US Democracy hacked? One person one vote, the Electoral College and the 3/5th clause

electoral-college

The Electoral College victory of Donald Trump over the popular vote winner Hilary Clinton not only exposed the general unfairness and undemocratic nature of the US election process but also revealed the depth of the vestiges of US slavery.

One man/woman one vote has been the mantra of democracy the world over. When the US has overseen elections in the Third World they have enacted this principle. So why not the US? It’s anyone guess but there is likely some truth in the idea that the Electoral College serves to safeguard the Ruling Class from the eventuality that the people will rise up and rebel against the one party system posing as two (Democrats and Republicans) and vote for a candidate and platform consistent with their needs and wants.

Advocates for the Electoral College who support it for the sake of democracy and fairness somehow conclude that it’s fair to allow people in different parts of the country have their votes weigh more than others. But this is why the Electoral College has to be gotten rid of, it discriminates against the more populated and urban areas of the country. What a coincidence.

However, the point of voting is for everyone to have equal say, to get some kind of representation in return, to have a real voice in the political, economic, social affairs of the federal or state or local  government.

Strangely the Democrats seem to passively accept their fate. It seems much more hell should have been raised by the Clinton campaign after winning the election by nearly 3 million votes. The Democratic Party campaign of Al Gore in 2000 was equally as quiet after winning the popular vote, even after it was revealed that vote tampering had occurred and people were purposely kept from the polls.

Amateur historians of late have been insisting that the Electoral College sprang from a desire to maintain States rights, or the desire to allow smaller states to have more influence, but they are guilty of historical revisionism.

The Electoral College is deeply rooted in the desire of the Southern slave states to maintain their slavocracy.  When examining the debate among those attending the Constitutional Convention it is clear that a compromise was necessary, so that the major Slave holding states would feel comfortable belonging to the union and have a real stake in it, as well as significant political power.

Ironically the Southern slave states thought it unfair that they had the largest population, but would not have the influence or the political weight that their population should bring. At least half of the population of the major slave States were enslaved.

Now consider the mental and psychological gymnastics that this required, never mind the nerve.  What the Virginian, North  and South Carolinian, Maryland and Georgian slave owners wanted was to continue labeling their slaves as property  (thus depriving them of  their rights including the unalienable rights supposedly afforded all human beings) while at the same time counting them as human beings to buttress their power.

This paradox was brought on because in 1787 and until slavery ended in the US, those in bonds were considered property: chattel: Thus the term “chattel” slavery.

Unfortunately, there could be no real union if compromises were not made. The slave states were afraid that one person one vote would mean that they would be outvoted by the larger voter eligible populated Northern states, which could have meant the end of the slave trade and eventually the institution of slavery. Women, Blacks and White men without property were not allowed to vote.

“No Slave Trade, No Union” was the rallying cry of South Carolina and Georgia.

Consequently, the Electoral College was a compromise allowing the slave States to count five slaves as equal to three free people (the 3/5th clause) in order to increase the South’s representation in Congress. So even in choosing the president the political power gained from the ownership of slaves would be factored into the electoral votes of each state.

Many like to refer to 3/5th clause as evidence of how poorly Black slaves were viewed even by the early leaders. Truth is 3/5th was a step up. Black slaves were considered not as humans but as property!

James Madison commenting on the compromise at the time said, “The people at large” [are] “the fittest” [to choose the president, because] “the people generally could only know and vote for some Citizen whose merits had rendered him an object of general attention and esteem.” .

When Donald Trump is sworn in as the “unelected” next president it will be more proof of the hypocrisy and contradictions of US democracy which in truth is nothing more than a republic run by the wealthy; thus a plutocracy.

justice then peace

U of MN sexual assault scandal deeply rooted in the American Way

u-of-m-football

So much to sought out in the University of Minnesota’s newest athletic scandal but suffice it to say that most will come away missing the forest for the trees. Many will retreat to their respective corners, women will blame men, white folks who are so inclined will view this as just another case of Black folks more specifically black athletes acting badly, some Black folks will call out white people for having a double standard. And everyone will have some truth. But the larger truth, the fact of the matter is that this stems from something deeper, the very heart of US society; its culture is anti-woman, sexist, misogynist, patriarchal.
Proof of that can be seen in efforts to blame the victim in this case. Don’t be tempted, no one has a right to violate anyone’s person no matter their mental/emotional state.
Unfortunately though the U of M football team was right to demand that their accused teammates have due process, (which is a cornerstone of any real democracy) their almost unconditional support implied that they also supported the misconduct of their accused teammates. While most of the players get it, I suspect some of them still don’t get it or care that a woman was victimized.
Some players and others pointed to the police and the Hennepin County prosecutor’s office failure to bring charges, as proof of the athlete’s innocence. In actuality it means little, it just means the police and some among their favorite prey (young Black men)have something in common: a disdain for the rights of women. In fact the police department is a bastion of male machismo and misogyny and as a rule doesn’t take rape victims seriously. Until recently their first inclination was to blame the victim and/or put them on trial so to speak. Much like cases involving police violence against citizens, prosecutors seldom prosecute rape cases.
Strangely, the local Big business newspaper of record, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, got it right when it editorialized that “the decision not to arrest or prosecute does not mean the players were absolved.”
Oddly this is the same newspaper, which consistently brow beats working class folks, especially Black folks into accepting prosecutor’s decisions not to prosecute in cases of police violence, as the law and therefore the end of it: defendant absolved.
The University of Minnesota’s administration has been trying to appear as the defender of women’s rights and tossed the word values around as if they are guided by principles/ morals rather than the profit motive. Values what values? If values were their utmost concern they would have simply suspended the football players for the season, which of course would have meant a possible losing season and no lucrative million dollar bowl game at the end of it.
Without question, the 10 football players are indeed guilty of breaking the rules of conduct laid down by the University’s Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action office.
Those who had sex with their fellow student without her permission are guilty and those who cheered it on are guilty of breaking the University’s rules of conduct and the rules of simple decency and respect and thus should suffer the consequences.
The players should have known that you can’t have sex with someone who is inebriated. There is no such thing as consent under those circumstances, even if the victim shouts their undying love for acts they perform. And there is no such thing as group sex with a stranger, to think so is to live in a fantasy world, which most likely where this ill-fated idea originated. Group sex has to be agreed upon beforehand.
Not surprisingly the young men appear to be confused by the severity of their punishment, and by society’s mixed messages. They have been told that they are entitled, (except they weren’t entitled to have their way with a White girl). They have heard contrary messages; women ain’t crap, but if you act on this idea taking it to its logical conclusion you will be punished.
The culture denigrates women. The young men listen to music that constantly refers to women as ancillary beings, and “B’s” and “hoes” or “THOT’s”, or potential porn stars.
Women are still not compensated with equal pay for equal work, there are still glass ceilings for women, the woman who ran for as Democratic party candidate for president, Hilary Clinton was constantly referred to as that “B,” and the president elect was recorded saying it was ok to grab women by the crouch.
So what needs to happen to curtail this kind of behavior? We need to create a society that speaks with one voice. Womanists, feminist and others are going to have to stop pretending that we are going to get rid of misogyny, sexism and patriarchy without addressing it at its root. This disrespect for women is deeply rooted in the social/political/economic system of capitalism which uses it to further divide and rule.
Pull up the roots and we will have a chance to live in a world decidedly pro human and thus pro woman.
justice then peace