'Popular Belief'

Image Courtesy of the New York Post
'Popular Belief'

Alexis Daigle

For those of you that don’t know, the Electoral College is the system used by the United States for the presidential election. The Electoral College is made up of electors chosen either by state legislatures or  party officials. When you vote on election day, your vote is not going towards who becomes the president of the United States, you are voting for who your electors should vote for.  According to Fair Vote, there have been 85 electors that have not voted with their state since the creation of the Electoral College. These ‘faithless electors’ as they’re called are not common occurrences, but they can be enough to make a difference.  While some think that the Electoral College makes the election easier to deal with, others, such as CNN reporter Robert Alexander, believe that the Electoral College is not only an added uncertainty within the election process, but one that takes away from the popular vote.

And speaking of the popular vote, why do people stand so strongly for it? While it’s true that today’s media is far more vast and accessible than anyone in the late 1700s could even imagine, it is still very biased. Every day, we have ads and promotions and social media posts thrown in our faces advocating for one candidate over the others. Beyond that, we also have others saying that people shouldn’t vote in this election because both candidates are awful. And while that claim is subjective, the ideology may be affecting people more than we think. As shown on Fair Vote, the voter turnout from the 2008 election to the 2012 election dropped 3.4%, not to mention that in 2012, the state with the highest voter turnout (Maine) only had a 58.2% voter turnout. My high school’s homecoming court election had a higher voter turnout.

And along with elections, debates over the unbiased state of the media have been going on for years. The two main sides are (obviously) that the media is biased, and that it is not. Those who believe that the media is biased generally believe that the media can be biased both ways, despite what Donald Trump may say about the ‘crooked media’. For example, this article from Fox News argues that media bias is inevitable because writers are still people with their own beliefs. Those who support Trump argue that the media is lying about him and assassinating his character, while those who support Clinton argue that the media is ignoring Trump’s wrongdoings and over sensationalizing hers.

To go more into detail, the assassination of Trump’s character largely began after his degrading comments that some illegal immigrants are dangerous criminals. Shortly after, many media outlets began exaggerating his claims and calling him nothing but a racist and overall bad person. The ignoring of Trump’s wrongdoings have been brought up hand-in-hand with his sexual assault allegations and his illegal donation to a general attorney using his charity’s funds.

This election’ controversies have sparked anger from all sides. Everything about this election has been heavily debated and written about on both sides. We’ve seen articles and news segments on media, campaign staff, past allegations and doings, health, and even clothing. There is nothing that people will not find a way to argue about in this election, which raises a few questions. Even if there’s many accessible and media outlets, does the bias negate its progress? If the media is  biased, does the election still have to be protected from the popular vote, or do people deserve the right for their vote to count directly? Feel free to answer in the comments!

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