America's Presidential electoral college system: a severe Achilles heel.

Discussion in 'Political Science' started by Bic_Cherry, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. kungfuliberal

    kungfuliberal Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough. It's going to be interesting to see if their "decision" would or could usurp the Congress' constitutional duty to change/pass laws.
     
  2. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    No, you misunderstand my intent.

    I am trying to tell you a simple fact: The history of a nation is not written in stone? Whyzat?

    Because it is run by humans who are imperfect. Meaning that laws over time must be malleable and pertain to the present and not the past.

    Our founding fathers had no "previous-example" upon which to base the foundation of the nation. So, it did its best - which, over time, has shown its imperfection by manipulating the voting processes for the Head of state and state representatives to Congress. (Namely voting imperfections of the presidential- and congressional-vote processes.)

    Which, in any True Democracy, should prescribe the non-manipulable right of the popular-vote. Not a bastardized treatment of the popular-vote that attributes the minority vote to the majority as indicated by present law. (The first-past-the-post rule - winner takes all!)

    There is no way anyone can rightfully argue that votes contrary to the majority winner should be assigned to the winner. None and nowhere else in the developed world of nations does such happen! It is manifestly an unallowable manipulation of the popular vote!

    Get it? Probably not, lost as you are in a wild-eyed necessity to maintain the illegitimate status-quo of American "democracy" that benefits your warped view of that word ...
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
  3. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Assume whatever pleases you.

    Moving right along ...
     
  4. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    That's really key. For you, laws, constitutions, and their history mean nothing. Just change things now.
     
  5. OldManOnFire

    OldManOnFire Well-Known Member

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    It's not clear to me how the US can change it's presidential voting process as long as the average voter is ignorant and self-serving? Whether it's votes in the EC or popular votes, all of the votes are cast by people...who today do an extremely poor job selecting their candidates. And we have things like gerrymandering and winner-takes-all EC votes in many states. If an election is based solely on popular votes, how do we guarantee that every vote across the US was properly counted? If I'm not mistaken an EC elector can vote against the popular votes in their district? Our election system is inaccurate and dirty but I don't know how to improve it??
     
  6. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Absurd!

    The Constitution is a living-document. Which is why it has Amendments. (Nice word for "Boy, did we get THAT wrong!)

    As such it must adhere to the times in which it finds itself. Like the 21st century and not the 18th!

    You're attitude towards the Constitution is biblical - the word of God handed down to us through the ages. Nice idea, but not provable. So, it should never ever find itself in either a Constitution OR resulting law. (The sacred choice of practicing freely whatever religion is all that is necessary. Even if that means running up a hill three times a day and pissing on a rock.)

    As I have said before - and the point at which we differ greatly - the Constitution is a living instrument of any democracy. Meaning it can be changed to suit the times in which it must exist.

    And after two-centuries of having manipulate presidential outcomes nationally as well as elections to the National Legislature, it is time we look seriously upon the matters of the unacceptable distortions* that have been made and need to be corrected.

    Namely to the EC and the Gerrymandering of the state voting.

    I will remind you once again that after WW2 not one European nation that was rebuilding its democracy chose the American model of political representation. Guess why ...
     
  7. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    They have an historical importance, but all history changes. We should not get stuck in a system that has not worked for two-centuries - just because we do not have the courage to face/accept its manipulation of voting processes.

    Wakey, wakey! We've been sleeping at the wheel for more than 200 years. And our political system has become a disaster.

    The result being one of the worst national Income Disparities of the western-world ... !
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
  8. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    Our system has a constitutional method for changing it. If enough people in the country agree with you, it will change. Right now, your anti electoral college hysteria is a fringe group.
     
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  9. Levant

    Levant Well-Known Member Past Donor

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  10. Levant

    Levant Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    No, the Constitution is not a living document. It has no will or mind of its own and no ability to change on its own. It was intentionally made possible but difficult to change so that it would not be changed with the weather or winds of time.

    You're correct that the Constitution can and should be changed to suit the times. Please argue to your state legislature to support a constitutional convention. Let's fix some things in it. I'm all for it.

    You're correct that history is not written in stone. It is written by the winner - of a war, of an election, of public opinion, or so on. It can be rewritten. Rewriting history can obliterate the truth or expose the truth.

    But you are still hung up on us being a democracy and a right to a popular vote. I'll concede an inalienable right to have a voice in how or whether you are governed. How that voice is exercised must certainly be by agreement or consensus of the governed.

    In the United States, the governed chose representatives to the Continental Congress as well as their state legislatures. Those representatives wrote and ratified the Constitution of the United States of America and everyone agreed that the voice of the people would be through their representatives - a republican (little r) form of government. The right to a voice was protected but the right, assuming it exists, to an individual vote, was traded off for the benefits of the union - in the same way that many other rights were reduced or compromised in order to create a nation.

    As I posted elsewhere, the covenant that is the Constitution, just like covenants you might sign in a homeowners association, carry from generation to generation and you are bound by the choice of our Founders for your voice to be heard through your representatives. Get used to it.

    I agree with you about gerrymandering. It should never be left to the courts to approve or reject the maps for electoral districts. The electoral college, on the other hand, does not suffer from the same problems. Once again, you're turning a deaf ear to the fact that the Founders never intended for the masses to elect the president; they specifically intended that the States elect the president.

    You claim to dislike gerrymandering but ignore that eliminating the Electoral College would be the ultimate form of gerrymandering. It would ensure that four states, just New York, California, Texas, and California, would have all the votes required to elect the president. All of the other states would be left without a voice. Although it is your wish that we were a democracy and, therefore, the votes of those other states don't matter if California and New York want socialism, unfortunately for you and the left, it just ain't so. In our union of sovereign states, every state gets a vote.

    If you want to change the way we elect the president, change the Constitution. Unfortunately for your side, that's not a majority vote, either. All those states whose voice you're trying to strip from the process get a say. If you think you can win, commit your time and money and go for it.

    You're partially right that Europe did not choose American style government after World War II. But you're wrong in that every nation in Europe except Belarus has a republican form of government with some leanings more toward socialist democracies than us. They all have more in common with our form of government than they differ from our form of government.

    Much of the difference comes from those countries having centuries, perhaps millennia old, governments and people who accept that government has an inherent right to rule. The independent lives of the colonies and the rough, open, life of the new world, created an independent culture in the colonies that led to our form of government.

    I will say, though, that if you think any of those countries has a better form of government and is a better place to live than is the United States, you're free to go to one. On the other hand, if you think that the United States of America is the greatest nation on earth and the best place to live, we should continue to debate how to make it even better.

    Lastly, you alluded to religion and the Constitution once again. Your contempt for the religion of others, and that contempt being your own religion, is telling. But let's talk about religion and the Constitution in a different thread. Do you want to start one or shall I?
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
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  11. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Which reflects accurately today's central problem: People like you cannot get beyond a document written more than two-hundred years ago! Nostalgia has a queer effect upon anyone's sense of logic and understanding of reality.

    Times change, constitutions must do so as well:
    * The 12th Amendment must be rewritten to indicate that the states report ONLY the presidential popular-vote to Congress.
    *Gerrymandering-the-vote by states must be made illegal.

    That's a short list that is far too long for people like you to comprehend.

    So, I'm moving-right-along ...
     
  12. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    You hope ...
     
  13. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The Replicants do not want to change Amendment 12 because "the manipulations work in their favor".

    So, if we do not "dump them", then there will be no fundamental change of Amendment 12 in Congress.

    Hung up? It is the sine-qua-non of any real democracy. And Europe instituted the popular-vote because it recognized the inanity of the EC in the US!



    Why in heavens name should I get used to something that is abjectly unfair?

    You obviously do not have the intellect to understand that the EC should have NO FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT to take my vote for the loser and allocate it to the winner!

    What it should do is simply report the result of the popular-vote to Congress that announces the winner.

    Duhhhhhhhhhhhh ... !
     
  14. Seth Bullock

    Seth Bullock Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The Founders intended for the center of our politics to be in the Congress, not the Presidency. Consistent with that intent, the primary purpose for the Executive Branch is to carry out the will of Congress. The Founders also established very limited powers of the Presidency. The decisions that effect our lives were intended to be made by Congress, and the President's job was to carry out those decisions. The Founders gave a lot of power to the Congress, to the point of being able to overrule the President on almost everything. Except for commanding the military in times of war, the Presidency was meant to be similar to being an ambassador, representing the the country as a whole, from coast to coast.

    So the selection of the President was designed so that the selection would be by a broad cross section of states, including smaller states. The Founders did not want the larger states imposing their will on smaller states. So they gave each state 2 Senators, regardless of size, and they gave the smaller states a slight advantage in selecting the President through the EC system.

    This was not a mistake. The reason why people want to change the EC system now is because Congress does not do its job because it doesn't want to. "Doing its job" entails political risk, and Congress has become risk averse, preferring to let hard decisions be made by the President and the Supreme Court - to avoid responsibility for anything. If the Congress was robustly doing its job, we wouldn't really care that much who the President was, and therefore, we wouldn't be debating the EC system. What we would care about would be our statewide races that determine who represents us in Congress.

    So it's disturbing to hear voices rising up against the EC system because it belies a profound lack of understanding about how our government is supposed to work.

    Additionally, it ignores the pitfalls of the dictatorship of the majority that is always a danger in a pure democracy.

    There is an "elitism" about it too. We hear it all ... the ... time. "Educated vs Uneducated", "flyover country", "deplorables", "a bunch of farmers", "clinging to their religion and guns", etc, etc, etc.

    And finally, this desire to get rid of the EC system is driven by the politics of the day wherein Democrats think getting rid of the EC system will be to their advantage, giving no thought to the fact that their numerical superiority might be reversed in the future. It would only take one large state to flip, and Democrats could find themselves winning the EC vote and losing the popular vote.

    For Democrats, the way to win the Presidency is with a good candidate. You've had good candidates before. JKF, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama were all effective candidates. When you put up a candidate that appeals to a broad cross section of the states - not just NY and CA, you'll win back the presidency. Simple as that.

    Seth
     
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  15. Levant

    Levant Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    If you want to change the Constitution and you think you have the support to get it done then change it.

    The age of the Constitution has nothing to do with it. After thousands of years of human history, now, suddenly, socialism is the best way to govern and liberty is no longer worth defending, then maybe the Constitution is outdated. The only modern ideas that lead the left to hate our Constitution is that they want wealth redistribution - they want the fruits of the labors of some to be given to others who did not earn it. Some want that because they want to be on the receiving end of those fruits and others want it because they have weak spines and it makes them feel better about themselves to give to those who won't work; they don't have the backbone to hold the lazy accountable.
     
  16. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Just gathering steam at the moment.

    I recall as a high-schooler that I took a course in Civics. Not once was it mentioned that the EC was unfair because of its "first-past-the-post-rule". And if it did not mention that blatantly unfair mistake, people continued to think that nothing was wrong with the presidential voting-system.

    And yet, it is perfectly obvious that if any voting citizen in a popular-vote for the presidency DID NOT VOTE for the winner neither did s/he intend that their vote should be manipulated and be transferred to the winner! Who thus one ALL OF THE STATE'S EC VOTE!

    Such an election perfidy is blatantly obvious - and that you cannot see through to it simply means you have intentionally blinders-on.

    Pray, do tell me where in the world does such a manipulation happen in a truly democratic republic. Those with an Electoral College along with the US: Burundi, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Myanmar, Pakistan, Trinidad and Tobago and Vanuatu.

    What company for Uncle Sam ... !
     
  17. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    WATCH THIS SPACE

    Let's not forget that even in Communism the leaders are elected to a representative body (akin to our "Congress") - which is no different from the manner in which the Legislative Head in Europe is the leader of the party that wins the popular-vote.

    I am not making any belated argumentation FOR communism, because it has already shown its principle weakness. Communism espouses that the ownership of the means of production are the state. Which is the exact opposite of any Liberal-democracy where the market-dynamic is private enterprise in a competitive-market system.

    Communism failed ultimately wherever it was deployed.
    But that does not in the least prove that the alternative (capitalism) is the "winner". In fact, those closest to Communism in Europe espouse today what is today called a Social Democracy - in which the free-market is capitalist in nature, but where government ownership of key social-provisions (like National Health Care and National Post-secondary Education) are prevalent hallmarks.

    (And the above statement is simply a short-explanation of the fundamental differences between the two political-economic systems. There are further differences that are important but unmentioned.)

    Europe thanked Uncle Sam for defeating the Nazis and then took its own course towards Social-democracy. The EuropeanUnion (EU) is now a key economic power along with the other two "majors" - China and the US. The significant difference between the two is that Uncle Sam highlights what it calls the "freedom of a capitalist system based upon market-competition". Whilst the Europeans acknowledge that important facet as key but not predominant.

    Political predominance in Europe is decided by another economic factor, which is called the disparity of national income. Or, better yet, its opposite - that is, the acute disparity of national income. Whatzat?

    Any free-market system must employ an economy based upon work pay-scales that merit rewards - and thus differences of income are prevalent. Such differences are necessary in any economic system based upon competitive-markets.

    But that statement does not mean in the least that Incomes that become Wealth are not to be mitigated/constrained. Wherever there is acute Income Disparity, there occasions unfair distribution of wealth.
    Which results in an upper-income wealth segment that obtains far-too-much of the income generated. And, in some countries, (America being one), also instigates acute Income Disparity at the bottom - what economists call the "Poverty Threshold". (See that diagrammatically represented here by the OECD. Note the US at the high-end, and the EU-countries much lower.)

    Why is this unfair? Because we are all members of the same economic-system - to which we contribute our labor and from which we earn our compensation. That compensation most certainly cannot be the same for all (as was with Communism). But neither should general Compensation (Income) nationally generate dramatic differences in Wealth - particularly between the most-rich and the most poor. Whyzzat?

    Because we are all members of the same "economic-game"; that is, it is by means of our work that we are able to Consume, and it is by Consumption (or Demand) that Production (or Supply) is furnished within a Market-Economy. And that provision should not be equal but at least fair-and-equitable for all!

    I am not making up this argumentation as I write. The above is standard, modern economic "theory".

    Readers here are now welcome to dispute it ... !


    Yes, a fair and decent capitalist economic-system is based upon what is quoted above. The problem being that "free and fair elections" have never been an aspect of America's democracy. Neither Gerrymandering nor the Winner-takes-all Electoral-College are tolerable in a truly free-and-fair electoral system.

    But rather than moaning-and-growling about the inherent unfairness that has led to massive billions being amassed by a very tiny percentage of the American population, we should be discussing how our Upper-income Taxation must be changed (meaning increased). And whyzzat?

    Because the billions amassed by any one family are simply passed on (almost tax-free) to those who never worked a day to generate any of it. They had the simple good-luck to be born into the right family. Moreover, and most important, the great unfairness of such systems inevitably lead to - sooner or later - revolutions* of the poor to express their abject and exaggerated poverty into which most were born and could never escape ...

    *Let's not forget the last factual revolution that took place in the US was in Los Angeles - the Watts riots of 1965.
    Can't happen again there or elsewhere? Oh yes it can!
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  18. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    What the founders did or did not do is pure history, and has only remotely a bearing on our democracy TODAY.

    Democracy is a learning process as are all matters of political evolution. What is important is TODAY, not what happened two centuries ago when a number of British colonies took steps to separate themselves from the crown - and found themselves in a war to win political freedom.

    At the time there had been plenty of discussion going on because no one - I repeat no one - had ever formulated the Constitution of a republican democracy. That does not mean in the least that because it was done, it was accomplished and set in concrete. (You may wish to say that about the bible, but religious belief is an altogether different matter.)

    In fact, the Constitution is amended fairly regularly in order to be in line with the times in which it must persist. And, frankly, finally getting around to FIXING the broken-manner in which we elect both our Executive of the nation and the state representatives to both state and national legislatures is VERY MUCH A POIGNANT MATTER. Both are the fundamental basis of Our Democracy!

    Thus, the matter is not to be "brushed aside" with quaint arguments as to why the 12 Amendment first-past-the-post rule or gerrymandering are untouchable! They are at the very heart of our democratic system of governance!

    We must fix the broken wheel on our system-of-governance vehicle...

    Well, as you will see very soon, one of those
    powers will not be the outing of the present National Executive. Because, in our two-party system, if a party controls the Senate it also controls the mechanism for presidential impeachment. And because this party has more regard for political power/influence than honesty and presidential integrity, it will not impeach the existing PotUS!

    And as will be seen yet again, the party in question will do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that might surrender its political dominance in both the Senate and the White House - and regardless of the proof-positive evidence of illicit chicanery by present Head of state ...
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  19. Seth Bullock

    Seth Bullock Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    We fundamentally disagree on the relevance of the Constitution as it was written. This country was founded on the idea that the People should run the country through its elected representatives in Congress, not an autocratic executive similar to a king. And this is why the President’s powers are limited so severely by the Constitution.

    As to the second part of your reply to me, you cannot possibly be so naive as to think the Democrats would convict and remove a Democratic president if that president did the same thing Trump did.
     
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  20. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    This country was founded on an idea that no individual person should have control of the state and employ it for personal enrichment, as Kings had done for centuries in Europe. The lesson was well learned.

    Fast-forward two-centuries. And what do we have? A so-called democracy that allows individuals (the rich) to fund a political part the purpose of which is personal enrichment. (The US has the highest Income Disparity of any developed comparable economy - eg. the OECD countries.
    [​IMG]

    Well, I am not naive. I'm the one around here who showing the factual information that economic analysis has provided to support their argument.

    Try harder ...
     
  21. Seth Bullock

    Seth Bullock Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    You’re making a case for congressional term limits.
     
  22. Levant

    Levant Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Once again, you're arguing as though your fantasies were reality. We're not a democratic republic. We're a constitutional republic. Or just a republic, if you prefer. The word that has no place in describing The United States is democracy. In democracies, the majority rules over the minority. I'm glad we're not a democracy.

    It's one thing to argue that you wish we were a democracy and/or that you wish that the Constitution would be changed to make us a democracy, or even a democratic socialist nation, but to continue to ignore the facts and argue things that clearly aren't so simply proves that you're just an ideologue and not capable of, or not interested in, intelligent debate.
     
  23. Levant

    Levant Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Actually, what the Founders did controls our republic today as much as it did in 1789. Try as you might, you can't ignore the fact that the Constitution is what created our federal government.

    Please explain how anyone, Trump, Obama, the IRS, the EPA, any of them at all have any authority to govern if it isn't by the constitution that was created by the Founders.

    Besides the fact that you won't let go of the D word, you're demonstrating a clear lack of understanding of the impeachment process. The Senate has nothing at all to do with presidential, or any other, impeachment.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
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  24. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    A REAL AND TRUE HONEST VOTE OF THE PRESIDENCY

    Once again, you are beside the point, and don't even realize it.

    The European Union is a copycat United States. The one aspect of governance it DID NOT COPY from the US was the means employed to elect the Executive Head of government. The EU was not having any of the uniquely two-party system and most certainly NO ELECTORAL COLLEGE.

    The head of government in the EU is named by the party with the majority seats in parliament (ie "HofR"). (The EU has no Senate.)

    We in the US are a democracy - ostensibly. But any "democracy" that plays-game with the popular-vote is not true to the p-v's INTRINSIC DEFINITION - that is, only the pure popular-vote must determine the election of representative to office in a Legislature.

    When it comes to a popularly elected representational body, and for legitimacy of the vote the above rule must apply. In America we employ the first-past-the-post rule to elect our representatives to both state and national governments. But, when it come to the presidency, something AWFUL happens. All the state-votes that did not vote for the winner are transformed into positive votes - which is how the winner is attributed all the electoral-votes of a state-EC. (When they deserve only the EC-votes that they actually obtained!)

    ABRA-CADABRA!


    The popular-vote ALONE designates the presidential-winner in any state and does so by means of the first-past-the-post and winner-take-all rules. Which is anathema to any truly real-democracy presently because the state-EC manipulates votes from losers to the winner*. That is, the popular-votes against the winner are magically changed into positive votes that allow the winner the state's total EC-vote!

    Popular-votes must not be manipulated for any true-democracy to exist. Each state reports the voting results for the two presidential candidates to Congress, which then determines the winner of the total-vote throughout the country.

    And thus the EC becomes simply a means of noting the popular-vote in each state, collecting it and reporting the result to Congress. Dead simple!

    This above rule is so evidently true that most other democracies on earth apply it during its Head-of-state electoral process ...
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
  25. LafayetteBis

    LafayetteBis Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    You misunderstand English. How curious.

    Any history is important politically because it is the ONLY WAY to avoid making the same mistake over and over again.

    Which the US is doing patently in electing its head of state. It also needs a "money-rule" because its voters spend so much time watching/believing crapola political commercials on TV ...
     

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