Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Electoral College is ridiculous?

This New York Times editorial argues that the Electoral College should be abolished: "It’s a ridiculous setup, which thwarts the will of the majority, distorts presidential campaigning and has the potential to produce a true constitutional crisis. There should be a bipartisan movement for direct election of the president." And: "The majority does not rule and every vote is not equal - those are reasons enough for scrapping the system." And then: "And there is no interest higher than making every vote count."

Now, I don’t have the time--or the inclination--at the moment to go into this silliness, besides, I already have here and
so has the late Martin Diamond, as well as Judith Best, and others. What is noteworthy here is that the Times, also known as the mouthpiece of the Kerry campaign, is calling for it now. Why now? It is ignorant to talk about a coming constitutional "crisis" (there wasn’t one in 2000, for example), but even dangerous to talk about the small states being overepresented, or that the Electoral College thwarts the will of the majority. And it is just plain silly to say, as the Times does, that the College "distorts prsidential campaigning."
What forces these silly reflections on the deep minds of the Times editorial board? Kerry’s stalled campaign, that’s what. Or, as Mark Steyn so clearly argues in a piece across the pond, it turns out that Bush is a great poker player: a good poker player encourages his opponent to put all his chips in a losing hand. This is what Bush has done to Kerry. And Bush is now holding all the aces. Why now? Desperation combined with some foresight. After Kerry loses, as the Times thinks because he--it would seem--cannot win in a number of battleground states (read small states) the whole kit-and-caboodle has to re-thought for the next election. That may be the only chance for victory in the future, re-writing the Constitution and its core elements like federalism. Panic time. This will be fun.

Discussions - 3 Comments

Doesn’t surprise at all - the Times would like a system where a Democrat could try to run up big majorities in the Northeast & California & then hold on everywhere else.

Thing is, this is the Presidency of the United States we’re talking about, not the "President of New England & La La Land."

Not only is the Electoral College appropriate, but it may be time to tighten election laws as it is. There are too many uneducated people who fall for the first shiny candidate that is glorified by the media. In addition to falling for the agenda forwarded by the media. It may fun, Professor Schramm, but it is also getting scary.

This election is probably as important as 2000. Not only from the perspective of the war on terrorism, but on future political appointments (Supreme Court) and the direction our country is headed.

BradDad has boiled it down very nicely. Without the electoral college, the country would have had major revolution decades ago. The temptation (no, the necessity) to pander to the concentrated population areas would leave the heartland disenfranchised, and ripe for revolt.
Just another example of the amazing foresight of the founding fathers. A concept that was developed to solve a logistical problem turns out to have been the right thing for very different reasons 200 years later.

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