My Predicted 2020 Presidential Electoral Map

I’m predicting that Joe Biden will win a slim electoral majority, as well as a large popular-vote advantage, over Donald Trump.

election 2020

In this particular scenario, the swing states all go for Trump, except for Arizona and Florida, which Biden wins. Both Arizona and Florida have large elderly populations, and I don’t think they’re much caring for the way Trump is treating them as disposable people when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you would like to make your own prediction-map, the website to visit to do so is www.270towin.com.

Please Vote, or Don’t . . . Depending . . . .

down with trump

Please vote, on or before Tuesday, if you oppose Trump and Trumpism.

On the other hand, if you’re a fan of Trump, please remember that your vote is statistically meaningless . . . so you might as well stay home.

On Taxation, and Representation, in Public Education

The last few years have been rough for education in central Arkansas. The Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD) suffered for years under state control, but local control has now been restored there. The neighboring Little Rock School District (LRSD) was more recently taken over by our state’s Department of Education, and is still in that unpleasant, and unhelpful, state.

When the state government takes over a school district, the people’s representatives (the local school board) are simply dismissed, and the Commissioner of our Department of Education functions as a one-man, unelected “school board.” It’s a situation which robs taxpayers (also known as voters) of any voice in how their schools are run. It doesn’t help instruction at all, which I know because I’ve observed it myself, as a teacher. In my opinion, all laws allowing state takeovers of school districts, nationwide, should be repealed. 

During this tumultuous period, there have been three elections about school millages: two in the PCSSD, and one in the LRSD. In the PCSSD, one vote (which failed) happened with that district still under state control. The second in the PCSSD happened yesterday, and this time, the measure passed by a 2-1 margin. What’s the key difference? Simple: when faced with a “taxation without representation” situation, the voters said no. Once local control was restored, the voters said yes.

In the neighboring LRSD, only one millage-related election has taken place recently, and it happened under state control, just like the first of the recent two in the PCSSD. In the LRSD, with their right to representation still denied to them, this ballot measure failed.

The lesson to be learned here is simple: to get support from voters, local control of public school districts must be maintained. We’re Americans; “no taxation without representation” was one of the primary reasons we fought for independence in the first place. Nationwide, it’s part of our story, as a people. Taxation without representation does not work here — specifically because it is un-American. That should be the lesson learned from these three elections.

The PCSSD is free from state control, and things are now improving there. Hopefully, the LRSD will enjoy the same benefit — soon — along with other school districts in the same situation, in our state, and nationwide.

June 13 Special Election in the PCSSD

Voters in the Pulaski County Special School District in central Arkansas vote, June 13, on a millage extension. This isn’t a new tax, but just an extension of what we already pay in property taxes. The schools need this money to build classroom space, etc. for our growing student population. If you live in the PCSSD, please vote FOR this measure on June 13.

President-elect Donald Trump, and President Vladimir Putin

putin-and-trump

Source of quote: The Washington Post, online edition, December 14, 2016: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/the-kremlin-likes-the-hacking-attention-but-not-the-blame/2016/12/14/65279738-c177-11e6-92e8-c07f4f671da4_story.html?utm_term=.fc453119c6fd.

Fiona Hill co-authored the 2015 book Mr. Putin: Operative at the Kremlin, available here, on Amazon. She is also (according to the Washington Post story linked above, written by David Filipov) a scholar at the Brookings Institution. Here’s the headline, taken from a screenshot.

moscow

For those who do not know, The Washington Post is the newspaper which blew open the Watergate scandal, and that, in turn, brought down the Nixon administration.

These are facts.

On Turning Election Day Into Mother’s Day

Upon closer inspection, even Gary Johnson and Jill Stein aren’t people I want to vote for. I have therefore decided I am not going to vote for president this year, at least not as myself.

My mother can no longer vote. She would want to vote for Hillary Clinton. I will, therefore, cast a vote for H.C. on her behalf.

A Completely Unscientific Presidential Poll

The school year is about to begin, and I’m a teacher. Right now, my school district is in the traditional “week o’ meetings” which precedes the arrival of students. Yesterday’s meetings were about using Google products to enhance instruction, and one of the new skills I learned involves using Google forms. We were encouraged to make something, such as a poll, using this online tool, so I made one for the current US presidential election. If you would like to vote in this completely unscientific poll, here’s the link:

https://goo.gl/forms/Ki2x7OLyPoQoJviJ2

This poll is “completely unscientific,” of course, because I am making no attempt to poll a representative sample of the electorate. Here’s how the poll results look so far, with 17 responses.

poll results

Just 14 States Choose America’s Next President

14 states decide who the president is

If you live in one of the states shown in gold, congratulations — both the Trump and Clinton campaigns want your vote, for you live in a “battleground” or “toss-up” state, or at least one that only slightly “leans Democrat” in polls, or “leans Republican.” 

The states shown in purple, on the other hand, are taken for granted by one campaign, while the other campaign regards them as “lost causes.” My own state, Arkansas, for example, is solid Trump territory, even though I can’t stand the man. These states don’t offer a competitive race.

In a presidential campaign where most people are voting against someone, rather than voting for anyone, this map is important for strategic voting. In my case, for example, I see the two major parties as offering me a choice between bad (Clinton) and worse (Trump). If I lived in a golden state, I’d probably hold my nose and vote for Clinton, for, in such a state, the urge to stop Trump would compel me to vote against the person with the best chance of beating Trump.

However, my state is purple. It’s solid Trump-turf. Hillary Clinton herself knows she won’t carry Arkansas. My anti-Trump vote is largely symbolic, and, as such, I want to use it to send a message to both the Republican and Democratic parties. It’s a simple message: “give us better choices.” To send such a message, I need to vote for someone else, and there are two major alternatives: Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate (his website is at https://www.johnsonweld.com/), and Dr. Jill Stein, the Green candidate (her website is at http://www.jill2016.com/). To make a statement that the government needs to pay more attention to carbon emission and climate change (and the major parties need to give us better candidates in elections), I’ve decided to vote Green this year.

This same logic would hold true were I in, say, New York, also purple. New York is purple because both candidates know it is a “safe” Clinton state. If I lived there, Clinton would carry that state with or without my vote, so, again, I would cast my protest vote for Jill Stein.

To the majority who live in purple states, and dislike both Trump and Clinton, I ask you to consider casting your vote for either Johnson or Stein. Voters in the golden states, on the other hand, are involved in competitive races, and (pragmatically) should vote for Hillary Clinton if they want to do anything to stop Trump, or vote for Trump if they are willing to vote for anyone to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House.

It is a shame that votes matter more in some states, and don’t matter as much in others. For this reason, I would favor an Amendment to the Constitution to abolish the electoral college, and choose our presidents by direct popular vote, with a two-person, nationwide runoff election a month later, if the candidate with the most votes only wins a plurality of the popular vote in November.