Donald Trump is a fraud. Not just because he makes things up based on little or no real information about subject matter or knowingly lies because people tend to believe what celebrities tell them. He’s also a fraud because he thinks he killed the Republican primaries confirming, in his own mind, that he’s God’s gift to America.
As Mr. Trump keeps reminding us, he received 14 million votes in the primaries. He did, 14,010,239 to be precise. What Mr. Trump chooses to overlook is that his 14 million votes were only 45% of the total cast. 55% – a clear majority – of the Republicans who voted in the primaries did not want him to be the nominee. But he won anyway and that the first hint that something about our election process is very wrong.
Even more important, while he reminds us that his candidacy his brought frustrated, angry, Republican nut balls out of the woodwork to the polls, he ignores the big picture.
Turnout is the ratio of actual to registered voters. Yes, Republican primary turnout was the highest it’s been since 1980. Rough guess, about 30% of Republicans showed up to vote nationwide. That’s right, despite all the excitement and media coverage, less than a third of America’s Republicans voted in this year’s Presidential primaries.
What’s the point? The point is that only 45% of 30% or 13.5% of Republicans indicated a preference for Donald Trump to be President. For all intents and purposes, he is the candidate of nobody in particular, of a small minority of his party’s voters.
Yes, your alarm is entirely justified. And now, all of a sudden, Republican leaders and others are shocked and appalled that a jerk of biblical proportions has a real shot at becoming the next President of the United States?
And it not just a problem with the Republican primaries. It’s a crisis for both major parties at every level of American politics where plurality elections coupled with low turnout are nominating and electing people who are supported by, at best, a small, often tiny minority of registered voters. It’s minority rule and that wasn’t what our founding fathers had in mind.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, what we need is a mid-course correction. We need to do the following as quickly as possible…
1. Require that candidates demonstrate significant support as a condition for filing to run for office. That will cut down the number of people running.
2. Have run off elections if no candidate receives over 50% of the votes. That will make sure that the winner is the choice of at least a majority of the people who voted.
3. Do what they do in Australia. Make it against the law not to vote. Turnout in our country is way, way too low. We need to fix that. Whatever the consequences, the majority needs to rule.
You don’t like these suggestions? Say so. Speak up. That’s what the comment field is for. Or, you can remain silent and be prepared to suppress your gag reflex for the next 4 years should, heaven forbid, Donald Trump be elected President.
While you’re thinking about it, remember that there are 4 people, not 2, but 4 people running for President – a Democrat, a Republican, a Libertarian and someone from the Green Party. That’s right, without a runoff election, if some anti-Trump, anti-Clinton voters go Libertarian or Green to make a statement, Mr. Trump could be elected President with only a plurality, with less than a majority of the total votes cast.
You’re right and that’s putting it mildly.