Maybe we think we have a president. I don’t have a president. He lost me at “grab [women] by the p***y.”
On Independence Day weekend, the president at Mount Rushmore decried the culture of "left-wing liberals," and stepped a minute too far from his role as leader of the country into the scary world of targeting a legitimate sector of the nation’s inhabitants with dog-whistle hate speech. In that, he’s violating the Constitution and his oath.
Maybe I’m sentimental about America’s history and roots. Most folks respect the hard work of democracy and take the view that voters ultimately run the country. We voters are the deciders. Donald Trump failed to badge the last election by three million voters, only to be patched into office by the Electoral College. If voters didn’t feel disappointed about that, they have been at least uneasy with having yet another non-majority president. Five times throughout history, the Electoral College has reached a different outcome than did voters. During our lifetimes, two of those supplantations of the popular elected have been in the past 20 years. Both times, that system gave Republican leadership over voters who chose Democrats at the ballot box.
Here’s a breadcrumb for historians who’ll someday wonder how America became disenchanted but kept electing leaders who stray from the values of their constituents: It happened because some states have a winner-take-all system, such as we have in Oklahoma. Oklahomans have tried to fix this, but we can’t. From 2007 to 2015, Oklahoma lawmakers introduced at least six bills to convert Oklahoma’s presidential election process from winner-take-all seven Electoral College votes to Electoral College votes proportioned among presidential candidates based upon the peoples’ votes. Six times, those bills failed. Across the board, including all ages and preferences, Okies were 70-30 or better in favor of switching over to a popular vote, but the Legislature couldn’t do it. None of the "true democracy" popular voting bills were passed.
In the runup to Election 2020, Arizona is predicted to be one of 12 battleground states. You may be one of the six million or so viewers who saw the schizoid rant of Arizona marketing PR stuntwoman Melissa Rein Lively, whose Twitter name is so offensive that it cannot be repeated here. The woman claims to be global press secretary for QAnon, a loosely-affiliated far right group of conspiracy theorists postulating that Trump is vanquishing a vast cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who will be arrested and jailed while the military takes over U.S. law enforcement. Some think Trump is awakening The Apocalypse.
It seems creepy that people would unite over misinterpreting random events as related. Psychologists have a term, "apophenia," to describe the cognitive flaw of interpreting meaning in random patterns. Scientists have found an evolutionary reason that some humans have apophenia. Rewards that build behavioral patterns are sometimes accidentally hard-wired as being caused by something when, in fact, they are random.
These conspiracy theorists are running for office. Nationwide, out of many many primary races, three winning candidates expressly came out as QAnon supporters. Maybe QAnon is being stoked by Trump’s 2020 election because conspiracy theorists would be folks to have on board if he lost the November election but plots to stay in power, anyway.
It is all too weird. Melissa Rein Lively told arresting officers she worked for Donald Trump and had spoken to the vice president’s office the day before ripping masks off of the sales rack in the Scottsdale, Arizona, Target store. Mental illness is real. Also real is the need to restore this nation to a center of logical, rational, well-adjusted, focused, practical, kind, considerate and trustworthy leaders, truly chosen by voters
Kathy Tibbits is a Cherokee citizen, attorney, and artist living at Lake Tenkiller.