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Trump’s America: Week #1
Donald Trump has not wasted his time in doing controversial things as a president-elect. First off, he announced his preferred pick of noted racist and Alabama’s Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (better known as Jeff Sessions) to Attorney General. Next, he held a meeting under questionable protocol with the President of Japan, Shinzo Abe. Normally, the president meets first with the head of state of England, for one. Also, his daughter Ivanka, who will become the leader of his business in January, attended the meeting under questionable legality - both as a question of conflict of interest and a question of security clearance. At the meeting, he reportedly knew next to nothing about existing trade deals with Japan. Also, no press was allowed in.
He also offered an unspecified cabinet position to Ben Carson, who declined, and claimed General James Mattis, who thinks Iran is more of a danger than ISIS, was the frontrunner for Secretary of Defense (though he admittedly has a very impressive record in the military). He also bizarrely sent a tweet praising Chuck Schumer, of all people.
The Case for the Electoral College
In the past few weeks, we’ve heard a lot of clamor to eliminate the electoral college. Yes, it has failed twice in the last five elections. But it also does a lot of good. I personally don’t exactly have an opinion, but these are some reasons to support it:
-It gives voice to (some) smaller states: With the electoral college, there is some incentive for politicians to campaign in small states and smaller areas. With a national popular vote, candidates would have very little incentive to go to areas with less than 300,000 people, since the potential to gain votes would be low.
-It emphasizes broad appeal: The president of the United States has to be the president chosen by the people of 50 states - if 30 states vote one way, like this time, that gives the president the mandate of 60% of states, which means something. Indeed, if a candidate won the popular vote by appealing to a couple of regions or demographics, then they might not be the perfect president for all of America, and the electoral college helps fix this.
-It simplifies recounts: In the event of a close national popular vote election, every single vote would have to be counted again. With the electoral college, recounts are simplified to single states, lowering time taken and total cost, as well as improving trust in the system - a complete national recount would have many allegations of vote rigging.
-Any other system would be hard to implement: Any other system would require either a constitutional amendment or a widespread agreement, either of which would likely need some smaller states to sign it, which is unlikely, seeing as the current system benefits smaller states (as it should.)
Trump Settles Trump U Fraud Case
A bit of news that was overshadowed this week was the fact that the notable Trump University fraud case was settled for $25 million (considerably less than the $40 million initially asked.) Trump also notably gets a tax write-off for this. However, it’s a bit ironic that Trump, who claimed in a primary debate that "[he doesn't] settle cases ... because that's why I don't get sued very often, because I don't settle, unlike a lot of other people" had to settle this high-profile case. I will also note that the above quote was in the context of this very trial.
This Week In World Elections
France: The French Republican party held their presidential primary today, and surprisingly, the voters rejected former president Nicolas Sarkozy in favor of two former Prime Ministers, Alain Juppé and Francois Fillon, who will face off in a runoff next Sunday. Fillon is seen as more pro-England and pro-EU than Sarkozy, while Juppé is more to the center of the party and isn’t very divisive. Both Fillon and Juppé have agreed to serve only one full term if elected.
Thank you for reading. As always, feel free to reply and comment!