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We will not test the 20th Amendment, not sure about the electoral system, may the strong survive and vaccinate the kids

Miami, FL  |  November 30, 2020 6:00am  |  By Bob Oliva

In 1932 in the midst of the Great Depression Franklin D Roosevelt was elected on a landslide over Herbert Hoover.  The election was a bitter fight with Hoover who opposed Roosevelt’s “New Deal”, a program that would create jobs, ease regulations and stabilize the economy.  The so-called peaceful transfer of power stretched all the way to March, hence the enactment in 1933 of the 20th Amendment, which strictly sets the end date for all federal government elected officials. Had there been any unfriendly transfer of power? Yes, Andrew Johnson opted to pass on the inauguration of Ulysses Grant to have his final White House meeting with his staff, and earlier John Quincy Adams had done the same to Johnson. 

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So with the present peaceful transfer of power in limbo, what does the Power Poll group expect? 76.1% expect that we will eventually have a peaceful transfer of power with 23.8% not willing to bet on it. 

Unlike this election, the 2016 election saw Hillary Clinton gather nearly 3 million more votes than President Donald Trump, but because we use the electoral not the popular vote to elect the president, it caused some consternation among the voters. There are negatives to the electoral voting system (1) it’s undemocratic, (2) minority rules and (3) it’s divisive. Why would New York City have more political power than the whole state of Nebraska? Why would politicians campaign in urban areas only? There are valid arguments on both sides. The Miami Power Group was slightly pro-popular with 57.1% preferring the popular vote while 42.9% sticking to the present electoral system. 

Now the election is over, the political ads are done, and we are back to a resurgent Covid-19 Fall wave that threatens to overwhelm the local healthcare system, with local Mayors expressing frustration with Governor Desantis refusal to give them more leeway to implement local restrictions. Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber on CNN said that he is afraid that the Governor with the advice of his team have decided that herd immunity is the answer, which carries a high degree of risk. With all this playing in front of us, not surprisingly 81% of Miami’s Power Group says that the politicians are not doing enough and only 19% is satisfied with the present approach.

Miami Dade Public Schools have been walking a tightrope rope in trying to teach and control virus spread, offering families both in-person and remote learning.  Needless to say that the teachers are in the bind of executing both while trying to stay safe. With the possibility of a vaccine ready for distribution in early 2021 should we make it mandatory for children before they return to in-person schooling? A majority of 61.9% think that it should be mandatory while 38.1% think that it should be up to the parents. Power Group member Emma Heald adds “I am in favor of mandatory vaccination with the important caveat that we need to be confident the vaccine is safe. Let's pray it is”. 

How will this inauguration play out? We’ll see but in today’s social media driven society, who knows. Will President Trump cease pushing the allegations of fraud after the electoral votes are casted on December 14th or will he keep pushing until January 19th? The overturning of the electoral voting system came closest during the 91st Congress (1969-1971) when New York Democratic Representative Emmanuel Celler introduced House Resolution 681, a Constitutional amendment to replace the Electoral College based on a similar system as the French. Other attempts have been made but bottom line is that it will take a lot of political will to get it done. What is next for Miami-Dade in fighting the pandemic? With Governor Desantis refusal to give the local Mayors the tools to work with, it will be up to the individual citizen to evaluate the situation and take proper measures.  Should it be mandatory for all school age kids to take the vaccine? That could be a small hurdle if Congress goes along with John Delaney’s proposal to pay $1,500.00 for each child to take it. His argument that it will be cheaper because at 75% we’ll have herd immunity and the economy will roar to new highs. 

Finally 2020 is on our rearview mirror, and we can see light at the end of the tunnel. Will 2021 be care-free again? Maybe, because in Miami the land of endless success stories, the glass is always half-full. 

We’ll be back in mid-December for a last checkup on 2020 so stay safe and keep the faith.

Bob Oliva

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