Let Children Make the Rules

For months, people have been saying they wanted the election to end. What a bunch of liars. They love the damned election and they want it to go on forever. There is a near limitless market for any outcome other than the one we got. There is precedent for this and we have all seen it. It is what happens when we let children make the rules.

When children play games, they reinvent the rules until they find a formula that provides the desired outcome. Desired outcome means the one that benefits them.

This is a good thing as it has been the origin of countless games that we enjoy today.

Here is an approach that might please quite a few of the grown-ups-acting-like-children who rail on with their cries of “no fair no fair.”

The Electoral College vote on Monday might have put an end to the 600 days of president choosing, but don’t get your hopes up. It is normally a formality but not this year. The Hamilton Electors launched an effort to convince three-dozen Republicans not to vote for Donald Trump in trade for almost 20-dozen Democrats agreeing to vote for some Republican other than Trump.

Their website has a clever purple hue. For the artistically challenged, red and blue make purple. There is also a prominent “Donate” button with a clever admonition to “Make a Contribution.” Candle light vigils are on offer, and there is much fear selling including the requisite mushroom cloud.

So, let’s see how that went and, more importantly, let’s see if rule-inventing children can come up with a better solution.

According to The New York Times, A Historic Number of Electors Defected, and Most Were Supposed to Vote for Clinton.

Here are the children’s rules based on a “story time” reading of this article. Before calling Child Protective Services, please know that even the Pundificator would not read Electoral College stories to grandchildren. The rules probably won’t be followed, but here they are.

Whoever turns the most electors its way wins. To be turned, an elector must previously have been committed, pledged, directed or whatever to vote for another candidate. Otherwise how can they be turned?

The Republican (oh how I wish it were so), Donald Trump, was supposed to win 306 votes and he won 304. Two Texans bolted but they did not go far. One voted for Ron Paul and the other for John Kasich.

According to time-honored tradition (a tradition that has existed pretty much since breakfast), this is scored:

Paul (+1)

Kasich (+1)

Republicans (0)

Clinton (0)

Democrats (0)

Trump (–2)

Now lets peek at the other side of the ledger where five of the 232 electors who were supposed to vote for Hillary Clinton chose someone else. Of the five, four were from Washington (the state not the swamp) and three chose Colin Powell while the fourth chose Faith Spotted Eagle, a Dakota pipeline activist of indeterminate political persuasion (okay, I am guessing Faith might not be a Republican). Clinton’s fifth defector was from Hawaii and chose Bernie Sanders.

We’ll score these results just as before

Powell (+3)

Republicans (+3)

Spotted Eagle (+1)

Sanders (+1)

Trump (0)

Democrats (-3)

Clinton (-5)

Now (cue the drum roll) we add up the plusses and minuses from both:

Powell (+3)

Republicans (+3)

Spotted Eagle (+1)

Sanders (+1)

Paul (+1)

Kasich (+1)

Trump (-2)

Democrats (-3)

Clinton (-5)

A clear win for the Rs over the Ds and a clear loss for Clinton to everyone else. Powell at (+3) is obviously the President elect and there remains a four-way contest among Spotted Eagle, Sanders, Kasich and Paul for the VP slot. The Senate decides so you might want to put your money on Kasich.

So, the children have done just about as good a job as the grownups who have spent the last six weeks throwing temper tantrums (would multiple temper tantrums be temper tantra?) because they did not get their way. Powell Kasich: now get on with the rest of your lives.

But we all know who the real winner was. Don’t we? Remember the “Donate” button on the website? Yup, there you have it.

 

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Haven Pell

At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Without hesitation, Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

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