On the 8 November 2016, the USA held its general elections to elect the president, the states, and local leaders. In the US, there are two main parties which are the Republican and the Democrat, and thy were represented by two presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton respectively. It was a surprise to most people, when Donald Trump became the president-elect by winning 276 electoral college votes. It was a surprise that a racist candidate would be elected as a president after he had offended women, disabled and blacks on his entire two-year campaign.
According to the Los Angeles Times, this is the fourth time in American history, where the president-elect wins by the electoral college and lost the popular vote. In 2008 and 2012 the now president-elect Donald Trump complained about the electoral college vote system saying ‘it was not democratic’ suddenly, he benefitted from the same system and people are on the street opposing his victory.
A democracy has its own weaknesses but it is still the best system of governance. I learned that the electoral college system was introduced in the US in the 18C to balance the democracy. Through the electoral college, the vote is considered by the number of the population of a particular state. Let’s say state X has 1 mln people and their electoral college vote is 200, thus 200 people will determine the president despite the vote of the rest of the population. There was fear that there may be a populist leader one day who would sway people to vote him/her when he/she might lead a country into dictatorship.
The idea of electoral college makes sense somehow, taking an example of most of the African countries where general elections are conducted after every few years and dictators would do anything to be ‘elected’ into power every season. I call it a democracy by ‘decoration’ since the things that are happening during the ‘elections’ are so undemocratic and inhuman most of the time.
According to Van Jones who is a CNN political commentator’s opinion regarding the presidential election result, he believed it was a ‘whitelash’ against a progressive country and against president Obama in part. It is surprising why ‘white Americans’ would feel more Americans than the native Americans or other races. For instance, Donald Trump’s father was German and his mother from Scotland. But he had the audacity to question Obama’s birthplace simply because his father was Kenyan.
I came across a white woman’s FB comment on people who feel sorry for the America, she said people should not feel sorry for America because it has a bright future ahead. It is important to be hopeful as this white American woman who sees that America has a bright future ahead. Americans will certainly find a way someday to deal with racism with a human rights based approach and probably repeal the electoral college vote system as well.