Schroeder: Be thankful for the electoral college

BY BUDD SCHROEDER

It is time to look forward to the New Year with all its promises and surprises.  There will be a new administration that will be predictably controversial.  The prediction is based on the effect the election has had with the liberal media so far.  It is an understatement to say that they were disappointed that Donald Trump won.  Many liberals have been attempting to change the Constitution by getting rid of the Electoral College as the means of choosing the president.

The Founding Fathers were very wise in their design of how this is to be done.  We are not a democracy as some keep saying.  Benjamin Franklin, when asked what kind of government we had replied: “A republic, if you can keep it.”  It was designed to be a country run by laws, not men.

Some say the difference between a republic and a democracy is like the difference between a jury and a lynch mob.  The jurors must adhere to the laws, practice due process and come to a rational decision before a person can be hanged.  The lynch mob is a bunch of people who, by majority rule just hangs the accused person.  Yes, there is a big difference.

The Founding Fathers called this the United States of America where individuals lived in separate states that could make laws as long as the laws didn’t conflict with the Constitution.  They recognized that there could be differences between the urban and rural states regarding what sort of laws would be most productive. 

States can make their own tax laws and often the criminal justice system varies by states.  Some laws can be more restrictive in one state than others.  It is up to the people and legislators in those states to adjust the laws to the needs of the citizens who live there.  On the down side, some states have corrupt legislators who pass laws by whim and what the politicians decide what the people must do.

Some states are more densely populated than others and their philosophies are different.  What works in a small town may not be practical in a crowded community and vice versa. This is pretty much the reason for state’s rights.  The conservative philosophy is that the small government is the best government.  At least that is the way it is supposed to be.

If a person has a local problem it is usually more effective to deal with it on a local basis that to try to deal with it on a federal level.  It seems that the larger the government, the more inefficient it is and it takes much longer to even get to the problem much less than solve it.  The court systems are a good example of this.  Sometimes it takes years before a federal court can hear a case because of the rules and regulations that must be met for compliance.  It is also very expensive to do.

The Founding Fathers knew about power and how it can be abused.  The greater the power, the greater the chance it will be abused.  Albany is a great example of how this equation works.  The source of power is New York City.  Any law the politicians in the Big Apple want can get passed regardless of whether it is not advantageous to the citizens who reside outside the Five Burroughs.  Yet they have to abide by those laws. 

Power politics is very evident and Tammany Hall politics were the big example of what a party in power can do regardless of what is the will of the people.  Recent elections have shown how that works.  The weakness in this system is the apathy of many citizens who won’t bother to vote.  In the last gubernatorial election less than a third of the electorate showed up at the polls and New York City called the shots again.  When a political party has the majority, they have all the power.

The politics are so sophisticated that many election districts are gerrymandered so that the only change in who will be the representative is through the primary process.  There is even more of a chance for corruption because in some cases, fewer than twenty percent of the voters will make the choice.  It comes down to the old saying: “We get the government we deserve.” 

Since we place a high priority on freedom we don’t penalize people for not voting except that they have to live under a corrupt system caused by their refusal to meet their obligation to participate in the electoral process.  Those who come up with the most votes wins.  The party in power who motivates their people to vote gets the victory 

That’s where the Electoral College comes in.  It prevents the major urban cities from deciding who will be president at the expense of the rural states.  Generally speaking the big cities have the biggest concentration of people who live off the government and they generally vote Democrat. 

In the last election Hillary won more votes in the total, but was trounced in the Electoral College voting.  Her majority was in California and New York, so without the Electoral College those two states would have made the decision about who will be president of the nation.  The Founding Fathers had the right idea so the will of the people and the whole country is better served.

There will be griping and negative commentary by the losers.  That is to be expected, but it is ironic that right after the election, both parties called for unity and working together.  One has only to read the newspapers and watch the TV news to realize that the losers don’t subscribe to that idea.  They will be picking at the minutia to make points of why certain people should not be members of the cabinet.  Trump is picking people who have records of success and accomplishments.  That seems to annoy the liberals.  We shall see how they fare in getting approved by Congress and how they perform in their jobs.

What will be interesting to see in the near future is whether those celebrities and others who claimed that they will leave the United States if Trump wins actually leave.  If they do, will we miss them? This will be a very interesting year with many subjects for future columns.  In the meantime, Happy New Year!

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