Oh, you thought we’d stop talking about the Electoral College eventually? Well, let’s put it this way: If you just got a red hot, jagged-edged dildo shoved up your ass, would you ever stop talking about it? And would you keep talking about the lube that was used to more easily glide said dildo into sphincter? Well, Donald Trump is our national dildo, and the Electoral College is the lube, so there you have it.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the Electoral College lately. In high school they taught us that it might seem odd that a president could not have the popular support of the majority of citizens but still win, but that it was so rare that it’s really nothing to worry about. Jump-cut to 2000. I actually voted for Dubya (mea culpa, I was still deprogramming my super-conservative upbringing), but I was one of those Bush voters that very early on turned on him, when it was made so obvious what a puppet he was for the military industrial complex. Once the Iraq War went tits up and the facts of that debacle were lain bare, I had no choice but to think of the Electoral College as an antiquated, antidemocratic mechanism that should be rightfully binned.
Then, though, Obama won two elections by convincing margins both in raw vote count and in the Electoral College. So maybe we all just got lulled into a sense of comfort with the Electoral College again. Then the blue wall collapsed when the DNC went absolutely tone deaf, and the next thing you know, by a margin of about 80,000 people in key battleground states Trump was victorious, and once again it was a Republican sliding into power without the consent of the most amount of people.
Over the past few weeks, pitched arguments have been made for and against the Electoral College. But in the end, it’s usually the howls and wails of the rural voters insisting without it they’d be disenfranchised that gets the most air play. How could those mean ol’ coastal areas just run roughshod over rural voters and dominate them? We need the Electoral College to preserve the rural votes!
Of course, what that necessarily means is that instead the areas that have the most people — you know, the people who are actually voting and not the “states” or some high-minded bullshit? — are being trampled by the lesser populated areas. If you’re in a car with five people, and three people want to go to Taco Bell, and two people want to run the car off a cliff and sing gleefully while you plummet to your deaths, who should get their way? The most fair way invented to date is to have the votes counted, and the one with the most votes wins. But if that car you’re in uses the Electoral College, and those two passengers with death wishes are in rural areas, well, you’re probably headed over the cliff my friend.
But the thing about the Electoral College is that it’s so fucking flawed it disenfranchises and minimizes people within the red and blue states themselves. The very terms “red state” and “blue state” minimize the voting minorities in the states. Sure, a state like Alabama or Mississippi may be heavily tilted to the Trump side of things, but he didn’t win unanimously. Therefore, this insane notion that the country is now being run by all the salt of the Earth farmer types in rural areas, which went 100% for Trump is laughable. It’s dangerously laughable, really.
The false narrative out of this election is that the Republicans were swept into power by a tidal wave of popular support. That’s not even remotely true. Trump did make some gains on Romney’s vote total, but he still fucking lost the popular vote. He’s still going to be the least popularly elected president of all time. The Republicans weren’t swept into power. They lucked into it. If the founders hadn’t been elitist, slavery apologist assholes, the Electoral College wouldn’t exist.
If you’re a Democrat living in Alabama, or a Republican living in California, you are immediately discounted as soon as the votes are in. If the argument for the Electoral College is that it protects the little guy from being trampled on, the argument fails. The minority is kind of always trampled on in any election, considering they’re the losers, but if you’re a Republican in California, your party’s candidates are only going to come talk to you to get you to cut them a check, and that’s it. The Electoral College has helped keep states more relevant than they really are, ultimately.
I keep coming back to California because that’s where I live. But consider this — the sixth largest economy in the world is here. It’s not just a bunch of people who live here, a ton of our country’s economic power comes from this state. Don’t tell me our votes shouldn’t count as much as votes in states that basically depend on our economy being robust so they can get an extra slice of the federal pie. That’s bullshit of a variety not worth really addressing, except we have to because the Electoral College is still a thing.
If the Republicans had lost two close presidential elections since 2000 thanks to the Electoral College, it’d be on its way out the door. It’s literally the only thing that has kept them within striking distance of the White House for the last 25 years or more. It’s antiquated, and it has to go.
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.