Posted by Benjamin Waddell | 14 October 2018 | 708 times
On Oct. 6, 2018, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court by the narrowest of margins, with 50 votes in favor and 48 votes against. He is the first justice in U.S. history to be confirmed by senators representing less than half of the country (44 percent), with a majority of the population (52 percent) opposed to his nomination.
Kavanaugh is the second Supreme Court justice picked by President Donald Trump. Trump, in turn, is the second president in five elections to enter the White House after losing the popular vote. In 2000, George W. Bush lost the popular vote to Al Gore by 540,520 votes but won the Electoral College after the Supreme Court halted the Florida recount. Similarly, Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by an overwhelming 2,809,197 votes. But like Bush, Trump won the Electoral College, and thus the presidency.
The U.S. political system is institutionally rigged in favor of conservative white voters who drastically diverge from the political values of most Americans. This is why Kavanaugh was able to be confirmed by the Senate, and it’s the reason filmmaker Michael Moore, who predicted Trump’s victory in 2016, recently warned that Trump could very likely be a two-term president.
The Electoral College was designed to buttress the power of white rural voters, and true to that purpose, it continues to suppress the power of minority voters today. Critics may argue that Hillary Clinton lost because she failed to round up as many voters in 2016 as Barack Obama did in 2008 and 2012. But Clinton didn’t so much lose the national election as she failed to win enough support in several states stacked with white voters.
Clinton handily won California (62 percent minority) and New York (43.5 percent minority), barely lost Florida (42.2 percent minority), and racked up more votes in Texas (56.5 percent minority) than Obama had. Together, these four states account for 33 percent of the nation’s population and an increasingly larger percentage of the nation’s minorities. However, Clinton lost traction in Michigan (75 percent white), Pennsylvania (78 percent white), Ohio (80 percent white) and Wisconsin (82 percent white), and as a result, she lost the election.
What this all adds up to is a rather unpopular but quite sound prediction: Donald Trump is likely to win a second term.
And unless voters organize to amend the Electoral College and the Senate — or abolish electoral votes altogether — our Constitution will continue to be one that treats citizens of color as less than whole people.
Fortunately, the type of social pressure necessary to restructure the rules of the game may not be that far off. Diversity is on the rise in rural America, and while these populations are young, within the next decade minorities will emerge as a powerful voting block in many rural counties across the country. At that point, the future of the nation will rest in the hands of ethnic and racial minorities for the first time in U.S. history. (HuffPost)
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