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World & Current Events > Is there an Illuminati that runs America?

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message 1: by Alex (last edited Jun 24, 2018 09:29PM) (new)

Alex (asato) There Really Is a Secret Club in Washington Whose Members Run America - The Wall Street Journal

https://apple.news/AH0rUP1gJSMqVhKbLy...

Thoughts?


message 2: by Graeme (last edited Jun 24, 2018 10:26PM) (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi Alex,

I'm not a subscriber to the WSJ, but my own position is that, indeed, an elite rule the US, primarily for their own benefit, where benefit is defined as that which further secures their own power (influence) and wealth at the expense of everyone else.

This is not different from any society in the past, and the admirable principles that established the constitution of the US, while nominally still in place, and able to be exercised, do not apply to the most wealthy/powerful members of society who are legally untouchable and are able to exert influence over the machinery of government and the content of the media to continuously improve their own positions vis-a-vis the rest of us.

Social inequality is inevitable in any society/culture where power and wealth are concentrated into the hands of a few, and a pervasive hierarchy is established as a necessary manifestation of the concentration of power and wealth.

The means of maintaining a disparate allocation of resources requires the pervasive use of the key tools of power, - bribery, deception and violence.

(Hence the Vampire Dominion as metaphor...)


message 3: by Matthew (last edited Jun 24, 2018 11:15PM) (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) In a sense, yes. But far from being the idiotic nonsense of Alex Jones, Breibart, or the general population of Fox News, its blatantly obvious who America's elites are. All the talk of the "Deep State" and "the swamp" that runs Washington has become a massive cliche of late, mainly from people who are part of said club and want to secure the votes of the weak-minded and easily-led.

But a very simple glance at Americas billionaires, the lobbyists, and the bought-and-paid-for politicians who serve them tells us all we need to know. Not only do they control most of the wealth in the US, they control much of the flow the information. They are not hiding in the shadows or pulling the strings from behind curtains. They are out in the open and conducting their dirty business in plain sight. Worst of all, they have convinced countless people that they are somehow the victims or that their antics are somehow normal or "the American way".

And in the past few decades, they have become increasingly anti-factual and anti-reality in their approach. It's gotten to the point where they would argue that black is white and reality is "fake news". And the fruits of their labor have been the election of Trump, the rise of the alt-right, and the movement of extreme racists and white nationalism into the political mainstream. These people are even willing to forgive treason and the collapse of everything the US stands for as long as it gets them tax cuts and the elimination of Obamacare in the meantime.

It's a sick and cruel joke which needs to end because it is turning the US into a third-world nation run by an oligarchy. I sincerely hope the past few years have taught people something.


message 4: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Matthew wrote: "It's a sick and cruel joke which needs to end because it is turning the US into a third-world nation run by an oligarchy...."

I have a suspicion Matthew that if you and I put together two lists of who the oligarchs are we'd come up with substantially different lists.

The key distinction between your position and mine, is that you seem (please correct me if I'm wrong here...) to attribute the Oligarchs to the right wing, alt-right, Republicans etc who you see as epitomized by Trump, and his backers/supporters. All naturally opposed by the Democrats, etc.

For me, the Oligarchs/Plutocrats transcend politics. They don't care, they will use either party as they see fit, to ensure the continuance of two things.

[1] The status quo of their own primacy within society,

[2] Change that facilitates/entrenches their primacy within society.

After all, if you had inherited great power and wealth , what would you do, give it away, or seek to preserve and extend it? What do most oligarchic old money families and clans do?

They actively pursue increased power and wealth, their family/clan/class culture is built around the pursuit and maintenance of power. wealth, influence and position.


message 5: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments Found the same article open somehow through this: https://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/com...
But except for being a club didn't read about anything shocking and revealing.

That there are small groups pulling the strings in specific areas is very likely, but that there is an organized clandestine sect of a small number of individuals controlling most of what's happening in the world is hardly possible.
Having lobbying as legal is a means to circumvent democracy where the majority decides and not a narrow limited interest. Thus individual or limited in number sponsors and lobbyist can influence huge areas, often contrary to majority's will or preference. On an essential level what's the difference between lobbying and bribing? In some countries in Eastern Europe a president tells a businessman you need to give me this ___% share of your biz, if you want to continue having it and if becomes a partner, naturally supports now his/her own biz. Or businessmen championing their candidates, which in return are supposed to protect sponsors' business interests. Is there a difference when someone passes a bag full of 100 dollar bills, wires the same amount to unidentified off-shore account or 'donates' or 'contributes' to election campaign? I don't see much


message 6: by Graeme (last edited Jun 27, 2018 03:48PM) (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Nik wrote: "That there are small groups pulling the strings in specific areas is very likely, but that there is an organized clandestine sect of a small number of individuals controlling most of what's happening in the world is hardly possible...."

That's my position too.

I think the idea of a monolithic unified elite comes from a basic misunderstanding of the operation of power (explicitly in its pathological as opposed to exemplary forms).

The actual techniques of (pathological = typical) power are fundamentally shaped by the vulnerabilities of the target population (typical humans) and less by the attributes of the power operators, who have an adaptive, "whatever works," approach as an outcome of not having political, ideological, or religious affiliations.

Because human beings on average (an especially in groups) have the same vulnerabilities over time, the "forms," of the operations of power are consistent over time, even though the "content," will always change to match the fashions and fads of the day.

The forms of the operations of pathological power consist of primarily bribery, deception, and violence, and together they provide a monolithic appearance.

Those who believe in a monolithic, unified, elite transfer the monolithic operational framework of power (in it's pathological forms) to the actual power operators.

However the power operators, while operating within a monolithic framework, are not unified, except to the extent that any alliance serves their own purposes of competitive, predatory advancement. Instead of unity there is fierce and unyielding competition for supremacy where the winner takes all, and the losers get nothing.


message 7: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11785 comments I don't think there is anything secret, and I don't think there is any unification (implied by society"). It is simply the mathematics of the free market. If you have everyone working for their own best interests, those with huge resources and wealth have a big interest in preserving their position. They don't care, usually, about others' because it is their own focus on themselves that got them to where they are. Simple mathematics at work here.


message 8: by Mike (new)

Mike Takac | 27 comments Ian wrote: "I don't think there is anything secret, and I don't think there is any unification (implied by society"). It is simply the mathematics of the free market."

Very true about “the mathematics of the free market,” as for “any unification” it is simply an outgrowth of the physical constructal law in the evolution of market systems.

The constructal evolution of flow typically spawns dendritic patterns throughout the universe.

Also, Thomas Jefferson’s philosophy of “unalienable Rights” is a representation of the constructal law from the research in the science of rights.

Professor Adrian Bejan, the one who discovered the constructal law, the scientific community recently celebrated his contribution to science at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.
https://www.fi.edu/laureates/adrian-b...

In general, humanity flowing within the matrix of the laws of nature, having freedom in the evolution of understanding, provides greater access to the pedagogic currents of nature, results in changing configurations of philosophy, culture, markets, and scientific understanding, etc.; generating dendritic patterns guided by the physical constructal law all superimposed on the same area (the globe) and in the same volume (the brain).


message 9: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6184 comments I have to wonder about the group called the "International Order of St. Hubertus." It's an ancient, secretive, all-male hunting group who wear robes and have titles such as "grand master." This is a verified organization. Former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died under what some say are suspicious circumstances while visiting a ranch where members congregated. Any secretive all-male organization - whether it's the Klan, the Masons, or this organization - is , in my opinion, suspect.


message 10: by Matthew (last edited Jun 26, 2018 09:20PM) (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Graeme wrote: "Matthew wrote: "It's a sick and cruel joke which needs to end because it is turning the US into a third-world nation run by an oligarchy...."

I have a suspicion Matthew that if you and I put toget..."


Indeed I do, Graeme, but that's because the blatantly obvious choice if you're looking to preserve your wealth is to side with and bankroll the very people who are looking to preserve things the way they are, or to regress to an earlier time in which the protection of wealth was insured. In other words, you side with the politicians who are like you, people interested in preserving their wealth and those of their friends.

Between the Republicans and Democrats, there are plenty of politicians who are for sale and neither party is blameless. But let's not kid ourselves, the Republican party's preeminent values come down to tax cuts, privatization, deregulation, prevention of public health care, and waging war on poor people and minorities. Issues like abortion, gun control and gay marriage are nothing but window dressing and blatant hypocrisy. For both the elite and the politicians they own, its all about keeping the gravy train going.

The elites do not transcend politics all, they are extremely political! And its extremely obvious which political party represents them and ensures their interests. As for the alt-right, the Tea Party, the Birther Movement and Trump, these are nothing but useful idiots to them.


message 11: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11785 comments Yes, but superficially it is a no-brainer for the people to organise themselves and vote in a party that is more "fair". But they don't, and they seem to do little more than shrug their shoulders and accept what the plutocrats leave for them.


message 12: by Matthew (last edited Jun 26, 2018 09:25PM) (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Ian wrote: "Yes, but superficially it is a no-brainer for the people to organise themselves and vote in a party that is more "fair". But they don't, and they seem to do little more than shrug their shoulders a..."

It would be, unfortunately, far too many people have been so brainwashed or are so cynical that they can't tell the difference between the plutocrats and the people that are actually representing them. I've talked to countless people on the far left and right who were convinced Hillary Clinton was a warmonger, elitist scumbag and Trump was actually a better candidate. You would think it is a no-brainer, but that assumes people are actually capable of making informed and rational decisions.


message 13: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin Talking of brainwashed people, there was a excellent example of that recently in, I believe, South Carolina. An American citizen of hispanic descent was working on a landscaping contract at a private house when a female (white) neighbor approached him and yelled at him 'GO BACK TO MEXICO!' When the stunned landscaper asked why he should go to Mexico, the woman replied 'because you are a rapist and a drug dealer!' The poor man tried to say that he was an American citizen but the woman kept insulting him and accusing him of being an illegal immigrant, a rapist and a drug dealer. When the man finally asked the woman why she was saying that to him, her response was: 'because President Trump said that Mexicans are rapists and drug dealers'.

I believe that it is hard to try discussing in an intelligent manner with such people (the woman). So, people following blindly like zombies is something very plausible.


message 14: by Jona (new)

Jona Taylor | 11 comments Michel wrote: "Talking of brainwashed people, there was a excellent example of that recently in, I believe, South Carolina. An American citizen of hispanic descent was working on a landscaping contract at a priva..."

How do you know this to be true? It sounds more like an urban legend tale to me. I kind of go by Judge Judy's thing: if it doesn't make sense, it's not true. If a woman thinks someone is a rapist and drug dealer would she really incite him? Nah. She'd run the other direction and call INS. BTY, I did not and would not ever vote for Trump.


message 15: by Michel (last edited Jun 27, 2018 09:24AM) (new)

Michel Poulin Jona, I know this to be true because someone recorded that incident on her smartphone and then circulated it, with the recording ending on TV news channels. As for that white woman calling the authorities on the landscaper, many other racist persons did just that in other incidents for totally frivolous reasons (woman calling police on a young boy selling water bottles 'without permit', other woman calling police on a black couple that had rented a house, yet another woman calling the police about an 'illegal BBQ' in a park). Such incidents are deplorable but unfortunately too true. Trying to deny a problem will do nothing to correct that problem (racism).


message 16: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11785 comments In my view racism is not the problem, but merely a symptom. The problem is that only too many people refuse to think, and instead grasp at whatever is being dished out to them, and amplify the parts that play on their fears or prejudices. As an example, I do not believe Trump ever said ALL Mexicans are rapists etc.


message 17: by Mike (new)

Mike Takac | 27 comments Ian wrote: "In my view racism is not the problem, but merely a symptom."

Very true! Society’s nemesis is ethical behavior. In a letter to H. Tiffany, April 4, 1819, Thomas Jefferson wrote:

“Of liberty then I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will: but rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will, within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights [“unalienable Rights”] of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’; because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.”

That is, the tyranny of governance, illuminati or not, cannot legislate ethical behavior, for such behavior is relative to one’s decision to flow with, or against, a civil society.


message 18: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments Michel wrote: "So, people following blindly like zombies is something very plausible...."

Maybe critical thinking and anti-tribal approach should be a school subject? -:)


message 19: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Critical thinking is a lonely art-form.


message 20: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin Graeme wrote: "Critical thinking is a lonely art-form."

That is so true! It is time to wonder where we are going when political discussions and debates on TV, on radio, in public and in the halls of power end up looking and sounding like episodes of 'The Jerry Springer Show'.


message 21: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6184 comments Has anyone researched the International Order of St. Hubertus and its connection to Justice Scalia? I thought it was interesting, and it bears a resemblance to the Illuminati.


message 22: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments Scout wrote: "Has anyone researched the International Order of St. Hubertus and its connection to Justice Scalia? I thought it was interesting, and it bears a resemblance to the Illuminati."

Sounds interesting indeed. Maybe you can enlighten us?


message 23: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6184 comments This is what the International Order of St. Hubertus has to say about themselves http://sthubertusbrotherhood.org/:

The Brotherhood is a Chapter of the Grand Kapitel of the International St. Hubertus Order with membership represented in over 13 countries in Europe and North America. The International St. Hubertus Order is the oldest and most prestigious hunting organization in the world. It is organized as a Knightly Brotherhood under the direction of a Grand Master and has National Chapters (or Baillies), each under the direction of a Grand Prior. In the United States, the Chapter is divided into geographic Priories under the direction of a local Prior. Membership in the Brotherhood is by invitation only and includes a rigorous selection process.

Independent news agencies reported that when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died at a West Texas ranch, he was among high-ranking members of an exclusive fraternity for hunters called the International Order of St. Hubertus, an Austrian society that dates back to the 1600s.

After Scalia’s death Feb. 13, the names of the 35 other guests at the remote resort, along with details about Scalia’s connection to the hunters, have remained largely unknown. A review of public records shows that some of the men who were with Scalia at the ranch are connected through the International Order of St. Hubertus, whose members gathered at least once before at the same ranch for a celebratory weekend.

Members of the worldwide, male-only society wear dark-green robes emblazoned with a large cross and the motto “Deum Diligite Animalia Diligentes,” which means “Honoring God by honoring His creatures,” according to the group’s website. Some hold titles, such as Grand Master, Prior and Knight Grand Officer. The Order’s name is in honor of Hubert, the patron saint of hunters and fishermen.

So, guys and gals, here's an all-male, secretive group wearing robes and bearing titles such as Grand Master. Not the Klan or the Illuminati, but definitely real and associated with the death of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. What do you think? Do you believe now that there are secret societies made up of powerful men?


message 24: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan The Pilgrim society is a good example of this sort of thing....

REF: Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilgrim...

The bottom line is that the number of truly powerful, uber-wealthy people is small enough that they all know each other.

While I'm personally loathe to suggest that there is a single human being who is pre-eminent amongst the highest ranks of our thoroughly hierarchical society - i.e. a behind the scenes ruler of the world, the bottom line is that all these people have a powerful vested interest in the continuance of a status quo where they reap the very best of what the whole human economy has the offer. (which is mighty fine indeed).


message 25: by Graeme (last edited Jul 04, 2018 01:37AM) (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Matthew wrote: "The elites do not transcend politics all, they are extremely political! And its extremely obvious which political party represents them and ensures their interests. As for the alt-right, the Tea Party, the Birther Movement and Trump, these are nothing but useful idiots to them. ..."

If I use a hammer to hammer nails, does that mean I have a passionate love of hammers. A hammer is just a tool.

For a power operator, politics is just a tool, the specifics of any political platform is irrelevant to a power operator, except in so far that they are effective with the target populations and hence deliver the valuable goods of influence and obedience.

I suspect you are making the common mistake of imagining that the people who are operating political platforms are as emotionally invested in them as you are.

Power operators have a singular god that they live and breath - the solicitation of obedience from other human beings and the concomitant delivery of the very best of the goods and services that are on offer from the human economy, and all without a shred of remorse or accountability for the effects of their actions on others.


message 26: by Vance (last edited Jul 04, 2018 03:25AM) (new)

Vance Huxley | 63 comments In a democracy we get the election we deserve. Regardless of pressure groups, and special interests, we all get a vote on election day. The internet will let you find the truth if you care enough. The majority of people don't read a newspaper, and don't automatically believe the TV, so why do they believe politicians?

The truth is that most voters don't care enough to look. A huge number of Americans will vote Democrat, and a huge number vote Republican, regardless of the candidate (we have the same thing with Conservative and Labour, and with Brexit, in the UK). Many do so because their parents did, while many others believe their party or candidate reflects their own ideals (even if the party doesn't actually live up to them).

For some reason, losing a free, open election is a reason for vast protests, civil disobedience, and attempts to stop the legitimate government carrying out their manifesto.

Logic and truth have no effect. Worse, in the aftermath the losers will find lots of reasons they lost, but being the least popular won't be one of them. They have always been robbed by lies and special interests, or illegal votes, or possibly Martians interfering.

No conspiracy could withstand the will of the people, if the people cared enough to express that will.


message 27: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin Vance, you are forgetting that, in the USA, the Electoral College system screws the results from pure popular vote, by giving an overriding voice to a few select 'electors' who were not voted in themselves on that election and basically represent the political establishment. In the 2016 American presidential elections, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by a few millions, but Trump still won thanks to the Electoral College system and to grossly gerrymandered county lines that favored a specific party. So, the will of the people, as you call it, did not prevail: the political establishment did.


message 28: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Graeme wrote: "Matthew wrote: "The elites do not transcend politics all, they are extremely political! And its extremely obvious which political party represents them and ensures their interests. As for the alt-r..."

I agree, to a point. Whereas I doubt the elites care about things like abortion, gay marriage, et al. they absolutely care about taxes and being free to do whatever they want. I think the better analogy is that the elites prefer to use the politics of the hammer, in that they view any interest contrary to their own as a nail.

And if you honestly think America's elites are dispassionate about their political agenda, I would say you're not looking closely enough. The mere mention of the words racism or labor rights produces massive outcry from the conservative right and their lobbyists, with claims of "reverse racism" and "class warfare".

You're saying they only care about their common line. But to me, this is a common mistake. Protecting one's bottom line with a specific political agenda is politics. While they may be window dressing added - i.e. certain social issues - that doesn't mean they are above politics or apolitical.


message 29: by Vance (new)

Vance Huxley | 63 comments Michel wrote: "Vance, you are forgetting that, in the USA, the Electoral College system screws the results from pure popular vote, by giving an overriding voice to a few select 'electors' who were not voted in th..."

In a population of 122 million, a few million one way or the other is a tie, which gives anyone gaming the system their opportunity. Since 46% of the population didn't bother to vote, it wasn't gerrymandering or electoral colleges that decided the result. Voter apathy did the job for the elites or conspirators. That same system has elected every other president, not just president Trump.
The youth vote, at 54%, was identical to the overall vote, so it won't be altering in the near future. That's the lowest turnout since 2000.

We have the same issues over boundaries in the UK, where a shift of a few miles can result in a change of member of parliament, but our real problem is the same. The voters don't care enough to make a difference. Our future may be brighter, about 70% of our younger voters turned out last time.

As Mathew points out, elites don't actually care about their professed policies, they want power. That also applies to those whose policies seem most liberal. Look at the bank balances of the big political families in the USA, or most "democratic" countries. How many 'poor' senators you have? They are in power because the voters listen to bought propaganda.

I'd advocate an alternative to the presidential system, but our parliament is a shambles and definitely not representing the will of the electorate.

As a start, I'd like to see a law that compelled a political party or candidate to carry out every promise in their manifesto, instead of promising whatever will get a vote. Another law insisting that lies told during an election are treason might be too much to hope for.


message 30: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2328 comments Michel wrote: "Trump still won thanks to the Electoral College system and to grossly gerrymandered county lines that favored a specific party...."

Gerrymandering has nothing to do with the Presidential race. You can't gerrymander the states.

As for the College itself, people forget we're not a true democracy, but a republic of semi-autonomous states. The President was always intended to be elected by the States, not the people. As someone else said, people are pretty ignorant when it comes to politics, and the Founding Fathers realized that 230 years ago. They figured the leader of the Union was too important a figure to trust to the people.

On top of that, the states were afraid that the election of President would always come down to a few powerful states, and the smaller, less influential states would never have a voice. The Electoral College was a compromise. If you take the Clinton/Trump match-up, the concentration of population means that the majority, Clinton voters come from some narrow regions of the country. It's a problem the Democratic Party has had in recent years, they their base has been gradually contracting toward the coasts, ignoring vast swaths in the great expanse between.

You could, if you wanted, argue that the "mess" with the Electoral College was created because of the attempt to give the voice to the people instead of the legislators. States have, over the decades, passed laws requiring their electors to cast their votes for the winner in their state. A couple states do split the electors to more closely match the overall vote in those states, but for the most part, it's winner-take-all, and that's what's created safe states for both parties, forcing the election to come down to a few key states.

In the past, under the original system, states might have had a split delegation of electors if their state's vote was closely split. It was also a more realistic possibility for electors to go rogue 200 years ago vs. today.


message 31: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) J.J. wrote: "Michel wrote: "Trump still won thanks to the Electoral College system and to grossly gerrymandered county lines that favored a specific party...."

Gerrymandering has nothing to do with the Preside..."


You can influence the vote though, and that is certainly been the case in the past two elections where the electoral college did not reflect the votes. And I fail to see how the college prevents a few states from dominating the vote. The college's votes are based on state population. In the end, they make little difference, except to inaccurately reflect the actual vote spread.


message 32: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6184 comments This topic is about the existence of secret organizations of powerful white men. I did some research on this and would like your opinions.

This is what the International Order of St. Hubertus has to say about themselves http://sthubertusbrotherhood.org/:

The Brotherhood is a Chapter of the Grand Kapitel of the International St. Hubertus Order with membership represented in over 13 countries in Europe and North America. The International St. Hubertus Order is the oldest and most prestigious hunting organization in the world. It is organized as a Knightly Brotherhood under the direction of a Grand Master and has National Chapters (or Baillies), each under the direction of a Grand Prior. In the United States, the Chapter is divided into geographic Priories under the direction of a local Prior. Membership in the Brotherhood is by invitation only and includes a rigorous selection process.

Independent news agencies reported that when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died at a West Texas ranch, he was among high-ranking members of an exclusive fraternity for hunters called the International Order of St. Hubertus, an Austrian society that dates back to the 1600s.

After Scalia’s death Feb. 13, the names of the 35 other guests at the remote resort, along with details about Scalia’s connection to the hunters, have remained largely unknown. A review of public records shows that some of the men who were with Scalia at the ranch are connected through the International Order of St. Hubertus, whose members gathered at least once before at the same ranch for a celebratory weekend.

Members of the worldwide, male-only society wear dark-green robes emblazoned with a large cross and the motto “Deum Diligite Animalia Diligentes,” which means “Honoring God by honoring His creatures,” according to the group’s website. Some hold titles, such as Grand Master, Prior and Knight Grand Officer. The Order’s name is in honor of Hubert, the patron saint of hunters and fishermen.

So, guys and gals, here's an all-male, secretive group wearing robes and bearing titles such as Grand Master. Not the Klan or the Illuminati, but definitely real and associated with the death of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. What do you think? Do you believe now that there are secret societies made up of powerful men?


message 33: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2328 comments Matthew wrote: "And I fail to see how the college prevents a few states from dominating the vote...."

Again, our President was intended to be chosen by the States, not the people. If states received votes based entirely on population, then 9 states control more than half the population. It is conceivable to have those 9 states deciding an election for the remaining 41.

By basing the electoral vote off the combination of Senate plus House seats, it lessens that power and gives smaller states more of a say. For example, New Hampshire ranks 41 out of the fifty with just 4 electoral votes, but for some reason the two parties treat is as if it's an important swing state.

In addition to having the Senate seats leveling the playing field, the formula used to apportion the House seats contains a handicap that alters a state's ability to obtain additional reps the more they have, so even the House side of the equation isn't a strict population measurement.


message 34: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6184 comments I guess my posts are being blocked by the brotherhood.


message 35: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan @J.J.

The "United States of America," not "The United People of America."

It seems clear to me.


message 36: by Matthew (last edited Jul 07, 2018 12:47AM) (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) J.J. wrote: "Matthew wrote: "And I fail to see how the college prevents a few states from dominating the vote...."

Again, our President was intended to be chosen by the States, not the people. If states receiv..."


Whether or not it was intended that way has nothing to do with its utility or whether or not it represents the will of the people. And again, since the college is based on rep by pop, it hardly prevents a few states from dominating an election cycle.

If a candidate were to garner 51% of the vote in California, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York, Ohio and Georgia, they would already have 223 of the 270 seats they need to win. Throw in Michigan and Arizona, and it doesn't matter if 100% of the population of every other state voted against them. So really, how does it lessen the power of larger states?

Also, the definition of a "swing state" pertains to any state that can be won by either candidate. In every election these are sought after because they are a litmus test of a candidates popularity. This is why New Hampshire and other states are treated as important, it has nothing to do with the number of votes they have.

The existence of the college also does not prevent influence peddling or gerrymandering, which we have seen in the last two elections where the electoral college vote did not reflect the popular vote - i.e. 2000 and 2016. In both cases, the candidates who won did so under suspicious circumstances and lost the popular vote.


message 37: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11785 comments Gerrymandering is something politicians everywhere attempt, because it involves taking advantage of weaknesses in the rules. It has nothing to do with he system, although some systems seem to have weaker rules than others. But I don't think there is any way to avoid it, or to gt totally fair electoral system.

The problem that I thought everyone started talking about was the perverse effect of money, which is independent of gerrymandering as that latter would happen if money was entirely banned.


message 38: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2328 comments Matthew wrote: "J.J. wrote: "Matthew wrote: "And I fail to see how the college prevents a few states from dominating the vote...."

Again, our President was intended to be chosen by the States, not the people. If ..."


I get your point, I really do, but I think you're missing mine (of course I could be wrong). Our President was never intended to be chosen by the people, but by the States. It's along the lines of how our Federal judges were intended to be nominated by the President and confirmed by Congress...they weren't established as elected positions.

Yes, as the College distribution is established, larger states still hold more sway than the smaller states. The point I'm trying to make is that the Founding Fathers tried to mitigate that power by granting each state the 2 votes represented by the Senate. They still have the population advantage, but when every state automatically gets 3 votes before population is ever considered (2 for the Senate and the 1 guaranteed in the House), the smaller states get a greater say than they would if the College vote was distributed solely on population.

Over our history, states have tried to change this in their own borders, passing laws that require their electors to vote the way the state's popular vote went for example. What this does is not only force the electors to honor the vote, but frankly, it took the process away from the state legislators.

You disagree with the gerrymandering and those occasional disparities when the popular vote and electoral vote don't match, imagine that disparity if our legislatures still controlled the electors. Just quickly found a map online to highlight things:

http://www.ncsl.org/Portals/1/ImageLi...

In 2016 Republicans controlled 30 states and Democrats controlled 11. Even worse for the Democrats, New York, with the 3rd largest electoral delegation in 2016 had a split legislature.

Thing is, the Electoral College is here to stay, for better or worse. It would take a Constitutional Amendment to do away with it and elect the President through a straight popular vote, and you will not even get a majority of states to surrender the power they may or may not currently hold.

Another way you could look at it, is to look at these countries where the Prime Ministers come to power because their party holds a majority of seats or is able to form a majority coalition. Britain's Prime Minister for example is the head of government, but the people do not elect him or her. And I could be wrong, (I'm trying to weed through the information,) but it doesn't look like you elected Trudeau to be your leader...that you elect your MPS and he gets to lead because his party has the largest block.

If there's one thing to be said for our way, is it allows for different parties to control the Administrative and Legislative branches. In a country with a roughly equal number of conservative and liberal minded citizens, Our government is always better when one party controls the White House and the other party controls Congress, because it gives everyone a voice in an imperfect system.

To address gerrymandering separate from the Presidential system, I agree it would be nice for the Supreme Court to decide what is appropriate and what goes too far...unfortunately, with 2 different cases before them in the previous term, they decided to avoid the issue. The Wisconsin case was sent back to the lower courts in a 9-0 decision.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/18/politi...

Liberals and conservatives all came together in their unwillingness to lay down the law for the States. This issue isn't going away anytime soon...


message 39: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) J.J. wrote: "Matthew wrote: "J.J. wrote: "Matthew wrote: "And I fail to see how the college prevents a few states from dominating the vote...."

Again, our President was intended to be chosen by the States, not..."


/I get your point, I really do, but I think you're missing mine (of course I could be wrong). Our President was never intended to be chosen by the people, but by the States.//

No, I get your point, I just don't see the utility or why this would prevent it from being changed.

//Yes, as the College distribution is established, larger states still hold more sway than the smaller states. The point I'm trying to make is that the Founding Fathers tried to mitigate that power by granting each state the 2 votes represented by the Senate.//

I concede this point. The entire point was clearly to try and place a barrier against certain regions having dominance over the vote, but I would contend that in that, they may have failed. I would also contend that representation by popular vote would more accurately reflect how the people voted and this seems to be far more in keeping with the purpose and the Republic's creation.

After all, the Declaration of Independence specifically states "government of the people, by the people, for the people."

//You disagree with the gerrymandering and those occasional disparities when the popular vote and electoral vote don't match, imagine that disparity if our legislatures still controlled the electors. Just quickly found a map online to highlight things:

http://www.ncsl.org/Portals/1/ImageLi...

That argument strikes me as immaterial since I am saying that the electoral college should be removed. Yes, if the state legislatures had control over the electors, the results would have indeed been more disproportionate. But that is an argument against having states vote for their electors, not against eliminating the college altogether.

//Thing is, the Electoral College is here to stay, for better or worse. It would take a Constitutional Amendment to do away with it and elect the President through a straight popular vote, and you will not even get a majority of states to surrender the power they may or may not currently hold.//

You just said it, it would take a constitutional amendment. That does not make it impossible to achieve. And as I recall, African-Americans being counted as 3/5th of a White Man was also part of the Constitution, which was amended. Writing Civil Rights into state charters also required a constitutional amendment, but it took place.

//Another way you could look at it, is to look at these countries where the Prime Ministers come to power because their party holds a majority of seats or is able to form a majority coalition.//

As a Canadian, I am extremely familiar with the system. And while people may not have voted for Trudeau directly, their votes were entirely based on who they wanted to become the next Prime Minister. And it may interest you to know that a large and growing movement of Canadians want to abolish the "first past the poll" system (as its called) to embrace proportional representation. And not to be a dick, but in the history of Canada, never before has a government taken power after losing its share of the popular vote.

Also, the party that comes to power with a majority forms a majority government, not a coalition. A coalition government is where a government is voted in with a minority of seats and joins seats with another party to obtain a majority of the seats. Minor point, I know, just clarifying that.

//If there's one thing to be said for our way, is it allows for different parties to control the Administrative and Legislative branches.//

Agreed.

//To address gerrymandering separate from the Presidential system, I agree it would be nice for the Supreme Court to decide what is appropriate and what goes too far...unfortunately, with 2 different cases before them in the previous term, they decided to avoid the issue. The Wisconsin case was sent back to the lower courts in a 9-0 decision.//

They may have dodged the decision, but they did not issue a ruling on whether or not they were legal. And according to your source, liberals and conservatives were not united on the merits of the case. In fact, the case was sent back to the lower court so the complainants would have the change to prove injuries, which it was felt they did not.

The issue is indeed not going away, because it is unresolved. And this is about redistricting, not the electoral college. Change may come slow, but we'd be fools to bet against it.


message 40: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2328 comments I would argue their reason was just an excuse not to rule on the case. In Roe v Wade, the plaintiff was no longer pregnant by the time the Court took up the case, and hence she no longer had grounds to sue, but the Court recognized the short length of a pregnancy vs. the length of time it takes for a case to reach the Supreme Court. They decided the requirement could be set aside.

These justices know they're getting this case back plus many others working their way up. They didn't have to nit-pick the procedural. They could have wrangled around it and made a tough choice in order to give the States clear guidance for once. Heck, even the Conservatives seem to indicate they think it goes too far in some cases, so it shouldn't be too hard for them to come up with some consensus on how far is too far.


message 41: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6184 comments Thanks for your concise comments, J.J. Something to think about, and it's given me an idea for a new thread.


message 42: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16071 comments From a historical unifying perspective a college made/makes a lot sense, since when promoting a federation to a would be subjects, nobody wanted to be 'diluted' and a compromise was required. In contemporary times this assumption may no longer be as essential, but then there are ways for the Americans to change things in their home.
On a global level we see different modern mechanisms introduced to assure a 'better' voting representation, like leveling seats for example:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level...


message 43: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) J.J. wrote: "I would argue their reason was just an excuse not to rule on the case. In Roe v Wade, the plaintiff was no longer pregnant by the time the Court took up the case, and hence she no longer had ground..."

Perhaps you're right. And it will definitely come back up again and again. Gerrymandering and redistricting is much like the electoral college, or the whole issue of "bipartisanism". Every election, someone cries foul and demands the rules be revisited, or just wants them revised for the sake of securing future victories.


message 44: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2328 comments Matthew wrote: "J.J. wrote: "I would argue their reason was just an excuse not to rule on the case. In Roe v Wade, the plaintiff was no longer pregnant by the time the Court took up the case, and hence she no long..."

And that's why we need to think long and hard about changing our systems...if we make a decision based on a knee-jerk reaction, it will likely come back to bite us in the rear.


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