Friday, December 30, 2016

Donald Trump came in third, not second

Forrest Johnson’s latest column in the Reader Weekly stated that Donald Trump came in second ("Dear President-Elect Donald the Clown").  The reality is that Trump came in third; the real winner was a de facto “None of the above”.

Wikipedia gives the following figures:

Turnout - 55.3%
Trump -  62,979,879 45.95%
Clinton - 65,844,954 48.04%

Neither received a majority of the votes, but Trump is acting like he has a mandate.  In almost every election (too many) where a candidate doesn’t get a clear majority, the winner acts like he did.  If we didn’t have the Electoral College mucking things up, Clinton probably would act like she had a mandate.

In this year’s election, Trump received the votes of 25.4% of the electorate.  Clinton did only slightly better with the votes of 26.6% of the electorate.  This is not the way to run a “democracy”.

Few candidates have the humility to admit that more people didn’t show up than voted for him or her.  This holds for local elections as well as national elections.

It is far better to show up and leave a slot blank than to not show up at all.  In the first case your vote “counts” because you are part of the electorate.  In the second case your “vote” will never be counted.

The Election Project has slightly different figures, but the result is just as bad for democracy.

Turnout - 60%
Voting Eligible Population - 231,556,622
Ballots - 138,884,632

We will only have a democracy is when all eligible voters truly believe the following:

The only way
You throw your vote away
Is to stay away!