No Power In The ‘Verse

joss

How much money did you spend on your hobbies between September 1 and now? For Joss Whedon, the answer was: $508,374. His one-man PAC, “Save The Day”, made “comedy videos” featuring a remarkable assemblage of Hollywood celebrities. As you can probably guess, the purpose of the videos was to encourage young people to get out there and vote for Hillary. (Brief aside: Is Hillary Clinton like Madonna or Cher now? A one-name person? How does Hilary Swank feel about that? She won two Oscars!)

Mr. Whedon’s contribution amounted to just one-quarter of one percent of Mrs. Clinton’s SuperPAC money. (If you want to get a terrifying look at the funding behind both campaigns, and chuckle a bit at what a bargain Mr. Trump’s campaign was compared to Mrs. Clintons, the Washington Post has some very well-explained numbers for you.) As a long-time Firefly fan, and as an even longer-time fan of the democratic process, I am proud of Joss for putting his money where his mouth is. Supposedly he’s worth $100M — think about putting one-half of one percent of your personal wealth into an election. That would be like the average middle-class family writing a $1,000 check for Clinton or Trump, which almost never happens.

Unfortunately for Mr. Whedon and rest of Hillary’s supporters, he didn’t get anything for his money. That’s politics for you. You don’t get a refund if your guy (or gal) doesn’t win. But Joss has decided that he wants to get what he paid for, no matter what.


This is simple: Trump cannot CANNOT be allowed a term in office. It’s not about 2018. It’s about RIGHT NOW. That’s what Whedon is writing on Twitter right now. He’s one of a growing group that is encouraging “faithless electors” to select Mrs. Clinton instead of Mr. Trump when they meet on December 19th.

I cannot adequately emphasize what a terrible fucking idea this is. If the Presidency is handed to Mrs. Clinton because Joss Whedon, a million participation-trophy Millennials, and their orca-fat, tatted-up, clown-makeup womyn-friends demand it, there will be blood in the streets. You’ve all seen the protesting/rioting that people are doing in Portland and elsewhere. It’s embarrassing for this country, and it’s resulting in some property damage, but that’s about it. Now imagine telling the approximately 90% of this country (by county) who went for Trump that a shadowy cabal of people has yielded to the pressure of Hollywood people and changed the result of the election. That’s the kind of thing that will have people getting their AR-15s out of their gun safes.

For one thing, being a “faithless elector” could be reasonably viewed as treason by a lot of people. The penalty for treason in the United States is still death. I have a hard time believing all of the faithless electors will be able to walk to the grocery store after the vote without catching a .50 BMG in the skull. Joss and his pals are effectively suggesting that electors commit suicide so they don’t have to emotionally process the fact of a Trump presidency.

For another thing, if the electors can be pressured to vote in a certain way… what the fuck is the point of having an election? Why not just bribe or threaten the electors? It’s cheaper and easier. I’m sure that Joss truly believes that President-Select Hillary would immediately get the law changed to a national popular vote, preferably one in which Mexicans and Canadians are allowed to vote and Democrats are allowed to vote twice. But it’s not that simple. There are people who want to call a Constitutional Convention for the purpose of “fixing” this and everything else they don’t like in the Constitution, but perhaps they haven’t considered the fact that said Convention would probably be an armed standoff between citizens and the Army in which it’s entirely possible that the Army would stand down in whole or part, leaving the next form of the Constitution to be determined by a bunch of terrified people with a million guns pointed at them.

One wonders just why Joss & Co. are so worried about Mr. Trump. The President doesn’t have the power to put Jews in cattle cars or enact National Socialism. About all he’s going to do is (maybe) fuss with Obamacare, direct the country’s immigration police to actually enforce the current law as written, and sign whatever bill Congress puts in front of him. He doesn’t have that much power. We’re going to have less military conflict under a Trump presidency, most notably in Syria which in Mrs. Clinton’s plan was going to become a meat-grinder proxy war between us and Russia.

The best explanation I’ve heard for the hysteria over the election is that Democrats are afraid that they will be the target of everything they’ve done to Republicans for the past eight years: IRS targeting, pressure both private and public to espouse doubleplusgoodthink at the risk of your career, a radical redefinition of concepts like “family” and “marriage”. I think those fears are overblown. As was pointed out in several high-profile think pieces prior to the election, Trump isn’t just the most left-leaning Republican candidate in decades — he’s actually to the left of Clinton on almost everything but immigration. The guy held up a rainbow flag at the convention, for Christ’s sake.

Two theories, therefore:

0. Immigration is all that progressives care about. The spice must flow. Whites must become a tiny minority in this country as soon as possible. Everything else is secondary.

1. Joss is just an idiot, and his followers are idiots.

I don’t know which of these is correct. But I’m done with Joss. I’m done with his movies, his products, his future creative output. He’s advocating violence and anti-democratic behavior. He’s a traitor to the Union and as such he can fuck off. And here’s the thing: there’s no way he’s going to get what he wants. Donald Trump is our President, like it or not. No power in the ‘verse can stop that.

106 Replies to “No Power In The ‘Verse”

  1. Orenwolf

    I’m confused, Jack – you’re saying that the only people who are disappointed with the election are participation-trophy millennials? That, to me, sounds as bad as trying to say the half of Americans that voted for Trump are all white-trash racists (or, only the angry ones are).

    Second, why the fuck does the US have electors in the first place, then?! it seems a terrible idea to say “Oh, we don’t trust the electorate to make these decisions, so we’re going to have a group of shadowy folk actually vote for president, most of which are free to vote as they wish”. I mean, either the ability to influence these electors is *by design*, and campaigning them to vote as they choose is exactly why they are there, or, it’s a terrible idea in the first place that should be removed.. right?

    The fact that *anyone* can influence elections with money seems, to me, to be the real issue, no? Shouldn’t campaign finance reform be a big, big part of “Draining the swamp”? So that no one can make the choice to use their wealth to influence elections?

    I get and generally agree with the issues in your article. I just don’t get why these are general problems, not just an issue of a single dude who happens to care a great deal or be representative of your least favourite group. 🙂

    Reply
    • Ron

      The US has electors because when they set the system up, they didn’t want every election decided by Virginia. So the electors were put in place to render a state’s choice down to a smaller number of votes. You know, representatives. Read the history.

      Reply
    • Will

      The US has electors so as to even out the election to make sure there isn’t mob rule. Hillary won a severe minority of counties compared to Trump (see Bark’s article) so having her win would be leaving out a majority of the country who doesn’t think she’s fit to be president. Also, it forces candidates to campaign in other areas other than their own bubbles. We’re not a parliamentary system (i.e. the problem of England where London controls everything) and this puts checks on the President and government ( the President isn’t that powerful in the first place). I like the system, it works and an excellent equalizer. The electors vote in regards to the State’s popular vote.

      No one cares about Canada anyway (well BC is nice, but that’s it). Canada is like a Freshman High Schooler trying to make a professional Football (American) team. Just JV.

      Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Plenty of people were disappointed with the election. Most of them have been adults about it. I was disappointed when Mr. Obama was elected both times. I didn’t call for revolution.

      The elector system is amazingly, hilariously archaic. It was built for a country where news traveled by horse. If you read the actual process, it’s clear that it hasn’t changed much in 150 years. But it has many virtues, chief among them that it gives some voice to people who aren’t #blessed enough to live in Los Angeles or New York.

      Campaign finance reform is a great idea until you think about the fact that the media in this country is 90% progressive. If you limit money, you’re effectively handing over control of The Megaphone to the people who own the megaphone.

      Reply
      • Orenwolf

        “The elector system is amazingly, hilariously archaic. It was built for a country where news traveled by horse. If you read the actual process, it’s clear that it hasn’t changed much in 150 years. But it has many virtues, chief among them that it gives some voice to people who aren’t #blessed enough to live in Los Angeles or New York.”

        Well, though I still ask my question: if you believe actually utilizing the capabilities of the Electors to vote against the will of the states is Treason, then what do you propose? As I had suggested, eliminating them and simply making the votes automatic? (Essentially creating the scenario where a candidate must win ~30% of the popular vote and a majority of the states)?

        “Campaign finance reform is a great idea until you think about the fact that the media in this country is 90% progressive. If you limit money, you’re effectively handing over control of The Megaphone to the people who own the megaphone.”

        Many countries get around this by having election laws requiring equal airtime to all recognized parties (i.e., parties with more than some % of the popular vote or number of seats or whatever).

        Reply
        • Will

          “Many countries get around this by having election laws requiring equal airtime to all recognized parties (i.e., parties with more than some % of the popular vote or number of seats or whatever).”

          They also don’t have the 1st Amendment enshrined in their laws, money and ads are a form of speech. If I wanted to advertise that fact, the government can’t control it. The protection of extremes is vital to a free society.

          Reply
        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          Orenwolf, I don’t think I have enough education and knowledge on the subject to propose a genuine alternative to the Electoral College.

          A popular-vote system, particularly the monoculture voting-machine version that would almost certainly occur, would be an open invitation to hack the results.

          There’s also the fact that right now people are content to let California get away with shit like letting a million Mexicans motor-vote because California always goes blue anyway. In a popular-vote system, I think we would see massive pressure to clamp down on voting without ID and so on. Maybe that would be for the best. But if you take away the Mexican citizens and the dead people and all that stuff that “Project Veritas” dug up… do progressives still have a popular-vote majority?

          Reply
          • Cdotson

            I was pondering an Electoral College alternative to see how it may have impacted the last few elections but haven’t yet found a suitable data source for scenarios.

            Proposal is to keep the same electoral “points” as today but allocated without human Electors. The popular vote winner within each individual congressional district would determine the winner for 435 points while the cumulative state popular winners determine 103 (including D.C.).

            Not sure how that would have played out over the past few cycles or if it would ever work out for opposing party control of the House and the executive, but it seems a better alternative than direct democratic election of the president.

          • Rod Jones

            CA doesnt let Mexicans vote. They let them get drivers licenses….period. There is need to spread lies because your boy already won by losing the vote. The people have spoken and they were ignored. The 90% of counties contention is just a feeble attempt justify Trumps election. I really dont care that you and your brother supported the orange haired, unread, buffoon. I take exception when you try to slander a whole state.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            Hard to know what the facts are on that. The topic of illegal motor-voting in CA is one of those things where right-wing websites say there are 3 million fraudulent votes cast and the MSM says that vote fraud in California doesn’t exist. No middle ground, no impartial sources. Occam’s Razor, combined with the reasonable amount of time I’ve spent in CA, tells me that illegal immigrants are voting in considerable numbers there. But I’m not going to challenge you to a duel over the honor of California.

          • Rod Jones

            ” combined with the reasonable amount of time I’ve spent in CA, tells me that illegal immigrants are voting in considerable numbers there.”

            That, sir, is beyond absurd. I rarely see any Mexicans voting but the ones who do were typically born here which makes them Americans, not Mexicans. I do know a lot of Mexicans who are legally and not a single one of them ever votes.

            I will soon be starting construction on my new home on the 10 acres I bought in Colorado. Besides getting away from the heat it will be nice to live in a state that doesnt get constantly get attacked just for existing.

          • CJinSD

            Illegals vote in San DIego. If the choice is between there being three million illegals voting in California and zero illegals voting in California, I can testify that the second option is false.

        • MrGreenMan

          The solution you seek is to have each Congressional district get one vote. This will ensure that fraud and corruption in a particular district stays in that rotten district instead of being a thumb on the whole election.

          National popular vote is a non-starter. There are 20 automatic GOP-leaning states that will refuse this constitutional amendment. It’s a perennial idea and a loser because it refuses to accept the proposition that, if I already have to be governed by Des Moines or Jefferson City as well as Washington DC, I sure don’t want to be governed by Des Moines, Washington DC, New York, and Los Angeles – especially when those people are more than happy to write in their magazines of decreasing circulation that they would like the communities and people of flyover country to hurry up and die.

          Reply
          • jz78817

            “The solution you seek is to have each Congressional district get one vote. This will ensure that fraud and corruption in a particular district stays in that rotten district instead of being a thumb on the whole election.”

            Maine and Nebraska do this.

            here’s the thing a lot of people miss about the Electoral College: the 12th amendment states that the president and veep are voted for by the Electors from each state. it doesn’t say how those electors have to be appointed. States decide that for themselves via their own constitutions or legislation. Most states save Maine and Nebraska are winner-take-all.

    • Ronnie Schreiber

      The founding fathers were deeply suspicious of pure democracy, which often devolves into mob rule, that’s why most of the federal offices were not intended to be directly elected. Per the Constitution, the President has to deal with the electoral system. Senators were originally appointed by state legislatures. Federal judges are appointed by the executive and confirmed by the Senate (the less democratic of the two houses of our legislature). The only part of the federal government that is directly elected is the House of Representatives, which interestingly is also the most powerful and most accountable.

      We don’t have “three coequal branches of government”. In the United States of America, the people are sovereign. The House can impeach a President and federal judges. The budget also originates in the House. Where I come from, if you pay the bills and you can fire people, you’re the boss. Unfortunately, however, congress has not exercised the power that it has.

      So the House has power, but it’s also accountable because of geographic representation and elections every two years, more frequent than terms of both presidents and senators. That helps keep Representatives more accountable to constituents than loyal to their party because you can vote against them in just two years. That short term also puts a leash on their power.

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    • Yamahog

      The electoral college is a ‘break glass in case of emergency’ device in the modern era and it was used back before there were parties.

      Prior to the civil war, it wasn’t uncommon for 4 or 5 people to win electoral delegates. A few of them might pledge their delegates to another candidate to bring about a victory (in exchange for a role in the administration or a concession on some issue). And it was up to the states to select electoral delegates – who could weigh the deals and make sure the citizens understood them.

      The two party system works weird with the electoral college. Now, the parties themselves basically nominate the delegates – the party that wins the state gets to chose the delegates so its really tough to get a delegate who would entertain voting against their party.

      You’ve correctly identified the problem – if betraying the state’s vote is treason, electoral delegates are basically bound to their state, and then they can’t change the outcome of the election so they’re basically irrelevant.

      But you’re incorrect in your analysis that a Trump presidency is a ‘break in case of emergency’ situation worthy of usurping the will of the people (and until I see evidence to the contrary, I’ll posit that Trump won the popular vote of U.S citizens). The only situation where the founders talked explicitly about breaking the will of the people with the electoral college was in the situation where someone was elected to restore America to British rule. If America survived Andrew Jackson, we’ll survive anyone who respects our national sovereignty.

      Go listen to a Trump speech – he makes a lot more sense than you’d realize if your only information was mainstream/progressive media. He’s not so bad it’s worth breaking the will of the people.

      Also, you’re not an American, right? You’re from Canada, right? How about you butt out of our business and we’ll let you continue riding our coattails or else we’ll send you our illegal alien criminals.

      Reply
  2. Ron

    I knew about the PAC, but as I dropped twitter when they showed their colors a few months ago, wasn’t aware of his calls to the electors. Depressing. I thought better of him than that.

    Oh well, there’s always the next hollywood wunderkind. I can watch his stuff when it hits Netflix, if it seems interesting; I certainly won’t be spending any money on anything of his in the future.

    Reply
  3. TTCat

    I was and am a huge Firefly fan, but it’s been pretty obvious for quite some time now that despite the generally anti-big-government and individual freedom themes in the show, that Joss is indeed a leftist moon-bat – and while I wish I could still divorce my appreciation for his creative endeavors from his personal politics, this latest business is not “shiny” at all, and does finally cross the line for me as well.

    Reply
  4. jz78817

    These people have made their living by being attention whores. They subsist on it.

    So this is just more attention whoring. Just like other celebs sobbing on Facebook, or sitting in front of Trump Tower “praying,” it’s not about the election or this country.

    It’s about them. It’s “Look at me! Look how much I care! Look how sad I am for you! LOOK AT ME! PAY ATTENTION TO ME!”

    I’m looking at this “Yes California!” secession movement, and all I can think is “Bye.” Some of the morans supporting it believe they’d still be able to maintain their US citizenship.

    Reply
  5. Orenwolf

    Right, so – why do they still exist if they are basically a potential source of “Treason”, as Jack puts it? It sounds to me like one of four things should be happening:

    1) President decided by popular vote – clearly not wanted since it would marginalize minor states and rural folk
    2) President decided by majority of states – seems to be what people think the electors do now, but without the people involved to risk Jack’s “Treasonous acts” – of course, this means something like 28% of the US population could, in theory, elect the president
    3) Have the same number of “votes” from states for President, just without the Electors
    4) Change the law so that the Electors must vote the same way as their states voted, which really, is just #3, but with the possibility of more drama.

    Otherwise, if you believe the Electors are there for a reason and are not vestigial, then their choosing to vote a certain way is kinda why they are there, right? Pretty much the opposite of Treasonous behaviour, if you ask me.

    Reply
    • MrGreenMan

      There’s a reason they’re called faithless electors if they don’t do what they’re told by the voters. The expectation, and indeed, the law in many places, is that they live up to their pledge. The ballot says that the electors are pledged to vote for a specific candidate.

      The actions of faithless electors have never swung an election. They are usually rare accidents, like inverting John Kerry and John Edwards.

      The idea of considering this as the path means that Mr. Whedon has already decided he wants blood in the streets. He is calling for America’s government to repudiate the consent of the governed and create a dictatorship. This is more extreme than a tariff on cotton. It should be rejected as the most insane, radical ramblings of a nut who wants to see his countrymen die.

      Reply
    • Don Curton

      Orenwolf – from my understanding of history classes (back in the 70’s), our individual vote in November is not for the actual candidate, but for our state electors who are pledged to vote for that candidate in December. Each state has its own laws regarding the electors. Some states require that they vote exactly in accordance with popular vote, some states allow a decision of conscience, other states even allow electors to split their vote (which weakens the overall impact for the state in my opinion). Thus the Joss Whedon option is somewhat legal, depending on the state. It’s not traitorous, but you can assume that whichever electors change their vote, their political careers are finished.

      Our founding fathers built that into the system as one more check against demagogue power, although there was a lot of compromise into the whole electoral college idea. It also helped led to the 2-party system we now have. When I pulled the trigger last week, I was actually voting to install the Repub. electors for the state of Texas. The Republican party has selected electors who will (hopefully) vote for the Republican candidate. These people are very very unlikely to not do that, barring some incredible event. Both parties make sure the electors chosen are very party faithful, for obvious reasons.

      Automating the system to remove the electors, while still keeping the same infrastructure, makes some sense. But the current system does allow for certain options. Say Trump drops dead of heart attack tomorrow, the electors could simply change their vote to Spence. They could then pick and choose whomever for the VP slot. Or, based on internal Republican politicking, they could keep Spence as VP and pull someone else out of the hat for Pres, like JEB or Romney. All perfectly legal. Easier done with the elector system then with an automated system.

      There are other scenarios, but I hope the above explains it well enough.

      Reply
  6. Orenwolf

    “No one cares about Canada anyway (well BC is nice, but that’s it). Canada is like a Freshman High Schooler trying to make a professional Football (American) team. Just JV.”

    I didn’t mention Canada at all, just trying to understand Jack’s position that Electors voting differently than their state is “treason”.

    It sounds to me like you would rather the states be given automatic votes, based on population (as it is today), but without the Electors at all, then? So that the popular vote can sway by as much as 20% in the wrong direction as long as you get a majority of the states, worst case?

    Reply
    • Will

      You always mention Canada. Anyway, it might be treason because doing the opposite of what voters intended means war with the populace as it is designed to overthrow our government. This is not a far-fetched outcome per Joss’s idea. I’d like to see the system stay the way it is, it works and will continue to work so long as we avoid going the west coast way and have one party rule.

      Reply
  7. Luke

    The vast, vast majority of the people in this country have accepted the results of the election and are looking on (with either happiness or anxiety) to what the next 4 years will look like at the Executive level. That’s because the vast, vast majority of people in this country understand how our elections work and further understand that no matter what they need to put their shoes on and get to work to feed their families and pay their bills.

    The small number of people protesting and calling for various forms of revolution probably fall into two camps – one has been completely convinced that a Trump presidency will be an unmitigated disaster with cattle cars and secret police and whatever else, and another that’s fallen into a millenial emotional morass driven by never having had to face loss or disappointment.

    You have to admit, Jack, that there are extremely emotional people on both sides here and that extremely emotional people act out extremely emotionally. I’d love to see some acknowledgment that the more extreme people on the right would *probably* be acting out right now had Hillary won. To me, it’s clear that if the result was different there would be some small number of people on the extreme right taking to the streets and airwaves and social media calling for a revolt against the Devil Clinton and her supposed International Cabal of America Haters that “rigged” the election.

    Anyway, I have no idea why the complainers that are out right now are getting the attention they are, but I suppose it has to do with money and influence. They are “celebrated” so they get a few more minutes of fame and can polish their credentials as Progressives yet remain happily unaware and disengaged in real, progressive work they could be doing 2 blocks or 2 miles from their own homes. Why do the actual work of mentoring a poor kid or building a playground or volunteering at a basic needs charity when NBC will put you on TV for sitting around and talking shit? I don’t care what side you’re on…if you believe the change is needed then you need to go out and be the change, not sit around and talk about how the system sucks and needs to be destroyed and rebuilt.

    The entire country needs to sit back and get a remedial lesson in history and civics. If Trump is a terrible louche of a President then America will go on. If he’s a wonderful, engaged, overachieving President then America will go on. This country and our system of government have faced better and worse and every shade in between and we are still here because we are bigger than just one person. No one says that you have to support the man, but you damned well better support the office and what it stands for. That’s how it works.

    Reply
    • jz78817

      “You have to admit, Jack, that there are extremely emotional people on both sides here and that extremely emotional people act out extremely emotionally.’

      but it’s “acting out” on the internet, which is the cheapest and least-effort way of doing pretty much anything. a couple of message boards I’ve been on (liberal-leaning) have been models of this. I noted on one that “none of you would be saying this stuff to each other face to face.” ‘cos if they did, a lot of people would be missing teeth.

      “extreme right taking to the streets and airwaves and social media calling for a revolt against the Devil Clinton and her supposed International Cabal of America Haters that “rigged” the election.”

      no, the extreme right doesn’t take to the streets in protest. they hole up in a “compound” out in the sticks and stock up on ammunition.

      Reply
  8. Orenwolf

    “You always mention Canada”

    Well no. Though yes, I am always Canadian. Pointing that out is sorta like ignoring the kid with glasses on because you can always say “Ha, glasses!”, though. 🙂

    “I’d like to see the system stay the way it is, it works and will continue to work”

    ..until it doesn’t? I mean, why leave a system in place that, by design, can take away the will of the voters at any time? Why is it better than just making the state “votes” automatic and not based on Electors? At least that way there’s no chance of a “Treasonous” act, right?

    I guess I just don’t get why people can advocate for “Change” but then also say “Oh, nothing needs to change so long as it continues to go the way I approve of”. 🙂 Either the option of an Elector to change their vote should be, or shouldn’t be, allowed, right? And that should be codified in Law, for something this important, no?

    Reply
    • Will

      There is no perfect system, but having 5-10 cities run the country and ignore the swaths of middle ground is foolish. It’s like what western Canada feels like in regards to Ottawa & Montreal.

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      • Eric H

        Having a system that lets areas devoid of people deciding how to run the country also seems foolish. Corn and cattle don’t vote.

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        • Will

          Giving people who grow your food, mine your resources and herd your meat a voice is crucial to a country’s survival. To ignore them is dumb. Also, almost 50% of the electorate didn’t want her, so a popular vote is BS.

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    • Will

      We’ve also been peaceful (except for a 4 year hiatus), successful and innovative with this in place. Plus almost 50% would be forgotten if you switched to popular vote.

      Reply
  9. Orenwolf

    “The solution you seek is to have each Congressional district get one vote. This will ensure that fraud and corruption in a particular district stays in that rotten district instead of being a thumb on the whole election.”

    How, though, do you deal with gerrymandering? Do you require each district to have, say, a maximum population OR maximum land area, whichever happens first? Because as I understand it, right now those districts can be re-imagined at will, which, under this suggested system, would seem ripe for corruption.

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    • jz78817

      Maine and Nebraska appoint electors by district, but I’m not going to dig through their state constitutions/laws to see the specifics.

      Reply
  10. Hank Chinaski

    Great way to cement the coastal elite Hollywood we know better than you yokels trope.
    This is why we had blacklists. Do we really need to go there again?

    Don’t make me get my belt.

    Reply
    • Disinterested-Observer

      There were blacklists because people in Hollywood were Communists at a time when the Comintern was actively trying to subvert governments, including ours, all over the world.

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      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

        Yeah, just like people whined about the PERSECUTION of Alger Hiss for what, sixty years, when all along the motherfucker was guilty as sin!

        Reply
  11. Tedward

    I’m glad someone is calling out people for stuff like this. I didn’t vote for trump (it was the lack of policy positions, I’ll never vote for a guess) but he’s the goddamned president soon enough. Respect the office, but more importantly, respect the process. That’s the only difference between an orderly first world power transition and the horrors you see in the African interior.

    I don’t like the protests much either. He’s not even in office, he hasn’t done anything as president yet. I don’t think they realize that what they are protesting is actually democracy. But hey, everyone’s the good guy in their own mind right?

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  12. Suto

    The thing is, if the popular vote determined the election, Trump would have adjusted his strategy and won that instead. He would have focused less on the less populous states where each individuals vote is worth more, and won.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Land is more important than you think.

      For our entire post-agricultural history, the ownership of land was what separated citizens from proles.

      The mindset difference between a man who lives on eighty acres of property with his name on a deed and one who lives in a studio apartment that belongs to a corporation or another person is almost impossible to exaggerate.

      Neither should be able to impose his beliefs on the other, because they will be inherently incorrect for that other.

      It’s anyone’s prerogative in this country to pack yourself into a rabbit warren, but don’t expect to export your rabbit warren rules to the rest of the country.

      And vice versa.

      Reply
      • mopar4wd

        So if both opinions count the same why give weight to the one with eighty acres? I understand the founding fathers were land holders etc. and they protected their interest while continuing the long held landholder system form England and Europe.

        But if you want a true populist government why give one more pull?

        I mean for a lot of reasons that’s why we have state government so each can have their own. But even inside of a state you can have a split (NY and Illinois for example)

        All that being said I’m OK with the Electoral college, it gives some states a little more pull.

        But I think the original intent was as much to keep the Proles from voting as much as it was dividing power among the states. As Ronnie said (and I agree with) the founding fathers added lots of safe guards to maintain a balance of power as like themselves as possible while still giving the people some directional control.

        Reply
        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          The idea is to protect one from the other.

          I would also suggest — while knowing that to even suggest this is absolute C4-on-the-plane levels of controversy — that people who own land, and people who have children, tend to vote the interest of the country above their own more often than do rootless, childless sybarites whose lives consist of an endless rotation between “brogrammer” job and circuit party. The accompanying problem, of course, is that people like that tend to be inherently conservative in both a fiscal and social sense.

          Much of the second half of the 20th Century in America was about freeing city people from country people rules — whether we are talking about adultery, abortion, homosexuality, guns, you name it. In many cases, that was a good thing. The men who live in the Castro shouldn’t have to live by the rules we set for ourselves in Powell, Ohio.

          The problem is that those city mice now want to turn around and use the whip hand on the country mice. The North Carolina bathroom mess was a good example of this. It was a law dreamed up in a place where people are more likely to have transgender friends than they are to have friends with children, or children themselves. And it was levied on a group of people for whom transgender identity is all but academic and the safety of children is paramount.

          Reply
          • mopar4wd

            For the record I have 3 kids and own my house (OK the bank owns a little but I also have a few acres free and clear in the middle of nowhere given by a relative). Here in New England (OK most of it, I used to live in rural Maine that’s different) most of my contemporaries tend to lean pretty hard left then bear right when they get close to retirement or 7 figures in the bank account, which ever comes first. I’m guessing it’s not the same in the Midwest, where religion and values would pull more to the right younger. I used to be more right as a teenager living in CT suburb and hanging out with the few farm kids left around here. But as I got older one topic drove me left. No matter how I study it we need single payer healthcare and I slowly moved some of my financial leanings left as well. At this point I think I’m left financially and health care wise but otherwise a bit libertarian.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            You’ve touched on something real here: when people become very successful, if they are decent people at all they start to feel charitable to the people they’ve left behind.

            The fact that we don’t have very many of those charitable lefties in 90% of the country says a lot about the economic situation.

            My God, think of the fact that MICHIGAN went for Trump. Why? I think it has something to do with NAFTA hollowing Detroit into a shell while Mexican assembly thrives.

          • Disinterested-Observer

            I think anyone who says they are “a citizen of the world” should be stripped of their right to vote. Actually I think they should be forced to spin a wheel of fortune style wheel where the prize is being deported to a random country. Will they get Canada? Singapore? Yemen? Let’s watch!

          • jz78817

            “I think anyone who says they are “a citizen of the world” should be stripped of their right to vote. Actually I think they should be forced to spin a wheel of fortune style wheel where the prize is being deported to a random country. Will they get Canada? Singapore? Yemen? Let’s watch!”

            good lord.

          • jz78817

            I’m not sure I understand why geographical location should have any bearing on the rights a person has.

      • James

        Land is, or was, physical capital. But the suburban postage stamp on which my cookie-cutter house sits generates no wealth for me. It is closer in kind to the studio apartments I rented for over a decade than it is to eighty acres of property–and yet your observation is correct. The small amount of ownership and responsibility intrinsic to life in the suburbs is enough to change many people.

        Reply
  13. Acd

    Looks like I been boycotting Joss Whedon and didn’t even know it since I don’t have a clue who this guy is other than he’s angry on Twitter and $500,000 lighter since Sept. 1.

    Reply
    • Ark-med

      I think anyone who says they are “a citizen of the world” should be stripped of their right to vote. Actually I think they should be forced to spin a wheel of fortune style wheel where the prize is being deported to a random country. Will they get Canada? Singapore? Yemen? Let’s watch!

      RIGHT ON, RIGHT ON, RIGHT ON!

      Also, those women who fight for the “right” of moslem women to wear the burkah, should be sent to spend six summer weeks (I’m not so heartless as to demand permanent deportation) in countries where women don’t have the right to ditch the burkah.
      Not because I begrudge any woman’s self-professed preference to don it: it’s the militant stance that some burkah-fanatics here have of wanting to wear it while, say, getting their driver’s licenses, or refusing to expose their faces where security measures demand positive facial identification. Also, any moslem Michigan woman who desires not to wear it despite familial pressure should be free to do as she pleases.

      Reply
  14. mopar4wd

    So I understand Trump won and all that and I accept it. That said it looks like there may be some play here. 21 states have no laws about an elector swinging the vote. The states that do there seems to be some question of punishment over a fine actually happening. It looks like this fight has been happening along time. Based on a some research and my college civics text book. It appears Madison believed that the electoral college should swing against the popular vote of his district should he feel that person was not up to the challenge of being president. Madison kind of lost that fight and states were allowed to make rules binding electors to the popular vote.
    Either way I don’t think much would happen to the electors in the 21 state that have no laws against flipping as the original intent of the federal laws seemed to allow it.

    I doubt it will happen but US law can be a funky thing.

    Reply
  15. Matt

    I’ll give you another issue that is of paramount importance to a number of Hillary voters: the environment and global warming. I’ll try to avoid litigating the substance of the issue here but suffice to say it is of paramount importance to many of us, and the contrast between the two candidates on the issue could not have been clearer. If you are among the camp that believes this to be a critical and time-sensitive issue, then there is a huge imperative to opposing Trump’s presidency.

    Reply
    • rpn453

      Show me an American (or Canadian) who believes that the environment and global warming are of paramount importance, and I’ll show you someone who consumes far more than their fair share of the world’s energy and resources.

      Reply
      • mopar4wd

        I know several hundred off grid back to the land people in northern New England that would disagree with that statement.

        Reply
  16. mopar4wd

    For the record I have 3 kids and own my house (OK the bank owns a little but I also have a few acres free and clear in the middle of nowhere given by a relative). Here in New England (OK most of it, I used to live in rural Maine that’s different) most of my contemporaries tend to lean pretty hard left then bear right when they get close to retirement or 7 figures in the bank account, which ever comes first. I’m guessing it’s not the same in the Midwest, where religion and values would pull more to the right younger. I used to be more right as a teenager living in CT suburb and hanging out with the few farm kids left around here. But as I got older one topic drove me left. No matter how I study it we need single payer healthcare and I slowly moved some of my financial leanings left as well. At this point I think I’m left financially and health care wise but otherwise a bit libertarian.

    Reply
  17. Orenwolf

    Jack,

    I think the problem there, though, is that the world is becoming increasingly Urban, even in the US:

    https://mogreenstats.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/us-urban-rural-chart.jpg (source: https://www.census.gov/geo/reference/ua/urban-rural-2010.html)

    So, yes, while the likelihood of a rural kid running into a transgender individual is reduced because transgender individuals likely self-select to live in more tolerant urban areas, that subset gets smaller every year.

    I think you could make a good argument that “rural values” are increasingly a minority class, and as such probably do deserve special protection (as do rural individuals, also as a class).

    The question left to the reader is, should their values be imposed on the majority as a “norm” or not, as the argument goes – for every parent who feels imposing the risk of transgender “cross-contamination” in a washroom, there is an urban majority who appear to feel that transgenders should not be forced to urinate in a room inconsistent with their identity. Balancing those conflicting ideas (and others like it) is going to be an ongoing issue and one where the sides could not be further apart.

    Reply
  18. Orenwolf

    We Canadians sure as hell don’t want them – besides, they’d take one look at our mostly-federalized government here and believe they literally landed in hell.

    Reply
  19. Bigtruckseriesreview

    Donald Trump’s Presidential win is the greatest thing that could have happened to these undisciplined, ADHD, entitlement generations that I could possibly hope for.

    NO means NO.

    They learned a lesson that the liberal media intelligentsia that has RUINED PUBLIC SCHOOLS and COLLEGES hadn’t taught them.

    NO HILLARY DID NOT WIN A POPULAR VOTE.

    She won a few big states with a lot of people in them who got murdered by the electoral college system.

    Now they all turn into constitutional scholars and wanna abandon the electoral college. Won’t be long before they start attacking it (yet another American institution) by labeling it “racist” or “sexist”.

    No electoral college is like 2 Wolves and 1 sheep voting on what’s for dinner.

    Reply
      • Disinterested-Observer

        You don’t need to be a mathamagician to know that 61m > 60m, that is not the point. If Trump had bothered to campaign in California or New York he could have won the popular vote. If you don’t like it, change it. As jz78817 you don’t even need to change the constitution, you can just change how electors are allocated at the state level. Of course neither party wants to do that because they both have their safe spaces.

        Reply
        • Eric H

          It is exactly the point.
          BTSR posted “NO HILLARY DID NOT WIN A POPULAR VOTE.”
          Which is completely false. She did not win the election, but she did win the popular vote.
          This is the thing that makes non-GOP supporters so pissed off. If the actual facts don’t fit your narrative, make up new ones! It’s been the standard operating procedure for at least the last eight years. Watching Newt try to explain it away as “it’s not a correct fact but it feels correct” during an interview defies comprehension. Now that same reprehensible prevaricator is the next president’s chief of staff. I expect nothing but lies from this administrations public face. The democrats are far from paragons of truth, but the depth of deceit (to themselves and others) from the people running the GOP is unparalleled in American politics.

          In the end, policies come and go. So long as Trump doesn’t end the world I will abide.

          Reply
        • bigtruckseriesreview

          There were so many people that REFUSED TO VOTE out of protest.

          The Electorate was less than half the population of the US – and at least 10,000,000 fewer basically boycotted.

          NOW I REJECT YOUR PREMISE.

          HILLARY DID NOT WIN THE POPULAR VOTE and SHE GOT AN ELECTORAL ASS WHIPPING.

          Reply
          • Eric H

            Ignorance is not knowing the difference, but I will allow that you’re incapable of perceiving and understanding it.

            Perhaps if either candidate wasn’t a shitshow the voters would have turned out. This election was a choice between large pile of shit A, or larger pile of shit B; you decide which pile is which. The US voter decided that both stunk so they stayed home.

          • BIGTRUCKSERIESREVIEW

            Lot’s of talk…

            Bottom line: President-Elect Trump is going to be President.

            There are no do-overs.

            Hillary’s entire career has been for naught.

            Seppuku is probably the only logical conclusion.

  20. Orenwolf

    The thing is, people will always feel that way. I assure you that Torontonians feel like they are always having initiatives watered down by Rural Ontario, etc. Everyone literally always feels that way. It’s democracy – you don’t get everything you want all the time. 🙂

    I don’t advocate for any stance, BTW – it’s not my country – I’m only asking questions based on the original premise of the article – that if exercising the rights Electors have is essentially “Treason”, what is the alternative?

    Reply
    • Will

      Fair. But as a yearly visitor to Canada(To the point where I’ve run into the same border guards), it’s more palpable than most other parts. Besides, no one takes fucking Canadian Tire Dollars, so wtf am I supposed to do with those?! I keep asking….

      Reply
  21. Orenwolf

    “We’ve also been peaceful (except for a 4 year hiatus), successful and innovative with this in place.”

    That is, of course, the great thing about democracies – they almost universally tend to not go to war with each other, and are forced to do things “for the people” because otherwise they won’t get elected, which tends to make for a more successful and innovative population as a result.

    “Plus almost 50% would be forgotten if you switched to popular vote.” – I’m pretty sure that’s how almost 50% of the population would have felt *regardless* of how the election had gone. 🙂

    Reply
  22. Shrug

    Too true. The only reason the Union has existed for the past 230 odd years is because we, as a people and as a government, respect the quote-unquote rules and traditions established previously. Sure, there’s nothing outright stopping electors from voting otherwise but it’s such a blindingly terrible idea that it more than anything else has the ability to thoroughly destabilize the country.

    The losing party has an obligation, no matter how difficult, to respect the outcome of a free election. Sure as hell can and should complain about the inherent unfairness of the electoral college – The vote of one Alaskan is worth about three times as much as one Californian when weighted- but this lectionaries was one fairly by the rules we have.

    Reply
  23. Orenwolf

    “But you’re incorrect in your analysis that a Trump presidency is a ‘break in case of emergency’ situation worthy of usurping the will of the people”

    I think you are confusing who said what. I *never* said anything of the sort. I provided no such analysis and made no comment *whatsoever* on what any given candidate in office means.

    In fact, I’ve implicitly not passed judgement on the outcome of your election because I’m not currently American (instead, since I can’t successfully immigrate, the US pays me six figures that goes into the Canadian economy, despite my wish to relocate there. But that’s another story).

    I did ask about how the electoral college works, and the relevance of it, because I’m curious as to the thoughts of the author (and readers) of the subject.

    Surely such questions are not exclusively the purvey of Americans? Or do you believe only citizens of each country can ask questions on a given electoral process?

    Reply
  24. Orenwolf

    Hahahaha!

    You know, I was thinking the other day – is there a US equivalent to Canadian Tire? A store with automotive, housewares, hardware, and small appliances?

    Home Depot minus the big contractor stuff and large appliances, plus a bit of target and some auto chain?

    Reply
  25. Orenwolf

    “My God, think of the fact that MICHIGAN went for Trump. Why? I think it has something to do with NAFTA hollowing Detroit into a shell while Mexican assembly thrives.”

    I think I’d argue that making shitty cars no one wanted and needed massive discounts to sell doomed Michigan personally, but to your point – no NAFTA probably *would* mean cars made in the USA again, but at an increased price – and would anyone want them then?

    It’s a little chicken-and-egg, right? No one was buying cars without cash on the hood so the manufacturers looked for ways to save money so they could afford to build them, which sent them to the Daewoo’s and Mexico’s of the world. But without those options, what *would* have happened? More decontenting of those vehicles, further putting them behind the non-US brands? Tarrifs to force people to buy the American vehicles even though people didn’t want them?

    I mean, yes, I agree – no NAFTA = Cars made in the US for more $$$, and I’m sure that was on the minds of a LOT of affected voters! But what would that have turned those low profit cars into, exactly?

    Reply
  26. kvndoom

    8 years ago there were ugly words and calls for secession after someone that half the country absolutely loathed (for obviously different reasons).

    Nothing changes. Same shit, different year. “He’s not my president” sure as fuck wasn’t coined in 2016.

    Reply
  27. Rod Jones

    You Trump voters like the electoral college now but how will you feel if it goes against you? BTW heres what your boy had to say about the EC just four years ago
    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
    The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.
    8:45 PM – 6 Nov 2012

    Reply
  28. Orenwolf

    I don’t think anyone would call a 50/50 split “decisive” in any contest, regardless of outcome or how much each of the 50% “mattered” overall. It’s just going to lead to 50% pissed people. 🙂

    Interestingly, voter turnout was apparently pretty normal – I didn’t realize it takes *forever* to count your votes down there. 🙂

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/no-voter-turnout-wasnt-way-down-from-2012/

    I *wish* Canada could get 58+% turnout for elections. Congrats USA for so many of you doing your civic duty!

    Reply
    • Disinterested-Observer

      The decisiveness is, for better or worse, related to the county map. The R’s have the house and senate, and the vast majority of the governors’ seats, as well as the electoral win despite the popular loss, which has been covered in other comments. I think the most interesting thing about this election is the counterfactual analysis: hypothetically, almost any other Democrat could have beaten Trump, but almost any other Republican could have demolished Clinton.

      Reply
  29. mopar4wd

    I know several hundred off grid back to the land people in northern New England that would disagree with that statement.

    Reply
  30. David Sanborn

    A hundred comments in and all I can say re. this thread on Joss Whedon: it’s a great example of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Meanwhile in NYC …

    Jack’s “populist” savior and fixer of all that ails our great nation is being unmasked as the diametric opposite of a populist. His cabinet picks are beltway insiders or loathsome Breitbart propagandists. You won’t get your Mexico wall and your despised immigrants will continue to roof your houses and harvest your fields. Coal country will implode further because America now runs on natural gas. What’s left of our unions will perish – except the police unions. Manufacturing won’t return to the USA because, actually, it can’t – and the assembly line workers who made rotary dial phones are now dead and their grandchildren want more out of life. The American Healthcare Act will likely continue largely as it now stands because those same coal country Wal Mart employess will die without it. Your favorite non-Fox journalists will find the White House off limits. Hillary won’t be prosecuted, as any thinking person knew all along. Your populist idol won’t divest himself of his businesses and assets – he’ll use the office of president to enrich himself, which has already started.

    BigTrucks will increasingly run the risk of flashing blue lights in his mirror, as he knows the black man is disproportionally targeted by LEO’s. He’ll pull over and pray that his conspicuous Make America Great Again stickers buy him some credibility from the cop swaggering up to his car with a hand on his Glock 17. A few weeks later that cop will successfully argue “I thought he was reaching for a weapon” when the manslaughter case goes to trial in a kangaroo court and I’ll never have my opportunity to say I told you so. All my hopes for police reform – ‘poof’ – gone. Mark my words. Chicago’s Homan Square detention center will prosper and America’s cops will be armed like they’re storming Fallujah because the writing’s on the wall for civil unrest on a scale this country hasn’t seen since the Union burned Atlanta. After all, private prison stocks jumped 43% the day after the election, so someone knows the score. The historical cycle of republican administrations exiting in a recession will be broken; It’ll instead be a depression.

    Don’t worry Jack. You’re a white middle aged guy, as am I. We’ll be okay, but I’ll be mad as hell at you for throwing your weight behind an utter fraud just because the alternative was a tepid bureaucrat. And just like all the flag-waving simpletons who called me a commie when I demonstrated against our invasion of Iraq – you’ll never, ever admit you were wrong. Admitting fault is a sign of weakness and weakness is for losers.

    At any rate, you’re a man of words for describing automotive culture and the clash of personalities at the race track, but a judge of political character – or Joss Whedon – you are not. Let’s hope for a Firefly reboot, despite the passing of Ron Glass. And, you know, that it’s only half as bad as I think it’s going to be.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      “I’ll be mad as hell at you for throwing your weight behind an utter fraud just because the alternative was a tepid bureaucrat.”

      The alternative was Hillary Clinton, who has already done everything you suspect that Trump will do.

      I’d have taken an empty chair over Hillary. As for the wall and everything else… time will tell.

      Reply
      • David Sanborn

        Empty Chair > Hillary > Dead Hooker > Trump

        I’d have voted for a dead hooker before casting my ballot for a false-populist demagogue, though we’d both vote with the Empty Chair party.

        One day you guys on the alt-right will point me towards a verifiable & factual recounting of Hillary’s actual horrors. So far all I’ve seen is manufactured crazy talk about dead FBI agents and Bill raping people – written by Macedonian high school students. My mother, bless her heart, is convinced that Trump’s a populist, that Obama and Hillary smell of sulfur and that Michelle Obama is actually a man, aka Democracy fail.

        Good luck getting your swamp drained. Look me up in four years and buy me a round when you realize I was right cuz I’ll sure as shit buy the whole bar a round if I’m wrong.

        Reply

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