I am not a betting woman, but if you had asked me six months ago if I thought #Donald Trump had a prayer against Hillary #Clinton in the presidential election, the answer would have been a resounding, "NO. He has no political background! He’s dangerously hot tempered! He’s sexist, misogynistic, racist, and half a dozen other things that no one in their right mind should want in office!"
But today, I wake up to a reality where this man holds one of the most powerful positions, not only in our country, but in the world.
How did we get here?
Influence of the Media
These days, it’s almost too easy to take pot shots at the media. Paparazzi are overly aggressive, conglomeration of news outlets leads to biased and self-interested reporting. I could go on. But in the case of Donald Trump, the media won him his GOP candidacy.
Think back to a year ago. How much did you hear about Ben Carson or Jeb Bush? How much did you hear about Ted Cruz, other than him allegedly being the Zodiac Killer? Not much, I imagine.
That’s because most eyes were on Trump. The sheer lunacy of this man, known for his loud mouth and controversial views, running for a position he had no qualification for was too ridiculous to ignore. Coverage of his antics took away from his competitor’s, and when it came time to elect a nominee, the only name on people’s minds was Trump’s.
It was funny, it was a joke. There was no way this man would get elected running against a Clinton!
Until he did. Then, we weren’t laughing anymore.
'The Lesser of Two Evils'
If I had to slap a slogan on this year’s election, this would be it.
This has been a phrase I’ve heard far too often in the past few months and about many other elections. Never before in recent history has there been an election with voters so divided over candidates, not because they prefer one over the other, but because they’d prefer neither at all.
After Clinton’s FBI e-mail scandal, many voters claim she is a crooked politician while most anti-Trump voters claim he is dangerous.
This dissatisfaction led many voters to turn to third-party candidates, splitting the Democratic vote, and taking away Clinton’s chance of trumping Trump.
Gary Johnson and Jill Stein together only received about 1 percent to 2 percent of the votes in each state, but it was enough to give Trump the lead he needed to take key states like Florida and Michigan away from Clinton. Votes for write-in candidates Harambe the gorilla and Cthulhu, probably helped too, I imagine.
A Broken System
Before this election, a presidential candidate had only won the White House without winning the popular vote four times in the entire history of the United States. The last time it happened was back in 2000 when Al Gore won the popular vote by half a million votes over Bush, but Bush won the electoral vote, and therefore, the presidency. Before that, the last time it happened was 1888.
The problem with the Electoral College is that it forces candidates to try to win states, not people. It’s winner take all for the state’s electoral votes, meaning a candidate needs only 51 percent of a state’s popular vote to win all of its electoral votes.
Because the amount of electoral votes allotted per state does not equally represent their populations like they should, not everyone’s vote is worth the same. A candidate need only win the states with the highest vote to people ratio, like many of the Midwestern states, to win the election. Sorry New York, Florida, California, and Texas, your residents drew the short stick on voting power.
In short, you could theoretically become president with only about 25 percent of the popular vote.
God bless America. #Election 2016