Earth Prime and the Electoral College

Earth Prime and the Electoral College

You know who complains that they can’t win because the game is rigged?  Losers.  – Frederik deBoer

If only we lived on Earth Prime, Hillary totally would have won.

If only she had won these three counties, these four states, if they hadn’t released those darn emails, if only people didn’t hate pantsuits so much, if only we lived in another dimension where Donald Trump had an evil goatee or a magical universe where unicorns had the right to vote, Hillary would have won.

If only we didn’t have an Electoral College, Hillary would have won.  Oh yeah.  Totally. That.  It is SO wrong and SO crooked, that Electoral College.  It was based on protecting SLAVE STATES!!  Abolish it right away!!!

This chain of thought takes magical thinking to a whole new level.

Firstly because this parallel universe we are envisioning assumes that things remain precisely the same up until election night, which they wouldn’tve.  The candidates would have run different campaigns, focused on different states, the voter breakdown would have been completely different.  People who didn’t turn out to vote may have, and others may have stayed home.  People who voted 3rd party or Harambe may not have done that.   It’s like losing a baseball game and then blaming it on not following the rules of cricket.  The assumption that Hillary would have won if not for the Electoral College is unproven and unverifiable and it is the pipe dream of silly people who watch too much Black Mirror (and if you know what that is, you probably voted for Hillary.)

But let’s set that aside to talk about the Electoral College vs. the popular vote.  A helpful breakdown of how the popular presidential vote broke down is here.   Do you notice how overwhelmingly divided this is and how geographically minuscule the pockets of Democratic voters truly were?  Does it seem right that people in New York City (and not all of NYC, please check out this breakdown demonstrating that parts of NYC went completely the other way ) is setting public policy for people in Billings and Cheyenne and a lot of neighborhoods in New York City and pretty much all of rural America?

Actually, I think it does seem right to them.  That’s the concerning thing.  The number of people who look at that map and think it is just and right that those enclaves are put in charge of everything all the time, because they are better and wiser than the rest of the nation.  That these same people are also unironically posting Hunger Games memes right now is a subject for consideration at a later time, perhaps.

These Blue Tribers prefer a very top heavy form of centralized Federal power in which their candidate becomes president and then hopefully with the help of a unified Congress and Supreme Court, enacts their grand vision of progressivism across the entire US.  But the rest of the country does.not.want.that.obviously.duh and just rejected the idea pretty overwhelmingly – regardless of population, geographically speaking, most of the country does not accept Clinton-style progressivism as the desirable policy of the United States and was willing to vote for a fucking lunatic to avoid it.

Whether or not you think this is right, it did happen, and the fact that it happened indicates that it’s going to be difficult to do away with the Electoral College.  It would require amending the US Constitution, first by proposals in Congress (unlikely for now), and then by approval by 3/4 of the states.   It is very, very, very unlikely that 3/4 of the states are going to do that, not only because it just kinda worked for them, but because it would negate a very important check and balance that the states hold and will ensure that the votes of the people of those states would no longer count.

But wait – they would still count, right?  In a popular vote, those votes would still be counted?  So it’s all fair.  In a way, yes, they would, but in another, much more accurate way, they wouldn’t.  I live in Washington State, and everything here is controlled by the large liberal population of Seattle.  My vote here in the Great Sagebrush Empire is meaningless.  I may as well not even bother to cast it for a Republican because the Democrats always win.  It’s useless.  I have little say over who my governor is, who my senators are, and over a lot of really bad referendums that get passed that make my state a worse place to live.  It’s taxation without representation all over again.

People who are calling for the electoral college to be dismantled, what you are really asking for is the disenfranchisement of a huge part of the country.   And you’re doing it at the same time as you push for a super strong Federal government that will enact your personal pet policies at the expense of the areas that you plan to disenfranchise.  It’s a dick move, ok??   You’re suggesting that rich people in Manhattan and the Los Angeles suburbs decide how someone in rural North Dakota or urban Detroit lives their life, giving them no say in who the President of the United States is.   Simply because there are more of you.

It isn’t right.  If you believe your own rhetoric at all, you have to admit it is not right.

But beyond all that, it’s stupid for you too.

You see, it very much remains to be seen if this is a last hurrah for American conservatism or the complete implosion of the left.  The demographics are shifting, it’s true, but the millennials will grow up, the Republicans may stop to decide catering to the Stoopidz and start making coherent pro-liberty arguments again, and the dogmatism and hypocrisy of the Democratic party may end up driving a lot of minority voters to the right (which in many cases, based on their values, is their natural home).   You lost because a LOT of people hate you – not only your policies but actually kind of you, personally – the arrogant, entitled people who think Lena Dunham’s tears mean anything at all whatsoever to like 98% of voters, very much including black, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Hispanic voters.  It is entirely possible that in the future, this tide of changing demographics you are relying on is indeed going to shift, and it’s going to shift against you.

In that case, the electoral college could be your only hope of ever regaining political power. The electoral college is a check and balance that prevents the the majority from stripping away from the minority.  Sometimes, yeah, it means that Wyoming seems to have a disproportional say in an election.  But another time it could mean that Vermont does.

Fun fact about the Electoral College – it has virtually always led to a transition of power instead of a consolidation of power.   It has NEVER kept an incumbent in office.  It’s not a tool of oppression, it’s not a tool of the party in power to stay in power indefinitely, it is a way for people who are possibly underrepresented in the population to still have some say in the direction the country is headed.  To want to flush that because your team didn’t win – it’s throwing out the baby with the bathwater.



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