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Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Baton Rouge, Louisiana


Election Day is less than two months away. It’s Clinton and Trump neck and neck in the polls, with Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson polling 10% of the total vote. So the candidates are crisscrossing Louisiana trying to squeeze out enough votes to carry the state, right? Hardly!

Now I know that my vote for president is irrelevant.  Louisiana is a red state, which means the Trump ticket is a lead cinch to carry the state.  Forget California, the big Apple, and for the matter the whole South.

The election comes down to just a handful of states. It’s all about Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and maybe North Carolina. These few states have become the Epicenters of the Political World. The rest of us are all irrelevant.  States like mine get visited during a presidential election only if we qualify as a campaign ATM machine.

And by the way, what’s all this red state-blue state thing?  I thought red was a designated color for communism?  You know.  Reds!  The Soviet Union!  And that Democratic “blue”? The Bible says it’s a symbol of wealth and corruption.  Check out Proverbs.  Now the corruption I can understand.  But I thought it was the Republicans who are the rich guys!

You see, it all comes down to the Electoral College, that archaic system put in place by our forefathers, when it took several weeks by horseback just to get to Washington. Each state was, with few exceptions, similar in size, strongly independent and demanding equal say in the ways of the nation’s capitol.

But here is how undemocratic the system has become. When it comes time to pick a president, each state’s voice is determined by its congressional make-up.  Every state has a guarantee of three electoral votes, including one for each of the two U.S. Senators.  And that throws the one man-one vote principal completely out of whack.

As columnist Mark Shields points out: “This means that Wyoming, which in the most recent U.S. Census had 568,300 residents, has three electoral votes, and California, with 37,341,989 residents (which awards it 53 House members), has 55 electoral votes. As Bill Clinton might suggest, look at the arithmetic: Wyoming gets one electoral vote for every 189,493 residents, while it takes 678,945 Californians to get a single electoral vote. This is indefensible.”

This leads to the disturbing possibility that one candidate could carry the day in acquiring a majority of voters across the nation, but the other candidate could be elected by garnering an Electoral College majority.  Déjà vu Bush-Gore?

Looking at the choices, many voters, including myself, feel a bit let down.  Is that all there is?  Both parties seemed at constant political war.  Whole hosts of what seem to be insurmountable problems facing our country are barely touched on by either party so far during this campaign. Neither Clinton nor Trump have told us what their agenda for the nation will be in the next four years. Trump changes his positions daily and Clinton won’t even talk to the press.

Whoever wins on Election Day will face cantankerous opposition from the other party, with an uphill challenge to get much done for the country in the coming four years.  If the new president is unsuccessful, here’s the encouraging news.  It’s only some 1562 days until the next presidential election.


Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right?

Robert Orben

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide.  You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownla.com.  You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9:00 am till 11:00 am Central Time on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at http://www.jimbrownla.com.



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