What did the election reveal?
• Oklahoma is only the second reddest state in the union. That’s a drop from 2016 when we edged Idaho for the top spot. Every county in Oklahoma and West Virginia voted for Donald Trump, the only two states with that claim. But, the Mountaineers edged us with statewide support at about 68 percent versus our 65 percent.
Both states are dirty fuel states, and the coal crew lapped up Trump’s (non-productive) rhetoric about reviving the coal mines – four years of failure notwithstanding.
• Oklahoma District 5 voters decided that instead of a Democratic House representative who voted Republican, they’d prefer a professed Republican.
• Oklahomans don’t trust those Republican legislators that they keep sending to the Cap City. By 59-41 percent margin we voted down the Lege-generated State Question 814 that would have allowed them to raid the Tobacco settlement. Keep those sticky fingers to yourselves.
• By a slightly larger margin, Oklahomans also chose to keep punitive, double-punishment sentence enhancement in place.
I can see Jesus telling an Oklahoma crowd, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her,” and then having to duck and cover.
Oklahomans do have an initiative history of being much more progressive than our legislators. We recently passed other criminal justice reform measures over the objections of elected officials. If they’d just elect Democrats in the first place,….
• The Electoral College continues to provide the vehicle to elect presidents unwanted by the majority of Americans.
Our country is a republic, not a democracy. As such, it was designed to equalize the power among the states. Most of the clamoring for direct popular election of the president comes from my party. I demur.
Those of us in the fly-over states are ignored or reviled by those on the East and West Coasts. Without our electoral votes, our status as exploited colonies feeding corporate greed would only increase – though why our voters continue to endorse this situation remains a puzzlement.
It would take the approval of 38 state legislatures to amend the Electoral College out of existence – or to do the same to the Second Amendment. ‘Tain’t happening on either front.
• Looking at the EC results, we can lament that our sturdy Midwestern farmers seem content to live off the government dole necessitated by Trump’s disastrous trade misdeals. Yep, they can denounce the alleged welfare drain of urban areas, but, when the public teat is wagged their way, it’s lunch time. And they don’t even care that much of that relief money was funneled to agri-business conglomerates instead of the farmers on the ground.
• American racism is alive and thriving – when caging children on concrete floors, glorifying klansfolk murderers, attacking Congresswomen based on their ethnicity and demonizing people who oppose fascism are not deal-breakers to about 70 million voters.
• The true divide in the country is between urban and rural voters. In many red states, the only blue spots occurred in the larger cities, with a few university towns also joining the parade.
• Having been such a poor winner, it is no surprise that Donald Trump, a man of many grievances, is a poor loser. Whining in, whining out.
• Nor should anyone be surprised that he will try to cheat his way to a win. He cheated himself out of Vietnam, cheated contractors on his building projects, cheated students out of money and an education at his bogus university, cheated so badly with his charity that he was forced to close it, cheats on his property evaluations – high when using them for loan collateral, low when paying (well, not paying) taxes and cheated on all of his wives.
He found out about the results Saturday while on the golf course – and he cheats at golf, too. The river of lies that follow is a natural development.
One might suggest that our election pollsters find another line of work – say casting star charts, reading coffee grounds or palmistry.
(Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democratic Party: scdpok.us or facebook.com/SCDPOK/.)