Monday, October 22, 2012

Ohio Students know nothing of 9/11 Libya attack

Athens, OH – Students quizzed at an Obama rally held here last week had no clue as to the identity of Ambassador Chris Stevens, or the manner of his death.

When a Revealing Politics camera crew asked youthful persons who attended the October 17 rally on the campus of Ohio University, which is located southeast of Dayton, a few miles from the West Virginia border, about the attack on the American Consulate at Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, most said they had never heard of it.

Though the rocket attack by Islamic extremists left the Ambassador and four security guards dead, they were hard pressed to answer even the most basic questions.

In fact, many of the students were not only puzzled by the questions, they behaved as if they were silly inquiries. They actually laughed it off.

Security arrangements by the U.S. Department of State have come under close Congressional scrutiny and harsh Republican criticism in the weeks that followed.

The implications seem to have had little effect on the students, who almost all said they are solidly behind the President in his re-election bid against Mitt Romney.

Ohio, with its 18 electoral votes is expected to be a key swing state on election day, one of 15 undecided states spread out across the map.

The Electoral College is a system of indirect votes for 538 electors who cast their ballots in each state to elect a ticket of Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates. It is promulgated by Art. II of the U.S. Constitution, which was amended in 1804. A majority of 270 electors must vote to select a Presidential ticket under the present system, which is based on population counted in each decennial census.

The system has been criticized by certain Congressmen, one of whom, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, introduced failed legislation in the 109th Cogress of 2005 to eliminate the Electoral College system in favor of a popular vote to determine the President and Vice President.

Her reasons included:

Candidates focus only on a handful of contested states and ignore the concerns of tens of millions of Americans living in other states.

A candidate can lose in 39 states, but still win the Presidency.

A candidate can lose the popular vote by more than 10 million votes, but still win the Presidency.

A candidate can win 20 million votes in the general election, but win zero electoral votes, as happened to Ross Perot in 1992.

In most states, the candidate who wins a state’s election, wins all of that state’s electoral votes, no matter the winning margin, which can disenfranchise those who supported the losing candidate.

A candidate can win a state’s vote, but an elector can refuse to represent the will of a majority of the voters in that state by voting arbitrarily for the losing candidate (this has reportedly happened 9 times since 1820).

Smaller states have a disproportionate advantage over larger states because of the two “constant” or “senatorial” electors assigned to each state.

A tie in the Electoral College is decided by a single vote from each state’s delegation in the House of Representatives, which would unfairly grant California’s 36 million residents equal status with Wyoming’s 500,000 residents.

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