50 Days…

Today is December 2nd, and we have 50 days left before a new ‘day’ dawns in the United States and Donald Trump is inaugurated as our next President. For the most part, my plan for the next 50 days is to present factual information that may or may not be lining up with the more popular click bait we come across on our Facebook or twitter feeds. I tend to rant from time to time, however, so if my high-minded ideals turn to rants, please forgive me.

Yesterday, my post was simple, I just posted two links: One link to the Constitution of the United States, and the second to a link containing the process to change or amend the constitution. This is done purely for educational purposes.

Some basic history today for those who might be unclear or who have forgotten what was or what should have been taught in high school history or civics class.

Many people I know have expressed shock that a candidate won without having also won the popular vote. First of all, this isn’t the first time this has happened, in fact, it is the 5th time.

The first time this occurred was in 1824 when John Quincy Adams vs. Andrew Jackson. This was a bit different in that Andrew Jackson beat Adams by both popular vote AND the electoral college. However, at the time there needed to be a majority of 131 electoral votes to be declared President and neither man won the majority. The decision then went to the House of Representatives who voted Adams into the role of President. The reasons for this expose a very different election scenario than what we currently have, but accusations of corruption and ignoring the will of the people have a strong history in our country. If this interests you, check out this article.[1]

Rutherford B. Hayes was the second President to win the electoral vote in 1876 while his opponent, Samuel J. Tilden received more than 250,000 more popular vote ballots. Hayes had one more electoral vote than Tilden, but that was enough.[2] This was a very controversial election.

Just twelve years after that controversy, in 1888 Benjamin Harrison won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote to Grover Cleveland by over 90,000 votes.

In the year 2000 is the other time this event might be familiar to most readers when George W. Bush won a very close electoral vote (271 to 266) over Al Gore who won the popular vote by over 540,000 votes.

This year’s contest was the fifth time in the history of the United States that the winner of the popular vote didn’t win the electoral votes and the differences were HUGE (both the electoral and popular votes), and what is perhaps most interesting is that in each of the last 4 contests where the ‘people’ didn’t get their way, the winner of the electoral votes represented the Republican party, and the winner of the popular vote was a Democrat. The very first time this occurred the new President represented the Democrats, but these were not the same parties that we are now accustomed to.

But just by looking at the outcomes of 4 of the 5 contests mentioned, if I were Republican I would certainly hope that the Electoral college remains the law of the land, and if I were Democrat, I should do my utmost to get that changed.

[1] http://www.ushistory.org/us/23d.asp

[2] http://www.pbs.org/wnet/jimcrow/stories_events_election.html