The Ramblings of the Titanium Don

Explorations of Conscious Reality Creation and Other Matters

Month: May 2011

Accountability

Accountability.

This is the key.  This is link that connects pretty much every woe we face today.  The one factor that I am totally convinced is most responsible for the state of this society – Accountability.  And in truth – the utter, complete, and contemptuous LACK of accountability on the part of pretty much EVERYONE.

From Dictionary.com:

Accountability

–noun

1. the state of being accountable,  liable, or answerable.

2. Education . a policy of holding schools and teachers accountable  for students’ academic progress by linking such progress with funding for salaries, maintenance, etc.

The state of being accountable.  And what does mean?

Accountable

From Dictionary.com:

–adjective

1. subject to the obligation to report, explain, or justify something; responsible; answerable.

2. capable of being explained; explicable; explainable.

Responsible, Answerable

From Dictionary.com:

Responsible:

–adjective

1. answerable or accountable, as for something within one’s power, control, or management (often followed by to  or for ): He is responsible to the president for his decisions.

2. involving accountability or responsibility: a responsible position.

3. chargeable with being the author, cause, or occasion of something (usually followed by for ): Termites were responsible for the damage.

Answerable:

–adjective

1. liable to be asked to give account; responsible: He is answerable to a committee for all his decisions.

2. capable of being answered: a question answerable by mail.

3. proportionate; correlative (usually followed by to ).

There is a common thread among these.  They all tie together.  Accountable.  Responsible.  Answerable.  All of them make up accountability – to be accountable, responsible, and/or answerable for or to something.

And this is the single greatest issue we face today.  Accountability.

Why do I say that?  Because NO ONE seems to be willing to actually TAKE accountability for their actions.  Or words.  Or ideas.  Or mistakes.  Or whatever.

The blame game dominates our world, our lives.  We have become so keenly adept at placing blame that we automatically seek an outside responsible party before we even CONSIDER if the source is closer.

Every stratification of our lives does this.  A man blames his mother for being overbearing for his inability to hold down good relationships.  His mother blames her overbearing nature on his father for his inability to show love.  His father blames his inability to show love on his employer for working him too hard.  The employer blames the IRS for forcing him to work his employers so hard.  The IRS blames Congress for making the tax laws.  Congress blames the President for presenting them with impossible budgets.  The President blames China and their currency valuation for the budget.  Need I go on?

NO ONE wants to be accountable for their own actions.  It is so very much easier to throw around blame.  It is so very easy to pass the buck, and let it be someone ELSE’s problem.  Because if we are accountable – we become responsible.

A woman gets fat from eating McDonalds for dinner three nights a week.  She sues McDonalds for not better controlling portions or calories in their products.  She blames them for making her fat, rather than actually looking at the fact that SHE is the one consuming that food.  Instead of looking at her OWN patterns, behavior and habits, she throws the blame to another.  This is in no way taking responsibility for her actions.

A parent buys their child a video game.  The child plays that game for four to five hours a NIGHT.  It is a violent game.  The child is unchecked, the parent didn’t see if the game was at all appropriate for their child.  The child commits an act of violence on another kid.  The video game is blamed.  The company that made the game is sued.  But neither the parent nor the child is answerable to the problem.

Why should they be accountable?  There is a whole legal system that can be finessed and tweaked and played with that will allow these people to NEVER be accountable.  Where is the reward for taking accountability?  Where is the profit?

And that is the problem.  We look for the profit, we look for the reward, we demand that we be entitled – and forget that what goes around, comes around.  We prefer to cast aspersions and blame rather than to take responsibility, take accountability, and CORRECT the issue.

EVERYBODY makes mistakes.  Everyone says something they will regret.  Everybody screws up.  And rather than find the blame, as we so very often seek out – we need to take the necessary accountability.  We need to fix this from the source, NOT by finding whom we can blame.

We need to be accountable.

THIS HAS TO START SMALL.  This has to start with EACH AND EVERY one of US.  WE need to be accountable for our words, our actions, our doing, our mistakes.  WE need to not throw about blame, WE need to not find the faults outside, and be accountable for OURSELVES.  If we become accountable, if we take the responsibility, we can make this world a better place.  We can live more full, more fulfilling lives if we can be accountable to ourselves.

Let’s be responsible.  Accountable.  Answerable.  And let’s not look for where to place the blame.  Let’s do our part to start the revolution, start being accountable to ourselves and those around us…and then let’s request that of our friends, our coworkers, our bosses, our religious and political leaders.

Please think about it.

Fear – revisited

I originally wrote this a year ago.  But based on much of what I have been posting lately, I think it is time to revisit, edit, and readdress this.

Dear fellow Americans:

Stop letting everyone dictate our nation’s direction and agenda with FEAR!

Fear is a greater weapon than any bullet, blade or bomb.  And fear is being used as a weapon to control our actions DAILY.

When did we start to let Fear rule our lives so completely?

The Tarkin Doctrine from Star Wars seems to have been the Bush Doctrine from our past presidential administration, and continues to be a major political doctrine:  “Fear will keep them in line.”  Rule through fear.  Let fear be the blanket that people are wrapped in so that they will make no other choice.  It was all about using fear to keep in power – despite the lies, despite the corruption.

The Health Care reform our Congress tried to pass was derailed by fear mongering.  Talk of “Death committees” and similar BS made this reform that they did pass pretty much pointless. We were told a public option would be the WORST possible choice.  Really?  You mean an option that might force the PRIVATE insurers to offer competitive plans?  Oh, wait…we can’t interfere with profit!  But let’s use fear to disguise that, and keep the public from looking too closely!   But that’s a whole other rant, so I digress.

The Tea Party is all about using fear to get their way.  Vote for this guy, and your family and our public institutions will be desecrated.  Stop this from happening, or the terrorists will kill you.  Don’t let the government have control (hidden message here being – don’t let THIS government have control, we should have it instead!)  That they are managing to continue to influence government policy at ALL, frankly, is rather disgraceful, far as I am concerned.  They are preaching something they don’t even really believe in – just to gain power.  And they use a LOT of fear-mongering in the process.

Let’s turn to our good friend Dictionary.com for a definition of FEAR:

–noun

1. a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

2. a specific instance of or propensity for such a feeling: an abnormal fear of heights.

3. concern or anxiety; solicitude: a fear for someone’s safety.

–verb (used with object)

6. to regard with fear; be afraid of.

7. to have reverential awe of.

8. Archaic . to experience fear in (oneself).

–verb (used without object)

9. to have fear; be afraid.

A VERY powerful thing indeed.  Fear means ALL those things, and has all those aspects to it.

Fear sells.  Newspapers get bought, TVs get watched when we have tales of fear to tell.  Terrorist attacks, crashing economies, sticking accelerators, disease epidemics – all things that bring up fear get the most attention and focus because they use the fear to drive sales.

This is NOT a good thing.  Fear is dangerous.  Fear prevents growth, and when things don’t grow – they die.  And if we live in fear – we don’t really live, do we?

There are two people to blame for this – the people who peddle the fear, certainly – but then we also have to blame ourselves for BUYING it.  If we let the fear overwhelm us, and we show the peddlers of fear that we’re buying – well they will just keep on selling.

Fear is easy.  There are so many things to be afraid of – big and small.  And the fear response is purely instinctive – and appealing to the basest instincts is an interesting way to control and direct people.  Also easy.

I have long said that nothing worth having is ever easy.  But we live in a quick-fix society.  Take that pill, fight that war, fix the recurrent symptom but ignore the underlying problem.  And fear incites that quick-fix reaction.  Take care of it NOW before it becomes TRULY horrible.  Except – when you only treat the symptoms, do you ever get to the root of the problem and resolve it?

So what can we do about this?  How do we get the people to stop selling fear, and how do we stop reacting to it?

That’s the trick, really.  Fear is quite probably our most base emotion, and almost everyone FEELS fear of something or other.  Fear is a quick and easy tool – and we allow ourselves to be victimized by it far too easily.

So what can I do about this, you might ask?  Follow the advice of these quotes:

Dune’s Litany Against Fear: “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

Then we get FDR:  “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

And then Yoda:  “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”

Let the fear pass through, don’t hold onto it.  Stop buying the fear – don’t buy the paper, don’t watch the news, and don’t talk about it with your friends – UNLESS you talk about THIS.  Why we should NOT fear, why we should be brave and THINK about the world we live in – and stop letting our base emotions run our lives.

It ALL boils down to accountability.  That’s yet another topic for another time – but in brief, WE need to be responsible for more than we are.  We are SO QUICK to blame others – and we are lousy at taking responsibility for our own lives.  SO MANY THINGS I believe would be a LOT better in this world if we just did a much better job of being accountable for things.

And that applies to fear.  If we find ourselves letting the fear dictate our lives – we have to be responsible and NOT allow it.  Be reasonable – be rational, and realize that the world is imperfect, but if we go about in fear – we do not truly live.

Big oil gets all the breaks

Today, reading news online, I stumbled, literally, across this:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110510/ap_on_re_us/us_oil_company_subsidies

It was buried beneath all kinds of thoroughly unimportant stuff – but nevertheless, it is an attempt on the part of some senators to actually DO SOMETHING USEFUL.

To sum up: A trio of Senators have proposed legislation to end the subsidies that the big oil companies currently receive.

Big oil makes BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, I repeat, BILLIONS in profit – and yet they get SUBSIDIES.  Subsidies are for entities that are struggling, not entities that make BILLIONS in profit!  And yet – chances are this move will be utterly defeated because these same companies donate BILLIONS to the campaigns of our congresspeople – never mind all the talk about deficit reduction.

Why is this story buried?  This is REAL – and it even smacks of ACTION on the part of our normally action-free congress.  Are YOU outraged that these hugely profiting corporations get subsidies?  I am.  And we ALL should be.

If you care about this, you should write your congresspeople and DEMAND that they take action.  Let me assist you:

Dear Senator/Congressperson *insert name here*

I have been made aware of the newly proposed legislation by senators Menendez, McCaskill and Brown to cut the $2 billion dollars in subsidies, which big oil companies currently enjoy.  It has also been made abundantly clear that the nation faces a growing deficit, and cuts need to be made.

Aren’t subsidies supposed to help entities in need?  In what way are companies that earn billions of dollars in profits considered in need of any sorts of hand-outs?

As a concerned citizen, I am begging you to take action, and to end these hand-outs to companies that clearly do not need them.  Instead of cutting from education and welfare and other others in need, why would you not cut from entities making enormous profits, who clearly do not need to be subsidized.

Please do not let big business dictate logical politics.  Please remember the people who you are supposed to represent, and please do the right thing, and end these subsidies, and show these entities you and America are not for sale.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

A concerned American.

Let’s do something for ourselves.  Let’s take some action, and let’s show congress that they need to remember that it is OUR business they are supposed to be attending to – not BIG BUSINESS.  Oil companies DO NOT NEED SUBSIDIES WHEN THEY MAKE BILLIONS IN PROFITS!  Let’s show them this can’t just be ignored.  Let’s persuade them to take some action FOR US.

Thank you.

An open letter to my fellow American citizens re: terrorism

Dear United States of America,

It is my sad duty to inform you that on 9/11/01 the terrorists won.

I know this is going to be an unpopular point-of-view – but it is something I think we need to acknowledge, because it ultimately effects the lives we lead now, nearly ten years later.

After that day, we fundamentally changed the way we do things.  We changed how we view our security, we changed how we attempt to protect ourselves, and we began to fear strangers.  Which is EXACTLY what the terrorists wanted us to do.

From Dictionary.com:  Terrorism

–noun

1.

the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.

2.

the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.

3.

a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.

And From the World English Dictionary:  Terrorism

—    noun

1.  systematic use of violence and intimidation to achieve some goal

2.  the act of terrorizing

3.  the state of being terrorized

These definitions alone can only lead us to one conclusion – the terrorists won.

In the name of safety, the government created the TSA.  Now they make you take off your shoes, endure full-body scans and pat downs, all in the name of security.  To hell with civil liberties – we need to protect ourselves from the terrorist threat.

The terrorists won.

The Patriot Act allowed for all kinds of ways around the laws with regards to wire tapping, spying on our own citizens, and search and seizure procedures and so on and so forth.  Our government became capable of investigating our lives with far less legal process than they needed prior.

The terrorists won.

How many people, when they see a clearly Semitic person or a woman in a hijab, or a man wearing a turban or keffiyeh, become nervous or suspicious of them instantly?  How many times when people encounter a group of such people together does it raise their hackles.

The terrorists won.

An office called the Department of Homeland Security came into existence, warning us about ‘threats’ and putting us on terror alerts.  They let us know when we need to be more vigilant, more ready to face possible dangers to ourselves.

The terrorists won.

Barriers around government buildings have been erected.  Streets have been rerouted.  There is a no-fly list for people who are under suspicion.  There are billboards informing us of numbers we can call to report suspect bags, people, and vehicles.

The terrorists won.

We invaded Afghanistan to flush out the Taliban, and their Al-Queda allies.  They fled into the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and now are a threat to both nations.  It took us almost ten years to get Osama bin Laden, the figurehead leader of Al-Queda.  But Al-Queda is still out there, laying low, plotting.

The terrorists won.

We invaded Iraq and removed Saddam Hussein, but have left the nation rife for Al-Queda to come in, and the various political and religious factions to vie for power and influence. We have destabilized them to a point where if we simply up and leave, they will most likely be torn by civil war.

The terrorists won.

We have fundamentally altered the way we live.  We have allowed fear to dictate our actions, from travel to politics to ludicrous violations of our civil liberties.  We now look for threats at every turn, enemies all around us, and hope that our own authorities have taken action to keep us safe.  We have gone to war to disrupt them, but in truth we have actually strengthened them and their resolve.

Back in the 1980’s and before, terrorism was a state-sponsored event.  We could point out that the terrorists were associated with a government, be it Iran, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, etc.  We knew who the threats were, and while we did some bombings and launched attacks, we did not go to war.  Not until they managed to come to our shores.

Israel has been enduring acts of terrorism since they first become an independent nation.  Terrorism in other forms has been far more familiar to Europe and Asia.  But it was not until the brutal, concerted attack that took down the World Trade Towers that we had been successfully struck by these foreign terrorists on our own soil (the previous attack on the towers was arguably not really successful, in that it failed at its goal, and Timothy McVeigh’s bombing was a homeland terrorist act).

How do you go to war with terrorists that are not clearly supported by another nation?

Al-Queda gets its money from wealthy sympathizers, who either agree with their anti-Western mission, or simply enjoy reaping benefits from the chaos that they create.  They have no clear centralized leadership, no single base of operations.  There is no government that is in firm and obvious supporter of Al-Queda, and there are branches of them almost EVERYWHERE in the western world.  Even here in the US.

And all they have to do to continue to win is to make threats we react to.  All they have to do is send out communiqués that change the way we drive to work, fly to vacation, look at unfamiliar Arabs in our cities.  They don’t need to launch any attacks to disrupt us – all they have to do is play on our fear.

Terror, the root of the word terrorism, means, according again to Dictionary.com:

–noun

1.

intense, sharp, overmastering fear: to be frantic with terror.

2.

an instance or cause of intense fear or anxiety; quality of causing terror: to be a terror to evildoers.

3.

any period of frightful violence or bloodshed likened to the Reign of Terror in France.

Fear.  It really all comes down to fear.  And after 9/11/01, we let our fear overwhelm our senses.  And that is EXACTLY what the terrorists wanted.

That is why they won.

Fear let us give up our freedoms, fear let us be searched in completely unacceptable ways, fear let us make war that was hardly necessary, fear has allowed people to come into power and stay in power who might otherwise never have been.  Fear drives the war on terror, drives our national paranoia, is used by both the terrorists and our own government to control our actions.

Some definitions of Fear from Dictionary.com:

–noun

a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

–verb (used with object)

to regard with fear; be afraid of.

–verb (used without object)

to have fear; be afraid.

Fear is the single greatest weapon anyone can use.  It is a powerful tool that, when employed as a weapon, can do far greater damage than any bullet or blade.  Fear changes how we act, how we live, how we think.  Fear might even go so far as to dictate our choices of actions.

Terrorism is about making us fear.  Terrorism is about making us paranoid, making us fearful of the unknown.  Terrorism is making fear a weapon, fundamentally changing how we do everything we do.

Fear has been used not just by the terrorists.  Our own government uses fear EVERY DAY to try and control us and our actions.  The media uses fear to boost their sales, reader and viewership, and revenues.  Fear sells – and we are buying.

I am claiming that the terrorists have won, and continue to win – and that is because they have caused us to live in fear.  And fear is NOT how we should live our lives.

SO – how do we change this?  How do we end their winning streak?

Courage.  Peace.  Love.  Bravery.  These are fear’s opposites.  Fear means a lot of things, and as such has multiple opposites.

The first step is to identify our fear.  We need to acknowledge when fear is dictating how we live and act, and we need to not be afraid of fear.

FDR said it best.  “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

After we identify our fear, we need to replace it.  Courage, peace, love, bravery – some combination of all of these need to take the place of our fear.  We need to think about instead of fearing, loving.  Instead of being afraid, being brave.  Instead of feeling fear, feel courageous.

Now I am not saying we should not be CAUTIOUS.  Caution is a good idea.  But the overreaction and constant fear mongering and saber rattling in the name of public safety is neither beneficial, nor useful in the war on terror.

See, the REAL war on terror should not be fought with guns and knives, bombs and missiles – it should be fought with the only things that can truly defeat the fear.  Peace and love.

From Frank Herbert’s Dune – the Litany Against Fear:

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.”

I think this statement is pretty damned close to perfect.  The best way to overcome fear is to acknowledge it, then let it pass.

I am not going all hippy-flower-childy on you.  I am suggesting that we have a REAL problem, and that we need a REAL solution.  The War on Terror is being fought in the wrong place, with the wrong weapons.  And until we acknowledge and correct this, we will continue to LOSE.

The terrorists will win so long as we allow them to terrorize us.

So before you react in fear, before you let the press and the fear-mongerers influence you, before you choose that politician who has played on your fears – REMEMBER that the REAL war on terror begins with each and every one of us.

Until we face our fear, and stop allowing fear to move our lives, we cannot EVER win.

The terrorists won.  But we can end their winning streak, and claim the victory.  We just need to show them that their terror does not cause us to fear.  And when we do not fear, we take away their power…and WE win.

The Electoral College and You

I want to talk about a topic that most people know pretty much nothing about, really:

The Electoral College.

In the interest of blissful ignorance, I have to wonder just how many people are aware of just how this antiquated system works?

Did you know that we do not elect the President and Vice President of the United States?

Nope.  We do not elect them.  We cast a vote, sure…but the actual election is done by 538 people.

That’s right, READ THAT AGAIN.  With a population of more than 310 million people, more than 200 MILLION of whom can cast a vote – 538 people actually select the most powerful office in the nation, arguably in the world.

538/200,000,000.  Don’t do the math, it will only hurt your brain.

How did this come to pass?

It was the founding fathers, during the constitutional convention.  It came about as a check and balance whereby a number equal to the number of legislators allotted to each state (2 senators plus ‘x’ congresspeople – or, in the case of Washington, DC – 3) would be chosen to vote for the President and Vice President.

From Article II, section 1 of the Constitution:

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; a quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President 

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

Ok, so no one had spellcheck back then.  We can ignore that part.

But, hey – the 12th Amendment altered it…a little:

The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate.

The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted.

The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.

The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States

So there you have it.  The constitutionally mandated mess that has come to be known collectively as The Electoral College.

So who are these select, powerful, 538 individuals who actually choose the leader of our nation?

Here’s the best part – they are APPOINTED, and not by any single standard means.  Nope, too easy.  There is not some federally mandated way in which electors get the duty – they are nominated by POLITICAL PARTIES, usually during conventions, sometimes in primaries – but each state gets to select HOW it will appoint the electors.

But wait – there’s MORE.  Yes, just in case THAT wasn’t enough – an elector CAN choose to not vote as they are mandated to do – and can even choose to cast no ballot at all!  Yes, that’s right – they can choose to do whatever they please.  Sure, there are ‘fines’ and ‘penalties’ if they act as a “faithless elector” – but so what?

Yes, there are still arguments about the inherent ‘stability’ of our two-party system, or the federalist ideals that led to this system of electors in the first place.  Sure, you can even make an argument about urban vs rural vote, greater vs lesser population state votes, you can even go ahead and argue that this is a tradition that should continue.

Seriously?  It is the 21st century.  Shouldn’t the election of the POTUS be an outright popular election?  Shouldn’t our already jaded vote count for REAL?

If there are between 200 and 250 MILLION eligible voters out there, and they are encouraged to all go out and vote – shouldn’t that vote count for MORE than providing direction, which can be disregard, to 538 unelected electors?

Yes, this means that, while we are at it, we should probably create a FEDERALLY MANDATED standard for voting.  Yes, I know – where will the money come from?  I think this might be a less important question than this:  How do we get anyone elected, legitimately, when all 50 states, plus DC, have no set standard they MUST follow?

Why are more people not enraged by this obscene, horrifically convoluted, outdated and outmoded system?  Why, after the fiasco of 2000 – yes, remember THAT disaster?  Why, after that, did NOTHING happen?  Why did NOTHING change?

There are, let’s face it, two key factors that keep this system alive today.  The first is legislative power.  We the people may go out and cast votes for our President – but the legislative branch still holds the power of electing the president through the constitution.

The second is, I think, the most glaring:

THIS PERPETUATES THE TWO PARTY SYSTEM.

Let’s be honest – no third party candidate can ever, possibly win a presidential election with the PARTY APPOINTED 538 electors.  Period.  Doesn’t matter if he or she can get better than 50% of the popular vote – the popular vote pretty much doesn’t count.

I was stunned to learn the insidiousness of this system, and didn’t even realize it went back as far as it did.

I won’t deny, I can see legitimate justification for this in the days of the 13 colonies, no mass communication systems and no computers.

But not anymore.  We can easily calculate a popular vote.  And the power of the individual states to elect a president, who will represent the WHOLE NATION, should not matter. I believe this election should be decided BY THE PEOPLE.

Why aren’t we outraged by this travesty?  Why do we not DEMAND our politicians fix this?  We are so very lulled into a sense of false security, that our government will do our will – we do not take action.

This is another issue that should no longer be ignored, either by us, or by our politicians.  The antiquated electoral college system should be done away with, and the vote of the people should decide our chief executive.

P.S.  Just an FYI – I DID, after my last post, forward the open letter to my Congressman and Senators.  Never found any direct email addresses, but found forms I could drop the letter into for email purposes.  I got back a lovely canned response from the 87 year old Senator.  It sort of touched on ONE point of my open letter.  Nearly.  Any other ideas?

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