One More Voice Calling For The End Of The Electoral College
by Carl Kruse
For whatever reasons it was established way back when, and whatever benefits it might have today, that the Electoral College in the U.S. contravenes the will of the people is a great blow to Democracy.
The winner of the votes in any election should win.
If the Electoral College contravenes this, as it has done in two of the last five U.S. elections, then it’s time for the Electoral College to go. Fairness calls for it.
The benefit argued for the Electoral College today: smaller states will not be forgotten by candidates who in theory would only target large population centers because that is where all the votes are. But, it’s a complete failure in this regard. Because of modern U.S. demographics — as opposed to those in 1787 when the Electoral College was instituted — many states vote predictably- for example, California and New York always vote Democratic, Texas and Utah always vote Republican, and so forth. What this means is that every U.S. election comes down to the SWING STATES – those states that are not predictable, such as Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and a few others. What we now see today is a tyranny of the swing state. California and Texas, the two largest and arguably most important states in the USA, receive precisely zero presidential visits or attention, while the 50,000 residents of Cayuga County, Ohio are showered with money and visits. Does this make sense?
By the way, not only are the big states short-changed by the Electoral College, the small ones, which the Electoral College was designed to shelter get screwed as well. You see, few small or rural areas get attention either- Montana, Alabama, the Dakotas, Idaho, Alabama, Mississippi. They get nothing also. So who gets attention? Only the swing states. Insanity, And why? Because of the Electoral College.
Why would a politician campaign anywhere where the vote of that state was predictable? Why would either side waste time in California? Or New York? Or Alabama? Or in any of the states where they had no chance? They wouldn’t. And they don’t. Because of the Electoral College.
And so the fate of the entire nation is often held in check by benighted areas of Ohio or Florida all because of the Electoral College.
This institution was hatched in 1787. Back then there were 13 states. And these included New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Delaware — today some of the smallest (the smallest?) in the union. There was slavery. A black person was legally counted as 3/5 of a person. Women could not vote. And in 1787 the USA did not even have a president. George Washington was voted in on 1789. We are in 2016. A few things have changed since 1787. Let’s change too.
UPDATED: 4 December 2020. I found Kevin’s M. Kruse take right on target here.