REMEMBER MITRICE

On April 30 a beautiful angel was born and her parents named her Mitrice. 

Please remember Mitrice Richardson.

We continue to fight for justice, and while there are still no answers we trust that some day those who are responsible for her death will be exposed. 

youtube.com/watch?v=bx-hv8zoevs

~  RONDA HAMPTON

VIA EMAIL

CHANCES ARE …

The Washington Post Fact Checker recently reported that President Trump surpassed 10,000 false statements since taking office. European odds maker bookmaker.eu releases odds on the total number of false statements President Trump will make on or before Nov. 3, 2020.

Current Odds: bookmaker.eu/live-lines/politics?c=4/2

Total number of false statements (as per Washington Post Fact Checker) made by Donald Trump on or before Nov. 3 2020:

Over 22,500 -115

Under 22,500 -115

“It’s a high number, as it took 828 days for President Trump to get to 10,111 false statements,” said Bookmaker Political Odds Maker Rick Malone. “However, there has been a surge in false statements in the recent months.”

According to the Washington Post, Trump has gone from an average of eight false statements a day in his first 100 days to 23 falsehoods a day in the last seven months. “There is an obvious correlation to the number of speeches and interviews given to the total number of false statements. The more he talks the higher the total goes,” Malone said. “Between the upcoming political rallies and debates, there should be ample opportunity for the president to surpass 22,500 total false statements.”

~  JOHN LESTER

ODDS CONSULTANT

BOOKMAKER.EU

FALLEN SO FAR

A majority of Americans support universal health care, sensible gun control, net neutrality and a host of other positions that continually fail to be enacted into law. These proposals are labeled controversial and even extreme, despite wide acceptance.

We are told our nation is “deeply divided.” Yet, it isn’t our citizenry but our government that is fissured. We suffer from a democracy deficit, the will of the majority constantly stymied. 

Many observers correctly identify voting manipulations, such as gerrymandering and arbitrary purging of voter rolls, as factors in the deficit. Overbearing corporate influence is rightly cited as well. But the barriers to democracy inherent in the Constitution itself are seldom noticed.

When the Constitutional Convention sat in 1786-1787, little democracy existed anywhere. Heredity rulers sat on the thrones of Europe, and in America, where power was more widely shared, only propertied white males could vote. Aversion to majority rule was common among the convention’s representatives. Many equated democracy with mob rule.

Their mission was to replace the weak Articles of Confederation with a stronger federal union capable of a united defense and coherent foreign policy. The plan needed acceptance by all 13 “sovereign” states. 

Not an easy task. The states would need to give up some power, and no one ever wants to do that. In particular the South feared the more populated North would dominate and that it would threaten the South’s “peculiar institution,” i.e. slavery. 

Democracy was not on the table. 

Through heroic and often bloody struggle over the years, ordinary people achieved a greater share of power. Nevertheless, even today, there remain the ghosts of 1787, artifacts of another time impeding the public will. 

In our Legislature, for example, the powerful upper house, the Senate, consists of two members for each state, regardless of population. Thus, the Dakotas, each with less than a million citizens have together twice the voting power of California with almost 40 million! Fair?

It would be mathematically feasible and certainly more democratic to multiply each senator’s vote by a population factor. But would those who now hold disproportionate power accede to this kind of change? People seldom cede power unless forced.

Another artifact of 1787 is the Electoral College. When Hillary Clinton’s 3 million-vote plurality over her opponent did not give her the presidency, many foreigners were baffled. Most understood the result reflected our Electoral College anomaly, but what they couldn’t understand was why a purported Democracy continued to honor this creaky avoidance of popular government. 

The answer was simple. Those who have an advantage under a system use their advantage to keep it, fair or not. 

While perhaps most Americans revere our Constitution, what we most cherish are the changes we have made to it, beginning with the first 10 amendments, the Bill of Rights. Later amendments further enlarged the power of the common people and the inclusiveness of the electorate.

Recognizing unfairness and making changes is as much within our traditions as stubbornly defending unfair privilege because it bears the patina of age. One 2020 presidential candidate has called for the elimination of the Electoral College. This would be a reasonable place to start. 

Our country has inspired many nations toward democracy since our beginnings. How ironic that today we ourselves fall so far from the ideal of government by the consent of the governed. 

~  MARGARET MORRIS

VENTURA