In modern times, the value of the electoral college began to be questioned in the aftermath of Bush v. Gore. The ensuing eight years did little to deter the increasing clamor for a direct popular vote. Now after another democratic loss in the electoral college but thin marginal victory in the popular vote. We must scroll past statuses, op-eds, and other think pieces on how America is robbed of it’s true voice.
They sound no different than Trump leading up to the election. The notion that voting is broken is wrong. The electoral college exists much like the Senate: as a population equalizer to ensure no one population center silences others nationally. The democrat’s strategy of focusing on urban centers and expecting the rural areas to not vote or just to repeat the votes of their fathers. As much as I read about liberals and progressives wanting to listen more. I still hear the same cracks about the small town across the city line whether in LA or Harrisburg. No one chooses to be poor, and poverty changes a person.
Back to the abolition of the electoral college. Can we imagine our democracy without it for a moment? Every vote is still being counted as I write this with Clinton expected to finish a few million a head or a percentage point of the total vote. While we wait a week as a nation for a final count. Nothing would matter because a vicious recount would commence immediately after. With campaign surrogates terrorizing the volunteers trying to do it right. Every election could end in the Supreme Court like 2000. In short, a direct vote would be time consuming and confrontational which in turn erodes faith in the institution.
I still sometimes forget for a minute the truth of Tuesday and when it comes back 60 seconds later I lose my breath for a moment. Yet, to fundamentally change our union or nation because we lost sets a dangerous precedent. What else will we sacrifice to avoid the hard truths that come with a democracy.
Much like climate change, Trump is an inconvenient truth that there is an America between New York and Los Angeles. They aren’t alive to be the butt of jokes and servants to the American elite, an increasingly entrenched class wishing to become an European aristocracy. His support is not blind, they expect better jobs to come back nationwide and if he fails, we must be there to take their torch in 2018. To represent the wide electorate’s hopes and dreams. And when we do like in 2006 and 2008, we can achieve what is required.