I am distraught with the election of Donald Trump. Not necessarily the fact that he will be the president, or that the press is seemingly unable to accept his election. Not even with the millenials protesting by burning and breaking their neighborhoods, with the complicity of professional victim groups like Black Lives Matter and Moveon.org. After all, one expects millennials to be safe-space demanding, crying at the drop of a hat, emotionally driven hipster morons.
Trump wasn’t elected to be dictator, or leader for life, or fascist-in-chief. Despite the abuses of the outgoing president, a president’s power is limited. Not only by the constitution itself, but also by the Congress and the Supreme Court. It takes roughly 270 elected people to agree with his actions before he can implement them. He may get lucky, like Obama, and be faced with an opposition party that consists largely of quislings, but I doubt it.
No, what bothers me is the reaction of those who I thought were my friends and acquantences. People I had previously thought to be reasonable, rational people seem to have become unhinged at the thought of Trump in the White House.
I have friends that are liberal, conservative, and pretty much everywhere in between. And I’ve always enjoyed our sometimes-combative discussions. Mostly because they have been rational, fact-based arguments.
But now, it’s all been changed. I still have liberal friends, and I still have conservative friends, and I have smart friends, and less smart friends. But now I have a new category of friends: trivial friends. Not that their friendship is trivial to me, but that they have relegated themselves to the status of trivial by their embrace of empty and shallow rhetoric, by their acceptance of media smear tactics, and by their abandonment of the democratic process.
I have a friend who is, putatively, a man of science. Yet he has parroted the “not my president” line, and slams the incoming president’s choice of staff as being racist. When asked what evidence there is that Stephen Bannon is a racist, he resorts to the time-tested avoidance of “look it up yourself.”
That places him squarely into the “trivial” category, and that saddens me. That so many people are so deranged by an election that they jettison reason and serious thought, and instead become talking memes, is a cause for sadness. And that is exactly what has happened. I am saddened and distraught that people I once thought serious are now regarded as trivial. And that is the real reason that Trump’s election makes me distraught.
Well, I voted today. I did my part to preserve the Republic, defend democracy, and make my voice heard, ad nauseum. At least I think I did; I have a sticker that says so. But did I really? I have no idea, nor do most Floridians, I guess.
I live in what I jokingly refer to as Cuba Norte, otherwise known as Miami-Dade County, home of egregious corruption and chicanery. Perhaps it is best exemplified by the City of Opa-Locka. Opa-Locka is so corrupt, it has had its entire government turned over to outside supervision. But I digress.
Living in Dade County, I, like every other voter in the county, have no idea whether I voted; or if I did, whether it was counted; or if it was, whether it was counted for the candidates I voted for.
When one votes in this county, one first must show an ID to an election official. I had to use a photo ID, even though it may have disenfranchised me. I am, after all, a minority in this county. After you show your ID, you sign an electronic register, which then prints out a receipt. You then hand your receipt to another official who hands you a ballot form and your receipt.
You then go to a booth where you fill out your form. Much like the SATs, you do this by filling in ovals that correspond to your choices on candidates and issues.
From there, you hand your receipt to another official, who shows you how to place your ballot form into the scanner, where it is scanned and then deposited into a sealed box. Having heard the beep that signifies that the machine has ingested your form, the official then places your receipt into another box.
Now comes the interesting part. You leave the polling place. But you have no idea whether your vote has been counted, counted correctly, altered, or discarded. There is no readout on the machine that indicates your ballot was recorded correctly, no printout either. Nothing, in short, to indicate you really voted. I asked the official how I was to know my vote was counted. He replied that it was “better than hanging chads.”
So, everyone in Dade County, and, for all I know all of Florida, could be disenfranchised without even knowing it. Dade County is ripe for voter fraud, and we would never know. I think we need a better system.