How You Get Elected President

I posted on my Facebook page recently that I was absolutely bewildered with the behavior of Donald Trump on Super Tuesday. In my post I characterized Trump’s concept of getting elected president like this: a lot of people vote for you and you become the candidate. Then a lot more people vote for you again and you are elected president. You could have knocked me over with a feather the following weekend when Fareed Zakaria, an esteemed commentator on many issues, actually said that Trump does not understand the electoral process. So while I excuse anyone who wasn’t impressed with my astute assessment of the situation, I am now going on the idea that I understand what is going on.

It has been many years since the Republican Party stopped paying attention to American civil law. They operated on the assumption, as Rachel Maddow puts it, that “it’s okay if you are a Republican.” By that Maddow meant any conduct you can imagine: financial malfeasance, sexual transgression, and even out-and-out crime such as the bank scandals that go back to the second Bush administration.

Meanwhile, the attack against Hillary Clinton is ferocious. She and she alone is expected to produce transcripts of her speeches–compare that to the demands that President Barack Obama produce his transcripts to “prove” that he went to college or whatever. And before that, the Birthers. There was a joke posted on my Facebook page that ran to the effect that Rafael (Ted) Cruz was born in Canada, to an American mother. Supposedly that makes him an American. Barack Obama was born in the United States to an American mother, so, as the joke goes, that makes him Kenyan, right?

It is also a new assumption that candidates should not be “beholden” to corporate money. When was this law passed? This is not corruption–it’s politics as usual.

But what Trump apparently does not know that presidential elections are “protected” from the great unwashed mob of voters by the delegate system (it bears some relation to the concept of the Electoral College). And like it or not, that system is in place and will stand until it is altered. I, among many other people, have advocated for direct elections for years. My proposal is to set up a telephone line for each party (you could include write-in voting as well) and the voting public simply dials “their” number and punches in their Social Security Number. That’s all! Whether the federal level of government will see this as a priority remains to be seen, but I believe that the American people, particularly those who are currently disenfranchised such as the entire population of Guam, ought to have a simple way of voting directly.

So now the Trump campaign is making an effort to talk delegates–something Trump himself gave up on because it seems to him that the delegate system is hard. Okay, fine–don’t dream for a moment that the Clinton and Sanders campaigns don’t have a very firm grasp of how the delegate system works. The Democratic convention just might be contested, but if you watch it you will see people conducting themselves like they know what is going on.

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