July 17, 2018

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My Experience at the Women’s March -

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El Regreso Del Racismo -

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Parkland Shooting -

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California Flu Crisis -

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‘Rapping’ Up the Grammy Awards -

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¿Cuál Será el Futuro de DACA? -

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Marcus Peters traded to the Rams -

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2018 Upcoming Movies -

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Instagram-Worthy Desserts of San Francisco -

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Upcoming Season of Baseball -

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The Black Panther Review -

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The Destructive Culture of Social Media -

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Badminton season launches into action! -

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All Star Weekend Highlights -

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Chinese New Year Brought to SMHS -

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San Mateo Volleyball Season Kicks Off -

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Van Jones Show:Jay-Z -

Friday, February 16, 2018

In Defense of the Electoral College

After the resounding defeat of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election by president-elect Donald Trump, many Clinton supporters have signed petitions to abolish the electoral college and have America become a direct democracy. Even one of California’s Senators, Barbara Boxer, has proposed laws to abolish the electoral college through a constitutional amendment. This would not be a great idea considering that direct democracies are not always, and, in fact, very rarely ever are, good things. The only two modern direct democracies in the world are Switzerland and Greece, the latter of which is facing terrible economic collapse and a rise in far-right politics with the Golden Dawn party according to The Guardian. So according to the fundamental rules of direct democracy, if the Golden Dawn were to gain a majority, they will become the leading party in Greece. Fortunately, this wouldn’t be able to happen under the electoral college or under other Representative Democracies.



One of the major issues with direct democracies is that they lend themselves to mob rule and the majority making sure that only their interests are heard while the minorities are silenced. If you look at the electoral map by counties you will notice that even though most of the counties are red, the islands of blue hold a majority of the population. The electoral college helps keep these areas in check so that they cannot win every election. This helps promote compromise rather than the rule of the majority. It is also good to remember that having only one party win every election would make us no better than North Korea or China.



Another issue with direct democracy is that it would be impractical to implement in a nation the size of the United States. There are so many people in the US that having our election be based on the popular vote would have us see more recounts, longer election processes and an increase in voter fraud. Because 18 states, 19 when you include D.C., do not require any ID to vote, this would only encourage people to vote multiple times under others names or to go to different polling stations and get another vote. Even if we are to assume that voter fraud will never happen, recounts would occur often and they would be long and expensive. In a time where the US is already having financial troubles how would spending more money on recounting votes in each state help anything? A microcosm of this would be Florida during the 2000 election. The vote was so close that a recount was mandatory under Florida state law. That recount was met with people claiming that the recount was unfair, as Bush’s brother, Jeb Bush, was Governor at the time and the Butterfly Ballots were unfair and confusing. The recount took ages to complete and was quite the messy ordeal. Now imagine this occurring in several states as lawyers from both sides demand a recount.



Some of the advantages of the College is that it does not allow for regionalism to be the dominant factor in elections because in order to win the presidency you will need to have to appeal to people across the country rather than just in NY, CA, FL, and TX. In the event that the College was disbanded, many states would be neglected because they do not have a large population which is a problem in countries like Russia, China, and India. The College also makes states matter. States with smaller populations like Wisconsin actually have a voice when voting for the president while still making sure that more populous states have a significant voice as well.



It appears that the only reason that people are complaining about the Electoral College is that their candidate lost; no one cared about the college in 2008 or 2012 but all of a sudden it is now a form of voter suppression. The fact of the matter is that people are just angry over the election, but that anger should not be afflicted onto the Electoral College. As our founding fathers knew when they drafted the Constitution, the Electoral College is necessary to keep America politically stable.

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  • Owen Thomas

    “The only two modern direct democracies in the world are Switzerland and Greece, the latter of which is facing terrible economic collapse and a rise in far-right politics with the Golden Dawn party according to The Guardian.”

    You need to take a closer look at what you’re talking about.
    You have a glaring, amateurish confusion between direct election [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_election ] and direct democracy [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_democracy ].

    over 100 countries [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_by_country ] elect their heads of state with direct elections (ie, the popular vote), including republics that follow America’s presidential model (croatia, france, indonesia, south korea, mongolia, nigeria, poland, romania, tunisia, and just about all of latin america).

    only switzerland has direct democracy. greece has not had direct democracy since the *ancient* (probably where you got confused there) greeks pioneered the form of government. the greece in financial ruin follows a representative democracy of the parliamentary model.

    only estonia, germany and india use an electoral college (all of which have purely ceremonial presidents) and some have the parliament elect the president.

    kinda surprised this slipped by the editors. it’s not a free speech issue, it’s just sloppy, and undermines a major part of the argument.

  • Owen Thomas

    “So according to the fundamental rules of direct democracy, if the Golden Dawn were to gain a majority, they will become the leading party in Greece. Fortunately, this wouldn’t be able to happen under the electoral college or under other Representative Democracies.”

    if electors are legally bound to vote for the person they’re state votes for (as very recent case law has declared http://www.denverpost.com/2016/12/13/denver-judge-orders-faithless-colorado-electors-vote-clinton/ ), then they have no leeway to defy the masses and a golden dawn certainly would be able to take power.

  • Owen Thomas

    “The electoral college helps keep these areas in check so that they cannot win every election.”

    it’s never been demonstrated why that’s desirable. why is it important that the space between you and your neighbor’s land affects your representation in government?

    “This helps promote compromise rather than the rule of the majority.”

    it encourages compromise by one side (the dems) by giving it an inordinate disadvantage and encourages hard-headedness in the other (reps) by giving it an inherent advantage. rigging the system toward one faction isn’t a legitimate form of promoting compromise.

  • Owen Thomas

    “It is also good to remember that having only one party win every election would make us no better than North Korea or China.”

    non-sensical. communist parties in china and nk win every election because the elections are fake, not because the majority is consistently in favor of them. a major party losing every election would cause the party to become more moderate in order to compete (just as the republicans did during the roosevelt-truman dynasty with wendell wilkie in 1940 and eisenhower in 1952). affirmative action for ideas that the public has abandoned isn’t fair play, the parties must adapt.

  • Owen Thomas

    “There are so many people in the US that having our election be based on the popular vote would have us see more recounts, longer election processes”

    ah it’s hard oh well john locke guess it’s time to call it a day we tried

    “an increase in voter fraud”

    consequential voter fraud is about as real as the tooth fairy ( http://time.com/4542534/voter-fraud-boogeyman/ ).

    “Because 18 states, 19 when you include D.C., do not require any ID to vote”

    it’s a wonder that states wouldn’t want to pass unnecessary reforms that, as a 4th circult federal judge found, “target African Americans with almost surgical precision” ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/appeals-court-strikes-down-north-carolinas-voter-id-law/2016/07/29/810b5844-4f72-11e6-aa14-e0c1087f7583_story.html?utm_term=.0f600a7a57f2 )

  • Owen Thomas

    “Some of the advantages of the College is that it does not allow for regionalism to be the dominant factor in elections because in order to win the presidency you will need to have to appeal to people across the country rather than just in NY, CA, FL, and TX.”

    the founders had this idea. but their idea in mind was so that northern candidates would have to pander to slave states. appealing to diverse kinds of people isn’t inherently valuable.

  • Owen Thomas

    “A microcosm of this would be Florida during the 2000 election.”

    the popular vote nationally in that election was clear cut for gore, it was florida’s importance to the electoral college that fueled the recount push. same for hillary, no recount would be necessary because hillary beat trump by a big margin in the popular vote. this factor you bring up works against your argument.

  • Owen Thomas

    “which is a problem in countries like Russia, China, and India.”

    citation plz. at least two of these countries are phony democracies anyway, so it doesn’t really matter how regionalism plays out [ https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2016/china ] [ https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2016/russia ]

    “The College also makes states matter. States with smaller populations like Wisconsin actually have a voice when voting for the president while still making sure that more populous states have a significant voice as well.”

    it’s a zero-sum game, dude. more voice for wisconsin means proportionally less voice for california. the difference between “significant” voice and “fair” voice makes all the difference in a competitive democracy.

  • Owen Thomas

    “It appears that the only reason that people are complaining about the Electoral College is that their candidate lost; no one cared about the college in 2008 or 2012 but all of a sudden it is now a form of voter suppression.”

    we didn’t care because it didn’t matter, because the the popular vote and electoral college both went for obama both years. the last time it split was 2000 and liberals are to this very day bitter about all the havoc the bush presidency wrought.

  • Ethan Dinapoli

    What I am saying is that the popular vote in that state was very close, now imagine what happened in Florida on a national level. Every vote must be recounted it will take months to do, it will be messy and tampering is sure to happen.

  • Ethan Dinapoli

    Voter fraud is a real thing, the democratic party admitted to it in the Podesta emails that were leaked. They fully admitted to busing people around to vote at multiple voting stations. You mean that it targets people who are too lazy to register? Why do you think so lowly of these people if they want to vote then they can take the 10 minutes necessary to register and get a drivers license. Also none of your sources give evidence that it targets black people specifically, no numbers or data they just say it does.

  • Ethan Dinapoli

    It doesn’t matter what the founders thought about slave states because they don’t exist any more. Aren’t you subscribed to the ideology that loves diversity and inclusion? Having intellectual and ideological diversity is a great thing because it allows us to have many different perspectives that you would otherwise have if you only had Democrats or Republicans. I also don’t need to remind you that democrats tend to live near the coast and in large cities unlike conservatives who tend to live in the mid-west and in rural regions.

  • Owen Thomas

    “They fully admitted to busing people around to vote at multiple voting stations.”

    had to dig pretty dig to find what you’re referring to. might it be this? [ http://www.snopes.com/obama-all-american-voter-fraud/ ]

    in a country where it’s already hard to get people to vote, even the slightest inconvenience (like memorizing the preamble) can turn many away, and putting that inconvenience disproportionately on black people is cheating.

    “Also none of your sources give evidence that it targets black people specifically, no numbers or data they just say it does.”

    [ https://www.aclu.org/other/oppose-voter-id-legislation-fact-sheet ] and from the opinion in the wapo article [ http://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Published/161468.P.pdf ] :

    ‘Anti-voter id argument:

    “In this one statute, the North Carolina legislature imposed
    a number of voting restrictions. The law required in-person
    voters to show certain photo IDs, beginning in 2016, which
    African Americans disproportionately lacked, and eliminated or
    reduced registration and voting access tools that African
    Americans disproportionately used. Id. at *9-10, *37, *123,
    *127, *131. Moreover, as the district court found, prior to
    enactment of SL 2013-381, the legislature requested and received
    racial data as to usage of the practices changed by the proposed
    law. Id. at *136-38.

    This data showed that African Americans disproportionately
    lacked the most common kind of photo ID, those issued by the
    Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Id. The pre-Shelby County
    version of SL 2013-381 provided that all government-issued IDs,
    even many that had been expired, would satisfy the requirement
    as an alternative to DMV-issued photo IDs. J.A. 2114-15. After
    Shelby County, with race data in hand, the legislature amended
    the bill to exclude many of the alternative photo IDs used by
    African Americans. Id. at *142; J.A. 2291-92. As amended, the
    bill retained only the kinds of IDs that white North Carolinians
    were more likely to possess. Id.; J.A. 3653, 2115, 2292.”

    decision of the court:
    “Thus, we are faced with a statute enacted with racially
    discriminatory intent, amended before ever implemented in a way
    that may remedy that harm, and a record incomplete in more than
    one respect.” ‘

  • Owen Thomas

    “Aren’t you subscribed to the ideology that loves diversity and inclusion?”

    not when it skews the government supposed to be ‘of the people’

    “It doesn’t matter what the founders thought about slave states because they don’t exist any more.”

    my point was that having slaveowners highly represented in government may be “diverse” and “inclusive” but it was also fucked up as hell.

    “Having intellectual and ideological diversity is a great thing because it allows us to have many different perspectives”

    it doesn’t just offer perspectives, it offers *power*.

    “that you would otherwise have if you only had Democrats or Republicans.”

    the electoral college doesn’t do anything to ensure that more than just democrats and republicans are heard. johnson and stein got shitkicked like they always do.

    “I also don’t need to remind you that democrats tend to live near the coast and in large cities unlike conservatives who tend to live in the mid-west and in rural regions.”

    yeah, that’s why it’s unfair. rural diversity for it’s own sake is code for conservative power-grabbing.