Another bad idea

From the land of dumb ideas come a really dumb idea.

Frothing House Democrats stung by 2016’s presidential defeat and yearning to turn this nation into a pure democracy – something loathed and feared by the Founders – have introduced legislation to kill off the Electoral College.

Nancy Pelosi had hardly stumbled through her speaker acceptance speech when Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., jumped up to offer a bill that would be a first step toward sinking this country into tyranny.

The Electoral College, ensconced in the U.S. Constitution, primarily was meant to protect the political minority’s rights and it hands states the power to elect presidents. Nowadays, it means protecting most of the nation’s states – including Alaska – from the hysterical excesses and whims of a few states with huge populations clustered in cities.

If the Electoral College were eliminated by eventual ratification of a constitutional amendment, as would be required, voters in Alaska and other states with small populations could just stay home on election day. The Founders designed the college to force presidential candidates to appeal to a wider swath of states to reach the magic 270 votes needed to win.

Liberals will tell you a president should be elected by a popular vote; that the Electoral College is obsolete; that Americans really, really, really want a pure democracy. Hogwash. Tyranny of the majority is still tyranny.

There are several reasons why Cohen’s legislation is bad. The college gives small states a voice in the electoral process. It helps to preserve federalism and our republic’s representative democracy.

The problem with Congress today is that there are no Hamiltons, no Jeffersons, no Madisons looking out for the people’s interests. Instead, we get politicians interested only in getting and clinging to power at the expense of our founding documents. Cohen’s legislation is case in point. Just another dumb idea from the land of dumb ideas.

Luckily, this one is not likely to go anyplace. Thirty-nine states would have to ratify any amendment and give up their power to elect presidents.

That ain’t likely.

 

 

3 Responses to Another bad idea

  1. Quincy January 4, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    I do not think you are entirely correct on this point. The electoral college was designed to allow delegates to the electoral college to decide the president. In other words, don’t let the low information voter go into the election booth and pull the lever for someone they are not adequately informed of. For better or worse (and probably worse) the Founding Father did not want votes in the hands of the common man. The form that the electoral college is today functions nothing like how the Founding Fathr envisioned, where average voters go to the polls in each state and the majority of votes to a various candidate give the electoral votes to than candidate. We should also look to the wiadkm than Trump said after he won the election in 2016. He said he would have been happy to compete on a popular vote basis and he believed that if his campaign had been geared towards that he still would have won. He said he wished he could have spoken to conservative voters in California but the electoral college presented an obstacle to this exercise.

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  2. Ray Metcalfe (with corrections) January 4, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    Amending the constitution to change the Electoral Collage will never happen because the small population states will never vote for a constitutional amendment that would diminish their influence on the presidential election. There is a fix however that would address the concerns expressed by those who wish to change it; a fix that Congress has the authority to implement without a constitutional amendment.

    Congress has the authority to outlaw the “winner take all” distribution of electoral votes that most states have adopted, thereby requiring all states to distribute their electoral votes proportional to the choices of their voters. Example: If voters in a state with fifty electoral votes gave 10% of their votes to a Green or Libertarian candidate, five of their electoral representatives could cast their votes for the candidate most aligned with their views when voting at the Electoral College, thereby restoring the original intent of the Electoral College while making it far less likely that the winner of the popular vote would not also be the obvious people’s choice. Example; if two conservative candidates each had 35% and a liberal candidate had 30%, the liberal candidate would cast their votes for the conservative candidate they found to be the least offensive. — If you doubt that such an act would bring us closer to the people’s preference, do the math with two candidates, then try it with three, four, or five candidates. That and creating a balance between small and large population states was the intent of the Electoral College.

    Ray Metcalfe

    Reply
  3. John J Kiernan January 4, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    Thanks for the wisdom of our founding fathers, we will not elect any Democratic Hitlers in America. That is why they gave us a Republican Democracy, rather than an outright Demon Democracy. Our constitution should be revered as a precious document of Freedom for ”We the People”. It is our USA Magna Carta.

    Reply

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