Saturday, December 3, 2016

Our Brave New Feminists

By Heather Wilhelm
Thursday, December 01, 2016

If you were an inquisitive space alien who decided to drift down to visit America in 2016 — as a tour guide, I probably wouldn’t recommend this year in particular, as people are kind of crabby, and good-natured hijinks are at a general low, but that’s another story — you could be forgiven for thinking that women simply can’t do a thing for themselves. You could be forgiven, that is, if your only human contacts were today’s leading “feminists.”

Take Tuesday’s news regarding the nomination of Tom Price, a pro-life congressman from Georgia, as the incoming Trump administration’s secretary of health and human services. To hear feminists tell it, if Price gets confirmed, we lady folk might as well call it a day, don sackcloth and ashes, and wail while we wait for the fearsome and inevitable arrival of the tsunami of patriarchal oppression.

“Trump Health Czar Tom Price is a Nightmare for Women,” declared Erin Gloria Ryan on Tuesday in the Daily Beast. “Price helming HHS is a nightmare scenario for advocates of reproductive choice,” she continued, “and a dream for those with a nostalgia for the time before Roe v. Wade, if not Griswold v. Connecticut.”

Yikes. This Price guy sounds pretty retrograde! Did he announce an improbable plan to singlehandedly overturn Roe v. Wade, thereby banning abortion, even though he’s not on the Supreme Court? Has he unleashed a scheme to outlaw contraceptives, even though Griswold already declared that unconstitutional? Has he proposed a forced nationwide return to modest poodle skirts and drive-ins and people who exclaim things like “Gee, Linda, I sure don’t trust the punch at this sock hop!” in a completely un-ironic fashion?

Well, no. Get ready, America, and prepare to be shocked: Tom Price doesn’t think you should be forced to pay for everyone else’s abortion and contraceptives.

Price, as McClatchy news service reported on Wednesday, “would be able to repeal one of President Barack Obama’s most controversial initiatives: free birth control for women under the Affordable Care Act.” Because of this — and likely because her organization received a whopping $500 million in tax dollars last year, which would be a real bummer to lose — Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards served as one of the first to sound an alarm at the news. “Tom Price poses a grave threat to women’s health in this country,” she announced. “Price would take women back decades.”

Actually, Price would likely take women back seven years, to the notorious hell-scape of 2009, when people actually had to shell out around $10 a month for birth control. Also, in 2009 — gird your loins, for this way horror lurks — you couldn’t just waltz into your doctor’s office and demand a $500 IUD for “free.” (The IUD is never “free,” of course. Other people pay for it, or you pay for it in quieter, more indirect ways. Amazingly, for much of the political Left, this lesson never seems to sink in.)

Let’s set aside, at least for now, the Left’s many fears about the socially moderate Trump’s supposedly incoming reign of hardcore social-conservative terror. Let’s look at the real subtext beneath the panic. It’s the sad truth that feminism, once a plucky movement with worthy elements dedicated to fighting structural inequities faced by women, has collapsed into an often-sulky shambles with one overarching, consistent demand: “I’m helpless! Pay for my stuff!”

“Every little girl dreams of one day growing up and falling in love,” writes Ryan in the Daily Beast, “and one day, when a squeamish insurance executive decides it’s time to stop paying for healthcare that enables women to have non-procreative sex, getting accidentally pregnant.”

Ryan’s being sarcastic, of course, but she reveals much more than intended. It’s strange: Her imaginary “little girl,” all grown up, seems to have no individual agency. Things — like, say, getting “accidentally pregnant” — just happen to her! How could she possibly have prevented this unfortunate, mysterious development without the money and approval of a squeamish insurance executive? If you read many such panicked feminist think pieces, in fact, it would seem fair to assume that women are essentially wandering, slightly confused uteruses with zero personal control.

Doesn’t seem feminist or empowered at all, does it?

Is there a chance that Planned Parenthood, that holy of holies for movement feminists, could lose federal funding under a President Trump? Perhaps. Personally, I’ll believe it when I see it. Here’s the real question: If Planned Parenthood did lose funding, and the nation disintegrated into a nightmarish dystopia straight out of The Handmaid’s Tale — this second part wouldn’t happen, of course, but let’s entertain the fantasy for now — what would feminists do?

They’d impress me, for one, if they rolled up their sleeves, got to work, and raised the money themselves. If Planned Parenthood is the marvelous and necessary charitable organization they say it is, this shouldn’t be a problem, right?

Last time I checked, alas, feminists weren’t making these plans. In outlets ranging from Time to the Daily Beast to New York magazine to Vogue, they were urging their sisters as a tip-top priority — wait for it, for I’m not making this up — to rush out and get a “free,” government-funded IUD while they still could.

Apparently, that’s what modern empowerment is all about.

‘America First’ Should Not Mean Putting Allies Last

By Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Despite his exuberance and unpredictability, Donald Trump stayed on message throughout his campaign. He repeated the simple but powerful message “Make America great again” and spoke of putting “America first” and won the election against most expectations. Developing winning policy propositions is the challenge he faces in the next four years. This is particularly true on foreign policy, where the candidate made plenty of contradictory statements, broke many taboos, and unsettled U.S. relations with much of the world.

With respect to foreign policy, making “America great again” would require three related plans of action:

First, the U.S. must maintain the American-led order that goes back all the way to President Truman after World War II. It has spawned unprecedented prosperity and security throughout the world. For America, it has meant that it has enjoyed a position of power never experienced by any other nation. In concrete terms, it means that the Trump administration should revise free-trade agreements where necessary but not abandon them. They remain the engine of global growth.

Second, America must maintain a strong global military posture. It is in America’s interest for economic muscle to be harnessed into military and foreign-policy prowess, as Reagan understood. It gives America strength and enables it to negotiate from a position of strength. Russian president Vladimir Putin, for example, respects only a firm and steady hand. Should the Kremlin perceive that America is frail and unable to keep its house in order, he would work even harder to bring other countries into Moscow’s orbit. Nothing would make the Kremlin happier, and America weaker, than for America to show the world that our common shared Western values — freedom, democracy, free trade, rule of law — are failing.

Third, America must preserve its strong alliances, particularly with NATO and the EU, as well as as with likeminded democracies across the world. Given the many problems we are faced with at the onset of the 21st century, it is crucial that we reassure friends and deter foes.

Putting “America first” should not mean putting friends and allies last. Candidate Trump questioned U.S. treaty commitments to our European allies. That threatens a pillar of the rules-based international order. To allay any doubt about America’s commitment to collective defense, a NATO summit should be held soon after Trump’s inauguration. There President Trump could stress these points:

• America remains committed to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. The U.S. will play its full part in implementing the measures agreed at the NATO summits in Wales and Warsaw to stabilize the eastern flank.

• Europe must make marked improvements in its defense spending. Smaller allies, especially those from Eastern Europe, are getting closer to 2 percent of their GDP. Europe’s defense weakness still lies with larger allies, especially Germany, whose defense spending, despite some marginal increase, stands at 1.2 percent of GDP. The president could put forward an interim defense-spending plan whereby by 2020, at the end of his term, all allies are at the 1.5–2 percent mark and rising.

• Reengagement with Russia will not come at the expense of Europe’s security and integrity. This means respecting, not bargaining away, the sovereignty of countries such as Ukraine and Georgia. This would be key to gaining the support of all European allies as the U.S. seeks a more constructive dialogue with Moscow.

Kellyanne Conway Would Be A Feminist Hero If She Were A Democrat

By Julie Kelly
Thursday, December 01, 2016

If you’re a woman still anguishing over “what to tell our daughters” about the 2016 election, I suggest you point to Kellyanne Conway: the first woman to run a successful presidential campaign. This smart, tough, cool mom of four was the winning campaign manager for the most brutal presidential race in history—and she kept a steely smile on her face the whole time. She’s now poised to become either White House press secretary, or the most sought-after political consultant in the world.

After taking the helm of the listless Trump campaign in August, Conway helped shape a more disciplined candidate, with a message focused on a stronger economy and national defense. Conway is like the pretty brainiac who tamed the school jock, got him to shut up in class, and made him carry her books. Hell, she even got him to study once in a while. She’s the kind of example I want for my own daughters on how to handle an egotistical, sometimes boorish male boss: with firmness, class, and calm.

But Conway didn’t just take on Trump. She faced down an antagonistic, male-dominated media that had declared war acting as a de facto arm of the Clinton campaign. One of the few bright spots leading up to Election Day was watching political commentators lose their cool and credibility trying to rile Conway. It didn’t work (and still isn’t). This lawyer, pollster, and business owner should be the new hero of the post-feminism era: a super mom who rose to the top of her field and is now, unquestionably, the most influential woman in Washington.

Why Don’t Feminists Love Conway?

But modern-day feminists are still wringing out their “I’m With Her” crying towels and snubbing Conway’s historic victory because, well, she’s a Republican.

Without any sense of irony, they ignore the achievements of a self-made woman (Conway), while lamenting the loss of a candidate who earned fame and power largely because of her husband. If she were a Democrat, Conway would be the toast of women’s groups across the country, feted in the media, splashed across the pages of Vogue and Cosmo. She would be touted as a future candidate herself. Maybe even Lena Dunham would’ve thrown out a tweet or two after her Election Night shower-cry.

But I suspect there’s even more to this than partisan politics. After all, you can’t accuse a man of misogyny—which literally means “hatred of women”—if he puts a female in charge of the riskiest, most important endeavor of his life. Trump can’t be a sexist pig who hates women if he fires two men and replaces them with a woman, right? Acknowledging, even celebrating, Conway’s success would undermine that entire plotline.

Conway Undermined Trump’s Misogynist Image

The Trump-is-a-misogynist meme was the cornerstone of Clinton’s campaign message: a Google search of “Trump” plus “misogynist” yields 579,000 results—not counting the approximately five billion tweets making the same accusation.

The day of the election, The Telegraph UK published a lengthy list of allegedly sexist Trumpisms dating back to the 1980s. Some were not bad (in 1994, he said he gets mad if dinner isn’t on the table when he gets home, so what did that make my grandfather). Many were cringe-worthy—particularly remarks he made as a guest on the Howard Stern show, perhaps one of Trump’s worst judgment calls of all time. Some were downright slap-worthy, and nothing you would want to hear from your husband or son or boss. But when people put a microphone in front of your face for three decades, you’re bound to have to live down a trove of dumb comments.

But raw, even offensive remarks do not a misogynist make. Yet the pearl clutching by the female left went into overdrive after Trump was elected, with women weeping and fearing for their daughters—as if Trump is a one-man Boko Haram ready to swipe them out of their classrooms and turn them into drink cart girls.

Now that President-Elect Trump is appointing women to key posts such as UN Ambassador, Secretary of Education, and Deputy National Security Advisor, their anger is rising rather than abating. If anything, this election has further revealed the hypocrisy of the left—particularly modern-day feminists—who despite all their talk of empowerment, are now exposed as a weak and whiny sisterhood of victims.

So what do we tell our daughters? Be less like Lena and more like Kellyanne.

BuzzFeed's Hit Piece on Chip and Joanna Gaines Is Dangerous

By Brandon Ambrosino
Thursday, December 01, 2016

I am currently planning my wedding, and I’ve never been happier. I believe that God brought me and Andy together and that God celebrates our love. I also believe that our marriage will offer a powerful testimony to skeptics that queer love can be God-honoring, and even sacramental.

I have heard from a few well-meaning Christian friends that they feel they can’t attend my ceremony. I think that’s silly, I think it’s theologically misguided, and it hurts me deeply because it makes it seem as if they care more about abstract principles than me, their friend and family member.

Still, I do not think these conservatives should be shamed or mocked. I do not think they should be fired. And I certainly do not think they should be the butt of a popular BuzzFeed article.

I’m referring to a non-story written by Kate Aurthur, published Tuesday on BuzzFeed. The piece starts off innocently enough by describing the success of Chip and Joanna Gaines, a husband-and-wife team whose series “Fixer Upper” is one of the most popular shows on HGTV. After pivoting to the religious beliefs of the Gaineses, and pointing out that they go to an evangelical church whose pastors oppose same-sex marriage, Aurthur then poses these questions:

“So are the Gaineses against same-sex marriage? And would they ever feature a same-sex couple on the show, as have HGTV’s ‘House Hunters’ and ‘Property Brothers’?”

The entire article is an elaborate exploration of that hypothetical question. And yes, it is very much hypothetical, by the reporter’s own admission: “Emails to Brock Murphy, the public relations director at their company, Magnolia, were not returned. Nor were emails and calls to HGTV’s PR department.”

But that does not stop Aurthur from writing almost 800 more words about the non-story. Her upshot seems to be: Two popular celebrities might oppose same-sex marriage because the pastor of the church they go to opposes same-sex marriage, but I haven’t heard one way or the other. (I can’t imagine pitching that story to an editor and getting a green light, by the way.)

Besides the fact that the entire case is made by speculation and suggestion, there are many other problems at play. Here are a few of them.

A 2016 survey from Pew Research Center shows public support of same-sex marriage is at an all-time high of 55 percent — and it is steadily growing. But the same polls tell us that nearly 4 out of 10 Americans — no small number! — are not on board with it. The minds at BuzzFeed are not naive: They know that the Gaineses and HGTV are going to have to come out with a public statement on same-sex marriage. They also know that if the statement is not 100 percent supportive of same-sex marriage, the network will be pressured to drop them.

Think about that for a moment. Is the suggestion here that 40 percent of Americans are unemployable because of their religious convictions on marriage? That the companies that employ them deserve to be boycotted until they yield to the other side of the debate — a side, we should note, that is only slightly larger than the one being shouted down?

Or maybe the suggestion is that, because they are public figures, they need to be held to a higher standard, one that does not allow them room for moral and religious convictions? But that doesn’t make sense, either.

BuzzFeed is probably at the forefront of discussions surrounding diversity in entertainment. But do their reporters think diversity refers only to skin color? Does ideological diversity count for nothing, especially when it is representative of, again, a sizable chunk of the American public? It’s hard to make the case that the website promotes this kind of diversity, particularly on same-sex marriage. In June, Ben Smith, the publication’s editor in chief, told Politico that “there are not two sides” on the issue.

Another concern I have with the story is that it validates everything that President-elect Donald Trump’s supporters have been saying about the media: that some journalists — specifically younger ones at popular digital publications — will tell stories in certain deceitful, manipulative ways to take down conservatives. (And really, I can’t for the life of me imagine any other intention of the Gaines story.)

Stories such as this will serve only to reinforce the growing chasm between the media and Trump, which means we are in for four agonizing, tedious years of “gotcha” non-stories like this one.

A few years ago, gay activists decided the best way to win arguments in favor of same-sex marriage was to shut up their opponents. All they had to do was lob a charge of homophobia and the argument was won. Or they tweeted at the companies that employed the “homophobes” until they were fired. Conservatives were bullied on social media and mocked for being ass-backward (and indeed, some of them were and are). But they were never taken seriously.

They were simply dismissed with a snarky RuPaul GIF. At the time, this seemed like a good strategy because, well, Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in for president and because the country was only becoming more and more liberal, and those kinds of hillbillies were being left in the dark.

Enter Trump — the voice of all of the people liberals and activists have been shutting up for the past eight years. It’s no secret that part of Trump’s success is owed to how skillfully he invalidated the media’s authority in the eyes of his conservative followers. The message was very clearly: The media doesn’t like me because I’m conservative, and they don’t like you because you’re conservative, and they’re going to try to ruin all of us, so let’s just ignore them.

And then, like clockwork, BuzzFeed published a story proving him right.

The old strategy of journalists shaming “hicks” is not going to work anymore because our new president seems to be on their side. Sure, no one really believes Trump is homophobic, and sure, he has given his word that same-sex marriage will not be overturned. But as is very clear by now, Vice President-elect Mike Pence (who is literally one heartbeat away from the presidency) has a political past that rightly scares LGBT people and our allies. Also very clear: Many enthusiastic Trump supporters oppose same-sex marriage. Like it or not, we now have to engage them.

As a community, LGBT people did a terrible job of settling the issue of same-sex marriage from a political, ethical and logical standpoint — and now the issue is back to haunt us. What we need to do is what we should have been doing all along: engage our opponents, answer their questions, and use appeals to philosophy and — yes! — theology to thwart their arguments.

Anti-same-sex-marriage arguments are very easy to win, in my opinion. Appeals to natural law are often arbitrary and unaware of how historically contingent they are. Arguments from Scripture do not hold water because most Christians do not consistently apply their biblical hermeneutic. Arguments that queer love is not real love do not hold up under the weight of the extraordinary experiential reality of the millions of committed gay couples who love each other selflessly.

But we need to show up to these arguments to win them. Being “too good” or “too cosmopolitan” or “too educated” to show up to the debate is no longer an effective strategy in the age of Trump.

BuzzFeed can’t argue that the same-sex-marriage issue is ethically settled, because it isn’t for a sizable population of our country and our world. It is no longer okay — indeed, it never was — to write cutesy articles shaming religious people as homophobic for simply being one of the many millions of Americans in 2016 who attend a religious congregation that does not support same-sex marriage. That is not a good move for activism or journalism.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Killing The Electoral College Is A Dumb Idea Pushed By Ignorant People

By Donna Carol Voss
Thursday, December 01, 2016

If you want to get rid of the Electoral College, you don’t understand how it works. I mean the royal “you,” not the partisan “you.” Opposition to the Electoral College tends to break down along partisan lines—especially lately, for some reason—but even President-elect Donald Trump said he’d prefer “simple votes.”

You can hardly be blamed for your ignorance if you went to public school, attended an elite university, or get your news from Yahoo. Some very nice, apparently well-educated people—Barbara Boxer—are peddling absolute Pablum about the Electoral College. “The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately. Every American should be guaranteed that their vote counts.”

You are one of them, with all due respect, if you’ve said or thought any of the following.

The American Founders set up the Electoral College as a members-only club for white, male property owners.

You’re right. Only white, male property owners could serve as electors. Only white, male property owners could vote, for that matter. Women, the poor, and—with special brutality—slaves were treated like dogs who might be lucky enough to get a scrap from their master’s table. From our twenty-first century lives, we can’t begin to register that sort of inhumanity.

But this isn’t Social Justice 101; that class is down the hall. This is America 101. This class is the awe-inspiring story of tragically flawed people who somehow managed to win an unwinnable war and devise—despite their racist, sexist, classist limitations—a document like no other: our Constitution.

They rose above powerful cultural blinders to set forth an ideal that transformed man’s relationship to government and to his fellow man. What is seen by some as their hypocrisy—all men are created equal—is really a testament to their vision. Nobody’s mad at John Lennon for singing “Imagine” about a world that didn’t exist. Why are we mad at the Founders for envisioning freedoms for all that were unimaginable at the time?

The Founders knew the Electoral College was “not perfect,” but Alexander Hamilton deemed it “excellent” in that it united “in an eminent degree all the advantages” of our new union. It decreed first and foremost that the people, not permanent ruling bodies, were in charge. It was the people who would elect the men who would elect the president.

Why the middlemen? Because it was “peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder.” Or, as Ben Franklin put it, “Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner.”

The people were to elect the “most capable” men as electors, which designation sets on edge the teeth of our modern, egalitarian, would-be utopia. Would it sound better if we said the “most qualified” men? Even in our paroxysm of sameness, we allow (in theory) only qualified people to vote: 18, American citizen, of sound mind, etc. What qualified men as electors in 1787? How about literacy and education?

That our earliest recorded literacy rates are from 1870 says something about literacy rates 80 years earlier. Thomas Jefferson called for a public school system after the American Revolution, but it wasn’t until 1852 that the first compulsory school laws were enacted. We can wring our backward-looking hands that education was afforded only white children—to boys and later to girls from wealthy families—or we can put on our big girl panties and accept that human social development is messy. Like it or not, white, male property owners were the most qualified to be electors at that time.

The Electoral College was all about slavery and protecting slave owners’ rights.

No, it wasn’t, and shame on whomever taught you it was. Maybe it was one of the elite college gang like Professor Akhil Reed of Yale University. Described as a specialist in constitutional law, he “is among America’s five most-cited legal scholars under the age of 60.” When asked why the Electoral College exists, he responded:

In my view, it’s slavery. In a direct election system, the South would have lost every time because a huge percentage of its population was slaves, and slaves couldn’t vote. But an Electoral College allows states to count slaves, albeit at a discount (the three-fifths clause), and that’s what gave the South the inside track in presidential elections.

How does a specialist in constitutional law miss the word “compromise” in “three-fifths compromise”? How does one of America’s most-cited legal scholars fail to consider that five-fifths (that’s one) and three-fifths weren’t the only options available?

It wasn’t pretty that day around the Constitution. Northern and Southern states fought bitterly over how to count slaves, who couldn’t vote, in population numbers. Since population numbers determined legislative power, Southern states of course wanted to count slaves like they counted everyone else. Abolition-conscious Northern states wanted to eliminate slaves from population counts completely.

Northern states argued that if Southern states could count their property (slaves), Northern states could count theirs (horses, chickens, etc.). Because executive fiat by phone and by pen had not yet been invented, the two sides had no choice but to compromise. That’s why it’s called “the three-fifths compromise.”

As Reed points out, the three-fifths compromise “discounted” the value of slaves relative to white men, but it enhanced the power of slaves relative to white men in reducing by two-fifths the South’s power to preserve slavery legislatively. The Electoral College set the stage for legislative abolition of slavery, so you can say it was about slavery if you want, but tell the whole truth.

Food for thought: had the Southern states gotten their way and counted each slave in full, slavery would have been much harder to eliminate. Yet from our twenty-first century, poorly informed lives, we would likely have praised their full count cause as noble.

A system that ignores millions of Americans’ votes can’t be fair.

You’re so right! Let’s make it a law that all absentee votes must be counted before popular vote totals are announced. States don’t count absentee ballots if the margin between candidates is larger than the number of absentee votes to be counted. Practical. But disgraceful, and deceptive.

Who votes absentee? The military. When I was growing up in what happens to be Navy Seal Central-West, there was a bumper sticker that read, “If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read it in English, thank a soldier.” Forget thank you, we don’t even count their votes. Add to these uncounted votes more by students overseas and businesspeople on trips, and you have a whole lot of Americans whose votes are being ignored.

The kicker is that—when counted—absentee ballots historically break about 67-33 percent Republican. No one is suggesting the popular win would go to Trump were they counted, but if the popular vote margin between Hillary Clinton and Trump is the oil on this gasoline fire, let’s not fan the flames deceptively.

The Electoral College makes my vote worthless unless I live in a battleground state. The same handful of states have all the power all the time.

This is such low-hanging fruit, I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. It doesn’t matter whether you call it a state, a tribe, a planet, or a concept. Certain areas are more divided politically than others, and those areas will naturally draw more attention from candidates.

It isn’t the Electoral College doing this; it’s human nature and the physics of election wins. If you’re holding your breath in New Mexico that a popular vote will magically transform your state into a resource-rich, politically vibrant enclave, I’m sorry. It doesn’t work like that.

If you currently live in a battleground state, don’t get too comfortable. Over the long haul, states move in and out of electoral importance. New Jersey was a swing state and is now safe. California was “safe” Republican until 1988 and is now the epitome of “safe” Democrat. Should you be muttering, “Not fair, I want my vote to count now,” congratulations, you are the one JFK was talking about when he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.”

The winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes is not in the Constitution and isn’t what the Founders envisioned.

Really? It seems to me they envisioned just about anything and everything:

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. (The Constitution, Article II, Section I, Clause 2)

“…in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct…” I see no asterisk that says “except for winner-take-all systems.” If you don’t like winner-take-all systems, take it up with your state legislature; they’re in charge of that ride.

We need the National Popular Vote bill to make every vote count.

The National Popular Vote bill is to elections what Obamacare is to medicine. They are each misguided attempts to be fair that hurt far more people than they help. If the National Popular Vote bill passes (and it is already 61 percent of the way there), we will go from the frying pan into the fire.

Do Jane in Utah and Joe in Duluth want the national popular vote? We’ll never know, because no one is going to ask them. The people will not be allowed to vote yay or nay on the measure. This is a state legislature by state legislature slog that will eat its own when it reaches the magical majority number of 270 electoral votes. Citizens in the remaining 269 electoral vote states will no longer (supposedly) give up their power to the Electoral College; they will (definitely) give it up instead to the states who wanted to get rid of the Electoral College.

Ask Jane how important Utah’s electoral votes were this time around. Ask her if she voted for Evan McMullin (don’t really, that’s impolite) hoping the Mormon Mafia would thwart Trump’s win. There was real concern that Utah with its six little electoral votes could throw the whole election. Clinton paid for ads in a state that hasn’t voted Democrat since 1964.

Ask Joe how the Electoral College worked for him this time. Clinton won Minnesota’s 10 electoral votes by 43,785, a margin of 1.5 percent. Without the Electoral College, Trump would have campaigned very differently: “If the election were based on total popular vote I would have campaigned in N.Y. Florida and California and won even bigger and more easily.”

If there is anyone left who doubts he would have, my hat is off to your dogged delusion. Trump would have campaigned only in big bang for his buck states, and that does not include Minnesota. Thanks to the Electoral College, the majority of Minnesotans who voted for Hillary saw their state’s votes go to her column. Without the Electoral College, Joe and his buddies would have watched their state’s votes go automatically to the winner of the national popular vote, likely Trump.

As it is now, a Republican in California or a Democrat in Texas has little hope of influencing the national election because they have little hope of influencing their state election. Oh well. In the newer, better tomorrow promised us by a popular vote, even fewer Americans will have influence.

Looking at the 2016 results, because Clinton won the popular vote, every single state whose electoral votes went to Trump would be required to give them to Clinton. The National Popular Vote bill closes a gap by driving a Mack truck through it.

Perhaps, just perhaps, I am unfairly judging the anti-Electoral College crowd as ignorant. It’s possible they understand it only too well, which would explain why they want to get rid of it. But not before 4.3 million of them petition it to make their dreams come true.