Here’s Why The Popular Vote Doesn’t Decide The Election

Almost a year after the 2016 presidential election, people are still complaining about how Hillary Clinton should be president because she won the popular vote. I’ve seen posts by some of these people asking “why should your vote count more than mine?” (can’t find the Facebook post to get the link, sorry). The answer is, it shouldn’t, and that is why we have the Electoral College. While I’m not saying it is perfect (I’ll talk more about this either later in the post or in another post), it is better than the popular vote being the deciding factor.

The way the Electoral College works is that each state has a certain amount of elected representatives who cast their votes based upon the outcome of their state’s popular vote (at least, that’s what they’re supposed to do). In most of the states, the candidate who the majority of the representatives vote for receives all of the votes from that state. However, there are exceptions, in which case each candidate gets any and all votes that are for them from the states that don’t follow the aforementioned all-or-nothing way.

There are two groups of elected representatives who cast their votes, the Senate and the House of Representatives. In the Senate, each state elects two Senators. In the House of Representatives, the number of representatives to be elected is based upon a state’s population. For example, as you can see in the below map of the number of seats in House of Representatives each state has (I don’t know if is correct or not, but it gets the point across), California, a heavily-populated state, has 55 representatives who vote, while Rhode Island, a state with a much smaller population than California, only has 4 seats in the House of Representatives.

Electoral Votes Map

click here for original image

Some of you may be wondering why there are two groups. Basically, when the current system was being created, people in small states were worried that the larger states would control the country if the system were based on population alone. This would be a problem because different states have different interests, obviously. However, the larger states didn’t think it would be fair if the smaller states had an equal say in things, since obviously the larger states were speaking on behalf of much more people. As a compromise, it was decided that there would be two groups of representatives, one based on population (House of Representatives) and one where every state has an equal say (Senate), and any bills would have to be passed by both groups in order to find their way to the president’s desk and be signed into law. I would add a link to a webpage that has more details, but I just wrote this all down from the top of my head from what I remember from a very detailed year of US I with Dos, and I’m too lazy I don’t feel like looking one up right now. However, feel free to use a Google search for more info. A good search term would probably be “origins of US electoral system” or something like that.

Circling back to the first paragraph of this post, this is exactly how no one person’s vote counts more than another’s (except for, of course, the elected Congressmen and women, but they’re supposed to vote the way their state did, as I stated above). If the election were decided on the popular vote alone, the larger states would have control of the Unites States simply because they have more people living there. The problem with that is that the economy of each state varies. For example, while one state’s economy may be centered around agriculture, another state’s economy may revolve around industry. Let’s say the agricultural state is less populated than the industrial state. If popular vote was the deciding factor in any decision affecting the economy, then the industrial state would have control, and while laws, reforms, and regulations that may help industry would most likely be passed, laws, reforms, and regulations that may help agriculture would be tossed aside, leaving the agricultural state to suffer.

Of course, as with any system, there are flaws. Personally, I think we should keep the idea of representatives, but divide each state into as many sections as it has votes (for example, Rhode Island would be divided into six sections, four for the House of Representatives and two for the Senate), and the outcome of the popular vote of each section should decide one vote. Also, it should not be a winner-take-all system, as it is in most states. Before I really get going outlining my plan for Electoral College reform (which I actually do have, because it was a history project of mine in high school), I’m going to stop myself, because that isn’t why I started this post. Another time, perhaps.

Before I begin to bore you (if I haven’t already), I’m going to end this post. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below, or even use Google to try and find an answer. Thanks for reading!

-Sam

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Politics

Hey. Fair warning, this is going to be a little rant. Okay, so for anyone who doesn’t live in the United States and don’t know what’s going on: people are losing their fucking minds over Donald Trump being elected president. Now, I’m not really planning to get into a debate about politics with this post; as I said, it’s more of a rant (I have a debate post coming up soon), so don’t expect anything like that.

Let me just say this: calm the fuck down, people! Yes, I find some of Trump’s comments absolutely abhorrent, but wanting the president to fail is like wanting the country to fail, wanting the country to fail is like wanting the American citizens to fail, and wanting the American citizens to fail is like wanting yourself to fail. Instead of working against him, why don’t you try working with him. Maybe try suggesting a legitimate alternative option to a plan he has that is more of a compromise to satisfy both sides. Or, here’s an idea: don’t fucking riot and expect no one to call you out on your shit!

I get that sometimes really disgusting people stage protests. However, that does not give you the right to crash their protest, which they had a permit for, and to incite violence! Get your own fucking permit and rally together to protest them!

Love him or hate him, he is our president, the leader of our country. Get on board and help this country succeed, or get the fuck out. It’s that simple (okay, maybe not really, but still).

I used to love politics, especially engaging in (civil) debates. However,anymore it’s like people automatically assume that if you disagree with them, you’re a homophobic asshole who kills puppies and steals candy from babies. That is not the way to get your point across. All it does is extend the divide between the two sides. Can’t we all just try and talk a little? I promise that you’ll get more, real progress that way than using the fucking barbaric tactics being used right now. Grow the fuck up, people!

-Sam

For Some Reason, I Refuse To Grow Up

Hey. Today I screwed up. I was supposed to be babysitting my neighbors’ son, and I fell asleep. I’m supposed to be eighteen, and I can’t even force myself to stay awake to babysit a freaking nine-year-old. I’m actually kind of glad his dad came home for a second and saw me sleeping, because it would’ve been killing me, but I don’t know if I would’ve had the (figurative) balls to tell them. And they should know that I wasn’t watching their kid. I swear, every good thing I have going in my life, I end up fucking it up.

Every. Fucking. Thing.

Always.

Why? Because I won’t fucking grow up and take an ounce of fucking responsibility. I had a job for two weeks in November. I was late twice. Granted, one time it was their fault, because they didn’t tell me I was supposed to work at 6 in the morning, and I had called to ask if the schedule was up the day before, and it wasn’t. Plus, then they just seemed to forget I even existed after two weeks. But still.

I’m so fucking stupid. I’m worse than a fucking toddler. Toddlers at least learn from their mistakes. I keep making the same ones. Over. And. Over. And. Over.

It’s like I don’t even fucking care that I’m ruining my fucking life, and I do. Trust me. This fuck-up will eat away at me for months, at the very least. There are some things I did when I was eleven that are still torturing me.

You’d think that with the way I beat myself up over everything, I’d learn a little. Apparently not. Like, what the fuck is wrong with me?! Why can’t I ever make a good decision for once in my fucking life?! And believe me, I am responsible for all of these decisions.

I swear, whenever I start to do a little better in one part of my life, it’s like I’m like, “well, I guess I don’t have to work hard to get everything else as good as it can be.”

I was just thinking that, all of the shit I do to people, I hope someone does it to me someday, because I deserve it. But then I thought, no, I don’t. Because then I would feel like, in some way, I was redeemed by the same thing happening to me. And I don’t deserve that.

I wish I could literally beat myself up.

-Sam

Cars And Other Oldest Child Problems

Hey. I don’t thing I mentioned this, but a few months ago, I got my driving permit. I’ve decided not to take Driver’s Ed (I’m not required to as I’m eighteen) because the cost of the actual classes would amount to more than the discount on insurance I would receive. Anyway, I’ve been driving my dad’s old Honda Fit around. When he bought his new truck, he didn’t trade in the Honda because I was going to start driving soon. Well, I was talking to my mom about something (I don’t remember what) when it was brought up that when I move out, I’m going to have to buy another car so my brother can drive the Fit.

First, let me just say that I kinda get where she’s coming from. They already have a car for my brother to learn to drive in. However, as my little sister is five years younger than my brother, it’s not like she’ll be driving anytime soon after he is. Meaning he most likely won’t have to buy another car when he moves out since he’ll probably get to just take the Fit with him. So basically, just because I’m the oldest child, I’m going to have to buy my own car.

It’s freaking ridiculous. If anything, it should be the other way around, since I’m the oldest. I’d also say that my parents should save it for my other two little siblings to drive, since that makes sense, even though they’re five and seven years younger than my brother, but my parents will probably be like, “well, Amanda’s still five years away, why shouldn’t Roman keep the car” because they pull stuff like that all the time. I kinda feel like a brat for complaining, so let me reiterate: I’m not complaining about me not being able to keep the Honda, I’m upset that my brother most likely will be allowed to keep it just because there is a larger age gap between him and the next kid to start driving.

This is just one more annoyance to add the my ongoing mental “Oldest Child Problems” list. I get really pissed off when my little siblings complain about not being the oldest child, because seriously, I get not being able to do everything your older sibling can do, because I was always wicked close to my cousin who’s older than me by a few years, but when you’re siblings, there’s really not a lot that the parents don’t allow the slightly younger sibling to do if the older sibling can. Pretty much anything I’m allowed to do, so can my brother, and it’s always been that was, unless it was like a legal issue or something, like driving before you’re sixteen. When I first started sitting in the front seat, I was forced to take turns with my brother, even though I’m two years older than him and he has always been underweight. When I was allowed to ride my bike alone, so could Roman. When I got the new Gameboy, so did he. We always had the same bedtime, except for now, because I’m eighteen and no longer in school while he has to be in bed by 10:30 on school nights. However, he rarely, if ever, follows this rule, and it’s really not enforced by my parents. When I still had a bedtime, if it were even five minute past and I wasn’t in bed yet, I would be in trouble.

I’m just baffled by the blatant differences in my parents’ treatment of my siblings versus me. I don’t understand how it can be so much different. I get that we’re all different and thus should be reprimanded differently and treated differently in different situations, but to an extent. My sister is eleven, and I know for a fact that when I was ten, I was folding laundry, because I accidentally said “crap” in front of my mom while switching it over once (and my siblings say crap and worse all the time and are mostly just left alone or given a minor slap on the wrist). My sister has no chores at all except for sometimes bringing the hamper down to the laundry room, sometimes cleaning the bunny’s cage, and very rarely scooping the cat litter (not even changing it, just scooping). AJ is nine and has no chores at all. He doesn’t even have to clear his own plate from the table (neither does Amanda).

I guess I just don’t understand why there’s such a huge difference. Am I the only one who feels this way? Let me know in the comments.

Okay, I’ve gotta go. It’s Camp NaNoWriMo, and I have to get writing. Bye!

-Sam

You’ve Gotta Be Freaking Kidding Me….

Hey. I know I’ve been absent for just short of six months. I’m going to try to fix that. Anyway, today my parents drove up to New Hampshire to buy a camper, leaving me and my sixteen-year-old home alone (my parents brought my two littlest siblings to my grandma’s for the day). My mom didn’t leave a list of chores, like she usually does, but just told me to get my folding done and clean one small area of the house up. I folded and cleaned up the gaming area, and then decided to do some extra, because I wanted to surprise her. I scooped the cat litter, vacuumed around the bunny’s cage, and cleaned her cage. I then swept the kitchen floor.

So, my parents come home around four, four-thirty. My mom and I are talking and she says something like, “I’m glad you both got your stuff done today.” I’m like, wait a second, Roman did nothing all day. She says, “He cleaned the cat litter.”

Excuse me??

I start to get mad at this point, because, as conniving as he is, I never expected him to stoop this low. My mom says, “Oh, you both must’ve scooped it,” which, even if this were the case, that right there should tell you all you need to know about my brother’s idea of “clean”. I’m like, no, I scooped it, he didn’t. She gets mad at me and says that I’m taking away from the extra that I did today by arguing. I say, “I’m not arguing anything, I’m simply stating facts!”

And that’s pretty much how the conversation went, ending with my mom and I going in separate directions for the next few minutes. But seriously, are you fucking kidding me? Who the hell does that? At least lie about something neither of us did! Don’t try to take credit for my fucking work, asshole!

Anyway, yeah, I’m kinda freaking pissed. But whatever.

Tonight, I’m sleeping in a tent in our backyard with my two youngest siblings, AJ and Amanda. They’re asleep right now. I’m going to go watch some Netflix now, then try to get some sleep. Bye!

-Sam

My Brilliant Idea

Hey. Today during my session with my therapist/counsellor/whatever-you-call-it, I had this amazing idea to help motivate me to do stuff: a “Fuck You” Board. Let me explain. The conversation started off with her (my therapist) talking about something she calls the Law of Attraction. Basically, the way she explained it, the more positive energy you put into something, the more likely it is to happen, and vice versa. I disagree, because, as I pointed out, I know some parents of kids with cancer never even imagined that their child wouldn’t beat that cancer, and yet their child died anyway. She said that wasn’t what she meant, and that she was talking about things we have control over, but I wasn’t really getting it.

I pointed out how I finished high school and got my diploma instead of going for my GED/HiSET (which is what it’s now called) out of spite for all of the school administration who believed I would never succeed, because that was the biggest way I could think of to tell them “FUCK YOU” without saying it straight out, because apparently that’s a big no-no, socially-speaking, at least according to my mom. My therapist said that even though it originated out of spite, it was actually positive energy because I was telling myself, “I’m going to do this.” I kinda saw where she was coming from with that. She went on to say that if that’s what works for me, then that’s okay. That’s when it hit me:

I should make a “Fuck You” Board and hang it on my closet door.

I said this, and after she got control of her laughter, she asked what that meant. I said I was going to take a blank poster board, draw a middle finger in the middle surrounded by the words “FUCK YOU”, and write the names of all the people who have ever doubted me or didn’t believe in me. That way, if I ever needed motivation, I could just look at that board and see all the people who I want to continue proving wrong.

I have to say, I’m wicked excited about this. 🙂

I can’t wait to get started! I’ve already started planning out the design in a notebook, and have written down quite a few names already. I’m also going to make sure to write small enough so that I have space to add to it when other people come along. My dad said I should put him and my mom on it, only half joking, but I explained that it’s not about people who piss me off, but people who don’t believe in me or don’t believe I can/will succeed, who I have to prove wrong. I know my parents are the top two people in existence who most believe in me (even if I may say/think otherwise when I’m pissed at them).

I’ll post a picture of my “Fuck You” Board when I’m done. Maybe I’ll block the names out. Maybe not. I don’t know. But I promise you, it’s gonna be awesome.

That’s it for now. I hope you all had a nice New Years. Bye!

-Sam

About That Dream I Had Last Night

Hey. I haven’t slept in about three days. Before that, I slept for one night, and then hadn’t for the three days prior to that night. Well, not really. I mean, I’ve been able to get half-asleep, to the point where I start to dream, but I’m not actually sleeping. It’s wicked annoying.

So last night, in my half-asleep state, I had a dream that has left me feeling peaceful all day. There’s really no other word to describe it. I was at a picnic table with my mom, who was sitting across from me. My three siblings were there, too, except they were just in the background. My two friends from the Lion’s Club, Dawn and Jeff, were sitting at the picnic table behind me. I was talking to my mom (I don’t remember about what), and I looked down at the table for a second, and when I looked up, my grandma and grandpa were standing there, to the right of my mom.

Mammy & Papa Cropped

Yes, I know I use this picture a lot, but I just love it.

Now, if you remember, I’ve posted before about how my mom’s parents are both dead. Mammy died in June of 2010, and Papa died in March of 2015. So, in this dream, my dead grandparents are suddenly standing right in front of me. They weren’t angels or anything, and don’t exactly have a heavenly glow around them, but I could tell they were appearing from heaven. I mean, aside from the fact that they’re both dead. They just gave off this aura. I don’t know how to explain it.

As soon as I saw them, I started crying, and when I say (type?) crying, I mean big, ugly sobs. I wasn’t sad, though. I mean, I wasn’t crying because all of a sudden I was filled with this intense happiness, either, like people sometimes talk about, but I wasn’t grieving. The best explanation I can think of is that, in my dream, I was just filled with so much love and awe. I don’t really know.

Anyway, my mom was really worried because I suddenly just started crying my eyes out for no apparent reason, and kept asking me what was wrong. I leaned over to her and whispered in her ear, “I see Mammy and Papa. They’re both standing right there, smiling.” A couple tears slid out of her eyes, and somehow I knew I was the only one who could see them. I leaned back and said to Dawn and Jeff, “I see Mammy and Papa.”. Still sobbing, I looked back at Mammy and Papa and smiled at them. I looked back to Dawn and Jeff and say that they had started to cry, too.

When I looked back, Mammy was gone, and Papa was alone, still smiling and waving at me. Then, he started to fade away, although “fade” isn’t really the right word, exactly. It was more like he was morphing into a bright, soothing, yellow light. After he was gone, I stared at where they were standing, still sobbing more intensely than I ever had before, but feeling extremely at peace, and that was the end of the dream.

It was so nice to see my grandparents again, even in a dream. I was telling my mom about it today, and she said that it seems like Mammy and Papa visited me in a dream, that it wasn’t just my brain coming up with a random scenario for a dream. I’d like to think she’s right.

I’d say I had a pretty amazing start of 2017, wouldn’t you?

-Sam