Living in the Age of Political Distraction

Distraction keeps us from recognizing facts

Distraction is common to all of us. It’s not just our dog “Rover” being distracted by the squirrel running across the yard. We all suffer the knee-jerk reaction of not attending to what’s in front of us such as, say, facts.

David Faris, reporting in The Week, tells of How the Electoral College made America’s pandemic worse. He says of the Electoral College that:

Future generations will marvel at the various and sundry stupidities of our shambolic era, but perhaps none more so than the poisonous, media-driven division of this country’s provinces into “red” and “blue” as a consequence of the single dumbest democratic mechanism in the recorded history of humankind.

Faris goes on to blame the Electoral College for everything currently spoiling our collective pursuit of happiness. It’s surprising he doesn’t throw in cataclysmic disaster such as hurricanes, floods, and forest fires as well.

Political distraction is set to increase in the coming weeks

But we are now living in the age of political distraction. More, the next twelve weeks promise to not only have a steady diet of distraction, it’ll be heaped upon us much like the broccoli with which grandma covered our plates and demanded we eat. We may not want it. But it’s there and cannot be ignored.

Distraction does more than misinform. It often dupes us into believing things that are not true. It’s a form of gaslighting that leaves us wondering which way is up and if our sense of blue skies overhead is reality.

We are distracted by Electoral College maps

I’m here to give you notice, and a warning, that you are already duped. It’s not so much an accusation to belittle you. It’s a common misperception of which I speak that plagues all of us.

The distraction that has duped us for years, and promises to continue, is the Electoral College maps that show how America voted in presidential elections. The example shown here is the 2016 Electoral College map. Notice how the nation is neatly split up between red and blue states, denoting Republican and Democrat, respectively. The duping, er, assumption is that it shows how we voted. Oklahoma voted red. Oregon voted blue. Enough said.

081020 Distraction 1

Winner-Takes-All is a distraction

Sorry, this does not reflect the nation’s voting results. No, rather, it shows the divvying up of votes after the Winner-Takes-All (WTA) aspect had its hand in the voting mechanism. WTA throws the whole voting thing-a-ma-jig off kilter, spoiling any attempt to accurately assess what happened three years and 50 weeks ago. We are suffering from distraction.

If you read Article II, Section 1, of the U.S. Constitution, you will only read how the Electoral College functions to determine a president. It does not tell how the individual and sovereign states get to play in the sandbox. It is these states, all party to the same form of distraction, that allow plurality voting to hold dominate sway within their borders, disenfranchising anyone who votes counter wise. The minority vote is removed (after being counted) and not allowed to be thrown into the Electoral College. The results are false (fake news?) and the Electoral College is blamed if results don’t correlate with expectations. The distraction holds.

Electoral College proportionality erased at state borders

You see, the Electoral College is a proportional voting system. It encourages each state to weigh in with popular votes converted into its respective proportion of electoral votes. The game changes at the state borders. Once past the state gates, so to speak, only the winners are kept. It’s a kind of sorting that entices such things as fraud and corruption and (dare I say it?) distraction to fool the masses.

If we remove the WTA barriers, those maps look totally different. For one thing, they are free to reflect the truth. Equal Voice Voting (EVV) is also a proportional voting approach that makes all votes matter (what a concept!). It also honors the U.S. Constitution as it acknowledges the true voting sentiment of each sovereign state. In other words, EVV nullifies the distraction.

EVV restores the truth of Electoral College maps

Had EVV been in place across the nation in 2016, and if all votes had been the same, the Electoral College map would have looked like this. Vermont and Washington, D.C. would be purely blue while North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming would be purely red. The remaining 46 states would be a patchwork of 24 shades of purple, a mix of red and blue.

081020 Distraction 2

The map reveals that our nation was not as polarized as we may think. Oregon did not vote purely Democratic. Oklahoma did not vote purely Republican. Even Hawaii was not purely blue nor was Idaho purely red. You get the idea.

We will be distracted in the upcoming election

But who knew? We assume that the map we were shown spoke truth! We relied on it! It guided us, even when we wanted to blame something as our legislators often want to do. The erroneous maps turn the Electoral College into some horrendous scapegoat that either justifies or condemns our history. WTA escapes without notice, without injury, because it can serve up a colossal distraction.

We will vote soon. We will be watching the electoral maps and will suffer the consequences of WTA at work. While a president will certainly be picked and the Electoral College will do what it’s asked to do, we will be duped into believing that what we see is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

It’s all a part of the distraction. Here’s the question: Is this what you want?

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By Jerry Spriggs and the Equal Voice Voting Team