There’s a petition floating around that has a ton of signatures on it, demanding the Electoral College certify the results of the election in Hillary Clinton’s favor because she won the popular vote. As much as I see where they’re coming from, I’m not in favor of that. Don’t change the rules ex post facto if you lose. But what I am a mega fan of? Abolishing the idiotic Electoral College altogether.
The office of the presidency does not represent one singular state, territory or region. It is a position of aggregation of power anyway, and should be accountable to all 50 states. Not just the ones it carried in the election. That’s why it would make utter logical sense to make it a position that’s accountable to every state, not just the ones he calculated he had to win in order to be president. In fact, when I hear people cry about the poor rural voters who’d lose out if we abolished the Electoral College I laugh pretty hard since right now California with its sixth largest economy in the world and millions more people than live in most other states just had our preference negated and no one ever, ever, ever campaigns out here; they just raise funds.
If EVERY vote counts then you still need to campaign everywhere you can pick up votes. On aggregate there are still plenty of votes in rural areas that they’d want. I mean, hi, the rust belt just a few days ago proved that. It’s very telling that the status quo movement has had to rely on arcane bullshit and NOT winning the popular vote to reclaim power. What does that say about your movement if you “win” by not actually having more people think you should win?
How are their votes meaningless if one person gets one vote that’s weighted the same? That really doesn’t add up to me, no pun intended.
So you can spare me the histrionics over screwing the farmers. Candidates would still be inspired to campaign for them since their votes matter just the same. It’s not like Los Angeles or Manhattan are so large themselves that they could swamp out every tiny state. But again, the presidency isn’t about representing any one state. I get why we have proportional representation in Congress. The House and Senate specifically are positions that represent each state’s interests, that’s why state elections are held to name Senators and members of the House. But the presidency is supposed to serve the nation as a whole.
What better time to fix the electoral system we use than after we see it fuck up twice in less than twenty years? Why in the hell should the country not get the president that more of its citizens want? At the end of the day, that’s the thing that keeps gnawing at me about the Electoral College. It’s all well and good when it doesn’t have to counteract the popular vote, but there is literally no argument you could make that Trump was the preference of more voters. He simply wasn’t, and that’s born out by the vote counts.
Again, not that I’m advocating throwing out this year’s election. He won, and he won as fair and square as you can in our current system. He should get to enjoy his victory. I’m just saying that at this point, clearly, we’ve seen that it’s possible to put people in office who probably shouldn’t be there based on an arcane, anti-democratic legal mechanism.
The Electoral College has now cost the country the president it clearly desired in two of the five elections we’ve held this century. In fact, in a country so heavily divided, it makes far, far more sense to say that whomever gets the plurality of votes should be the winner. This is common sense, and if you think clinging to a bullshit rule gives you a mandate, you’re sad and pathetic.
Thanks, white elitist douchebags who founded this country for not trusting the plebs enough to handle this decision…while creating the system that gave us Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump.
There’s a video from Prager University — which is just conservative talkshow host Dennis Prager’s organization and not real historians — that says we need the Electoral College to prevent voter fraud because it’s easier to cheat with it. But um, what? How does it make it easier or enable it if every other protection against voter fraud is in place? Seriously, the votes are already being cast and certified by the same boards using the same exact methodology. All eliminating the Electoral College does is change is what we do with the raw vote counts afterward.
The argument that it would dissuade people from campaigning in smaller areas also makes no sense to me. If you’re in a race for every vote, you try to hit as many voters as you can. And while L.A. and Manhattan have a ton of people in them, there are still lots and lots more people in the rural areas on aggregate. The popular vote in an election for a position that is responsible to all 50 states is everyone’s voice, no matter where you live. One voice, one vote. We have a House and Senate so we can vote on their geographical interests.
So how about this for a compromise, since we all know how badly needed those are going to be the next few years?
I promise that I will recognize every Electoral College-only victory as legitimate and fine as long as you admit more people didn’t want your candidate. I never want to hear that you have a mandate, or that this country is yours, or any stupid shit like that. If your guy or gal gets in on a technicality, you can eat shit if you think that means your candidate was the voters’ favored choice. In other words, we can all admit reality, or you can pretend your candidate won in unanimously and I can call you a delusional fool.
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.