The Illiterate Electorate


Forty-five million Americans cannot read a children’s book. But they can read a tweet, compose a tweet and retweet ad infinitum.

They are America’s functionally illiterate population.

These 45 million can read a headline but do not have the skills needed to absorb a newspaper or magazine article or even this blog post. As a result, they are incapable of higher order thinking – the holistic analysis of printed information and a resulting conclusion. Likewise, important things like evaluating reliability of authors, content and sources are missing from their thought processes.

The functionally illiterate cannot tell printed truth from fiction. They are easy prey for the blaring headlines of fake news, loud voices from public podiums, simplistic chants, repetitive memes and 140-character tweets – all of which dominated the Republican presidential campaign. Continue reading “The Illiterate Electorate”

It Happened: Third-Party Candidates Split The Vote

In the most crucial swing states of this general election, third-party candidates and their voters effectively thwarted the will of the majority of Americans. Their cumulative votes denied Hillary Clinton the victory and landed an inexperienced and precariously unprepared real estate guy in the Oval Office.

That’s according to data compiled by David Wasserman with the Cook Political Report in its National Popular Vote Tracker. The numbers from that report show that in Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, had votes cast for third-party candidates been diverted to Clinton, she would have won the states, their electoral votes, and now be assembling her White House Cabinet.

Here’s the breakdown of votes. Continue reading “It Happened: Third-Party Candidates Split The Vote”

Election Day: Who Didn’t Vote

apathyI voted early. When Election Day came, I had the freedom to mount a one-to-one GOTV (Get Out the Vote) effort.

Early on the morning of 8 November, I visited my local gas station, a franchise operated by an immigrant family from Bhutan. They’d arrived seven years ago as political asylees, gotten their green card as Permanent Residents, and then after the five-year waiting period, applied for and earned their citizenship. I knew them as well as one can from frequent trips and friendly exchanges.

I bought gas and chatted with one of the brothers at check-out. Continue reading “Election Day: Who Didn’t Vote”

House Democrats Lead Charge to #FireBannon

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi delivers sharp criticism of the Bannon appointment.
U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sharply criticizes Bannon appointment.

The appointment of Brietbart executive Stephen Bannon to an executive level advisory role by the president-elect sparked a furor among Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In a polite but emphatic letter dated 16 November, 138 House members called for the immediate firing of Bannon, citing his documented connection to white supremacists and the divisiveness his appointment engenders. Continue reading “House Democrats Lead Charge to #FireBannon”