Saturday, November 19, 2016

Gregg Popovich said it best: Trump - "Sick to my stomach" and "We are Rome"

After finally, ok maybe, being able to somewhat rationally think about this election, here are my thoughts.

Nineteen years ago I took an all day basketball coaching clinic where DVD of coaching by Gregg Popovich, Coach of the San Antonio Spurs, was the one selected by Loudoun County.  I came away extremely impressed with "Pop" as he is called.  He is widely regarded as the smartest and best coach in all of sports and his record proves it.

Pop spoke out on the election at USA Today.  He nailed exactly how I feel.  I highlighted the text that really resonates with me.  There is a recording of Pop discussing his thoughts.  Below is his transcript.
“I’ve spoken on this before and I probably will again. Right now I’m just trying to formulate thoughts. It’s still early and I’m still sick to my stomach. Not basically because the Republicans won or anything, but the disgusting tenor and tone and all the comments that have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic, and I live in that country where half the country ignored all that to elect someone.
That’s the scariest part of the whole thing to me.
“It’s got nothing to do with the environment and Obamacare and all that other stuff. We live in a country that ignored all those values that we would hold our kids accountable for. They’d be grounded for years if they acted and said the things that have been said in that campaign by Donald Trump. I look at the evangelicals and I wonder, ‘Those values don’t mean anything to them?’

“All those values to me are more important than anybody’s skill in business or anything else because it tells who we are and how we want to live and what kind of people we are. That’s why I have great respect for people like Lindsey Graham and John McCain, John Kasich, who I disagree with on a lot of political things, but they had enough fiber and respect for humanity and tolerance for all groups to say what they said about the man.
“I get it, of course we want him to be successful. We’re all gonna say that. Everybody wants him to be successful. It’s our country. We don’t want it to go down the drain. Any reasonable person would come to that conclusion, but that does not take away the fact that he used that fear-mongering and all the comments from day one. The race baiting with trying to make Barack Obama, our first black president, illegitimate. It leaves me wondering where I’ve been living and with whom I’m living.

“The fact that people can just gloss that over and start talking about the transition team, and we’re all gonna be Kumbaya now and try to make the country good without talking about about any of those things. Now we see that he’s already backing off on immigration and Obamacare and other things, so was it a big fake? Which makes you feel even more disgusting and cynical that somebody would use that to get the base that fired up to get elected.

“What gets lost in the process are African-Americans and hispanics and women and the gay population, not to mention the eighth grade developmental stage exhibited by him when he made fun of the handicapped person. I mean, come on. That’s what a seventh-grade, eighth-grade bully does, and he was elected president of the United States. We would’ve scolded our kids, we would’ve have discussions and talked until we were blue in the face trying to get them to understand these things, and he is in charge of our country. That’s disgusting.”
(Reporter tries to ask another question/add a comment.)
“I’m not done.

“One could go on and on. We didn’t make this stuff up. He’s angry at the media because they reported what he said and how he acted. It’s ironic to me. It just makes no sense. So that’s my real fear and that’s what gives me so much pause and makes me feel so badly that the country is willing to be that intolerant and not understand the empathy that’s necessary to understand other group situations.
“I’m a rich white guy, and I’m sick to my stomach thinking about it. I can’t imagine being a Muslim right now, or a woman, or an African-American, a hispanic, a handicapped person, how disenfranchised they might feel. And for anyone in those groups that voted for him, it’s just beyond my comprehension how they ignore all that.

“And so, my final conclusion is — my big fear is — we are Rome.”

The Recognized Problem With The Electoral College

My last blog was on a history of the Electoral College with a rational explanation of why it appears to work for the United States.

Just a little background here on other countries that use an Electoral College from Wikipedia:

"In Italy the presidential electoral college is composed of the members of both houses of Parliament and three members elected by each of the regional assemblies. Other countries with electoral college systems include Burundi, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Myanmar, Pakistan, Trinidad and Tobago and Vanuatu."

Besides Italy, do any of these other countries look like "thought leaders in democracy?"  Of course not.

When I hear people talk about the brilliance of our founding fathers, I have to question their thought process.  Let's see, we have a bunch of slave owners write a document over 228 years ago and NOTHING regarding the appropriate premise of that document has changed?  Really?

Let's clearly state why the Electoral College came about and not popular vote.    By William C. Kimberling, Deputy Director FEC National Clearinghouse on Election Administration.

"A third idea was to have the president elected by a direct popular vote. Direct election was rejected not because the Framers of the Constitution doubted public intelligence but rather because they feared that without sufficient information about candidates from outside their State, people would naturally vote for a "favorite son" from their own State or region. At worst, no president would emerge with a popular majority sufficient to govern the whole country. At best, the choice of president would always be decided by the largest, most populous States with little regard for the smaller ones"

Can ANYONE state that in 2016 that we "lack sufficient information about candidates from outside their State" ?   Of course not.

We saw what happened in 2000 when Al Gore won the popular vote, but George W. Bush became President - an unmitigated disaster.  Millions of Americans (me included) expect these next four to eight years  with Trump to be much worse.   An anti-science, anti-data Republican inherits a VERY sound country and screws it up.  We have seen this movie before folks and it does not end well.  Yes, Hillary had her own set of problems, BUT, give me a typical self-serving politician WHO believes in science every day of the week versus these anti-science and anti-data Republicans.

Of course, it is nearly impossible to get rid of this boat anchor Electoral College, so the idea of one person - one vote is a statistical joke.  In 2016, countries around the globe, except for Trump's Russia, shake their heads in complete disbelief on what is going on in the United States of America.