Ever since the last election and the fiasco in Florida where we discovered that many people are too stupid to punch a hole in a card with a provided stylus, the Dems have been whining, moaning and gnashing their teeth with the claim that the election was STOLEN because Gore got the “popular vote”. Well….tough titty. The popular vote does not matter, should not matter nor has it ever mattered in National Elections (note emphasis on National). “Well isn’t that the democratic (small d) way to have every vote count?” you may ask. It is…. if we are voting on a local or State level for the Governor, School Board or Prom Queen.
Here’s the news folks. We don’t live in a Democracy. We have a Federation of States or a Representative Republic. We have this for a very good reason. The reason is buried in history. You know? That third period class in Junior High.
The real problem with the current whining seems to be that the Democrats never attended High School Civics, or they slept through the course. Most of the current whiners attended school in the sixties. You know the old saying: If you can remember the 60’s you weren’t really there. So, how about a refresher course? Think about the name of our country, The United States of America. Let’s all get in the Wayback Machine with Professor Peabody and Sherman, to the Revolutionary War.
Each of the 13 colonies was an individual and autonomous state. They had some common goals, but operated independently in their own interests, had their own armies and governments. After the defeat of the British it was not clearly decided that the 13 separate entities would really combine. It was only the brilliant plan devised by the framers of the Constitution that persuaded the Colonies to combine. There needed to be a reason to submit to joining and losing autonomy. By making it assured that all states would receive an equal voice (despite the disparity in geographic size or population size) with the establishment of the Senate, House of Representatives and the Electoral College system, the States were persuaded to unite. New States that were added were done so only by the decision of the people of each State. They could have refused to become States, just as Puerto Rico and Guam have declined to become States. And the States have the right to change their minds and secede from the united status, as we well know from the Civil War and recent events in Hawaii.
What holds us together is the knowledge that a small (population) State such as Wyoming, can have just as strong a voice in government as a more populated State such as Ohio. If the Electoral College were to be dissolved the resulting chaos and dissent would make the Civil War look like a walk in the park.
Now California has introduced a bill to circumvent the Electoral College and the Constitution of the United States "The proposed “Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote” in an interstate compact. The proposed interstate compact implements nationwide popular election of the President by having states agree to jointly award all of their electoral votes to the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia."
If we only counted the “popular vote” then every National Election would be decided by California, New York and a handful of other heavily populated States. How discouraging would that be for the rest of us who may live in the less populated areas? Talk about your vote not counting. What would be the incentive to even belong to the United States much less vote? When we lose control of our own lives, and decisions are made for us by strangers in New York or Los Angeles, who wouldn’t want to rebel or secede from that tyranny?
The same situation exists in California where the voters in San Francisco and Los Angeles override the desires and needs of the rest of the State. There have been serious attempts to seceed from California. The State of Jefferson is a movement and a dream that keeps returning. The secession almost suceeded but for WWII. Every few years the topic comes up again. Especially when bone headed and restrictive laws that affect the people of Jefferson State are passed by a majority of voters who have no connection with us or even care that we exist. How much worse do you think it would be when year after year the majority of Red States voters are stomped on by the masses of voters who live in the more poplulated Blue States and who have no desire to do anything but "fly over" places like Kansas, Iowa and South Dakota?
Update 6-1-06 Link to IBD Editorial with similar ideas on the Electoral College