If you’re someone who reads my articles or follows me on Facebook, Twitter or my brand new YouTube channel you’re probably aware that I emphasize the importance of context in how we process information. Without taking the “bigger picture” and context of a situation into account, a person can fabricate practically any lie they want. Ignoring context, which is essentially ignoring rational thoughts and facts, is really the basis for how most conspiracies are formed. It’s people picking and choosing bits and pieces of information, then spinning all of that to create something that’s not remotely true once you factor in the context of that cherry picked information.
This year’s election is a prime example of that.
While I’m not denying that Donald Trump won the election, the context of his victory matters just as much as the actual results of it. Especially considering how Trump and his supporters have spun the facts of what actually happened, often implying that his victory was massive and historic.
Yeah, that’s not remotely true.
As I’ve pointed out before, when you break down the numbers of his victory, he’s going to become president based on around 100k votes spread out between Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — that’s it. Republicans didn’t win huge congressional victories. In fact, they lost seats in both the House and the Senate. While they still control the majority in each, the fact that the party lost seats matters.
The truth is — when you factor in the context of this election — Trump’s going to go down as one of the biggest losers in U.S. presidential history.
Since this nation began reporting the popular vote (1824), only five individuals have become president despite losing the popular vote: John Quincy Adams (1824), Rutherford Hayes (1876), Benjamin Harrison (1888), George W. Bush (2000) and Donald Trump (2016).
Now, right off the bat we can toss out the 1824 election of Adams considering that election was actually decided by the House of Representatives after all of the candidates failed to receive enough electoral votes. So that’s an entirely different situation than the other four elections.
So, taking into account these other four men, currently Hayes ranks as the biggest “loser” in presidential history by winning the 1876 election despite losing by 3 percent to Samuel Tilden.
Who’s next on that list? Well, none other than Donald Trump, himself. He currently trails Hillary Clinton by just over 2 percent, with almost all of the votes counted.
The other two men, Harrison and Bush, both lost the popular vote by less than 1 percent.
Fun Fact: Aside from Bush, none of the other three men served more than one term — and we all remember what happened during Bush’s second term, don’t we? Historically, candidates who become president despite losing the popular vote usually don’t go on to be very successful.
But this is what drives me crazy when I see Trump, his supporters or people like Kellyanne Conway make comments where they act as if millions of Americans have no right to be upset that he won.
It’s completely ridiculous.
This isn’t a president-elect who’s going into office after winning some unquestioned victory given to him by the majority of Americans. If you want to get right down to actual democracy, which is the purest form of “approval by the people” — he lost, fairly easily.
While he undoubtedly won the electoral college victory, the majority of Americans did not support him.
This whole notion that this was a vote against President Obama’s leadership and progressive beliefs is absurd because more people voted for Clinton. The only reason Trump won is not because he was supported by the majority of Americans, or even the majority of voters, but because he won the most land.
That’s what the electoral college is really about, winning more land (aka states) than the other candidate.
Let me prove my point.
Right now, it’s estimated that the population of California is around 39 million. As a state, they have 55 electoral votes.
Now, let’s add up a few “red states” that went for Trump: Wyoming, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Utah, Arizona and Idaho. That’s 11 states awarding 54 electoral votes. Nearly the same amount as California.
But now let’s compare the populations of these states vs. California’s 39 million
- Wyoming: 586k
- Alaska: 738k
- North Dakota: 767k
- South Dakota: 858k
- Montana: 1 million
- Idaho: 1.7 million
- Nebraska: 1.9 million
- Kansas: 3 million
- Utah: 3 million
- Oklahoma: 4 million
- Arizona: 6.9 million
Total: 24.5 million
Despite over 15 million more people living within California than all of these other states combined, California only awards one more electoral vote than they do.
This is a topic I’ve covered before. The electoral college (and most of our government, really) is more about winning geography than actual votes. Hypothetically, 95 percent of the population could be progressives living in New York, California and Illinois, with the other 5 percent being conservatives living in the other 47 states, and Republicans wouldn’t just win every single presidential election, but they’d control 96 Senate seats as well.
Once again, while I’m not denying that Trump won the electoral college victory and that’s the system we use to elect our presidents — the context of his “win” matters.
This is a man who will go down in U.S. history as one of the biggest losers to ever be given the title of the presidency.
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