Rock Bottom

By some trick of fate a man who is temperamentally unsuited, unqualified and uninterested has become President of the United States and the best we can hope for is that he will fail at it quickly and miserably enough to create a crisis that will allow even the small states to come to their sense and pass a Constitutional Amendment to abolish the Electoral College or at least the National Interstate Vote Compact (

Everyone, especially Trump, keeps talking about how the Democrats lost the election, but the fact is they won by nearly three million votes. The people sized up the candidates and chose the better one. The problem lies in the Electoral College and if it isn’t fixed, this problem is going to come up again.

Remember, the last President before Obama was George Bush, another loser who won the Electoral College Sweepstakes with the help of a Republican dominated Supreme Court. Americans shrugged their shoulders and accepted the odd “victory.” The candidates were pretty similar, it seemed, and Gore “only” won by half a million votes. What’s half a million votes among friends?

And what did Bush to do with his ill-gotten gains? He turned a surplus into a deficit. Allowed 911 to happen even though the system was flashing red in warning—and no one was fired or resigned afterwards either. He started two wars we’re still fighting and which completely de-stabilized the Middle East. He let New Orleans drown and as a coup de grace in the last days of his presidency he oversaw the largest financial collapse since the Great Depression, the direct result of his party’s program of deregulation.

And yet that wasn’t rock bottom enough for anyone to ask, maybe we should depend on the wisdom of the majority of the people to pick the President?

What can Trump do to do worse than Bush?

We have some clues: First his stubborn determination to retain complete control and ownership of his businesses declares his policy of crony capitalism. He says he is turning over operations to his children, but intends give them offices in the West Wing.

Second and more troubling is his bromance with Vladimir Putin. Putin’s goal is not merely to get sanctions lifted, a favor the new Secretary of State has been trying to do for him for years. Why settle for the money, when a compliant Trump, who has already signaled that he may not honor the NATO alliance, will allow him to move into the Baltic Republics? And if there’s no NATO, why should Putin stop there?

So, if drowning New Orleans, sowing chaos in the Middle East and crashing the economy were not enough to get Americans to dump the Electoral College and let the people pick their president one-person-one-vote style, maybe World War III will do the trick.

If we survive it.

Author: leonardrysdyk

Leonard Rysdyk is the author of more than a dozen novels, stories, articles and poems. His work has appeared in many publications including Snow White, Blood Red, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Aboriginal Magazine and the New York Review of Science Fiction. A professor at Nassau Community College, he teaches literature (including science fiction), cultural history (including the history of science) and is an acknowledged innovator in the field of Computer Aided Instruction (CAI), a subject on which he has lectured and consulted.

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