I believe that the time has come for me to just go ahead and have a “catch all” column that fills in what doesn’t really fit in any other category. Welcome to the first edition of “The Emerald Specter.” Other columns that I write have rules, like the column has to center around whatever general topic I’ve chosen. This column will have only one rule: it will be all about what I believe in and think. Sometimes it’ll be an aside, sometimes it’ll be an all out rant. Thus is born the column that is destined to be the highest numbered column on this site.
Today, I want to talk about the United States of America. Yep.
When people talk about the US, they often cite this place as the “greatest nation on Earth.” When those people state that catchphrase, I often ask what they are using as criteria to judge such a thing. Education? We aren’t even in the top 10. Healthcare? Again, we aren’t even in the top 10. Those people often just stutter and stammer until they think I’ll leave them alone. Let me tell you a few things about the United States… and let me start off by telling you I’m a veteran of the US Navy, so before you go thinking I’m talking out of disrespect, I’ve served the country.
We have a lot of corruption in the United States. Maybe that is what those people are judging the US by, but the corruption is all over the place. The core of that corruption is the people who serve in the government. Since we do not live in a democracy (no, we do not… it is a Representative Republic. A Democracy would allow the vote of the people to directly affect ALL of the outcomes of anything we vote in, primarily referenced here being the President of the United States.) and that means we only have a voice to “nudge” those who actually do make the decisions.
Did you know that the citizens of the United States could overwhelmingly vote for a President and that President could be sidestepped for the candidate whom the representatives choose would be better? I know some of you are thinking about the Bush-Gore election in this analogy, but I’m not. Let’s go more extreme: Reagan-Mondale.
When Ronald Reagan won the Presidency, he won all but one state (Minnesota). “Winning” a state means that the population of that state votes and the popular vote is used by the electoral college individuals (the “representatives” of the voting public) to make their decision on whom to cast their votes for. The electoral college doesn’t HAVE to go with the will of the people, they can choose to cast their votes for whomever they feel… and that, my friends, is the scary part.
Using Reagan-Mondale as the background, let’s pretend that the “powers that be” wanted Mondale in office THAT bad. The public has a landslide vote for Mondale but the electoral college, under the control/influence of the “powers that be,” are told to cast their votes for Mondale. Reagan needs 270 electoral votes to win the Presidency but let’s say that the electoral college provides enough support for Mondale that HE gets the 270 electoral votes. The population of the United States has voted for Reagan, but the electoral college went ahead and elected Mondale. THAT, my friends, is not Democracy.
Now, there are 24 states that have laws against “faithless voting.” A Faithless Voter is an electoral representative that does not abide by the will of their voters. The “powers that be” would have to work in and around this to ensure their candidate would win… and thus, we have a system that is super complicated and completely unnecessary.
Why the extra step? What’s wrong with the popular vote?
This brings me to my next point: the two party system.
Corruption abounds in the two party system. People are under the impression that ONLY two parties are worthy of their votes, and thus, those two parties manipulate the population in order to achieve exactly what they want. The poor are poor. The rich are rich. Everyone who is not rich has no say in how the government actually runs. We can kick out corrupt politicians but the population at large only really understands that they can replace them with “the other party” instead of the person most capable of doing the job.
Get rid of the electoral college and parties NOT of the “Big Two” will make astoundingly powerful statements in future elections. The Libertarians will have more pull than either of the other two because they fit the ideologies of both sides but eliminate the muck that normally weighs the party down. The Green Party is a better version of the Democratic NPL because they focus on the important points of the DNPL instead of having a “message for a base.” The Modern Whig Party is a better choice than either of these because they’re not pandering to anyone… they do what needs to be done, and correctly.
The last thing is that I think this country is too big. I’ve now lived in three completely different regions in the US alone and I can tell you that there is very little that connects these regions. The south needs to deal with racial issues, poverty issues, and immigration issues because that is what is foremost on their minds. Most of what happens in the south can be related to those few things and if you pander to that series of items you’ll likely get the attention you’re seeking. The midwest is worried about people taking their guns and religion, though no one (and I stress no one) has officially said anything about taking anything away from anyone. The midwestern gun lovers make it sound like Obama flat out said, in a quote, that he was coming for their guns. No one has said this and no one is trying to take your precious death machines. Finally, the Pacific northwest is concerned about the environment and making sure everyone is taken care of, which is something neither of the other two regions gives a rat’s ass about. These three regions should not belong in the same country because there is no one politician that will satisfy the needs of all three groups… and thus we have conflict where conflict is unnecessary.
This is not the greatest nation in the world. This is barely the greatest nation in the upper western hemisphere. Americans, citizens of the United States I’m speaking of, need to understand that boisterous and bold statements without the backup just make us look stupid… which is what the largest part of the world things we are: stupid.
Think on it.