretty huge considering he switched his party to democratic so he could run for office under the democratic banner. Which to me smacks of using the party to suit his own needs but whatever, it’s not important and I’ve lost track of the original point.

So let me begin anew. Sanders endorsed Clinton saying (paraphrased) “Clinton on her worst day will be better than any republican candidate on their best day”. Which to me sounds like a pretty extreme claim. There’s a ton of dirt on Clinton throughout her political history. I find it difficult to believe that at her worst of times that she will always be better than any republican candidate. Of course, that depends on the candidate the republicans put forth but the blanket statement is what I take issue with. I really only see two viable ways of interpreting the statement. Either Clinton’s worst days aren’t that bad or the republicans are just universally worse. I’d like to believe Sanders meant the former but I truly believe that he actually meant the latter. He seems to take special interest against republicans. It’s like Sanders imagines republicans as British folk with a top hat and a french moustache wearing fingerless gloves. Let’s make the British bad guy eat an apple so he looks like even more of an asshole. Oy vey.

So now we get to the title of this post: #BernieMustDisavow. It’s a trending tag on Twitter (or at least until Twitter takes it down again and makes it no longer autofill again). The premise is that in light of the recent DNC email link showing that the DNC was somewhat conspiring against Sanders, that Sanders must take back his endorsement of Clinton. And it’s here that I make my predictions. The way I see it, there are X outcomes that seem likely.

The first and what I think is the most probable outcome is that Sanders does not disavow. He’ll take the emails like a man and just continue to smile and wave, smile and wave. If anything, he’ll do his damndest to avoid talking to anyone about the emails. Ironically one of his iconic quotes from this cycle is “Everyone’s tired of hearing about your damn emails!” and now it has come back to emails once again. It’s the circle of strife! Why do I believe this. I believe Sanders at this point will do everything in his power to make sure that Donald Trump does not get elected. That’s right, it’s not about getting Clinton elected, but making sure Trump doesn’t get elected. Sanders has voiced his concerns about Trump many times, even taking time to ask whether or not Trump is running for president or dictator during Trump’s speech at RNC Cleveland. Sanders has made it clear that he believes that the Trump campaign has been built on hate and fearmongering. Sanders has made it clear that he believes Trump would be devastating to the country. So disavowing Clinton would probably make Trump more likely to win. I saw an article suggesting that 50% of Sanders voters will not vote Clinton and that’s a sizeable chunk of Sanders voters. That’s around 6 million voters, which is the margin by which Obama won in 2012. (Of course, this is the United States where the parties run everything and the popular vote doesn’t matter).

And I actually find it really sad, because there is no winning situation for Sanders in this case. If he doesn’t disavow, he will be seen as cooperating with a corrupt system. If he does disavow, he makes that which he desires least that much more of a reality. He’s already receiving some backlash about endorsing Clinton in the first place, but if he remains relatively silent on this issue, it will only feed into the minds of the voters that much more. But realistically? This is probably his best move. Sanders has crafted his image quite well and even with the stains that he’ll pick up, he did manage to get some of his agenda put onto the Democratic party platform. So he can take the moral victory (if we’re going to call it that) of helping Clinton win and push the country towards his ideals.

What I see as the second most likely outcome is Sanders doesn’t disavow, for all of the reason stated earlier, but does take the opportunity to talk about a corrupt system within the Democratic party. But he has to word it very carefully. He cannot risk losing voters to third parties, or worse… Trump.

What I see as a third outcome but unlikely is that Sanders does disavow and tries to move towards the protesters that are already congregating in Philly for this convention. He has shut up about it for a while but he has been notorious for using national polls to say that he can beat Trump. He does this to gather the support of superdelegates (despite initially criticizing their involvement in the process). If he could gather enough superdelegates, he could override the pledged delegate totals (and as an extension, the popular vote totals) to get the nomination.

However, this is likely another lose-lose situation. In doing so, he will be overriding ‘the will of the people’ which he seemed rather keen on. Remember, he lost popular vote totals. He lost the pledged delegate totals. On top of that, he criticized superdelegates because he felt that they overrode the will of the people. If he were to convince these superdelegates to his side, he would be complicit in such an action. It would make him a very easy target for the republican party. Granted, Trump is also a bit of an “easy target” so that may not matter much. Still, Sanders would have the nomination and if those polls he cited came to fruition, it would give the Democrats another four years in the white house. With the upsurge of “progressive” candidates, Sanders and his “progressive” party would be off to a good footing to changing the nation.

Fourth, and this is the outcome that I personally want: my perfect storm – the superdelegates actually do it. The party does nominate Bernie Sanders. I honestly think that this is the DNC’s best move. I think that the party can hide behind all of the Clinton scandals and claim that she’s unelectable. Claim that for the interest of the party, that they had no choice but to override the will of the people and select Sanders. The party gets away with washing their hands of Clinton, Sanders doesn’t have to take too much of the fall from the decision, and the party gets the candidate that polls have predicted to win. I think that this is the best move for the party (and the best move to keep H. A. Goodman off suicide watch) because it may reinforce an idea that they’re willing to throw away corrupt candidates in the electorate. On top of that, we wind up getting that fabled Sanders vs. Trump debate that was all the rage earlier (I really wanted to see that). In fact, if you go through my posts, I actually wanted that debate long before it may have been a possibility.

Whatever happens, I’m sure there will be a great shitstorm inside and outside of the convention for me to laugh at. My main concern about the convention is whether or not violence occurs. I’ve criticized the Sanders supporters for this before but they’ve made Sanders out to be a christ figure. There is a cult of personality about Sanders. Whether he dies on the cross or is reborn in three days at this convention, the Sanders supporters outside need to remain calm and not hurt anyone. A violent outbreak at this convention will only hurt your cause no matter which candidate you support. The police in Philly are already requesting backup and taking preventative measures. Please, if you attend this convention, don’t hurt anyone and keep yourself safe. Perhaps buy a gun. Protect yourselves. That’ll be it from me though, thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

#BernieMustDisavow

Are Guns REALLY a Question of Safety?

I have a lot of liberal friends on Facebook. This is probably expected because I am a millenial and it seems my age group is liberal. It may even be getting increasingly so, considering all of the higher education events going on around the nation. And one common issue that seems to be used as a weapon among liberals is the issue of gun ownership. But as I sit here procrastinating my statistical mechanics midterm, I wonder, what is the REAL issue we’re talking about here? Because I don’t suspect that it’s gun ownership.

I’ll start with an anecdote. My friend recently purchased a firearm. They described the process as follows (paraphrased and shortened):

  1. Enter the gun shop
  2. Pick a gun
  3. Fill out 15 minutes of paperwork
  4. Background check that takes less than an hour
  5. Gun – get

I personally view handguns as a tool and since this tool has a great deal of potential to be used to harm society, I believe that maybe it should be a little more difficult to obtain guns. I do not believe you should be able to walk home with a gun the same day you go to buy it. The most important of reasons being ‘when do you decide to buy a gun’? I would guess that most people just buy a gun because they want one. Whether it’s for recreation or protection, that’s fine. But I also recognize that there are other reasons one might buy a gun. Maybe your spouse just died and you say you need it for ‘protection’ but really you need it to kill yourself. Maybe you’ve been bullied at school for a while and whatever just happened today is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Maybe there’s a guy with only a month’s rent left to their name and no job nor hope in sight. They plan to use the gun to rob stores. Obviously these people won’t tell the salesman that, but they exist. There are a lot of people out there that need help more than they need guns, and giving them a little time, maybe requiring the pass of a mental health doctor over a few weeks might prevent guns from getting into the hands of people that wish themselves or others harm.

But the weird part is as far as gun ownership goes, those that are polled agree on several points. Regardless of whether or not those polled are republican, democrat, or independent, they all seem to generally agree on where the issues are. So my question is why are guns being used as a partisan issue? Well, here’s my suspicion. The democrats have taken on a lot of special interests as time goes on. And they do this because it’s easier to gather votes and control the government if you tell more are more people that you’re looking out for their interests. But also because of another thing and I think this is the most important reason for them crying foul of guns.

The easiest way to gather support is to play the victim.

Humans like to claim that they are right. They like to justify their actions not only with logic but with morality. In the Western World, a key component of being moral is helping others, true to our Christian beginnings (let’s just forget that the United States was founded on secularist ideology and focus on the people in the country). We should help our neighbor, feed the homeless, and all of that other charitable stuff. When you take on special interests, you are virtue signaling. You are telling the people that what you do is right because you are helping those that need it. People should follow you because they too will be able to help people and they can feel good about themselves because they would believe themselves to be helping others and then enhance the virtue signal effect.

I don’t mean to use virtue signaling as an implication that these people do things without believing in them, rather in reference to the propaganda of it. I have no doubt in my mind that many people engage in charities like Habitat for Humanity without believing that what they are doing is right. But there is an element of using charity as a weapon to garner support.

Now let’s get to how this applies to playing the victim. I am going to propose a scenario for you and we’ll see how it goes. You hear a boy and a girl yelling. This is normal, right? Boys and girls fight all the time. But then you hear the girl start crying. You go outside and look at the two. What is your first guess as to what happened? My guess is that your guess is that the argument got heated, and the boy hit her and then she started crying because she was in pain. Was I right? This interpretation is an example of how society views men as the aggressor. As such, your first response is probably to protect the girl or defend her. Let’s change it a bit. This time you go outside and the girl notices you and quickly says (before the boy can even open his mouth) ‘he hit me’. Now what is your reaction?

The most reasonable reaction is to ask if this is true. And then if it is true, to ask why. Maybe this is just my own upbringing coming in, but I can’t help but feel as though most people wouldn’t even bother to hear the boy’s side of the story. They would rush to the aid of the female without wanting to hear the whole story, or even check if this story is true. In fact we do see that this is not just my upbringing coming in when it comes to the modern view on rape in society. We see this because it happens in the media. People were so quick to rush to the aid of the ‘victim’ that they never bothered to check the facts. Even after the story was proven to be fabrication, ‘lo and behold’ the Twitter Brigade was quick to defend the alleged victim. Especially on the topic of sexual actions, women get the highest preferential treatment in the land. Domestic abuse shelters overwhelmingly favor women. Custody courts overwhelmingly favor women. CRIMINAL COURTS OVERWHELMINGLY FAVOR WOMEN. And this is a strategy women have been employing since they were young since they know that they can get away with it. It’s how the feminist agenda has been getting pushed despite touting falsehoods like ‘Women get paid 77 cents on the dollar for the same work as a man’ and ‘One in five women in college get raped’. When they play the victim they encourage people to support them.

Okay, let’s bring this round circle, how does ANY of this connect to guns? Some liberals are quick to point to gun violence as a reason for them to be removed from society. In reality, I believe that the argument is one cored in safety but the cause is misunderstood. If safety is the true concern, why don’t we install breathalyzers in every car to prevent people from drunk driving? Hell, why are we even letting people drive? We should just have self driving cars (can’t wait for this actually). Of the deaths in the country I believe lung cancer is one of it not the leading cause death. Why aren’t we banning smoking? I’ll tell you why – it’s not a question of safety. At the end of the day, the question of guns isn’t one of safety, but rather one of how many privileges we can take away without the people complaining. We already have Yale trying to sign away our first amendment (which I would argue is the most important amendment) in the name of protecting feelings. Our country has a long way to grow and if you start taking away these privileges in the name of safety, then you hamper the growth of the nation. Your rights are rights for a reason. So I’ll leave you with a quote from one of the founding fathers of the United States.

“Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.” – Benjamin Franklin

Artemis Hunt

Are Guns REALLY a Question of Safety?