Hillary’s Come Back

Hillary Clinton at Chappaqua Village Market

Few would have blamed Hillary Clinton had she canceled her first post-election public appearance on 16 November for the Children’s Defense Fund. But she did not cancel, giving proof to the legend that she is an indomitable fighter who does not give up. The well of grief could be seen in her eyes. But hers was a message of hope. “We are stronger together, when we lift each other up.”

Hillary’s resiliency is part of her nature. She also relies on simple, healthy pleasures like yoga and walking in the woods with her spouse and their dogs. And that’s where Margot Gerster met her in a surprise encounter just two days after the election. Continue reading “Hillary’s Come Back”

The Illiterate Electorate

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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”