In Defense of the Electoral College
There is no shortage of issues upon which Republicans and Democrats can respectfully disagree. We’re silly people sometimes though, and respect seems to come at quite a cost. There are a handful of issues, however, on which Democrats are so profoundly and dangerously wrong that I find myself incapable of empathy.
Beto O’Rourke, Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and more have come out for eliminating the Electoral College. This is an unequivocal deal-breaker for me. It seems one of the only Democrats with any sense is the anti-establishment progressive, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who isn’t completely ready to pull the plug on one of the founding safeguards of our Republic.
“But Gabbard seemed to jab at fellow Democrats, saying, “I think it’s unfortunate that too often these calls for changes come about by the side that has lost or suffered as a result of the Electoral College.”
Before laying out my defense of the Electoral College, let us first take a look at their logic for its retirement.
One Person, One Vote
Democrats feel that the Electoral College is anti-democratic because it does not give everyone an equal vote in the election of a US President. But this isn’t an argument. It’s a fact. Secretary Clinton received 65,853,516 votes (48.18%) and President Trump received 62,984,825 votes (46.09%). More Americans didn’t want Donald Trump to be President than didn’t want Hillary Clinton to be President, and yet Donald Trump became President nonetheless.
And this upsets some people.
Democrats believe that a President should be elected “by the people,” not by electors sanctioned by each of the fifty states in accordance with a method of selection of their choosing.
There is nothing morally wrong about the position they have chosen to take. There is nothing logically wrong with their conclusion, given the premises stated above. However, their position remains remarkably ignorant and dangerous for all that.
We do not live in a Democracy and no one in their right mind would ever want to live in a democracy. Democracies are wildly unstable, are subject to prejudice and mob rule, and lead to massive centralization. The US Constitution, despite being merely a piece of paper, has preserved our rights for centuries. We are a Republic of sovereign States. Our State governments are supposed to be the primary establishments of power.
According to the 10th Amendment, anything unaddressed by the US Constitution, any power not specifically assigned to the federal government, rests with the States and with We the People! That’s called liberty.
One Person, One Vote ignores that fact that, on your own, you have very little access to your feral federal representatives. If you live in Spokane, WA, then you live 2,438 miles from Washington D.C. If you live in Anchorage, AK, then you live 4,270 miles from Washington D.C.
Do you really believe that what takes place in Washington D.C. will be representative of your wishes simply because your one vote directly counted toward the election of a President? 40.14 million people live in the great State of California. 4.5 million voted for Donald Trump. 8.7 million voted for Hillary Clinton. 66,101 voted for Gloria La Riva. What does this all mean?
Not a thing.
Regionally, there are many different economies, different cultures, different social mores and pressures. Laws and governments should reflect those differences. State representatives are more accessible than federal ones. County and City representatives are the most accessible of all. Your “democratic” power is always greater the closer to home your representatives are.
People can smoke pot in Colorado, but not in Virginia. I think this makes Virginia kind of a silly place to be honest, but there you go. In Mississippi, you can’t kill babies with heartbeats. In New York, you can kill babies so long as they can miraculously survive any number of sacred personal decisions made by mothers and their medical consiglieres. Different values, different results. Everyone isn’t forced to live under the direction of a single mob, a single majority, a single democracy.
My point is that the federal government does not exist to represent us individually or in mobs. The Federal Government exists to represent the 50 States and to arbitrate amongst them. The State Governments are our governments and the Federal Government is theirs. The worst mistake the United States ever made was ratifying the 17th Amendment, which turned the Senate over to the popular vote of the people. The House of Representatives is The People’s House. The Senate was meant to represent the will of the State governments.
Power to The People
I believe in the power of the American People and the sovereignty of the individual (our nation’s smallest minority.)
Here’s five reasons why popular vote elections are a bad idea in a Republic.
1. You know less about what goes on in Washington D.C. than you think. You probably vote on issues like healthcare, abortion, war and peace, taxes, education, and security. Yet, the vast amount of education funding comes from local property taxes and state taxes. Your state, county, and city police are the folks that help you and protect you – not the federal government. States are forced to cut funding to schools and infrastructure in order to finance the unfunded liabilities imposed on them by the federal government. You cast your vote for people because you like them, but they don’t care about you. You aren’t in their office’s day in and day out. You aren’t paying their bills are dinner. Who is? Billionaire and Millionaire financed lobbyists, corporations, PACs, and Wall Street types. Doesn’t matter who it is, because it isn’t you. I’ve been there and I haven’t seen you.
2. Elections are more about what we’re afraid of than what we’re passionate about. When the federal government continues to act outside of its Constitutional Authority, people feel the pressure. They want to make sure their people are in control. Republicans were just as petrified that their worlds would come crashing down around their heads under President Obama as Democrats are under President Trump.
3. Do you really want The People to have power? Fight for more local and statewide control. If folks in Colorado want to smoke pot and folks in Mississippi want to protect people with heartbeats, let them. No one should stop them. Colorado’s values aren’t Mississippi’s values; and that’s a good thing! We’re a pretty damn big country with lots of different people. Should folks from Alabama make laws regarding the social and economic issues facing folks in Massachusetts? Obviously not. We fought a Civil War over that stuff.
4. NYC boasts 8.5 million people. L.A. 4 million people. Chicago 2.7 million people. Houston 2.3 million people. Philadelphia 1.7 million people. Phoenix 1.5 million people. Wyoming boasts 568,000 people. Should the folks in Wyoming surrender their values, their economies, their jobs, and their lives to the folks living in cities hundreds and thousands of miles away from them? Of course not.
5. If we care about “democracy,” then we must care, above all else, about the localization of government. Your voice, your values, and your vote matters a hell of a lot more in your town, your county, your city, and in your state than it ever will in your country. What if 51 percent of people decided that all abortions should be illegal, but you live in a state where 70 percent of people believe it should be ok? What if 51 percent of Americans believe that we should tax alcohol at 80 percent, but you live in a state that produces alcohol? What if 51 percent of Americans believe that homosexuality is evil, or that the NBA produces unfair racial demographics, or that Corey Stewart would make a great United States Senator? Just because it’s “democratic” doesn’t make it right. Just because it works in New York (or in the Confederacy), doesn’t mean that it makes sense in Texas. Just because it works in California, doesn’t make it right for Maryland.
I know and care about too many Democrats to believe that what they are really after is pure democracy. Why are they upset at the Electoral College? Because Trump won. I’m upset too. But I don’t blame the Electoral College. I blame evangelicals and populists and Fox News and CNN and MSNBC for giving him billions of dollars of free advertising. I blame ignorance, frustration, and despair. I blame social media. I blame an education system frightened of digging deep in their 8th grade civics classes and 12th grade government classes. I blame universities that inspire revolution with their censorship.
We can all point fingers.
We all do.
What we shouldn’t do is scuttle our Republic, our Constitution, and our way of life that has preserved our liberty for hundreds of years. We shouldn’t do that and we shouldn’t ever consider voting for Democrats until they back the hell off their insane assault on our country and Constitution. Period.