The Electoral College, Now More Than Ever

(Oleksii Arseniuk / Getty Images)

It is not a loophole – it is a bulwark.

Oborn must read at the end of the Washington postof editorial, “Abolish the electoral college”, before addressing the real reason PublishThe editors want to overthrow the long-standing constitutional institution. “Sir. The election of Trump was a sad event for the nation,” notes the Publish, “His re-election would have been a calamity.”

Maybe, maybe not. It is a question of partisan perspective. Those who are genuinely concerned about the future of American governance would call for strengthening the institutions that provide political stability, not destroying them. But when your concerns about “American democracy” are really just a euphemism for partisan power grabbers, you end up making a lot of sloppy arguments.


It is alarming that a candidate has come so close to winning by polling more than 5 million fewer votes than his opponent across the country. The electoral college, whatever virtues it may have had for the founding fathers, is no longer tenable for American democracy.

The fact that the electoral college does not align with the “popular vote” is not alarming, that’s the point. If the electoral college synchronized with the result of the national direct democratic vote counted in every election, it would not need to exist. It is not an escape, it is a bulwark.

Electoral College exists to broadcast the very thing Publish the demands are the most beneficial: the “dominant majority”, as James Madison put it. If majority rule is really still the best way to decide a question, then the Publish would be in favor of a simple majority of states capable of overturning the First Amendment or deciding on an abortion policy.

But if states still matter, then the “virtues” of the Electoral College are much stronger today, at a time when federalism is ignored and Americans are more likely to congregate in urban areas, than they are. was in the founding generation when Washington was largely helpless. It is one of the institutions that makes a “democracy” tenable in a truly diverse and sprawling nation.

At the most basic level, the Electoral College helps compel presidents to govern nationally rather than representing a handful of states. We saw this when Biden was forced to moderate his positions on fracking and police defounding because he had to appeal to those outside urban areas. If he is to be successful, Biden must rule popularly in various cultural and geographic areas – such as North Carolina, Wisconsin and Arizona, and not just California and New York.

Raising the score in large states gives fodder to partisan activists, but it is irrelevant. If Donald Trump had run in the national election, he might well have won it by spending all of his time in California and New York talking about things that matter to Californians and New Yorkers. The whole dynamic of the elections would be different. Our election is about winning states, not people.

the Publish inadvertently offers an example of how a very heavy election would damage the national interest:

But why should the Iowa biofuels lobby be listened to more than, say, the California artichoke lobby? Small states already have a disproportionate influence in our government because of the Senate, in which Wyoming’s less than 600,000 residents have as much representation as California’s 39.5 million. We see no particular reason why voters in purple states like Wisconsin should be valued more than voters in red states like Mississippi or blue states like Washington.

First of all, Wisconsin and California have exactly the same weight, because senators represent states, not gross amounts of people (maybe Washington post think states shouldn’t exist?). We learned this fact in college. Now, I have some radical ideas on how we could get rid of biofuel mandates and subsidies – as well as wind and solar goodies – and dispel this situation. But, as it stands, artichokes, almost exclusively a product of California in the United States, are a relatively minor crop. Corn, on the other hand, is the nation’s largest crop, grown in places like Iowa where there aren’t many people. Corn (even apart from biofuels) is much more important to us than artichokes. If California chose our national government, Publish he would have, the artichoke producers would be the ones who would have an inordinate weight simply by the luck of being in a state with a lot of people.

It should also be noted that the system Washington post wants nix has been the most stable in the world. A direct national poll would be a radical change, even by international standards. Most free nations do not have a democratic majority vote for their leaders. Parliamentary systems, for example, are not national polls. Between 1935 and 2017, the majority of British voters supported the party which formed a government only twice. Voters don’t even vote directly for the prime minister. In 2019, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “lost” the “popular vote”. By eliminating the electoral college, we are much more likely to trigger the creation of small parties that would prevent presidents from gaining a majority.

Of historical interest: Vladimir Putin was elected by direct national ballot.

I will spend the rest of my life emphasizing that presidents do not “win” or “lose” the popular vote – because there is no “popular vote”, there never was. , and that no one is fighting for it. Just today, Reuters informed us, “Trump’s open challenge to Biden’s victory in both popular vote and the electoral college seems to affect public confidence in American Democracy. The whole statement, from “popular vote” to “American democracy,” makes me cringe. It is this type of coverage that allows Washington post and other critiques of traditional constitutional governance to convince its audience that presidents are winning elections even when they actually “lose” them. This does not bode well for our future.

The Electoral College, Now More Than Ever

David Harsanyi is a senior writer for National review and the author of Freedom 1: A Gun Tour Through America’s Enduring History.