Global Tit for Tat Brings Political Consequences

Killing General Soleimini brings consequences

We all live with consequences. It’s one of the first “facts of life” we confront, whether it be about home rules or rules of nature and physics. You do this, you can expect that. Life is a tit for tat exchange wherein one behavior sometimes invites a negative retaliation.

On January 3rd we witnessed tensions explode in the Middle East beyond the wars/skirmishes we’ve become numb to in such places as Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. U.S. and Iran’s relations has been a bit of a volatile dance of wills and force. Tools of conflict such as drones, IEDs, and sanctions come into play. Quite suddenly, and surprisingly, the U.S. killed Iran’s General Qassem Soleimini along with the Iraqi Shiite Militia Kata’ib Hezbollah commander, Mahdi al-Muhandis. The strike invited tense waiting. What will be the consequences?

Claudiu Nebunu reported in Defense and Security Monitor about Soleimini’s death, Middle East: consequences of General Soleimini’s death for Iran and Iraq. The article reports:

General Qassem Soleimini’s death has surprised many people. … A transparent and claimed action against Iran’s symbol was unlikely to happen, both in terms of its organization and possible consequences.

Iran’s response brought consequences

The Iranian response was to fire missiles in retaliation. The BBC report, Iran missile attack: Did Tehran intentionally avoid US casualties? stated:

The US defence department said Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles that targeted at least two Iraqi military bases – Al Asad and Irbil, in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region.

011320 Consequences

Then we learned of yet another casualty: a Ukrainian airliner was shot down by the Iranian missiles. CBS News reported an update, Iran says it “unintentionally” shot down Ukrainian airplane, says that:

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard acknowledged on Saturday it accidentally shot down a Ukrainian International Airlines passenger jet this week, killing all 176 aboard. The head of the Revolutionary Guard’s aerospace division said his unit accepts “full responsibility.”

Consequences will be felt at home

There will be more consequences. Will there be more deaths? Will this eventuate into war with Iran? When (not if) will the consequences emerge?

Add to these retaliatory consequences overseas, Trump’s administration will field criticism at home. Coming at a time when impeachment hearings are soon to begin, such consequences bode ill for the nation’s Commander in Chief. Will we witness retribution for such criticism and, if so, how will that add to the narrative?

As the news is absorbed, opinions are made. Opinions shape our behaviors and form our realities. Consequences matter. Opinions matter. Both affect our politics, especially when we vote. How will they affect our votes this November?

Elections have consequences

Because our presidential elections employ a winner-takes-all approach, we experience a false Electoral College result. Every presidential election causes some 46% of the votes cast (over 63 million in 2016) to not be represented. We will do so again in 2020. We habitually exercise vote suppression. What will be the consequences when we do so again?

This is serious stuff because opinions influence our voting choices – our political voice. If we ignore each other, as we collectively do in our elections when we set aside so many votes, will we be satisfied with the election results? Will the nation be calmed or will we (or someone else) exercise a tit for tat – a retaliation?

This blog is noting a series of dire consequences that can bring us to the brink of war. You may think electing a president is not in the same league as this concern; but it is. Opinions matter. Choices matter. Consequences matter.

Presidential elections can change consequences

Equal Voice Voting (EVV) is not a promise that all will be well in the future if it is used. But it does ensure all votes matter and that every state is heard. It is a far more democratic approach than what we currently exercise.

EVV erases the winner-takes-all aspect from our voting process so the Electoral College can be exercised as it was intended. It can do so without a constitutional amendment and without an interstate compact, which is required by the National Popular Vote misstep. EVV is relatively easy to put in place if we become aware of its advantage, exercise positive political will, and allow everyone’s vote to count.

EVV frees the Electoral College to work more inclusively, inviting a more democratic presidential election process: a consequence meant for all of us.

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By Jerry Spriggs and the Equal Voice Voting Team

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