Voters need to go to college
The so-called “National Popular Vote” organization might appear to be a grassroots movement, but their tactics belie a well-funded effort to undermine a key constitutional tenet- the Electoral College. Perhaps more dangerous, however, is the protection of the rights of the minority and the political voice given to rural America that our current construct of the Electoral College insures would disappear.
There is obviously a clear attempt-and one that is being paid for-to get the populous to accept what is, in reality, a major constitutional change by stealth. It sounds good to most people, doesn’t it? After all, shouldn’t the candidate who gets the most votes for Presidnet win? Isn’t that how it is supposed to work in a democracy? Perhaps it might be, except that the United States of America is not, and was never intended to be, a democracy. We do not pledge allegiance to the “democracy for which it stands,” nor do we have any patriotic song called the “Battle Hymn of the Democracy.” Oh, Oatney, aren’t you just playing with semantics, you may say, aren’t a republic and a democracy the same thing.” They are not the same thing-at least not according to our founders-and they placed certain checks within our constitution to try and insure that we would not descend into a democracy.
How presidential electors are apportioned is always a matter for the States to decide, but more importantly, the present system allows for the possibility that the people within their States can choose a President who doesn’t win the popular vote. The winner in the Electoral College does win the popular vote most of the time, but it is presently possible for certain States to align together to insure that their candidate is chosen-there is presently a way to put a check on the “tyranny of the majority” if need be, so that rural America has a united voice if they vote as a block. If the National Popular Vote scheme is adopted, that check-and-balance within our system as it presently exists would disappear.
Giving way to popular sentiment is usually a good thing, but in a “complex republic” of the kind that the Founding Fathers created, there must be a way to check the will of the majority within the machinations of government-the Electoral College is that way as we have it today. National Popular Vote would permantly undermine this key protection of minority power and rural America.
If the current construct of the Electoral College fades into history, it will take with it much of the rural vote in this country, and the political influence of smaller States will severely and permanently wane.