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!

Advertisements

7 comments

  1. You are the biggest piece of trash ever. Dig a hole and bury yourself. You are the trashiest pathetic monster of a person to ever exist in the world. Please go away.

    Like

  2. In 2016, New York state and California Democrats together cast 9.7% of the total national popular vote.

    In total New York state and California cast 16% of the total national popular vote

    In total, Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania cast 18% of the total national popular vote.
    Trump won those states.

    The 6 million vote margin in California and New York wouldn’t have put Clinton over the top in the popular vote total without the additional 60 million votes she received in other states.

    In 2004, among the four largest states, the two largest Republican states (Texas and Florida) generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Bush, while the two largest Democratic states generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Kerry.

    New York state and California together cast 15.7% of the national popular vote in 2012.
    About 62% Democratic in CA, and 64% in NY.

    New York and California have 15.6% of Electoral College votes.

    Like

  3. Unable to agree on any particular method for selecting presidential electors, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method exclusively to the states in Article II, Section 1
    “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors….”
    The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.”

    Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, universal suffrage, and the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation’s first presidential election.

    In 1789, in the nation’s first election, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors by appointment by the legislature or by the governor and his cabinet, the people had no vote for President in most states, and in states where there was a popular vote, only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote, and only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all method to award electoral votes.

    The current winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes is not in the U.S. Constitution. It was not debated at the Constitutional Convention. It is not mentioned in the Federalist Papers. It was not the Founders’ choice. It was used by only three states in 1789, and all three of them repealed it by 1800. It is not entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all method. The winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes became dominant only in the 1830s, when most of the Founders had been dead for decades, after the states adopted it, one-by-one, in order to maximize the power of the party in power in each state.

    The constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding a state’s electoral votes.

    States have the responsibility and constitutional power to make all of their voters relevant in every presidential election and beyond. Now, 38 states, of all sizes, like New York, and their voters are politically irrelevant in presidential elections.

    Like

  4. The population of the top five cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia) is only 6% of the population of the United States.

    Voters in the biggest cities are almost exactly balanced out by rural areas in terms of population and partisan composition.

    16% of the U.S. population lives outside the nation’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Rural America has voted 60% Republican. None of the 10 most rural states matter now.

    16% of the U.S. population lives in the top 100 cities. They voted 63% Democratic in 2004.
    The population of the top 50 cities (going as far down as Arlington, TX) is only 15% of the population of the United States.

    Suburbs divide almost exactly equally between Republicans and Democrats.

    Like

  5. Being a constitutional republic does not mean we should not and cannot guarantee the election of the presidential candidate with the most popular votes. The candidate with the most votes wins in every other election in the country.

    Guaranteeing the election of the presidential candidate with the most popular votes and the majority of Electoral College votes (as the National Popular Vote bill would) would not make us a pure democracy.

    Pure democracy is a form of government in which people vote on all policy initiatives directly.

    Popular election of the chief executive does not determine whether a government is a republic or democracy.

    The presidential election system, using the 48 state winner-take-all method or district winner method of awarding electoral votes used by 2 states, that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers. It is the product of decades of change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by states of winner-take-all or district winner laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution

    The Constitution does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for how to award a state’s electoral votes

    Like

  6. New York has enacted the National Popular Vote bill.

    It is 61% of the way to guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency in 2020 to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by changing state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), without changing anything in the Constitution, using the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes.

    All voters would be valued equally in presidential elections, no matter where they live.
    Candidates, as in other elections, would allocate their time, money, polling, organizing, and ad buys roughly in proportion to the population

    Every vote, everywhere, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election.
    No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps of predictable outcomes.
    No more handful of ‘battleground’ states (where the two major political parties happen to have similar levels of support) where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 38+ predictable states, like New York, that have just been ‘spectators’ and ignored after the conventions.

    The bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes—270 of 538.
    All of the presidential electors from the enacting states will be supporters of the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC)—thereby guaranteeing that candidate with an Electoral College majority.

    The bill was approved this year by a unanimous bipartisan House committee vote in both Georgia (16 electoral votes) and Missouri (10).
    The bill has passed 34 state legislative chambers in 23 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 261 electoral votes.
    The bill has been enacted by 11 small, medium, and large jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the way to guaranteeing the presidency to the candidate with the most popular votes in the country

    NationalPopularVote

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s