The rigged system

Donald Trump says the system is rigged.

He’s quite right. The system IS rigged.

It is striking that the most obvious way in which the system is rigged is virtually never mentioned. Election after election, the Democrats win more votes that the Republicans in the House elections. This happens every two years. And yet, it’s the Republicans that end up controlling the House – election after election. The reason can be summarised in one word. Gerrymandering.

The scandalous House results belie an even greater scandal. All states have the same two Senators representing them, irrespective of their population size and composition. This serves – again – to disenfranchise the minorities and the poor and to give outsize influence to the whites and the well-to-do. California and New York and Florida host all the colours of the rainbow. The Wyomings and the Montanas are almost exclusively white.

The Supreme Court is rigged too. The Republicans treat it as their own property. They have outright refused to confirm President Obama’s pick – an act unheard of in the history of the Court. And they promise to keep sabotaging Hillary’s picks indefinitely.

But the most glaring example of the rigged system is right in front of our eyes. For the length of this interminable Presidential election, the media have kept harping about one story and one story only – Hillary’s emails. More time has been spent by TV networks discussing her emails than on all her policies combined.

Her opponent is literally accused of assault by scores of women, confirms it in his own words, spews endless racist and xenophobic venom, insults everybody in sight, avoids paying any taxes, stiffs his contractors, discriminates against other races on his properties, goes bankrupt repeatedly, spends donated money on his own portraits, is a draft-dodger, knowingly abuses vulnerable people via fake university, is obviously unqualified and temperamentally unfit for office, is completely void of any policy knowledge or even interest in policy, lies non-stop in most obvious ways.

And yet all we hear about is Hillary’s emails. A farcical non-story. A practice that was never illegal. Something her own predecessor did and advised her to do, and something that never resulted in any harm. This non-story has zero news value, and yet in a tragical farce the media somehow represent it as an equivalent to all the unthinkable and vile acts that Donald Trump has committed in plain sight. In the paradox of partisanship, we have the audacity to pretend that the most qualified Presidential candidate in history is somehow comparable to the least qualified.

So yes, the system is rigged. And Donald Trump is its number one beneficiary.

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