Saturday, October 9, 2010

Jim Nolan: Candidate for U.S. Senate and Indoctrinating Your Children Too!

Jim Nolan is running for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina. He is an AP Government teacher from Morehead City and is using his classroom and students to wage a write-in campaign on his behalf. Ostensibly, this is a lesson on civics, but what's disturbing is his platform. It is stereotypical of public sector teachers, and if my kids were attending his classes, I would be concerned.

Mr. Nolan demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of our federalist system, and shows contempt for our Constitution: a typical trait of progressives. He has outlined what is wrong with our style of governance and noted what improvements should be made. Here are a few of the most absurd and easily refuted arguments of candidate Nolan:

Elimination of the Electoral College

A remnant of the Republic's disdain for the common man's voice - it should be eliminated.

The popular vote coupled with mandatory voting will give a better picture of America’s true voice

First of all the common man does have a voice, it is called the House of Representatives. Eliminating the Electoral College would disenfranchise the less populated states. Presidential candidates would cater to the big urban centers at the expense of others. Cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami would benefit greatly from the promises of candidates while the common man in Montana and Idaho would be neglected.

The 17th Amendment is a perfect example of a transfer of power from the  rural areas to urban. Before the Amendment, the state legislature decided who would represent them in the U.S. Senate. Now it is done by popular vote, and with it came an explosion of campaign contributions by special interest that in many instances is harmful to the states themselves.

Candidate Nolan believes in mandatory voting or a fine of $200 will be levied. Yeah, let’s have a bunch of uninformed morons voting. Didn’t we learn our lesson from the last general election?

Term limits for Congress

House terms should be 4 years instead of 2. The members must spend most of their time raising money for re-election and that’s insane. There should also be a term limit of 20 years, or 5 election cycles. This will allow for new people to come into the political arena with new ideas and prevent the temptation for corruption. And since 98% of incumbents get re-elected due to special interest money, this limit is necessary

Candidate Nolan has a point on term limits, though his reasoning is flawed. He believes that the terms of the House of Representatives should be 4 years instead of 2 because they spend most of their time raising money? How is an extra two years going to stop that? The whole reasoning for a two year term is to make these politicians more accountable to the people. I fail to see how a four year term accomplishes anything.


The election process can be improved also. How about an election date change to allow for easier voting - for example, a National Holiday, or an election week, with local polling places staffed not with all volunteers but local public servants such as policemen and firemen or teachers after school taking shifts? If we are touting democracy all over the world, let’s live up to the bragging.

All I have to say is that if you can’t make it on time to vote, then you are not that interested; and that means you are uninformed. We don’t need a bunch of idiots voting for people who don’t have a clue on the important issues of the day. Again, haven’t we learned our lesson from the last election?

Candidate Nolan would have us replace volunteers, who actually care about the process and sacrifice their time because it matters to them. He would rather have special interest groups like the public employee unions watching over our votes. I don’t think so! All you have to do is look at Greece, New Jersey, Chicago and California to see the corruption involved in that.

What I find particularly offensive is the use of students to disseminate his propaganda. I will agree that there is a lot of waste in the defense budget and cutting it by 30% is somewhat reasonable; but to say it would get rid of the deficit is absurd:

Here is an actual figure that compares the Iraq war to the rest of the budget, and for good measure a demographic showing the budget deficits of Bush compared to Obama.   Candidate Nolan’s assertions are patently false.

The rest of his platform is what you expect from a progressive nut job teacher who is indoctrinating his students. It makes a good argument for a voucher system and private education.



Anonymous said...

The current system of electing the president ensures that the candidates, after the primaries, do not reach out to all of the states and their voters. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. The reason for this is the state-by-state winner-take-all rule (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but now used by 48 states), under which all of a state's electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state.

Presidential candidates concentrate their attention on only a handful of closely divided "battleground" states and their voters. In 2008, candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their campaign events and ad money in just six states, and 98% in just 15 states. 19 of the 22 smallest and medium-small states (with less than 7 electoral college votes) were not among them. Over half (57%) of the events were in just four states (Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia). In 2004, candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their money and campaign visits in five states; over 80% in nine states; and over 99% of their money in 16 states, and candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their money and campaign visits in five states and over 99% of their money in 16 states.

Two-thirds of the states and people have been merely spectators to the presidential elections.

Policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

Anonymous said...

The population of the top five cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia) is only 6% of the population of the United States and the population of the top 50 cities (going as obscurely far down in name recognition as Arlington, TX) is only 19% of the population of the United States.

When presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as in Ohio and Florida, under the state-by-state winner-take-all rules, the big cities in those battleground states do not receive all the attention, much less control the outcome. Cleveland and Miami certainly did not receive all the attention or control the outcome in Ohio and Florida in 2000 and 2004.

Likewise, under a national popular vote, every vote everywhere will be equally important politically. There will be nothing special about a vote cast in a big city or big state. When every vote is equal, candidates of both parties will seek out voters in small, medium, and large towns throughout the states in order to win. A vote cast in a big city or state will be equal to a vote cast in a small state, town, or rural area.

For example, in California state-wide elections, candidates for governor or U.S. Senate don't campaign just in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and those places don't control the outcome (otherwise California wouldn't have recently had Republican governors Reagan, Dukemejian, Wilson, and Schwarzenegger). A vote in rural Alpine county is just an important as a vote in Los Angeles.

If the National Popular Vote bill were to become law, it would not change the need for candidates to build a winning coalition across demographics. Any candidate who yielded, for example, the 21% of Americans who live in rural areas in favor of a "big city" approach would not likely win the national popular vote. Candidates would still have to appeal to a broad range of demographics, and perhaps even more so, because the election wouldn't be capable of coming down to just one demographic, such as voters in Ohio.

Anonymous said...

A survey of 800 North Carolina voters conducted on December 17-18, 2008 showed 74% overall support for a national popular vote for President.

Support was 75% among liberal Democrats (representing 13% of respondents), 78% among moderate Democrats (representing 24% of respondents), 76% among conservative Democrats (representing 11% of respondents), 89% among liberal Republicans (representing 3% of respondents), 62% among moderate Republicans (representing 16% of respondents), 70% among conservative Republicans representing 21% of respondents), and 80% among independents (representing 12% of respondents).

Support was 75% among respondents living in Democratic state House of Representative districts (representing 59% of respondents) and 72% among respondents living in Republican state House of Representative districts (representing 41% of respondents)

By age, support was 69% among 18-29 year olds, 71% among 30-45 year olds, 77% among 46-65 year olds, and 72% for those older than 65.

By gender, support was 81% among women and 65% among men.

Anonymous said...

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Every vote would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast.

The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes--that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president.

The National Popular Vote bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in Arkansas (6), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), The District of Columbia (3), Maine (4), Michigan (17), Nevada (5), New Mexico (5), New York (31), North Carolina (15), and Oregon (7), and both houses in California (55), Colorado (9), Hawaii (4), Illinois (21), New Jersey (15), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (12), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), and Washington (11). The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Washington. These six states possess 73 electoral votes -- 27% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.


Anonymous said...

The argument that urban areas don't have an influence on presidential elections in a state should take a look at this map. It distinguishes counties that voted for Obama and McCain. Notice the battleground states of Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, and Florida were prodominently red, except of course those with high population centers.

Take a look at Massachusettes. It is mostly red except for a few counties. It of course went to Obama.

Those states that choose "a winner takes all" electoral college vote have disenfranchised their citizens and state. They have rendered themselves "flyover country" by their very actions.

As far as Florida, anyone who has flown into Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, or Miami at night has seen the lights that populate the whole eastern seaboard from the tip of Florida to West Palm Beach. It is one continuous urban area.