Simple civics lesson. Not political. Just how the U.S. Government system works.
The three branches of Government are the Judicial (Federal and Supreme courts); the Executive (President and Cabinet); and, the Legislative (the two Houses of Congress, the House of Representatives - 435 members and the Senate - 100 members).
The branches were set up by the founders as a three-legged stool for balance and as an extra measure, they also created the electoral college.
The electoral college is not at all a "college" not even a place, but a process set up by the founders for electing the President to ensure a balance between small states and larger (what would become urban) states so that no one region of the country would always elect the President.
The electoral college remains a mystery to many. This is how it works.
It is 538 "electors" constituted every four years chosen by each party, apportioned according to the combined number of representatives and senators a state has in Congress.
Each state, no matter the size, has at least three electors because each state no matter how small has two senators and at least one representative in the House.
In the case of Texas, we have two senators and 36 representatives so we get 38 electors who cast votes for our state in the electoral college process.
California, on the other hand, since it is such a big state has 53 representatives in the House and 2 senators, so it gets 55 votes in the electoral college and on and on.
The magic number to win the presidency is 270 because it takes 270 of the 538 elector votes to win. That's why the "popular vote" will never win an election. This has become increasingly frustrating to many, hence the call by some leaders to do away with the electoral college.
Presidential politics is science, strategy, psychology and mathematics. Don't ever forget that.
It's just not about electing the best person. The person that gets elected is the one who understands these four factors and builds a team of really smart people who knows well how the game is played. You do know that politics is a game, right?
Since the urban states (coastal) trend more liberal, are the most populous and thus have the most electoral college votes, more conservative candidates go after the other electoral college votes in less urban areas (mid-America swing states) to make up ground they know is lost in the urban areas.
Every president's dream is to have both the House and Senate majority be of the same party to carry out the issues they deem most pressing.
President Trump had that for the first two years. Since The House of Representatives controls the purse strings (also strategically set up that way by the founders) but needs the approval of the Senate, if a President controls the purse strings and the votes, he can get whatever he wants. What he feels is most important to him and the party.
You do know that politics is a game, right?
If the wall had been that important and a matter of national emergency and urgency, all President Trump had to do was say the word and the House under the leadership of then-Speaker Paul Ryan and the Senate under the leadership of Mitch McConnell would have put it up for a vote, pushed it through and the wall could have been funded overnight without any help from Democrats.
They instead opted for what they deemed more pressing - corporate tax cuts and judicial appointments.
I can't and won't fault them for that, no one can. It's how the system works. Winner takes all. You win, you get to decide what you want to do, what you want to fund, de-fund or not fund.
The wall did not rise to the level of importance and urgency until it became apparent by shifting political winds that there would likely be an end to Republican rule in the House, thus negating easy passage of any wall funding.
In comes psychology and strategy. Do not believe that President Trump is too dumb for either or play him cheap. He may not be a mathematician but he is a master strategist and marketer.
Afterall, that's all Marketing is - psychology. The President uses it well and many Americans got played like a cheap fiddle.
So what am I saying? Hundreds of thousands of people were needlessly impacted and hurt. America became more divided, angry and the country turned upside down for something that never should have been.
What we increasingly painfully witnessed over those 35 days falls squarely at the feet of the party and President that controlled it all and decided against funding the wall when it had the two most important things - purse strings and votes.
No fluff here. No political spin here. No party drama here. I belong to neither party.
It's how the system works and how the powers that be didn't work on behalf of the American people.
The system worked. Too bad the leadership didn't.
Dorothy Burton's passion is encouraging and helping people develop their unique leadership abilities; to serve with passion, purpose and vision. She is a popular speaker for various organizations and conferences across the country.
Published on Saturday, January 26, 2019 @ 12:11 PM CDT