“The power of the smaller states is large and growing. Political scientists call it a striking exception to the democratic principle of ‘one person, one vote.’ Indeed, they say, the Senate may be the least democratic legislative chamber in any developed nation.”
Electoral college map for the 2012, 2016 and 2020 United States presidential elections, based on apportionment data from the US Census Bureau. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Under the U.S. Constitution, Wyoming, the state with the smallest population in America, has two U.S. senators. So does California, the state with the largest population. The stunning result in the U.S. Senate is shown in this striking NY Times graphic.
One obvious result is that small states receive much more Federal money, per capita, than large states. A look at the map also shows that most of the smaller states are conservative, Republican-voting, Red states. The small states have many more votes in the Senate than the large states.
Small states also have an advantage in the Electoral College, though not as great as their advantage in the Senate. For this reason, the Electoral College has chosen a president who did not receive a majority of the popular vote. It will undoubtedly happen again, and it could call into question the very legitimacy of a U.S. president.
“In 2000, had electoral votes been allocated by population, without the two-vote bonuses, Al Gore would have prevailed over George W. Bush. Alexander Keyssar, a historian of democracy at Harvard, said he would not be surprised if another Republican candidate won the presidency while losing the popular vote in coming decades, given the structure of the Electoral College.”
Is it any wonder that democracy in America appears to be broken?
Human beings have created many empires in recorded history. Every one of them, from the Roman Empire, to the Ottoman Empire, to the British Empire, on which the sun never set — every great empire has failed.
And here we have the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate on the brink of shutting down the government of the United States of America — ON PURPOSE! If there were any logic, any sense in the world, closing the U.S. government would be treason.
Last time politicians shut down the government, in 1995, it was able to reopen in a few days with no more serious consequence than closing a few national parks.
However, there is no guarantee for the future. The law of unintended consequences is in effect. We live in the 21st century, the century of the “Black Swan.” Major events, or chains of events, that are unpredictable and highly improbable can happen. You can learn more about the “Black Swan” here.
Politicians who would shut the U.S. government — on purpose! — are tempting fate. Our ancestors fought a Revolutionary War to establish this government. We fought a Civil War to hold the Union together. American soldiers died in foreign wars. And now modern politicians are willing risk throwing it all away over a budgetary dispute? Whatever the unintended consequences, Republicans and Democrats will share the dishonor equally.
We live in perilous times. The U.S. is embroiled in three foreign wars. We recently survived the worst worldwide financial crisis since the Great Depression, but many countries continue to struggle with economic and debt problems of dangerous proportions. Portugal is begging for a bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Portugal is the third European nation to require financial rescue. Japan, after two lost decades of economic stagnation, has been driven to its knees by an epic earthquake. Its nuclear power plants spew radiation, poisoning Japan’s food and water.
Enemies wish to destroy us. We’re threatened by terrorists from abroad, and by homegrown terrorists. War might be unleashed at any time, in Yemen, or the Ivory Coast, or an attack from North Korea or Iran. India and Pakistan are always on the verge of war. So are the Israelis and Palestinians.
What’s my point? Events like a government shutdown can spin out of control. One unexpected consequence cascades into others, until the entire edifice trembles. Who could have predicted that a World Trade Center building might collapse? Both towers disappeared into rubble before lunch on a single day.
On top of all the dangers in the world, U.S. politicians are going to shut down the U.S. Government? For a few days? If politicians cannot agree to keep the government open this week, will they agree to reopen it next week? What if two weeks go by? Three? The longer the crisis continues, the more difficult it will be to end. Be afraid of the “Black Swan.”
Some remnant remains after an empire fails. Rome exists as a city to this day. The British islands remain a functioning nation, with shrunken power. The Mayan civilization left ruins. Descendants of the Mayan people live today throughout Central America.
North America will remain, and millions of people will live in the historical United States. Modern civilization will continue, probably. Beyond that, there are no guarantees for the U.S. as a nation. A federal shutdown for more than a few weeks would force the states to fend for themselves. A shutdown could lead to default on the sovereign debt, or weakening of U.S. armed forces.
Once started, a process of devolution and decay may accelerate out of control, and who has power to stop the chaos?
People with moxie and common sense are starting to climb on board the Alvin Greene Bandwagon To Take America Back. Here’s five reasons to vote for Mr. Greene, courtesy of Huffington Post.
Where is it written that you have to wear thousand-dollar suits, have $400 styled hair, cheat on your wife, AND be bought and paid for by at least one, zillion-dollar international conglomerate, in order to qualify for the U.S. Senate, or, for that matter, governor of South Carolina.
For your convenience and amusement, let’s have a little mock election right here and now.
Above top, Mark Sanford (SC), John Edwards (NC); second row, Sarah Palin (Alaska), and Alvin Greene (SC Dem Party photo). (The Sanford, Edwards and Palin photos are from Wikipedia.) Sanford and Edwards are “Establishment.” Palin and Greene are “outsiders” (Ok, Mr. Greene is a new outsider, and Ms. Palin is a veteran outsider.) Sarah Palin represents the Tea Party, and Alvin Greene represents the Mockingbird Party (unless someone comes up with a better name).
Your vote counts! In fact, your vote is the most important vote! No poll tax! All races and genders welcome to participate. Is this a great and free country, or what?
South Carolina is waking up to the amazing but true story that Alvin Greene is the real deal, the unknown “everyman” who won against all odds.
Alvin Greene is the small-town guy who went away and served in the Army for a long time, then came back home, ran a very low-key, under-the-radar campaign, and astounded everyone by winning! Alvin Greene is today the official and legitimate nominee of the South Carolina Democratic Party for the U.S. Senate. Exactly what about that is hard to understand?
For the first exclusive and respectful interview with the political phenom, see OpEdNews.com.Here’s a quick sample:
My campaign is about jobs, better education for children and justice . . .
We spend much more of our taxpayer dollars on inmates than students. We must get our priorities together in South Carolina and across the country.
Truth to tell, I doubt you’ll find many African-American Democrats in South Carolina who disagree with Mr. Green’s views. Looks to me like Alvin Greene is going to come out smelling like the hometown hero.
Here’s a prediction: I’m going to be sending the Alvin Greene campaign a small check, and so are thousands of other people from across the country. Alvin Greene is the Democratic Party’s answer to the Republicans’ Tea Party movement. Just my opinion.
What about that spurious “charge” against Greene, which S.C. officials have not even bothered to prosecute? ROFL. Everyone who has ever read “To Kill A Mockingbird” has a pretty good idea what that’s all about. Come to think of it, Alvin Greene is so soft-spoken and gentle, he reminds me of a mockingbird. Maybe the Democratic answer to the Tea Party will be called the Mockingbird Party. I like the ring. Remember, you read it here first!
Here’s another prediction: Alvin Greene is going to win approximately 97 percent of the black vote in South Carolina on Election Day in November. If he can add the votes of a few open-minded white Democrats and Independents, he might just win, and I will write a book and call it “Mr. Greene Goes To Washington.”
For an even more enthusiastic opinion than mine, check out the Washington Post’sPostPartisan Blog.
Alvin Greene, left, and Vic Rawl. S.C. Democratic Party photos.
A military veteran and graduate of the University of South Carolina named Alvin M. Greene, 32, has come out of political nowhere to win the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in South Carolina.
Many in the political establishment and the cable news business have disgraced themselves by their prejudiced reactions. Just my opinion.
I had underestimated the arrogance and self-righteousness of our country’s ruling elites.How dare an ordinary American of humble means . . . How DARE he presume to run for high political office???!!!
They say Alvin Greene has no business running for office because he is poor and has no political experience. The U.S. Senate, after all, is a millionaires’ club. It is perfectly OK for a wealthy person to come out of nowhere and spend millions of their own money to win. Happens every election. But a person of humble means? Not allowed!
They ridicule him for living with and taking care of his ailing and elderly father in small-town Manning, S.C. (Seems commendable, to me.) Also, Alvin Greene is African-American. The outcry from the political and media elites falls just short of a lynch mob. (OK, I am exaggerating for effect. I want you to understand that I have not been this angry in a long time.)
The elites are proudly flaunting their ignorance of and disrespect for democracy.
While the MSM is busy trying to smear Alvin Greene, I am not the only blogger who believes that Mr. Greene is simply a rare long shot who won an obscure election against a weak opponent. For example, see this post from Salon. It is instructive that the little-known Vic Rawl, who was expected to win the Democratic primary, was thought to have absolutely no chance of defeating the Republican incumbent, Sen. Jim DeMint. Maybe that’s why Democrats voted for Mr. Greene instead. Even if your man is going to lose, you can at least send a message.
Alvin Greene, Scott Brown, Barack Obama
Do you mind if I suggest that Alvin Greene may be the new Scott Brown? Mr. Brown is now known as Senator Brown, the gentleman from Massachusetts. Mr. Greene and Mr. Brown both have something in common with President Barack Obama. None of them was the establishment candidate; the deck was stacked against them. The voters defied the orders of the elite and voted for Barack Obama, not Hillary Clinton. Is democracy breaking out in America? Could the world be turning upside down?
I have listened to Alvin Greene calmly and patiently respond to unfair interviews on TV, and it is obvious to me that he is an intelligent, well-educated, and patriotic citizen. (As always, just my opinion.) He is a humble man, soft-spoken and not used to the glare of the spotlight. You can see that he is not a polished career politician. He is not an actor. He doesn’t have all the answers. But he is well-spoken and answers intrusive questions truthfully and without hesitation. He is refreshingly without guile. You can see it in his face and his body language.
In what way is Mr. Greene not qualified to run for political office? He is South Carolina through and through. He has a degree in political science from the state’s university. He served his country for 13 years in the Army and Air Force. These facts have been confirmed by the university and by the Pentagon. Mr. Greene is not boastful. He has not made any untrue claims about great accomplishments. He is only 32 and has spent his entire adult life going to college and serving in the military. Younger men from the “right” families have been elected with less experience than Mr. Greene. The Pentagon says he has received at least four service medals, including one for serving in Korea. Mr. Greene says it was while serving in Korea that he began thinking about running for office.
“I saw the country declining and I wanted to do something,” he said softly in response to one question on TV. When asked about his qualifications to run against the great incumbent, Sen. Jim DeMint, Mr. Greene cited his own military service. Sen. DeMint did not serve in the military, Mr. Greene noted.
Mr. Greene said he believes that incumbents need to be held accountable, and that incumbents are a major cause of America’s current predicament. (Now there’s a radical idea!)
Smear campaign without basis
The media and politicians are trying to smear Mr. Greene, plain and simple. Shame on them. Some say he is a Republican “plant.” Some question where he got the $10,400 filing fee. (A better question was raised by Slate. How come it costs so much to be a candidate in South Carolina?) He has not collected any campaign money nor run any slick TV ads. He is unemployed since leaving the military last fall, but what is more common in this sad economy than unemployment, especially among returning veterans?
The media is also sensationalizing a so-called “obscenity” accusation against Mr. Greene, who has no criminal record. I strongly suspect that the charge is trumped-up and unfounded. Mr. Greene says he is innocent.
Apparently, a young white woman was offended by a very brief conversation with Mr. Greene. She can’t really describe what he was trying to show her on a computer. She says she hardly looked at it. The entire encounter lasted perhaps two minutes. No evidence, no witness. No accusation of assault, only a very brief conversation. No harm, no foul.
A white woman and a black man. Hmm . . . This foolish story is as old as the South. No one who has read “To Kill A Mockingbird” will believe this accusation for a minute. The alleged incident is nearly a year old, and officials have made no move to prosecute it. (I wouldn’t be surprised if the “charge” is revived, now that Mr. Greene is a viable candidate.)
There is also some question about Mr. Green’s exit from the military last year, six months early, after 13 years of service. Mr. Greene says he received an honorable discharge, and the military does not dispute that fact.
All the phony talk against Mr. Greene smacks of racism. There, I’ve said it.
Why is it so hard to believe a black man won?
How do you dismiss a 59-41 percent victory? I believe the simple truth is that Alvin Greene won the S.C. Democratic primary. He says it was “simple, old-fashioned” campaigning, help from family and friends, and word-of-mouth support. Got a problem with that?
Remember, South Carolina is a small state. Mr. Greene is a lifelong Democrat, and his father is reputedly a longtime Democratic activist. Many Democratic voters in South Carolina are African-American. Do you think news of Mr. Greene’s run could have spread like wildfire through a community of faithful Democrats? Do you think the photos of Mr. Greene and his almost-equally-unknown white opponent, shown at the top of this post, were routinely printed in small-town newspapers, voter guides, and Democratic Party material?
Is there anything wrong with black Democrats choosing to vote for a man who looks like them? Could it be that many South Carolina Democrats believe Alvin Greene is well-qualified by his views and life experience to represent them in the U.S. Senate?
Do you believe in democracy?
— John Hayden
Note: In the long-distance video below, you can see that Mr. Greene is having trouble hearing the questions using that nasty TV sound monitor stuck in his ear. Many veteran newscasters have the same problem. Considering that he had never done such an interview before, and considering the confusion and delay of the sound coming to his ear, I thought Mr. Greene maintained his cool very well. His answers are somewhat slow, but that is the way people from the deep South talk. It’s called a Southern drawl. Everybody in S.C. talks like that.