Civil Discourse Now

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Trump was right---the election was rigged, but not in the way Trump said.

   The election is past. The Democratic Party offered, as a candidate for President of the United States, a person who already had staked out a claim to the nomination, through use of long-time connections within the party. The Republican Party “regulars” were reluctant to endorse the individual who won the primary/caucus process as he extolled many views people find abhorrent.
   Both candidates were reported as having the highest “unfavorable” ratings of any two candidates for the highest office in the United States.
   The candidates used the machinery (Democratic Party candidate) or structure (Democratic Party and Republican Party candidates) to secure their respective nominations.
   The United States Constitution is a document, the core of which was written over several months during the summer of 1787 in Philadelphia at a convention, the charter for which was limited to making improvements to the Articles of Confederation.  The delegates went far beyond their charter. In wholesale fashion they scrapped the Articles, made many compromises, during the evenings after days’ business, to create a government with a stronger central authority.
   The Constitution is a document of ironies.
   The delegates were white, male landowners, of whom “at least a third of them” claimed ownership over other human beings.  Stewart, “The Summer of 1787,” 2007, p. 68.  Yet the Constitution stated, in its Preamble its purpose, in part, was to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity...” Among the compromises were those that sought to preserve the institution of slavery, whereas the Declaration of Independence, pivotal in the founding of this country, clearly said: “WE hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness...”  One scholarly authority notes: “No specific mention of ‘slavery,’ ‘slaves,’ or ‘Negroes’ had been permitted into the final draft of the document.”  Ellis, “Founding Brothers,” 2000, p. 84.  
   One wonders if Jefferson, as he wrote (or, some would say, plagiarized) parts of The Declaration of Independence instructed individuals over whom he claimed ownership to fetch him fresh quills, or more parchment and ink as he wrote of great principles, amongst which was “liberty.”
   The Framers, generally, spoke of “factions”—what today we consider political parties, in negative terms.  Madison, in Federalist Paper Number 10, spoke of the evils of “factions”—yet the delegates had begun to line up in what would become the first two “major” political parties, and created a government, through the Constitution, inherently weighted toward a two-party system.
   In 2000, the winner of the election for President of the United States largely was determined by a vote of the United States Supreme Court, not the voters. The two major political parties—the “factions” of which Madison warned in Federalist Paper Number 10—played out a battle, the long-term results of which were a senseless war in Iraq, an economy devastated by incredibly large tax cuts, and a much-lowered image of the United States on international “stage,” where we were seen as a bully.
   At least Halliburton’s profits went up.
   The results of last night’s election follow months of revelations of hacking of computer systems here by people from other countries—primarily Russia.
   In 2000, the Democratic Party could have pressed more fully to challenge the results of the election. The Democratic Party did not represent me in that matter. The Democratic Party—like the Republican Party—is an entity the existence of which was abhorrent to The Framers.
   We observed the GOP implode this year. Lee Atwater’s plan to secure the hold of the right wing has been played to the fullest.  Few saw a similar phenomenon in the Democratic Party, where the interests of party “regulars” were given greater consideration than the desires of voters.
   In the end, some would say we were given a “lesser of two evils” choice—what happens, some would say, every four years.
   Putin played a clever hand.  He placed the Democratic Party in the position of demanding that Donald Trump declare Trump would acknowledge the outcome of the election as “legitimate.” With hacks as effective as they are, Putin could foresee an outcome such as occurred last night.
   The results of the votes in the “close” states should be challenged, particularly in those states in which voters’ access to the polls were limited, or where pre-election polling showed Secretary Clinton with a big lead.
   Whatever else happens, the “leadership,” such as it is, by the “regulars” of the two major political parties should be scrapped.  If we are to have a two-party system, it should be one in which the two parties represent values that are not simply ad hoc—positions espoused only to cater to potential voters on a month-to-month or day-to-day basis.
   I do not want to see more warfare, racial animus carried out as national policy, or our country’s wealth concentrated in fewer and fewer hands.
   A hack need only change a few votes in a few precincts or wards to effect the outcome of an election as close as this would appear—appear—to have been.
   A full investigation should be conducted.  No one should “concede” this election.   
   I hope that in four years we still have elections for President.  Once fascists take power, they are feign to relinquish that power.
   If Madison were to return for a few moments today, would he comment on the sad turn of events by which this country was delivered to the vices of “factions,” again which he warned in Federalist No. 10?  If he did so, would he also ask what had happened to all the slaves? Madison had, after all, found it necessary to deal, in 1783, with the problems caused by with his “slave” Billey who “ran off, inspired by revolutionary rhetoric.”  Stewart, “The Summer of 1787,” p. 69.  As that authority observes: “Sympathy with Billey’s yearnings [‘for coveting that liberty for which we have paid the price of so much blood, and have proclaimed so often to be the right & worthy pursuit of every human being’] did not cloud Madison’s business sense.  He noted both that Billey’s ‘mind is too thoroughly tainted to be a fit companion for fellow slave[s] in Virginia,’ and that Pennsylvania laws ‘do not admit of his being sold for more than 7 years, [so] I do not expect to get near the worth of him.’  Making the best deal he could under the circumstances, Madison sold Billey to a Philadelphian for another seven years of bondage.”  Id.
   The Framers appeared to be pragmatists, liberty or other higher values be damned.
   I hope there is a challenge to the outcome of this election. Trump was right—the election was rigged, just not the rigged in the way in which he implied. 

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