You recently noted a concern regarding the value of a person’s vote in our country. Let me share some stuff with you. Even though this will be a thumb nail sketch of information that is pertinent, I hope some insight will be provided.
First, it is very important to emphasize that our unique form of government came into being when the states created the federal government… not the other way around.
We have been told and taught for decades that we are a “democracy”. Even our politicians speak of our “democracy”. From the beginning, people of other countries thought we were a democracy. In 1847, Friedrich Engels mistakenly wrote, in The Principles of Communism, that the USA would be an easy convert because we had a “democratic constitution”. It was not then, and was never intended to be, such a document. The founders knew that historical experiments in that form of government had ended badly.
For some reason, there are many who assume when people vote they must be participating in a democracy. The democratic principle of voting has been observed in Russia, China, Cuba and Venezuela. No one mistakes those countries as being free and open societies. We need to be more interested in learning the structure and functions of our own government before we continue to wander down a dangerous path.
The men who designed the structure of our government installed safeguards against the weaknesses and dangers that have been inherent in true democracies as well as those found in dictatorial oligarchies. One area of illustration is the purposely varied methods by which the members of the separate branches of government are selected.
Please note how the vote of the people is intricately interwoven in the following mechanism of our government.
The members of the House of Representatives are chosen for two year terms by direct democratic vote of the people in the respective districts. The number of representatives allowed is determined by each state’s proportion of the population of the country.
The members of the Senate were originally chosen by the state legislators for six year terms with each state allowed two senators. Of course the state legislators were themselves elected by the people of their state. Unfortunately, in 1913, the people of the country were manipulated into ratifying an amendment which changed the selection of senators to statewide popular votes.
The president may serve a maximum of two terms, four years each. That executive officer is elected by a slate of electors, called the Electoral College. The number of electors to which each state is entitled is equal to their total number of members of the House and Senate. This allows for a preponderance of influence from the popular vote with a moderating factor for consideration of the differences among the several states. What the people of the states are voting for in today’s presidential elections is a group of people who are supposedly committed to supporting a particular candidate.
The justices of the Supreme Court are nominated by the president and approved by the Senate. The length of their service is limited only by their behavior. Even though the justices are not subject to the vote of the people, those who elevate them to their offices are in some fashion dependent upon the voters.
Now, Joe, since you have some concern regarding our most recent presidential election, let’s address that.
As of 11/28/16, it appears that HRC has received a nationwide “democratic” popular margin of about two million votes. She did not win the Electoral College vote. This would suggest to some that the “will of the people of the country” had been thwarted. However, upon closer inspection, we see that the combined popular vote of only California and New York provided HRC with a popular margin of more than four million votes. Excluding the votes of those two states, the votes of the remaining forty eight states resulted in a popular margin of some two million votes in favor of DJT.
We may now lodge an opinion that two states would be “dictating” to the remaining forty eight if the popular vote was the sole determinant. Perhaps the logic of the founders is more apparent in their efforts to place a hindrance in the development of a tyranny of a few highly populated states over the remaining majority of the states.
So, my friend Joe, I hope this wee bit of information gives you a basis for a broader perspective regarding this form of self government which has only occurred once in the history of the world.
Addendum (11/29/16): re the 2016 vote… I just received much more detailed information supporting the Electoral College…. It’s out there… You’ll see it…