Two very interesting facts:
In 1876, Rutherford B. Hayes won the election (by one electoral vote),
but lost the popular vote
by more than 250,000 ballots to Samuel J. Tilden.
– USA Today
In 1877, which marked the end of the formal Reconstruction period,
to the beginning of the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s,
laws existed to enforce racial segregation in the South.
They were known as “Jim Crow Laws”.
Note that this was an era when there was a huge disparity between what ‘the law’ deemed legally binding as a general election result, and what the true popular vote results actually were. Note the cataclysmic racially motivated events that occurred as a direct result.
They took place because an unpopular candidate went on to wholly dismantle ‘Reconstruction’ – the first major legal remedies to counteract racial disparities in America. Again, against the wishes of the majority of the voters, but favored by the few to maintain their fading power base.
The actions initiated by Hayes were not undone for almost 100 years…
when the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act were finally passed.
I mention these significant events prompted by the fact that the Voting Rights Act has recently been neutered, and an unpopular candidate with incredibly strong ties to racist elements in our society who did not win the popular vote by close to 3 million strong has now been elected president. The parallels to our own era are strikingly disturbing.
The only other time such a vast disparity between popular and electoral balloting occurred was once again in a tumultuous era which produced tremendous disruption in our society, and ultimately the entire world.
Bush v. Gore, and the subsequent judicial ‘appointment’ of Bush as President resulted in our country embarking on two undeclared wars, one of them based on an entirely manufactured premise, while the other was based on dubious merits as well but has nevertheless managed to earn its place in history books now as the longest lasting war America has ever waged.The toll it has taken on our country’s voluntary military force has been astounding, both in the number of multiple deployments it demands, the endless loss of life it continues to produce amongst both service members and innocent civilians slaughtered… as well as the incalculable psychological horror it has inflicted on thousands who served their nation, only to die by suicide upon returning to our shores. These conflicts not only cost thousands of lives and trillions of dollars but has also had devastating consequences on the global geopolitical landscape ever since.
In summation, these horrific outcomes were in direct opposition to the ‘Will of the People’. In one instance, racial hatred and fear spawned an additional 100 years of cruelty as well as a dreaded continuation of the thinly disguised yet legally enforced subjugation of a segment of our own populace. While in the other instance, the voters and taxpayers of this land watched as our ‘leadership’ marched us into multiple wars without our permission. A common thread that seems to run through this political straitjacket that binds our collective ‘arms’ — one we’ve allowed ourselves to be strapped into is this —
…Unchecked power inevitably corrupts those who possess it.