Be a Blessing to Be Blessed: Part IX

One of the best ways to be a blessing to others is in how you live your life. That’s why I love the phrase, Be A Blessing to Be Blessed. Even when you don’t realize it, someone may be watching you and can be blessed by what they see. I have written about this in the past in a post titled, Dang, Someone is Always Watching and You never know who is watching you. Counting your blessings when you look at yourself is a big part of it.

Counting my blessings is something that comes easy to me. I see where I am, where I once was, and where I could have ended up. But thankfully, I landed on this path rather than some other dark and gloomy one. Not that I’m 100% perfect; I’m far from it. But I’m alright, and I am proud of where my journey has taken me, brought me. Sometimes, just like any normal person may do, I tend to focus needlessly on things that may cause me misery, and I feel like complaining. But then I look at the struggles other people are going through, and that yanks me right up, wakes me up, getting me all the way together. The struggles of one person in particular wakes me up every time.

I have an affiliate/colleague who often has endured one ailment or another throughout his life going back to his childhood. Some of the things he has faced I never heard of before. He has told me about many conditions he has, including such things as frequent back pains and migraines, slipped disc (severe enough to require surgery many times throughout his 50 years on this earth), stenosing tenosynovitis, cervical stenosis, vertigo, and pre-diabetes. He is often talking about these things and how he has been impacted by them, from the pain involved and the immobilizing medication he takes, to the discomfort he experiences doing basic life tasks such as sleeping or driving or putting on his clothes.

On some days, I can look in his face and see the grimace behind the feigned smile, and I know he is suffering. I often saw it in my sister during the latter part of her life, so I know what I’m talking about.

Seeing people endure things I have little to no first-hand awareness of – things I haven’t experienced personally – is the best blessing. The little, teeny, tiny peanut-sized things that I face are nothing compared to the watermelon-sized problems that other people go through.

Is it wrong of me to embrace my blessings by the problems others may have or by what others endure that I may not have gone through? Maybe no, maybe yes. But then, maybe that’s the point of it all; I like to think it’s the angels helping me to appreciate what I have, even though there are times when I wish I had more. That’s it. That’s how and why I learn not to dwell on what’s wrong. It could always be better, but it surely could be a whole lot worse, too. So, I keep smiling and hold my head high just like it says in Psalms 27:6 – “Hold your head high above your enemies and your struggles, and shout songs of joy, singing praises to your Lord for your grace.” That’s one of the best ways to be a blessing to others, showing them how much you appreciate your life and the good that is in it.

View these too:

Be A Blessing to Be Blessed: Part One

Be A Blessing to Be Blessed: Part Two

Be A Blessing to Be Blessed: Part Three

Be A Blessing to Be Blessed: Part Four

Be A Blessing to Be Blessed: Part Five

Be A Blessing to Be Blessed: Part Six

Be A Blessing to Be Blessed: Part Seven

Be a Blessing to Be Blessed: Part VIII

Season of Gratitude

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Domestic Violence is a Bear!

An associate of mine whom I’ll call Tee had been in an abusive relationship for a few years. It’s easy to tell someone to leave in that situation. That’s what I always want to do. But for many, leaving isn’t a cake walk. Leaving certainly was not easy for Tee. There wasn’t anything I could do, other than be nurturing and offer community resources to help domestic violence victims.

Tee had been dating Dee for a while, and almost from the beginning, it was violent. They were always fighting. Their fights could start over virtually anything, big or small. One day when both of them ended up hospitalized following one of their fights, Tee had had enough, fed up enough to leave. “Awesome news.” I told him that aloud. I was glad to hear he left. Good for Tee. That’s one of those things that can only change if the people in the middle of it take steps to change it. People on the outside can’t do anything beyond being an empathic, active listener. I gave Tee some positive reinforcement, for I know how difficult it must have been to walk away.

But now, fast forward about six months and Tee said to me, “I don’t know how people can be single. I need to have someone to hold me at night. I’m going back to Dee.” I didn’t know what to say to that. Before I could say anything at all, he began telling me that Dee wasn’t all bad, talking about all of Dee’s good traits. That’s one thing I know about abusers: they do have many good traits. They’re not – in my opinion – good enough to overshadow their abuse. That conversation confirmed for me that my ability to help was non-existent.

I did some research. It’s been many years since I worked with abuse victims. I’m thankful my grad school allows alumni to access its research library repository, a perquisite that has benefitted me many times. The results of my research were astonishing but not surprising or shocking. It supports something I have believed for years, that people can become addicted to one another just like people get addicted to drugs or alcohol. Intimate partner violence is a serious problem worldwide, and it can plague someone irrespective of race, gender, age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Such violence has been responsible for many problems in the lives of abuse victims, including depression and suicidal tendencies; additionally, these victims are at a higher risk of physical sicknesses; chronic pain disorders; sleep disorders; anxiety; post-traumatic stress disorders; alcoholism and alcohol abuse; drug abuse and addiction; and long-term self-esteem problems.1  Many who are victimized who successfully leave these troubled relationships have tried to leave several times, many of them after leaving repeatedly and returning before finally getting the courage and support to leave for good. Many of them who do not leave often end up the victim of a homicide at the hands of their abuser or they commit suicide; some abusers threaten to hurt their victims as a means of control, but a good many abusers follow through on their threat to hurt or kill them.2

As hard as it is for some people to move forward, conversing about the ones who find the right connections to leave could be the motivation current victims may need. In my head, I think about creating a huge network to help domestic victims, something I call a DV Under Ground Railroad. In my mind’s eye, it would be a non-profit that helps these individuals leave their homes and situations, typically without taking any of their belongings and often at a moment’s notice. This would be a huge, nationwide network that helps victims relocate, find a new job and new housing, and assists them with filing protective order requests with the courts. But until then, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has been a savior for many who face violence and abuse. If you know of someone, do the research and share it with them – or encourage them to research it themselves from a safe computer; however, it’s not uncommon for many abusers to use keylogger software, a type of spyware to monitor the online activities of their victims.3 They may even use parental controls over a spouse or mate, tools meant to monitor children’s activities. This enables abusers to launch additional ways to dominate victims. So, if you really want to help, it is best for you to do the research and share the information with him or her.

________________

References

  1. Edwards, K., Palmer, K., Lindemann, K., & Gidycz, C. (2018). Is the End Really the End? Prevalence and Correlates of College Women’s Intentions to Return to an Abusive Relationship. Violence Against Women24(2), 207–222. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801216686220
  2. Clay, Rebecca (2014). Suicide and intimate partner violence. American Psychological Association, 45(10), Page 30. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/11/suicide-violence
  3. Kam, Katherine (2020). The New Domestic Violence: Technology Abuse, WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20201130/the-new-domestic-violence-technolog-abuse
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More Travel Musings

New York — Hunter’s Point (file photo)

I had plans to visit New York since late March 2020. The events I had planned to attend while there were postponed due to COVID-19. At the time, I didn’t realize the big deal. I had no idea how serious this virus was. After all, I had gone to San Francisco two weeks earlier, and I had just returned home. Even though a cruise ship was detained and quarantined in San Francisco the very day I was leaving to return home, the whole city was being shut down like it was Armageddon, silly me for thinking the problem was isolated. We (the royal we) hadn’t yet figured out the magnitude of the Coronavirus and how important it was to avoid gatherings in enclosed spaces – and wearing a mask. But we quickly learned. Well, some of us did. If that type of shutdown had been mandated nationally and employed simultaneously, we might have been able to stop the spread – or as Dr. Anthony Fauci often said, “flatten the curve” – which is how other nations managed it. It pertains to strategies health officials recommend as crucial to reducing the spread of COVID-19.

New York responded in similar fashion as San Francisco. Beginning in April, nearly everything shut down in New York. Even the hotel where I was planning on staying, the Times Square Hilton Garden Inn (my NYC hotel of choice), cancelled all reservations and closed for a few weeks, conducting a massive cleansing of the premises. Amtrak cancelled my round-trip reservations too. The Broadway shows (there were two) I was going to see closed. It’s more factual to say all Broadway shows shut down. One of the two I was going to see cancelled completely. The other was pushed back to October 2020, then to March 2021, then it was pushed back to September 2021. Fat chance that it will ever happen. Maybe it will. Time will tell. My trips to Philadelphia (May), Pittsburgh (August), Montreal (July), and several separate trips to New York were also cancelled. All of these were cancelled in April. That’s when I knew it was serious.

I had been thinking === hoping === things would be a little better next month, and I’d still be able to go, even if just to hang out. I have a membership to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and I was going to ‘visit’ the world through the eyes of the museum. But with the tight travel restrictions, I decided it was a good idea to not go. So, I’m staying home. Last night, I cancelled my reservations.

Maybe before year’s end I can go somewhere and feel comfortable and relaxed. Being an introvert, I’m not too disappointed at staying home. I love being home; however, traveling is usually my therapy, my anti-drug; it’s my way to relieve stress and take myself from the day to day stressors that life has to offer.

As a consolation, I have been taking virtual trips in the meantime. It’s not the same, but it’ll have to do for now. Maybe I’ll see some of you on a future trip.

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Zoo on Netflix

  • Earlier this week – Super Bowl Sunday 2021 to be exact – I accidentally happened upon a television series around 6:30 am, Zoo on Netflix. and began binge watching it. I watched all day, only stopping to go fix my meals and eat — and of course take bathroom breaks. Zoo is a rebroadcast of a show that originally aired on CBS a few years ago. It premiered in 2015. I have been so hooked on it. Very hooked. Unfortunately, it was canceled in 2017. The last time I found a show so captivating as this one was when I found Breaking Bad. I found it about a year after it was canceled, and I binged watched its two seasons in about a day and a half. Zoo is equally as good, in my opinion. There are many twists and turns – some are very predictable and others not so much. Apparently the show was canceled because the number of viewers dropped in season two by nearly two million. CBS thought that was a clue that it was time to pull the plug, and Netflix acquired it.

Zoo is a dramatic television show about a group of men and women, both professionals and lay people, trying to thwart a pandemic causing wild animal attacks. A few humans were also impacted, causing them to attack others as well. It’s based on the book by noted author James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge of the same title. If you didn’t know better, you might think it was the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The parallels are astonishing, almost eerie, even down to discussions about the vaccination and the potential side effects, much like the talk about the Covid’s vaccination and its potential side effects. It makes you think it’s a foreshadow of the coronavirus pandemic, or perhaps the scientific community had prior knowledge 3 years ago that this pandemic was on its way. Although Zoo was produced several years ago, it is weird just how much this story looks and feels like the same thing the world is going through right now. But, it’s still a great show, with superb writing and acting.

As an aside, if you’re the type of person that likes to fiddle with your phone or your laptop, or do other things while you watch television, you won’t want to do that while watching this show. So much can quickly happen, and you may find yourself rewinding to see what you just missed. I’ve had to do that several times. I am nearly at the end of the second of the three seasons. I’ll probably finish it all by the end of the weekend.

I said earlier that it is unfortunate that the show was canceled. But to be honest, there is probably not much more the writers could have done with the plot without boring viewers or without straying from the original intent of the plot. Nonetheless, if you seek a well-written, exciting, and engaging show, this is it. The script writers should get an award for Zoo, and the actors should get recognition too. It’s very rare for me to rave over a show these days. I tend to watch mostly old shows – when I say old, I’m talking about shows more than 10-15 years old or older. Youthful shows, those produced within the past five years haven’t typically touched my soul. But this one has me in TV heaven. I hope you check it out.

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My 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse

I bought this book several years ago, the 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse: Lose Up to 15 Pounds in 10 Days!, by JJ Smith, and I tried to follow the plan. I quickly put it aside, though. When I say I quickly put it aside I mean I barely made it past the first day. I found that the mind is the biggest part of any change you plan to implement into your life. My mind wasn’t ready.

Fast forward to now, and I started it again. I succeeded this time. Yes! I was ready. My mind was ready. For the first four for of the 10 days, I followed the plan as-is, which encompassed a green smoothie each for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can even sip on a shake throughout the day if you get hungry. Between meals, the cleanse calls for snacking on fruits and vegetables, such as apples, celery, carrots, cucumbers, or other crunchy vegetables. All throughout the day. Other high-protein snacks include unsweetened peanut butter, hard boiled eggs and a serving of seeds. I don’t eat eggs, but nuts and peanut butter were included in my daily plan between meals. On some days, I had the snacks along with the smoothie rather than by themselves.

After day four, I began the modified plan as outlined in the book. That includes a shake for two meals (and a shake for a between meal snack) and solid foods for the third meal. My third meal was either lunch or dinner and usually consisted of what I call my kitchen sink salad. My basic kitchen sink salad includes kale, arugula, carrots, cucumbers, red onions, tomatoes, green bell peppers, celery, romaine lettuce, red and green olives (or a combination of some or all of those things) and topped with my homemade cucumber dressing.

Over the course of the 10 days, I didn’t lose 15 pounds as the book suggested I would (I only lost 10), – likely due to the fact that I followed the modified plan – but I am pleased overall. The book did tell me that the weight loss would not be as great if the modified plan were followed. In addition to weight loss, the book suggested I would see other positive changes too, such as, increased energy, mental clarity, better sleep, reduced cravings, better digestion, and less bloating. I haven’t seen any change in my mental clarity but I certainly have seen improvements in those other areas, especially better sleep. Thursday night, for instance, was the first time in a long time I slept all the way through. I have been accustomed to awakening each morning a few minutes before my alarm sounds. Not this morning. My alarm woke me. I was in a deep, deep sleep. Was it this cleanse that was responsible? I don’t know. But I suspect it played a part in it.

I truly didn’t expect to make it through the 10 days, but I succeeded. I don’t plan to go back to being a mindless eater and drinker. I am having a green smoothie for breakfast. I’ll probably have one for dinner, with my salad and my carrots and celery for my snacks during the day, along with my mixed Planters nuts.

It’s a great feeling to get out of my own way and back on track. I am a work in progress.

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Money, Money, Money!

One of my biggest weaknesses, one that became especially problematic in 2020, is frivolous spending. Perhaps it is because I was homebound a lot, restricted due to the coronavirus. Quarantined. Typically, I would have taken 3-5 small, mini trips – and a big trip. But due to travel restrictions, none of that happened. Additionally, I would also have attended several events locally, such as plays and musicals, concerts, and vegetarian/vegan festivals, all of which were cancelled. I was also looking forward to attending a local jazz festival in August, but it got cancelled too. I still have a trip planned for mid-March to New York City, though there’s still the chance that it might get cancelled too.

I was calculating how much money I saved by not doing any of those things, and it made me smile. But, it was for naught, since I ended up sitting at home buying things online whimsically. Many of those things were wants and not needs. Phooey.

So, I decided in 2021, I would cut out all that needless spending. I plan on asking myself whether it is a need or a want. If it’s merely a want, I’ll postpone it. I’ll even scrutinize my needs too. Some of the things I may define as a need are not really a need. I have found that some things are in the category of “it’ll make my life more a little more comfortable” but they aren’t necessarily things that I truly need. If that’s the case, I’ll postpone buying those things too. My goal is to do this until at least Memorial Day. If I succeed, I’ll splurge and buy myself something nice.

This makes me think of the old Abba song, Money, Money, Money for some reason. Anyway, wish me luck.

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My Feedback to Bank of America

 

About a week ago, I was on the Bank of America (BOA) website conducting some business, and I saw a pop-up link inviting me to leave feedback about my overall satisfaction as a BOA customer. I jumped at the chance.

I clicked on the link, and expressed my dissatisfaction about one small aspect of my experiences in the years that I had been banking with them. I’m a longtime customer, by the way. I was a customer back when it was Nation’s Bank, before the restructuring and name changes. Remember Nation’s Bank? Then there was BankAmerica, leading to the transition to Bank of America. Well, I digress.

I left feedback about my inability to remove an authorized user from my credit card online. This option is not available online. BOA requires the customer to call in and speak with a customer service representative. That seemed strange to me. I can deposit checks online from my living room. I can apply for loans and lines of credit online. I can apply for and manage a credit card account online. I can order my credit report and view my credit score online. I can send money to anybody in the world online. I can open new checking or savings account or a money market account online. But I can’t remove an authorized user online.

Why can’t I remove an authorized user from my accounts online? It would be one thing if I were adding someone as an authorized user. I somewhat would understand if that were the case, although with the two-factor authentication to verify my identity when I log in, that still doesn’t make much sense. So, I spelled out all of this out in the comments portion of the feedback form. Then I forgot about it.

I’ve completed feedback forms in the past. Most ended up in some black hole fading away into never-neverland. But to my amazement, I received a phone call from a BOA executive to discuss my feedback. That was really cool to me. I reiterated my displeasure in more detail, and the representative thanked me for my comments and assured me that the executives are always looking at ways of improving customer experiences, including the specific issue related to my feedback. He additionally took care of editing my account to remove the person as an authorized user. I have had other positive experiences with retailers and my customer satisfaction feedback survey, such as the feedback I provided to Marriott following my visit, and the email I received engaging me to elicit more details – or the feedback I gave to Metro in DC, and the $30 farecard they sent me to say thanks. That hasn’t been my experience when I provided feedback to other retailers, such as the issue I had with J.C. Penny. The feedback to them was not well received.

That response to my feedback is great incentive for me to continue to give it. That’s the whole point of feedback. Kudos to BOA for how they handled this situation.

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Catfish Chronicles: Part Two

Three times this year, since February, I’ve gotten propositioned by random Words with Friends opponents. In each instance, it was a stranger, and the first time it caught me off guard. I was prepared when it happened subsequently.

The most recent occurrence was Friday. A woman claiming to be from Jacksonville, Florida initiated a game, and I saw no reason not to accept it. After the game began, I saw her profile photo more clearly, a scantily-clad busty woman. Then after a couple of plays, she began messaging me, with a lot of small talk. She wasted no time with the romantic dialogue. I told her I wasn’t interested. That’s when she said she wanted to be my “nice platonic” friend. I know what that means. I have seen it before. I surmised that she wasn’t even real. Looking at her photograph, it looked like one that might have been taken from a modeling website. Recalling the many episodes of the TV show Catfish I have seen, she’s as fake as fake can be.

Listen, I was born at night (well, 2:55 am) but not last night. I’ve seen it before. The quest to just be friends has led to people who try to convince me over time to be more than that. I told her that I just wanted to play the game and leave it at that. She made one more play and she ghosted herself. Which is fine by me.

This sheds light on something that one of my Facebook friends posted as his status message the other day. He said something to the effect that if you get unwanted, random people in your inbox, put some doggone clothes on and stop with all the provocative profile pictures and then the unwanted attention will stop. As you can imagine, that stirred lots of controversy and many who didn’t like the “blame the victim” idea he had presented.

The point is, I am living proof that your attire has nothing to do with how much attention you get. I never have used an excitatory, racy photograph as a profile picture, yet I still sometimes get unwanted attention, not just playing Words with Friends but I have also been propositioned while playing games on the Play Station Network online, though not recently. It has happened on Facebook and Instagram too. It doesn’t happen a lot, but it happens. People are good at trying to fool you.

With all the dating apps out there, why can’t thirsty people let gamers enjoy a little innocent fun without hitting on other players. Go get on Match.com or Tinder or Plenty of Fish.

Leave people alone.

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Thanksgiving Memories

I went out this morning for my constitutional walk (sometimes referred to as just a constitutional). If you don’t know, the word constitutional is an old reference to one’s overall constitution or mental and physical makeup; ergo, a constitutional walk was considered beneficial to one’s well-being. While out, I passed by several stores that were open and servicing many customers. In fact, most of the stores I passed were open. Times sure have changed.

When I was a kid, I’d say around 5th grade or so, mom was up early on Thanksgiving morning cooking and baking, like many families were likely doing all around the world. While preparing to make the potato salad, mom dropped the jar of mayo and it broke, making a colossal mess. She normally would have another jar; however, she preferred to use Duke’s for potato salad, and to the best of my recollection, she didn’t use Duke’s for anything else. Just any old mayo wouldn’t do for potato salad, and she didn’t have another jar on hand. So, dad went out to get another jar. I went with him.

We drove around for nearly 90 minutes searching for an open store to no avail. We couldn’t find a single store that was open. We went to A & P. It was closed. We went to Winn Dixie, and again it was closed. We went to K-Mart and Food Lion, but both were closed. We went to one other store (I cannot recall which) and it was closed as well. We eventually ended up in 7-11 and found a jar of Duke’s. We went home, and mom was happy that we found it.

I don’t know when things changed, but these days most stores are open and doing business as if it’s just another day and not Thanksgiving Day, a national holiday. I know businesses are struggling due to limited sales these past few months during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they surely want to get as many sales as they can; but the phenomenon of businesses being operational on Thanksgiving has been around for many years. Some even are offering early Black Friday sales on Thursday to lure customers in.

Given the costs associated with opening, I hope they end up in the red for the day. I’d like to think if I owned a business, I’d close for the day, giving my employees time to be with friends and family – or at the very least, enjoying a day off even if they’ll be at home alone.

I’m thinking fondly about my many family memories through the years and there are many. I have many reasons to be thankful. I hope that everyone reading these words can see the many reasons to be thankful too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Should We Change the American System of Elections?

Photo Source: https://www.bbc.com/

Most people will agree that the American system of voting needs an overhaul. Changes to the way in which we cast a vote, and in how votes are counted, would help immensely. Here it is two days following the Election Day and there is still uncertainty. One thing that often comes to mind when people are critical of American elections is the Electoral College. I’m thinking beyond just the Electoral College, though it needs changing too. It’s certainly one of the biggest areas where change is needed. But I can also think of other ways to make improvements. More on the Electoral College later.

First, validated voters should be permitted to vote online. I requested my ballot online. I could have just as easily cast my vote online too. Opponents of online voting point to possible identity validation issues. But I can think of ways around that, such as the types of validation required when logging into federal government websites (like when I make changes online to my allotments or W-4 or accessing my TSP retirement account) or the two-factor identification steps many financial institutions employ to verify a customer’s identity. Here in 2020, we need to find ways to improve how we vote. People vote today essentially the same way it’s been done, almost since the beginning. Not much has changed: (1) either stand in long lines, or (2) fill out a paper ballot at home (or in a hotel room hundreds of miles away) and mail or hand carry it back to the board of elections. Isn’t that a little archaic? I think that it is. Absentee voting became very popular during the Civil War and during World War II, at time at which soldiers away from home could vote. It was universally limited to persons in the military then, generally, and by the late 1800s, the privilege gradually became available to civilian voters. In the last half a dozen or so elections, I’ve casted an absentee ballot far more than I voted in person. I ought to be able to vote online, which would record my vote electronically – and instantly – and avoid the long delay such as what we’re seeing this week.

Photo Source: https://www.bbc.com/

Second, we need to improve a candidate’s eligibility to appear on a ballot. Sure, I get that everyone should have a right to run for public office. But, there are several candidates for president who have little chance of winning. No, wait a minute. They didn’t stand a chance at all of winning or even coming close to winning. Did you realize there were dozens of candidates for president in this election? I scratched my head wondering why they weren’t eliminated previously. Some of them include Jo Jorgensen, Howie Hawkins, Don Blankenship, Roque De La Fuente, Kanye West, Jerome Segal, Sharon Wallace, Dennis Ball, Barbara Bellar, President Boddie (yes, that’s his name – do a search), and Mary Ruth Caro Simmons, just to name a few. The list all of all the candidates is a lot longer than this. This is only a paltry number of the people who are legitimate candidates, though not necessarily viable or competitive candidates. There are dozens of 2020 presidential candidates (which you can view HERE). Why haven’t you heard of most of them, you ask? Apparently not all of them made it on the ballots in every state. There are 21 candidates on the ballot each in Vermont and Colorado. The next largest presidential ballots are Arkansas and Louisiana with 13 candidates each. Twelve states have only three candidates on the ballot. Here in Maryland, there were five.

Approximately three dozen candidates for president are on the ballots sporadically around the country. An additional 100 + candidates are eligible but were validated too late to make it on the ballots in most states but are still official presidential candidates. This variance in who appeared on the different ballots supports my idea to eliminate them from the general election altogether. If they can’t get themselves validated to appear on the ballot in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, then they should not be permitted on the ballot in any state at all. Were I a candidate, I’d favor this change.

These folks collectively received roughly 2.5 million votes, some earning as many as 60,000 + votes and others earning a couple of hundred votes. One person received 29 votes. As close as this election was, just 1-2 percentage points separating Joe Biden and Donald Trump in many states, just imagine what the outcome might have been had all of those other candidates not been in the race? I think the primary elections should eliminate all those extra people. How? Good question. Perhaps, there could be a rule to eliminate any candidate earning less than 20% of the vote in a primary election. That would be a clear indication that the candidate isn’t strong enough to survive the rigor and competitiveness of a general election. Maybe if the American people weren’t voting for all of these extra candidates, we wouldn’t still be waiting with bated breath on the election’s outcome here it is 48 hours later.

Lastly, the Electoral College needs to be eliminated. America is a democracy. In a democracy, the standard of “one person, one vote” is supreme. But in our current system, that doesn’t always work. A person could win the popular vote but end up losing based on the Electoral College, just like what happened in the 2000 and the 2016 elections. If we’re supposed to be a government of, by, and for the people, then the citizens should determine who they want to represent them and not some convoluted system that determines who will be president. At the time the Electoral College was first established, there was a good reason for it in the minds of the founding fathers. They feared that a politician with a tyrant, dictator-like mindset could manipulate the American people (someone like Mr. Donald J. Trump, for instance) and rise to power, possibly staying there in perpetuity. Presidential term limits didn’t exist at that time. A lot of politicians were loud and boisterous and were sometimes intimidating to voters. The founding fathers didn’t trust that the American people would make the right choice, and states identified electors to help get the “right” people in the presidency in a judicious manner, without influences – irrespective of the popular vote. I was thinking and equating this election to a football game that tied and went into overtime leaving everyone sitting on the edge of their seats. This election is like overtime. That’s what the Electoral College gives us.

Although many people don’t like the Electoral College, it’s probably not a high likelihood that it will change. In order to change it, a constitutional amendment is required and ratified by 3/4 of the states. So, we’ll probably be stuck with it for the foreseeable future.

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