To the editor:
Elections normally provide the best candidate the winner. The accumulated best judgments of the group picks the best. I call this a group-think phenomenon. However, this is only true if the group-think is not biased. If the outcome is affected by things outside the system, an externality, the choice is more likely not to be the best.
I will elaborate about our previous presidential elections. In 1825, since no candidate had a majority (50 percent-plus), the election of John Q. Adams was presented to the House of Representatives where the choice was made. Clearly politics of the House biased the choice. In 2000, the election of George W. Bush was held in limbo of the Supreme Court where bias was interjected in the decision to suspend recounting in Florida. Bush won Florida and the election. In 2016, it has been determined that the Russian government had intervened with our election whereby information was presented that diminished Democrat Hillary Clinton thereby elevating Donald J. Trump. Since the system was biased, I feel we did not get the best that group-think could have given us.
John Q. Adams served under a cloud of the “corrupt bargain” where Clay would be appointed Secretary of State in exchange for his support to Adams. Who is to say who was the best? But Adams was a one-term president with no major accomplishments.
George W. Bush took the reins under less than usual legitimacy. I look back and see Gore could have done better. We would not have been in a futile war and our financial system would have stayed strong. I recall how dumbfounded Bush was when the towers were struck but was nimble on his feet when an Iraqi threw a shoe at him. How he won another term, who is to know?
Donald J. Trump is the easiest by far. The Russians knew who they wanted not to win, Hillary. Just look at the first 89 days of the Trump administration. Each day is a reminder of how ill-equipped Trump is. Examples: forgetting to sign executive orders at their ceremony; needing that nudge by his wife to cover his heart at the Easter ceremony; not knowing where he sent the tomahawk missiles corrected by the interviewer to say Syria not Iraq; saying all people are “great” or “very great” or even bigly; playing with tweets that imply nuclear war or other important issues; saying NATO was obsolete but not now, saying China was a currency manipulator, now isn’t; saying he was going to work so hard he wouldn’t have time for golf, now golf is a major issue at seven of the last 13 weekends.
Elections are a statistical game. If you have leverage such as insider information you can negate the power of the best by group-think. Votes are negated and the result is an individual that is ill-equipped for the office. The stress of the job will take its toll as can be seen by his sour expression and flip of his jacket as he leaves his conveyance.