I keep seeing this float around:
Bill Maher (@billmaher) November 12, 2016
I think this is a terrible idea. At the very core of our country, we are a federalist nation. That is, we are supposed to have strong state governments that are stitched together by a single governing body. Now, we can argue that we’ve continued to let this principle erode over our country’s lifespan, but I would argue that today we are seeing just how costly of a mistake that could become.
The point of the Electoral College is summed up here (we should not overlook that slavery also played a role too2):
Andrew Crow (@AndrewCrow) November 12, 2016
To reject the Electoral College is to reject the very founding principles of the Constitution. The Electoral College serves a similar purpose as jury nullification: it provides the people the ability to fix the outcome when something is not right. Here are some examples of it working: http://niagarafallsreporter.com/Stories/2013/Jul9/Examples.html.
Also, people talk about the voting power of the states. This comes from the balance of not having small states overwhelmed by larger states as each state gets the number of representatives plus the number of senators. So smaller states will obviously have their senate weight count more. Here’s a look at what that might look like with out election:
In other words: Clinton still loses. It also shows that California, Florida, New York, and Texas are the only states that would gain four or more Electoral College votes. So maybe it’s simply time to readjust the allocation again.
Now, people say that Clinton will win the popular vote by a “huge margin”1. I guess I just don’t find 1.5% of the population warrant the usage of “huge margin”. Also, I simply don’t buy the assumption that Clinton would still come out on top of the popular vote if those were the rules going into the election. It’s easy to say if we changed the rules now, she’d win, but that completely negates the strategy of the GOP this entire election. They knew they did not need the popular vote to win, so why go after it?
Until December 19th, there is still a potential recourse. There are many dangers with Trump that are outside of the typical Democrat vs. Republican policy arguments. I won’t get into those now. However, if you actually try to repeal the Electoral College, you remove the States last recourse at stopping an election outcome like this.
Here’s hoping they do.
- New York Times, Clinton’s Substantial Popular-Vote Win: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/11/opinion/clintons-substantial-popular-vote-win.html?_r=0 ↩
- Times, The Troubling Reason the Electoral College Exists: http://time.com/4558510/electoral-college-history-slavery/ ↩