Dump the Electoral College

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Photo Credit: ABC News

The election that was held on November 8, 2016, was one of the most important elections of my lifetime and progressives did win the White House by over 2 million votes, but something stands in the way.

That thing is the Electoral College. Because of the geographical distribution of the votes candidate Donald Trump won the majority of the state. Therefore he has more votes of the electors in the Electoral College. Thus, the Electoral College is standing in the way of the majority of Americans who voted for a smart, progressive president.

So, is it time to throw out the Electoral College? I think it is. The idea behind the Electoral College was to let voters have a say in voting for president and choosing members of the Electoral College. However, if the majority of the electorate choose someone for president who was not qualified to be president, the Electoral College could override their support and elect someone who is more suited for the position (Huffington Post).

The Electoral College votes for president on December 19. Thus there is time to take action.

kljoliIt is projected that Trump will get 290 votes and Clinton 232, with Michigan’s votes not yet allocated because the vote is still being counted and it’s still too close to call.

To prevent Trump from becoming president with the system that we have right now, we need at least 40 electors to use independent judgment and vote with the popular vote by casting their vote for Hillary Clinton.

Currently, there is no constitutional provision or federal law that requires the electors to vote for the candidate who won the majority in their state (Huffington Post). Thus, would allow electors to think for themselves and make a decision on who they think would make a better president and not vote against what a majority of the voters voted for.

Furthermore, in states like Texas where Hillary won several congressional districts, the electors in those districts could perhaps feel comfortable voting for her since their congressional districts went for Hillary as well as the popular national vote.

Take action to create change and stop Donald Trump from becoming president!
Sign this petition: Make Hillary Clinton President on December 19

Moving forward, we must abolish the Electoral College. We cannot afford to allow the Electoral College to put us in this position again.

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), introduced a bill to do just that. It is a constitutional amendment that would abolish the Electoral College and let the popular vote decide our presidential election (Vox).

I must make this point again. Candidate Donald Trump has 61,125,956 votes or 47.0% of the popular vote and 290 Electoral votes while candidate Hillary Clinton has 62,391,335 popular vote or 48.0% and 232 Electoral votes. She also won California by 3 million votes however that does matter because Trump won three states in the rust belt by 107,000 votes. (New York Times)

Take action to dump the Electoral College!
Sign the petition: Abolish the Electoral College
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Sen. Sanders the New Democratic Party Leader

Photo Credit: Washington Times
Photo Credit: Washington Times

Sen. Bernie Sanders lost the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primary. However, he has emerged from the general election loses as a new Democratic Party leader. He is concerned with rebuilding and growing the Democratic Party.

I stand with Sen. Sanders in his effort in doing this!

The Democratic Party has become a party more concerned with raising money from wealthy individuals than they have been about bringing working people into the party and taking on the billionaire class, taking on Wall Street, taking on drug companies or the insurance companies – Sen. Sanders (Garver)

Therefore, Bernie believes that the party must have a “fundamental reassessment.” He believes that the Democratic Party cannot continue to dependent on wealthy donors and big money interests.

Instead, he thinks that the party must reorient themselves to the electorate and stand in strong opposition to President-elect Trump’s oppressive policies.

Additionally, Bernie believes that there must be a change in the leadership of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and he is supporting Representative Keith Ellison for DNC Chair.

Rep. Keith Ellison is a leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and was a supporter of Sen. Sanders during the primary. He has gained the endorsements of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Charles Schumer, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Chris Murphy, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, Rep. Joseph Crowley, and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (Washington Post).

Join the movement: Keith for DNC

Blair Lawton for IDP Chair

14956434_1272438012819316_4901109538472250760_nThe 2016 general election was bad for Democrats, and we lost, and we lost big. We lost control of both houses of Congress and the presidency. Here in Iowa, we lost control of the House and Senate again.

Many people feel down and want to give but we cannot. Now is the time to stand up and fight back. Now is the time to create real change in the Democratic Party.

Moving forward, I believe that we must listen to the voices of the youth, which are the next generation of Democrats. We must work to bring in new people into our party and gain the trust of those first-time caucus and primary voters who voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders but then left the party when they felt that their voices were unheard and their opinions were not valued in the general election.

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Therefore, we must elect new leadership and hold people accountable at all levels. This is why I am supporting Blair Lawton for Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) Chair.

Blair is a campaign staffer who has worked on the Obama, Sanders, and Mowrer campaigns.

This election showed that the IDP needs a renewed focus on building the party from the grassroots up. To me, that means getting serious about organizing in rural areas. It means contesting every legislative race, as well as spending less time courting big donors and more time cultivating donations from grassroots activists – said Blair Lawton.

I support Blair for Chair because he has a history of being a professional campaign organizer and he knows how to bring people together. This is what we need to rebuild our party and to start winning elections again.

To join the campaign like the Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/blair4chair/
Sign up to volunteer here: Sign Up!

Democratic Party Hits New Low, But There’s Hope!

untitdSince the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States and the Republicans keeping control of both Houses of Congress, the Democratic Party is at a new low. When you look at the states like Iowa, Republicans took control of all three branches of government. It is a bad time for Democrats and the time to create real change within the Democratic Party is now.

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The time for establishment politics and establishment leaders is over. Now we must change who our leaders are and hold them accountable for the losses and wins of our party.

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However, progress is being made across the nation. Democrats are standing up, demanding change, and jockeying for power. Even the Democratic National Committee is ground zero for the fight for power over the control of the party and the path forward. Senator Bernie Sanders and many progressives including some centrists have endorsed Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison for DNC Chair.

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Looking at the states where the battle over the direction of the party is heating up, progressives are organizing and challenging the state party leaders.

Look at Wisconsin, the race for the state party chair is for the first time in years a contested race. The incumbent chair Martha Laning is expected to be held accountable for why Clinton lost the state. This is the first time that the state has voted for a Republican president in 32 years.

In Nebraska, Democrats had their upheaval in June. They elected progressives to many positions including electing prominent Sanders supporter Jane Kleeb state party chair.

In Hawaii, they also elected a new chair who was a strong Sanders supporter.

logo-blueRight here in Iowa, there are several people running for state chair and rumors that former Bernie Sanders campaign staffer Blair Lawton is considering running. All of the candidates and possible candidates would make a good chair of the party.

Nevertheless, I believe that Blair should run for chair because as a professional organizer he already knows how to organize to ensure democrats win. He can take that experience to the leadership of the Iowa Democratic Party, working to rebuild the party by bringing people in, and making it more inclusive.

We Lost this Battle, but the Fight Isn’t Over

2016-11-09t08-06-16-133z-1280x720-nbcnews-ux-1080-600We have elected another president nearly half of the country. The other half the person is not who they hoped for, and it was a major upset in political history. The United States elected Donald Trump, president. President-Elect Trump won 279 electoral votes and 59,695,628 popular votes. Sec. Hillary Clinton won 228 electoral votes and 59,920,291 popular votes. There are still where states where the race is too close to call.

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  As a progressive Democrat, I was proud to have voted for Sec. Hillary Clinton and I am deeply saddened by the results of this election.

Immediately following the announcement that he had enough votes to take the electoral college, I needed to find answers to how this happened. Thus, I started running through the exit polls and election results in the battleground states.

Additionally, I looked for information for other sources who know a little more than me about elections to see what they thought. Here is what I found out.

Throughout the nation there seemed to be a racial backlash against Barack Obama and the racial and gender power shift that Obama and Hillary represented. This was seen in the new numbers of rural white voters that showed up at the polls (Walsh).

Furthermore, when you look at the demographics of the vote minority votes from the African Americans dropped from 13% in 2012 to 12%, while others such as the Latino vote went up from 10% to 11%. However, the youth vote remained the same at 19% (Borosage).

However, Hillary had a Democratic firewall. How could that fall? Here is how that happened. In Michigan, 57% of the voters that thought trade cost jobs voted for Trump. This means that those opposed to trade policies such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership favored Trump. This was the same for states like Pennsylvania and Ohio (Borosage).

But, she still had all those Democrats voting for her right?

Not necessarily, see Hillary received less of the vote from many constituency groups than President Obama did in 2012. He won 96% of African Americans, and she won only 88%. He won 71% of Latinos and she 65%. He won 60% of the youth vote and she only 55%. He won 67% of unmarried women, and she won 62% (Borosage).

From here you can move to the results, and the map makes a little bit more sense. Look at Youngstown, Ohio, and President Obama won by 20 points in 2012, this election it was a draw. Trump even won many of the traditionally Democratic and industrial towns along Lake Erie. Counties that went for Obama in 2012 went for Trump by 20 points (Cohn).

North Carolina, was perhaps a different story, there might have been voter suppression. Yes, the NAACP won their case to the federal appeals court on the state’s draconian restrictions that the legislature imposed. Nevertheless, the state and local elections officials were left up to making a decision on where to put polling locations and how many to have. They decided to eliminate 158 first-week early-voting polling places in 40 counties (Walsh).

Moreover, progressives did not lose everything. There were many wins for progressives. Just look at the state level. In many states, such as California, Nevada, Washington, Colorado, and others, they all passed progressive ballot measures. However, first let’s look at the results of the Senate and House elections.

In the Senate, Democrats did not gain control, but we did pick up two seats from Republicans. This means that it will make it hard for them to get a 60-vote majority to do many of the things Trump wishes.

In the House, Democrats again did not pick up enough seats to win a majority. However, they did pick up several seats from Republicans.

The following are ballot measures that passed in the states that are progressive wins for Democrats.
Arkansas
  • Legalized medical marijuana 53% yes
California
  • New background checks for ammunition and prohibits possession of large capacity magazines 63% yes
  • Legalized marijuana for use by adults 21 and over 56% yes
Colorado
  • Raised the minimum wage 54% yes
  • Allow terminally ill patients to end their life with assistance of a doctor 65% yes
Maine
  • Legalized marijuana for use by adults 21 and over (98% reporting) 50% yes 50% no
  • Raised the minimum wage 55% yes
Massachusetts
  • Legalized the possession of marijuana 54% yes
Montana
  • Legalized medical marijuana 58% yes
Nevada
  • Expanded gun background checks 50% yes
  • Legalized marijuana 54% yes
North Dakota
  • Legalized medical marijuana 63.7% yes
Washington
  • Increased minimum wage 58.8% yes

 

Our revolution continues! The time is now to join organizations that will continue to fight for the change that we believe in and fight for the change that we need so sign up now to help groups like Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution to fight on! Sign up here: Our Revolution 

Works Cited

Borosage, Rober. “Why Trump Won” thenaiton.com. The Nation, 9 Nov. 2016 Web. 9 Nov. 2016.

Cohn, Nate. “Why Trump Won: Working-Class Whites” nytimes.com. The New York Times, 9 Nov. 2016 Web. 9 Nov. 2016.

Walsh, Joan. “Everything We Thought We Knew About Politics Was Wrong,” thenation.com. The Nation, 9 Nov. 2016 Web. 9 Nov. 2016.