FSRN Weekly Edition – November 11, 2016
- Electoral college system hands Trump presidency, Clinton leads popular vote
- Street Beat: Reactions to the 2016 U.S. presidential election results
- Missouri voters pass ballot measure to erode voting rights protections
- Recreational marijuana legalized in California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts
- Colorado votes to keep prison slavery language in state constitution
- Mumia Abu Jamal: Shock & Awe
- 2016 election: win/win for the Christian Right?
- Iranian “tourists” flock to Armenia to recapture the feeling of pre-revolution Iran
After the protracted and divisive campaign for the US presidency finally came down to the wire — in a stunning upset, reality TV personality and billionaire real estate mogul Donald J. Trump is set to become the 45th Commander in Chief of the United States of America. FSRN’s Nell Abram has more.
The 2016 U.S. presidential election came to a conclusion late last night with Donald J. Trump declared the winner. Across the country people watched closely as the results came in, some at election parties where they could celebrate, or commiserate, with each other. Seán Kinane, Lena Nozizwe and Hannah Leigh Myers spoke with voters throughout the U.S. to find out how they felt about the results.
Overall, voter turnout was strong at almost 57 percent. Many people were motivated by the vitriol during the campaign – either in support of it, or deeply opposed. And many other voters invoked the suffragettes as they cast ballots for a candidate they were convinced would become the first female president of the United States.
Yet more than 100 million voters stayed home, and an unknown number of them were disenfranchised or dissuaded by growing barriers. The number of eligible black voters was down compared to 2008 and 2012. While there are likely multiple factors involved in that decline – one things is certain: in the past three years, many of the protections provided under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 have been whittled away. Denise Lieberman is Advancement Project Senior Attorney and coordinator of the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition. She spoke with FSRN’s Nell Abram.
In ballot initiatives Tuesday, voters in multiple states approved measures easing restrictions on marijuana – whether decriminalizing small quantities or allowing medical – or even full on recreational – use of the drug. When the vote was fully tallied in Maine Thursday, that state became the fourth state to legalize recreational marijuana in the 2016 poll. FSRN’s Lena Nozizwe reports from Los Angeles.
In Colorado, voters decided to keep slavery language in the state constitution that currently makes it possible to force prisoners to perform unpaid labor. FSRN’s Hannah Leigh Myers reports from Denver.
From the State Correctional Institution at Mahanoy, Pennsylvania – Mumia Abu Jamal sent this commentary on the election results.
After Donald Trump’s surprise win, many analysts have been picking apart data sets to attribute the electoral victory to a specific group. Much has been said about the rural working class vote, or of the electoral votes in the Rust Belt states and how white women voted more heavily in favor of a man facing multiple accusations of sexual assault than for the first major-ticket female presidential candidate.
But drilling down deeper, exit polling shows that self-described Evangelical or ‘born again’ Christians made up one of the strongest voting blocks in Trump’s favor. And within that demographic are adherents to an expanding political ideology known as Dominion Theology or Dominionism. FSRN’s Shannon Young spoke with Frederick Clarkson, Senior Fellow at Political Research Associates, a progressive, social justice think tank in Somerville, Massachusetts.
One example of a country that swiftly shifted from a secular government to an outright theocracy is Iran.
Less than four decades ago, its social norms were among the most liberal in the region, until Islamic theocrats rode a wave of revolutionary sentiment into power.
Even many staunch opponents of the overthrown government were taken by surprise when Iran was put under strict religious rule, enforced by a morality police and harsh punishments for activities that are commonplace in the West. FSRN’s Garegin Khumaryan takes a look at one way everyday Iranians resist…in neighboring Armenia.