Things That Matter

It’s All about the Color Purple in Venezuela, Find Out Why this is Super Important

Yo! In case you missed it, Venezuela’s ruling party just lost…BIG time. Venezuelans cannot contain their excitement. A women-led coalition of Venezuelans wanted change and that is exactly what they got. Viva Venezuela!

For the first time in 16 years, Venezuelans finally told the United Social Party of Venezuela (PSUV) just what they thought of their leadership.

Last night, Venezuelans overwhelmingly voted to drastically change the course of their country.

Júbilo, esperanza, optimismo, cambio! Felicidades a los millones de venezolanos que votaron, y en especial a los testigos que defendieron los votos. Hace exactamente 17 ganó Hugo Chávez, cuánta lucha, cuánta resistencia y cuánta constancia para conquistar esta elección. Asumimos esta victoria con humildad, compromiso y responsabilidad! No podemos defraudar a todo un país. Como Alcalde pido a los nuevos diputados luchar por la descentralización y que nos devuelvan nuestras competencias originales. También, tengamos muy presentes a Leopoldo, Daniel, Antonio y estudiantes para su libertad y el regreso de los exiliados. A seguir trabajando! Ahora es cuando hay compromiso con el país. Gracias Venezuela! #AlcaldeSmolansky #EleccionesParlamentarias #6D #ElHatillo #Caracas #Miranda #Venezuela #Democracia #Libertad #Cambio #Unidad

A photo posted by David Smolansky Urosa (@davidsmolansky) on

Why did so many Venezuelans vote to change the ruling party? The economy.

Basically, 76 percent of Venezuelans are living in poverty and they have had enough.

Enter Lilian Tintori, a feisty and dedicated Venezuelan who became the face of the opposition.

Social media was flooded with support for the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) via purple dyed pinkies…seriously. #countrygoals

https://www.instagram.com/p/-9IlAWiVFz/

People are over the moon with the results with Venezuelans celebrating all over the country today in true Latino fashion.

Like, seriously. Venezuela is showing NO chill about the victory.

Venezuelans have proven to their government that they want change and they are done standing still.

Venezuelans all over the world are rejoicing the news.

Venezuelans seeking democracy still know there is a long way to go.

After all, it takes time to undo 16 years of the same thing.

Basically: Ronda Rousey = PSVU and Holly Holms = MUD.

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Credit: @CYBER_GRiT / Twitter

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Trump Appears To Be Laying The Groundwork To Contest The Election With These 3 Alarming Statements

Things That Matter

Trump Appears To Be Laying The Groundwork To Contest The Election With These 3 Alarming Statements

Samuel Corum / Getty Images

With less than 100 days until the election, Trump is working hard to do something that no previous president has ever done before: falsely claim that an election was fixed against him in order to discredit the vote. Trump has repeatedly — and incorrectly — claimed the election will be “rigged” against him.

The president has promoted crazy conspiracy theories and outright lies to whip up his core supporters to wrongly believe he is the victim of some unknown, shadowy “deep state” plot. In an interview that aired last week, he refused to commit to accepting the results in November.

From increased vote-by-mail to widespread fraud (which is essentially a non-factor in U.S. elections), Trump is already working to dispute the results of the 2020 election. With less than 100 days to go, we are careening toward an extraordinarily dangerous crisis of American democracy.

Recently, Trump seems to be trying to case the legitimacy of the 2020 elections into doubt.

Voting rights experts and political strategists on both sides of the aisle are becoming increasingly concerned about the potential for a disputed presidential election in November, one in which one candidate openly questions the legitimacy of the results or even refuses to concede. These experts are keenly aware of President Donald Trump’s well-documented history of lying about voter fraud and claiming that elections were “rigged” when he doesn’t like the outcome. 

And if he’s literally building a case against the election, it became clearer that Trump is absolutely willing to dispute the results. During a recent Fox News interview, Trump refused to commit to accepting the outcome of the election. “I have to see,” Trump replied, “No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time either.”

Trump seems to be hinging his doubts on the increase of mail-in voting in the age of Coronavirus.

Thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, more Americans than ever are expected to case mail-in ballots this year, so it will definitely take longer for the results to be announced. There’s no denying that. Even elections experts are now replacing “election night” with “election week,” because it could take days for a winner to be announced. In fact, both presidential campaigns have set aside millions of dollars and recruited lawyers for the looming legal fights.

So there is good reason to brace for chaos. One has to look no further than the recent primary season, which broke new ground for how elections are conducted. States dramatically scaled up vote-by-mail options, using spring and summer primaries as a “dry-run” for the November election. There were successes, like Kentucky, with its sprawling “supercenters” where people could safely vote in-person. But there were disasters too, like Wisconsin and Georgia, which were plagued by missing absentee ballots and grueling lines.

Meanwhile, Trump has been very open about his views on main-in voting: He has repeatedly said it threatens his reelection chances and would hurt Republicans across the board, even though nonpartisan experts say neither party typically gets an automatic boost from postal voting. To prevent these perceived losses, Trump pleaded with states to restrict mail-in voting by falsely claiming it is plagued by “massive fraud and abuse” and leads to “rigged elections.” His efforts have been unsuccessful. Officials implemented reforms from Republican-haven Utah to liberal Vermont.

Trump’s already calling the election “rigged.”

As Trump slides in the polls, he already declared that his matchup this fall against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden “will be the most rigged election in our nation’s history.”

Those are some serious accusations and, coming from a sitting president, do a lot to undermine American democracy and the integrity of our elections.

He’s also predicted massive fraud and suggested delaying the election.

“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump tweeted, offering no evidence for a debunked assertion. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

Trump has a long history of denouncing election results he doesn’t agree with.

For at least the past eight years, Donald Trump has a well-established past of questioning the legitimacy of elections, even though there was no proof of widespread irregularities or fraud in any of these elections.

In 2012, in the race against Obama, Trump supported Mitt Romney and when Romney lost the election, Trump denounced the results as a “total sham” and tweeted, “We can’t let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty.”

Then during the first contest of the 2016 primary season, Trump lost Iowa to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Trump responded by saying “Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it,” and accused Cruz of committing “fraud.” Trump called for a new election, said Cruz’s results should be “nullified” and said “the State of Iowa should disqualify” Cruz.

That same year, the won Trump actually won the presidency, Trump infamously refused to commit that he would accept the results. Instead, he said, “I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense.” Even after Trump won, he falsely claimed there were millions of illegal votes in California and other states, creating a false narrative to explain why he lost the popular vote to Clinton.

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The Supreme Court Ruled In Favor Of Allowing States To Punish Electoral College

Entertainment

The Supreme Court Ruled In Favor Of Allowing States To Punish Electoral College

Stefani Reynolds / Getty

News straight from the Supreme Court might just mean a more fair election this 2020. According to reports, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing states to reprimand members of the Electoral College should they break a pledge to vote for their state’s popular vote winner for presidential elections. The decision comes heavily on the heels of the looming election season.

The decision was sparked after 10 of the 538 presidential electors made their own decisions in 2016 and voted for candidates other than the one they’d pledged to vote for.

Up until Monday, only 32 out of the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia had laws that discouraged “faithless electors.” At that time, none of the states had ever actually reprimanded or removed an elector based on their vote. The Supreme Court decision came with a 9-0 count.

“Today, we consider whether a State may also penalize an elector for breaking his pledge and voting for someone other than the presidential candidate who won his State’s popular vote. We hold that a State may do so,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote.”The Constitution’s text and the Nation’s history both support allowing a State to enforce an elector’s pledge to support his party’s nominee — and the state voters’ choice — for President.”

In 2016, three presidential electors in Washington state voted for Colin Powell over the popular votes push for Hillary Clinton. Another voted for anti-Keystone XL pipeline activist Faith Spotted Eagle. At the time, Washington’s Supreme Court upheld a $1,000 fine.

In Colorado, during the 2016 election, Micheal Baca attempted to vote for John Kasich instead of Clinton but his vote was rejected. He was removed and replaced and referred for a potential perjury prosecution. No charges were filed, however. According to CNN, Baca “filed suit, and ultimately won when the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals held that while the state does have the power to appoint electors, that does not extend to the power to remove them.”

Oddly, Frodo Baggins, the beloved hobit from the Lord of The Rings trilogy became a part of the court’s historical record during oral arguments.

According to reports, Justice Clarence Thomas used Baggins as an example “The elector who had promised to vote for the winning candidate could suddenly say, ‘You know, I’m going to vote for Frodo Baggins. I really like Frodo Baggins.’ And you’re saying, under your system, you can’t do anything about that,” Thomas asked.

During the case, Justice Kagan went through the history of the Electoral College and spoke about the presidential election of 1796. The election was the first contested presidential election in the United States and saw John Adams come in first and Thomas Jefferson second. “That meant the leaders of the era’s two warring political parties—the Federalists and the Republicans—became President and Vice President respectively. (one might think of this as fodder of the new season of Veep),” Kagan wrote.

Kagan also referenced Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical “Hamilton” nothing that “Alexander Hamilton secured his place on the Broadway stage—but possibly in the cemetery too—by lobbying Federalists in the House to tip the election to Jefferson, whom he loathed but viewed as less of an existential threat to the republic,” she wrote. Justice Thomas agreed with Kagan writing “nothing in the Constitution prevents States from requiring Presidential electors to vote for the candidate chosen by the people.”

Here’s hoping this new change in the Supreme Court ruling ensures a better election outcome.

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