Tag: donald trump

Was Kaepernick’s First Amendment Right Violated?

Could President Trump’s actions around the National Anthem protests have violated Colin Kaepernick’s freedom of speech?

NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is less known for his abilities as a football player, and more for kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality — and the ire that has drawn from President Trump and various members of his administration, both on television and on Twitter.

NFL flag

Despite being a skilled quarterback, one of the best in the league, Kaepernick has not played a single game since 1 Jan 2017. Currently a free agent, he is free to be signed by any team, but in the last 2 seasons, no one has. A few teams initially showed interest but backed out after he refused to promise that he would end his national anthem protest.

Kaepernick is suing, alleging that Trump’s comments and private conversations with NFL owners lead them to blacklist him. His legal team is interested in the content and spirit of these discussions, as well as discover if the administration put pressure on the NFL. Depending on their findings, they might attempt to subpoena the President and other officials, including Vice President Mike Pence.

While NFL executives have admitted that Trump influenced their new anthem policy, that doesn’t mean he influenced it directly, or that he has influenced any other decisions by the league.

If Kaepernick’s allegations are true, it would mean that members of the Trump administration, including the President himself, violated his right to free speech. A government official is barred from using the power or influence of their office to stifle political expression or to punish those who express themselves politically. Things could get complicated from there.

 

Did 50% of Americans vote for Trump?

Did 50% of Americans vote for Trump? The simple answer is no. 

There is a certain intellectual dishonesty in conversational shorthand when we don’t acknowledge it as shorthand. One example is the idea that about 50% of Americans voted for Donald J Trump, or that about 50% of Americans voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton. At first glance, the issue might not seem obvious.

How could 50% of Americans vote for Trump, if they didn’t even vote?

The United States currently has about 320 million citizens. That’s people who were either born here or who have been naturalized. This includes convicted felons who have lost their right to vote, as well as people who are too young to vote.

Of that 320 million, about 78% (250 million people) are of voting age, meaning that they are over 18.

There are about 200 million registered voters in the United States, which means about 63% of Americans are registered to vote, and about 80% of those who can register have actually registered.

America is chronically regarded as having very low voter turnout when compared with nations around the world. How many registered voters actually voted in the 2016 election? About 140 million people — about 44% of Americans, 56% of possible voters, and 70% of registered voters.

So, how many people did vote for Trump (and Clinton)?

Donald Trump is the president of the United States because he won the electoral college, a process where each state is worth a certain number of votes (its senators plus its representatives) and whoever wins the popular vote (gets the largest number of votes) in that state gets all the electoral votes. By this process, someone who has a smaller number of popular votes can get more electoral votes and win the election.

Trump received about 63 million votes. that’s about 45% of votes cast in the election — but it’s only about 32% of registered voters, 25% of possible voters, and 20% of American citizens.

Well, Hillary won the popular vote, but she’s in a similar position, with about 66 million votes, or about 47% — 33% of registered voters, 26% of possible voters, and 21% of Americans.

So What?

Some people claim that the US is going down the drain because “50% of people voted for Trump”, acting as if criticising the election of Trump is indicting half the nation. The truth is only about 20% of Americans voted for Trump.

So no, half the country did not vote for Trump because less than half of Americans voted. But, of those who did vote, about half chose Trump, and the same can be said of Clinton.

Truly, the majority is silent.