Rather than earnestly address the reasons Hillary Clinton lost the game she was playing, some in the Democratic Party are now simply trying to change the rules.
Following a series of creeds trying to tie the Electoral College to slavery in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory, multiple news outlets began reporting Tuesday that Clinton’s lead in the national popular vote has since passed the 1 million mark, adding to the furor of those who wish to see the republican institution of the Electoral College abolished in favor of a direct democratic vote.
On Tuesday, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. (F, 4%) introduced a bill to abolish the Electoral College, calling it “an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society.”
"In my lifetime, I have seen two elections where the winner of the general election did not win the popular vote," reads a statement from Sen. Boxer. “One person, one vote!"
Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., (F, 2%) concurred with Boxer on the Senate floor, saying that he’s “not seen anything like [what] we're seeing today in America. A man who lost the popular vote by 2 million votes is now president-elect.”
This won’t happen. This shouldn’t happen. Ever.
Those upset by last week’s results can continue to clamor that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote all they like but this is nothing more than political pandering to, and by, disaffected voters.
Switching to a popular vote would require a constitutional amendment. In order to amend the Constitution, in its current form, the proposed bill would need the support of two-thirds of both chambers of Congress, and then be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures.
Good luck with that.
Our system of government is a republic, one where the concerns of Manhattan, Chicago, and L.A. County do not get to railroad those of Kansas, Wisconsin, Wyoming, or Indiana.
Even in the event of a filibuster-proof Democrat majority in the Senate and a 292 majority in the House, 75 percent of the states of this Union would never go for something that would disenfranchise their citizens to such a degree. (Alternatively, there is the yet-realized national convention for constitutional amendments, as well.)
Were the Electoral College be abolished, the only relevant states, nay, counties, whose voices would be heard at all would be those with dense populations. The concerns of our fellow citizens would be an afterthought behind the demands of the Acela corridor, California coast, Chicago, Seattle, and a handful of other urban locales. States without those population hubs need not apply, the concerns of their citizens need not be considered.
It makes complete sense that a California senator introduced the measure. Should it pass, her constituents would have a ridiculously lopsided voice in the way the rest of the 49 states are governed.
Put simply, the Electoral College is no less relevant in the 21st century than is the freedom of the press in the age of the 24-hour news cycle. This recent effort to change presidential elections is nothing short of a desperate messaging bill that would never pass, precisely for the reasons it exists.
Benjamin Franklin once famously told his fellow citizens in Philadelphia that America had “a Republic … if you can keep it.” The Electoral College is one of the means by which we do so. Senator Barbara Boxer calls the practice a “disaster for democracy,” and there is some merit to what she says. But we do not have a democracy.
Our system of government is a republic, one where the concerns of Manhattan, Chicago, and L.A. County do not get to railroad those of Kansas, Wisconsin, Wyoming, or Indiana. The Electoral College ensures that our commander in chief is responsive to the needs of the whole, not a privileged few population hubs. One where the votes of the rancher in Montana and the factory worker in Michigan are not railroaded by the cabals of college-educated elites on our coasts.
Ours is representative government, not mob rule.
Those upset by 2016’s results certainly have a very sympathetic base going forward. But again: Now is the time for Democrats to take a serious look in the mirror about why they lost (the Washington Examiner has some sound thoughts on the subject, as does CR’s Rob Eno) — not move the goal posts.
- This one state proves why the electoral college exists
- Dear dejected Hillary supporters, stop trying to make the electoral college about slavery
- To truly understand what happened in 2016, Northeast liberals should visit the rest of the country
Nate Madden is a Staff Writer for Conservative Review, focusing on religious freedom, jihadism, and the judiciary. He previously served as the Director of Policy Relations for the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative. A Publius Fellow, John Jay Fellow, Citadel Parliamentary Fellow and National Journalism Center alumnus, Nate’s writing has previously appeared in several religious and news publications. Follow him @NateMadden_IV.