As regular as clockwork, the quadrennial conversation/complaints concerning the constitutional requirement of the Electoral College resurfaces. People of all intellectual levels (but predominantly of one political persuasion) seem opposed to the electoral process. Many do not or cannot comprehend the intention/purpose behind the Electoral College. Of those objectors who comprehend, it seems that their frustrations stem from their inability to control the White House at all times.
The least viable argument of the opposition is that the Electoral College is unfair. They argue that the popular vote (majority rule) is the only fair method. I contend that argument is not based in logic or fact.
Let’s look at inarguable, historical facts that point to the fairness of the Electoral College. The results of presidential elections from Franklin Roosevelt onward are revealing.
Since 1932, there have been 14 U.S. presidents. Interestingly, seven have run under the Democrat’s flag and seven under the Republican’s. Fair or unfair. Also, in that time, Republicans occupied the White House for 40 years and Democrats for 49 years. Fair or unfair? FDR’s 12 years of White House residence can account for the Democrat edge. Contrary to endless arguments made by the left, there is nothing in the election process of the Electoral College that can legitimately be labeled as unfair.
Before proceeding, may I suggest that proponents of electing a president via the popular vote look up the phrase “the tyranny of the majority.” The likelihood of tyranny against the masses resulting from use of the popular vote is an inherent weakness of majority rule. Look it up. Contemplate the possibilities.
In today’s United States, if the popular vote determined the occupant of the Oval Office, the selection would be made by the West Coast states, the northeastern states and a few of the frigid, upper midwest states. The remaining states (the majority) would be disenfranchised. Perhaps leftists find that fair.
I should pause here and briefly elaborate on how and why I’ve settled upon the word “leftist(s).”
I cannot call today’s opposition party “Democrats” because I remember real Democrats — Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Tip O’Neill and Sam Rayburn to name a few. Those people would not recognize today’s interlopers. I used “liberal” for a while, but over time that word developed negative connotations and leftists found it distasteful and dropped it. I deferred. Lately, they seem to prefer “progressive.” Because I find that word truly at odds with their actions and goals, I will not use it. I find it contradictory to who they are. That leaves me with “leftist.” Some of them march, loot and plunder, destroy and harm others as do third world leftists. Few leftists openly object to such activity. Leftists they shall remain unless a more appropriate sobriquet comes along.
A notable difference between leftists and Republicans is that Republicans have historically accepted the defeat of a presidential candidate. The same can be said of the real Democrats named above. Until the 2000 election, when Al Gore (the guy who claimed to have created the internet) lost, I cannot recall a defeated candidate (or supporters) crying and wailing over a defeat. Hillary Clinton and her supporters made Gore and his people look like rank amateurs. Remember? Many were unable to function. Schools granted excused absences to distraught students.
One thing of which to be cognizant. Should you encounter people who oppose the Electoral College, remember that they are often multifaceted. If they are against the college, it is not unlikely that they’ll be against the Second Amendment (the right to keep and bear arms) and even the First Amendment concerning free speech.
If you agree with them, no problemo. Should your opinions differ from theirs, today’s leftists can get angry. Many also advocate that the constitution is a “living/breathing document” subject to interpretation, but not its actual verbiage. Many such folks claim to know the “real intent” of the Founders.
Lastly, some leftists have attempted to circumvent the Electoral College by legislating the practice of assigning their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote — thus imposing majority rule. Here’s the flaw. Such legislation may well disenfranchise the citizens of that state. Their state’s vote will be dependent on the votes of the 50 several states. The possible result is that if a state’s majority voters are of one party and the national popular vote goes to the other, that state’s voters have lost their input. Good idea? A fair idea?
The leftist mantra that “every ballot must be counted” is both false and foolish. Think about that.
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Rick Blatchford writes from Mount Airy. His column appears every Tuesday. Reach him at email@example.com.