A campaign to eliminate the Electoral College and “let the people elect the president,” is gaining steam. A group called “National Popular Vote Interstate Compact,” started in 2006, has won commitments from eleven states to award their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote.
These include, Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Massachusetts, California, New York, Hawaii and the District of Columbia. These states control 165 electoral votes. They only need states representing 105 more electoral votes to join and the Electoral College will be a thing of the past. Meanwhile, such legislation is under consideration in Missouri, Oklahoma and Arizona, to name a few. It could be a done deal by 2020.
When a state passes legislation to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, it pledges that all of that state’s electoral votes will be given to whichever presidential candidate wins the popular vote nationwide. These bills will take effect only when states with a majority of the electoral votes have passed similar legislation. States with electoral votes totaling 270 of the 538 electoral votes would have to pass NPV bills before the compact kicks in and any state’s bill could take effect.
As usual, it’s easy to get people to join this cause – yet another sound bite based on emotion rather than knowledge or logic. “Let the people decide.” “It’s the American way.” “It’s Democracy at work.” Yep, that’s why America was never set up as a democracy. Here’s another sound bite for you – “Democracy is a lynch mob.” Here’s another one – “Democracy is three wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch.” Majority rule violates the rights of minorities. It’s not a good thing. Get the picture?
Our Founding Fathers went to a lot of trouble to give us a government that was fair, representing all the people in every state – to protect a minority of one against the will of a mob which isn’t too concerned about the rights of someone standing in their way. Hence the Electoral College.
The abolishment of the Electoral College would, in fact, establish an election tyranny giving control of the government to the massive population centers of the nation’s Northeastern sector, along with the area around Los Angeles. If these sections of the nation were to control the election of our nation’s leaders, the voice of the ranchers and farmers of the Mid and Far West would be lost, along with the values and virtues of the South. It would also mean the end of the Tenth Amendment and state sovereignty.
Throughout history, certain factions have challenged the legality of the Electoral College. Opponents point out that our President is actually elected by 538 virtually unknown people who are members of 51 small delegations in fifty States and the District of Columbia. Moreover, in most states the electors are not even bound to vote for the candidate that won the popular vote. In fact, many Constitutional scholars believe that’s just what the founders intended, 538 independent thinkers, bound to no one. There is reason and logic behind the idea.
The Founding Fathers, particularly those from small States, were very concerned that they would be smothered by the larger states. Under the representative republic (not a democracy) established by the founders, the United States is made up of fifty sovereign States. Under the Constitution, except for limited powers specifically defined for the central government, power for the rule of law is intended to reside in the States.
To deal with the problem, the founders decided on a compromise that would establish two chambers for the Congress; the House of Representatives, whose size would be dictated by the population in each state and the Senate in which every state would get two representatives, regardless of its size or population. You see, in the beginning, the states appointed Senators to be their representatives in Congress. But, like these geniuses of today who want to wreck the Electoral College, previous geniuses came up with the idea that Senators should be elected by the people – “It’s only fair,” went the mantra! The result is an imperial Senate that answers to no one but their own elite club members. That’s what happens when you mess with the real genius of the Constitution.
The same problem arose in deciding how to select a President, the one nationally-elected official. Here again there was the fear that election by popular vote would overwhelm the will of smaller States. Again, compromise was reached to address the issue in a fair and equitable manner in order to maintain the power of the states. Each state was assigned a number of presidential electoral votes equal to its representation in the House and the Senate. In each state, the electors would vote for a President and Vice President. The candidate receiving the largest number of electoral votes would be elected.
Under the plan, the connection to the popular vote was the selection of state electors. The popular vote was to be used to select individuals trusted by the people to select the President. Each presidential candidate has a slate of electors committed to them. As the people vote for a candidate, they are actually electing his/her slate of electors. Again, the selection of electors goes directly to local control of the process. Under the Constitution, even the smallest state was assured at least three votes in the process. To provide a further check to protect the smaller states, in the event no candidate won a majority of the electoral vote, the names of the top five would go to the House of Representatives, where each state delegation would cast one vote for one of the candidates. In this process each state, again, is equal.
To understand the Electoral College one must realize that the Founders considered the states as the dominate power in the nation. Election of the office of President was a bit like the selection of the Chairman of the Board, with the states serving as the board of directors for the nation. The great mistake Electoral College opponents make is to believe the President was supposed to be elected by the people. It was never the plan.
There are fundamental and often regional differences in how Americans view the role of government and the leaders they elect to run it. Little wonder those who seek to strengthen the power of the central government prefer that elections be decided by the popular vote. It’s a great sound bite- but the results will not give “the people” the “fair” result they desire.
Such a move will eliminate the power of individual states in favor of elections decided by the population of large, politically liberal cities. I’ve actually heard it said by residents of California, San Francisco, in particular, “why do we even let people in Ohio and Iowa vote?” Such elitism is behind the “National Popular Vote” movement which apparently believes that only the East and West Coasts count. The rest is just flyover country.
Keep these facts in mind as we watch the enforcement of Sustainable Development policies that lead to Smart Growth cities. The stated plans of such ideas are that most people will eventually be ‘persuaded” to leave the rural areas and migrate to the cities. In addition, we now are witnessing the invasion of illegal immigrants who normally land in such communities and swell their size.
The “feel good” propaganda of the National Popular Vote movement insists that a popular vote would not change the face of the nation. However, by design or not, the fact is their scheme plays right into the hands of the Sustainablists who openly seek top down control though the establishment of mega cities. By forcing the massive majority of citizens into such areas, a majority vote in just a few will drown any other area in the nation.
Ion such a planned agenda for the 21st Century, individuals living in the majority of the nation’s territory will quickly learn how little their “popular vote” counts if the Electoral College is abandoned by the “National Popular Vote” scheme. Those smaller states (and therefore their votes) may have no impact on the election of the President, just as our founders feared. Control by a few over the many can only be defined as tyranny. Today we can stop the National Popular Vote. Tomorrow will be too late.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published at The DeWeese Report, and is reposted here with the permission of the author.