Category Politics & Policy

Electoral College — Keep It

On March 4, 2019, an article was published about the effort in the Nevada State Assembly to join a compact with other states to, in essence, remove the role of the electoral college in electing the President of the United States.

In response to this article, I sent the following letter, with small modifications, to my elected representatives: Govoner Steve Sisolak, Assembly person Sandra Jaurequi, and Senator Keith Pickard. Enjoy,

Dear Representative:

I’m writing to you to express my view of Assembly Bill 186 that would implement “The Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote.” I am a constituent in your district.

This bill came to my attention based on an article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal by Colton Lochhead, which was published on March 4th and my reading of the bill from the NELIS website ( I believe this agreement is a horrible idea for our nation. And, I encourage you to use your position and energy to defeat this bill.

I based my belief in the weaknesses of human behavior and decision making for the society, and a crucial element for democracy to continue successfully. The relevant weaknesses is human overconfidence. The crucial element for democracy’s success is the power of the minority voices to be heard.

As a society, we have many areas where we implement rules that mitigate over confidence in our fellow citizens. A prime example is requiring a jury to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt by a 12-0 vote, not a majority opinion. Majority rule, in its worse actualization, is mob rule. And, in judging the guilt of a fellow citizen, and electing a president to lead us all, the society should demand a higher standard than simple majority vote—especially a majority vote by people who are not Nevada citizens. I cannot think of a better way to drown out the voice of Nevada citizens that to defer its votes to a majority of votes who are outside the Nevada jurisdiction.

If you’d prefer a change to the current allocation of Nevada’s Presidential Electors, then allocate electors in the manner that the US constitution allocates Nevada electors. Two electoral votes based on the state-wide vote totals, like our US Senators, and four electoral votes, each based on the congressional districts currently applied in the state. In this manner, the voices of Nevada voters are heard in their complete diversity, which is a necessary component to keeping the faith of the citizens and encouraging democracy participation—A most important goal.

Thank you

Aaron D. Jackson

Political Principles a Discovery Journey

September 2018 was quite the month—its political related events stimulated discussions and thoughts at a deeper than normal level. For one of my young mentees, the Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination process brought out the good and bad side of many people, so we had discussions, many discussions. The Atlantic Magazine’s June 2018 cover story, Read more

Reaction to Trump’s Immigration Speech

Whew!  The 2016 USA presidential campaign has been exhausting to think about, to discuss, and goodness knows to imagine that Trump wins.   And he can win.   Why he can or cannot win has been the subject of many news program discussions, and most that I have seen just miss the point.  No, better said, most are in denial about what a large segment of the American population is willing to believe, say, and vote for.  When I hear the denial, it usually manifest itself as a question, “Who believes such a thing?”

It is clear to me that about 35-40% of the American public believes in Trump’s principle—I am better off surrounded by people like me.  Read more

What to Make of the Behavior We See Today

Well, Zizzy said it simply, “We are animals, really. Why would we expect humans not to fight—that’s what animals do, they fight.”

Recent results from western civilization’s policy actions leave me discouraged. The attempts at spreading democracy are failing. Attempts at fairly allocating scarce resources leave little hope. Assessments of climate change dynamics simultaneously generate greater concern, increased skepticism and I fear, less empathy. With this backdrop Read more

Human Bias – Removing It?

Well, well.  As a well-traveled black male, I’ve know the US environment, no the global environment, to have prejudice and bias.  Not life threating hatred, but some.   I believe, all humans utilize biases–The human brain works quite efficiently with biases (a topic worthy of a blog post by itself).

My key learning from the article is that sufficient racial integration has not occurred such that a broad base of Americans, see, Americans with racial differences as one of them.  If the article would have reported on the racial prejudice of Black people, I suspect there would be no progress.  My life experience certainly echoes the percentages quoted in the article.

As I reflect on the article, I remember the discussion Barack Obama made after the wide display of the Rev. Wright sermons.  One telling point he made, “America has not integrated its churches.”  Maybe that is the true evidence of integration, religious worship.  The American society has focused integration efforts on schools, employment, housing and with the Affordable Care Act, health care.  Maybe, just maybe, its time to effectively integrate religious worship.  Now, that is a challenge.

AP poll: Majority harbor prejudice against blacks – Yahoo! News.

The presidency: So, Mitt, what do you really believe?

October 5, 2012

Well, well.  Mitt Romney has confirmed my beliefs.  The NPR article confirms, for me, so much.  Admittedly, I may be using isolated events to confirm preconceived biases.  But, when I connect the dots from the August post I made, below, it’s hard to believe “isolated” is an appropriate adjective.

Romney:  I Was ‘Just Completely Wrong On The 47 Percent’ | NPR

August 26, 2012

Wow, The Economist really laid into Mitt Romney in this article.   I think their tone and questions are legitimate.  However, in my mind, the answer to the title question is obvious:  Mitt believes it would be great to be president.

All other thoughts are simply a means to an ends for Mitt.  What most of us call flip flopping for Mitt appears to be simply how he gets what he wants.  Fame, to be liked, power, and status they have driven this guy for a long time, nothing new now.

Mitt is pretty obvious, we just don’t want to believe he has the audacity to ask for our vote only by promising to make himself better off–but he has.

The presidency: So, Mitt, what do you really believe? | The Economist.

Fiscal Cliff — a poor term for a good event

Many recent press articles have used the term ‘fiscal cliff’ to describe the December 2012 budget events of tax increases and government spending cuts.   Such a description is biased and underlies the author’s inherent priority of economic activity over fiscal health.  Worse in many readers minds, I fear, the act of saving is demonized as the cause of poor economic activity.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Read more

Notre Dame, other groups file new lawsuits against contraception rule

Quite the contentious issue.  And one worthy I think of the discussion.  The key point, well stated I might add by Rev John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president ,

If one presidential administration can override our religious purpose and use religious organizations to advance policies that undercut our values, then surely another administration will do the same for another very different set of policies, each time invoking some concept of popular will or the public good, with the result these religious organizations become mere tools for the exercise of government power, morally subservient to the state, and not free from its infringements.

But there is one problem I see Read more

Breaking Down Election Demographics

Charlie Cook makes a very good analysis at the American electorate for the upcoming presidential election in 2012.   Not said, but underlying the demographic trends of the nation, the next 20 years or so will underlie a significant shift in priorities and platform for winning Republican candidates.  States rights, fiscal spending, are both candidates, but in the end, I don’t think any of us are sure where the electorate is headed.

White Men are in the bag. White Women, however,…

Republican Nomination – A final thought

I read a recent Reuters article with a tiring level of interest.  I’m past curiosity, and desire a summer break, before the fall election campaign.  The fact that states, at this late date are still discussed in terms of favorable to one candidate or the other, suggest the divisions are not healing.   Read more

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Ideas to clarify; Decisions to make

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