How many times since Trump won have you been told by an angry, condescending, or churlish conservative to “stop whining” about the election because “there aren’t any participation trophies in life,” I’m wondering? Because I’ve heard it and read it a bunch of times, and I think it’s important to, right now, as we get ready to enter month two of the Breitbarian seige of the White House, to point out just how ironic that kind of thinking is.
The Electoral College is a participation trophy.
What else do you call it when the other team scores more points but you get a prize anyway? That’s right, you call it a participation trophy. You get something just for playing. So even though you couldn’t really win, even though when it comes to looking at contests from a purely points-based system, you lost and lost badly, you win! And the best part is that the Electoral College makes the presidency — the job where you get to control thousands of nuclear warheads — a participation trophy.
All this talk of “rural areas versus urban areas” is a distraction from the real issue here, which is simply, “What do more Americans want?” I get that we’re a constitutional republic. But the first person who can find me a dictionary definition of that phrase that explicitly prohibits direct democratic election of heads of state wins a prize. Because it ain’t there, Slappy. You can go looking for it, and you can raise your finger in the air and object when I tell you in 2017 it’s bone-chillingly stupid to let the idea of “equal state representation” in the one office that is already equally accountable to fifty states, but this whole notion that “Republic means you can’t have direct democracy” is a sham, made all the more evident when you see all the other constitutional republics in the world that directly elect their presidents without issue.
The Electoral College gives less popular ideas and people the insanely delusional notion that they are the ones that speak for all of America. But just stop and think about that for a second. How does that even remotely work? Here, let me make a visual demonstration for you.
So what Trump voters and Republicans want us to believe is that the bar all the way on the left represents “real” America, and even though it’s the shortest of all three, they of course deserve to get to run the country so that you know, we don’t have the “Tyranny of the Majority” running roughshod over those rural states. But those rural states, while they take up huge swaths of land, simply do not house the same number of Americans as the more densely populated states or cities within the states.
It’s not a very compelling argument that we should have to put up with an unqualified buffoon as president because white, elitist, land owning men in the 18th century knew their general populace wasn’t all that educated. I can certainly still argue that even dumb people have a right to vote, but despite what conservatives will assert as fact, the truth is that our educational systems are so much better than they were when the country was founded that I can assure you on many academic subjects, a C student today is every bit as competent as most of the founders were.
More popular ideas and people win in democracies. Period. That’s how it’s supposed to work, because that’s what makes the most sense. Otherwise, you have the tyranny of the minority. And we’re not talking about minorities in the same sense we talk about them when discussing affirmative action or race relations, but there are some parallels. Which is why I support the right of anyone to vote however they want to.
But just because you have a right to vote, that doesn’t mean you have a right to win, especially when you vote for the least popular candidate of all time. Well, that is of course unless you in the United States. Here, we reward the less popular ideas and people every so often, so as not to hurt their feelings.
You know, like the fragile little snowflakes, who can’t handle knowing they’re legitimately outnumbered, who voted for Trump.