Many Americans are outraged that for the second time in last twenty years, a supposed unpopluar presidential candidate beat the odds and won. On Nov 8th 2016, Donald Trump shook the very foundation of American politcs. A controversial populist presidential candidate beat a highly experienced and deeply entrenched political opponent. It may have been the greatest upset in American politics? But how? According to the results, Trump’s oppoenent won the popluar vote by almost 3 million votes. How is it in a country where democracy shines brighter than anywhere on earth can somone win a presidential election without winning the majority vote.
The answer is simple, the electoral college…and the rationale is priceless!
On April 29th,1992, violent protests broke out in Los Angeles. It was the result of the Los Angeles County District Court verdict for the Rodney King case. The verdict acquitted four Los Angeles police officers from excessive force charges levied because of actions during the arrest of Rodney King (a black man). Within two days the entire south central side of Los Angeles was enveloped in riots. By the third day, the Los Angeles police department, as well as the State of California, realized that they were unable to quell the unrest and requested federal assistance.
“The total federal response to the LA Riots reached 13,500 troops. A total of 55 people died during the riots, including eight who were killed by police officers and two who were killed by guardsmen. As many as 2,000 people were reported injured. Estimates of the material losses vary between about $800 million and $1 billion.”
In a rare act of reestablishing order, the president invoked what is called the Insurrection Act where Federal troops were called up to quell a riot. The federal government was essentially put in charge of a state’s responsibility, testing the very fabric of our constitutional republic. Similarly, we have seen a recent rash of violent protests over racial and post-election issues; with states or local authorities providing little attempt in suppressing them. Could President Trump be on the verge of a similar response? And what does that mean to the larger picture of liberty and governance? [Read more…]
Our media and Democrats, as well as some hard-line Republicans, are painting an adversarial picture of Russia. Demonizing them as an “enemy” or “threat” responsible for election hacking, regional instability and on the wrong side of Syria. To be honest, Russia’s actions and behavior over the last eight years has been abhorrent and could present a credible threat. But to who and at what level? Judging any nation (emphasis on “nation”) on how they govern and more specifically on regional actions or national interests is hypocritical. The U.S. is quick to pass judgment on others without reflecting on their own actions (i.e. Middle East, Snowden, etc.) and inability to see through other’s lenses — there are no sacred cows! This does not mean that the U.S. cannot pass judgment nor does it give Russia a pass, but one must look to strategic rationale before they label and worse, shut the door on a critical relationship.
The U.S. is losing ground internationally and if we are to rebound from the last eight years of apologetic foreign policies and diminishing power, the U.S. must revive this key relationship, ignoring it will be a mistake.