Updated: Dec 27, 2020
Originally published in the American Thinker on September 14, 2020.
Democrats plan to end the filibuster and pack the Supreme Court with radical judges. These changes would give the left license to radically transform the nation. There is, however, another threat they’ve dusted off ahead of the Nov. 3rd election that—if executed—wouldn’t just be transformative, but totally destructive. They want to abolish the Electoral College. Destroying this institution will mean the end of national campaigning (and the engagement, negotiation, and localized promises that go along with it). What politician will ever again stump in Kenosha or Breckenridge? What will a vote get you in Idaho or Montana? It will mean fewer crucial checks on voter fraud. It will mean tyranny by the coastal hives; by California technocrats and by Wall Street corporatists. It will mean a nation highly susceptible to one-party rule and inevitably totalitarianism, which, if still called America, would be America in name only.
There are innumerable articles arguing for and against this institution, yet given the present state of the Democrat Party—majoritively made desperate and hysterical by their upset four years ago, the failure of their Russian collusion hoax (advanced by their acolytes in the mainstream media), bad post-modern thinking, a disastrous Obama administration, and the inefficacy of their deep state coup—it seems prudent to raise the matter once more. After all, it is better to discuss this now when only parts of America are on fire rather than when all is set ablaze by the Dems’ guerrilla fighters upon their realization late November that Trump has won 362 electoral college votes despite losing the popular vote. Plus, if that oracle of daytime-programming wisdom Joy Behar is calling for the Electoral College’s diminution, clearly someone needs to respond.
There have been a few occasions where the popular vote did not secure for a candidate the presidency. In 1824, Andrew Jackson lost to John Quincy Adams. Rutherford B. Hayes beat Sam Tilden in 1876. Grover Cleveland got steamrolled by Benjamin Harrison for an Electoral College (EC) win in 1888. In 2000, George W. Bush’s EC win over Al Gore made the Dems susceptible to the derangement that set the stage for 2016, where Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but nevertheless got thoroughly trounced by Donald Trump 304 to 227. When the EC worked in their favor in 2008 and 2012, the Dems were silent on the subject. Recognizing that Trump is transformative and that conservative populism is sweeping over once-solidly blue states, the Dems are petrified that they won’t be able to sooner take advantage of their imported voting bloc via amnesty and resettlement—that total power has been once again set beyond their reach. They’re desperate.
Is it the system’s fault? Or are states just not voting properly? Some people do vote properly—in the big cites, predominantly on the coasts. The big cities are used to big government, and becoming ever-more reliant on it. Best part about these big cities: they’re almost universally Democrat-run, and for the most part, they’re situated in Democrat states. Those are the people you want deciding your elections! That California and New York should have so few electors is a travesty! That the backbone of the country should get to straighten on Nov. 3rd and carry the body is anathema. So what is this thing Joy Behar wants us to destroy?
The United States of America is a representative [federal] republic. It qualifies as an indirect democracy, but this isn't justly reflected in the revisionist histories and stump speeches popular today or in the emulations exported to conquered third-world nations around the globe. In fact, “democratic” neither appears in the Declaration of Independence nor in the Constitution. Erik Maria Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn pointed out that the noun “republic” is also missing from the aforementioned documents. On this matter, the Constitution only states that “member states of the Union should have a republican form of government.”
A republic is a state wherein power is held by the people and their elected representatives who choose as their head-of-state a president rather than a monarch. The relationship between the people and their elected representatives—where choosing the president is concerned—is tied to the Electoral College (EC).
The EC is comprised of intermediaries. We cast our votes, and these intermediaries—called ‘electors’—then cast theirs reflecting our majoritive will.
There are 538 of these electors. An elector is chosen at the state level. Electors are nominated during the parties’ state-level elections. A party’s central committee, with ethical standards and criteria in mind, then chooses the electors. Altogether, 538 electors decide who will become president. 270 or more votes are required to clinch the win. Even smaller states with fewer electors can make a big difference one way or the other—far bigger than any they could hope to make based on the popular vote.
The number of each state's electors corresponds with that state's membership in the Senate and House. California has fifty-five electors. Texas: thirty-eight. New York: twenty-nine. Florida: twenty-nine. Illinois: twenty. And so forth. If a candidate wins the plurality of votes, they receive all of the state’s electors (Maine and Nebraska have their own thing going on, with congressional districts weighing in). So if Joe Biden won a majority in California, he’d get fifty-five towards the required 270 votes. Last election, President Trump beat never-president Clinton by seventy-seven electoral votes. Clinton had won the popular vote, but it didn’t matter. California and New York couldn’t translate numbers into additional electors.
Though the renewed antipathy for the EC may solely concern power and obstacles to gaining more (I don’t think that’s a cynical reading), the Dems’ messaging now echoes philosophical differences older than this nation. We won’t discuss direct democracy in ancient Greece, though it is precisely that concept which is and has always been at war with American republicanism. The Democrats, especially in the Trump era, tend to favor direct democracy, at least rhetorically. They don’t care that direct democracy is a fleeting thing; that tyranny of the majority would quickly produce a regionally focused, though nationally all-powerful, ruling class and a hapless [rural] minority for it to run roughshod over; or that a nation where forty-eight states have their future and policies determined by two coastal powers would not be free. Power is the Democrats’ highest aim, regardless of what system of politics and governance they enjoy it in. The republican system was designed to deny tyrannical forces such power, hence the venom back in circulation.
America is not a pure democracy, and it owes its success and stability at least in part to that fact. Just as the Jacobins misconstrued the Founders' design, leading them to run astray in their failed French replication—into horrific orgies of blood and totalitarianism—pundits and politicians today similarly err in their definitions and in their conflations of ideals with reality, which are invariably at odds with not only Alexander Hamilton's quasi-monarchist aspirations and Thomas Jefferson's heavy with distaste for the “swinish multitudes,” but with the nation's founding documents that call for a regimented system of checks and balances.
The Founders were actually quite suspicious of pure democracy. John Adams suggested that democracy would inevitably evolve into oligarchy and into despotism. In The Works of John Adams (Vol. 6), he claimed that:
The people, when they have been unchecked have been as unjust, tyrannical, brutal, barbarous and cruel as any king or senate possessed by an uncontrollable power. The majority has eternally and without anyone exception usurped over the rights of the minority.
Much later, Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg (1884-1951) echoed these sentiments and the suspicions of the Founders when he stated that:
The government of the United States is a representative republic and not a pure democracy. The difference is as profound today as it was when the foundations of the Constitution were set in the ages...We are a representative republic. We are not a pure democracy…Yet we are constantly trying to graft the latter on the former, and every effort we make in this direction, with but few exceptions, is a blow aimed at the heart of the Constitution.
Not all in the thirteen colonies shared Vandenberg's and Founders’ antipathy for pure democracy, and this ideological schism contributed to the polarity within the early government. The essential historical struggle between the chief American political parties, dating back to Andrew Jackson, ostensibly has been, on the one side, to conserve and preserve the republic, and on the other side, to assimilate and promote democratic elements within it. The latter pursuit has not been in vain or without fruit; the expansion of the meaning of the prefix demo has since been modified to include women, blacks, and other groups previously denied involvement and a say in the process. In fact, assuming the essential structure of America remained in place, this give-and-take wouldn’t necessarily be ruinous. Unfortunately, we live in a moment of extremes, bereft of nuance, and hostile to compromise.
Even though the two parties have changed a great deal (the Democrats have maintained their fidelity to racism, eugenics, and bigotry), the alignment on this issue remains the same. That motley crew of leftists, corporatists, technocrats, neoliberal warmongers, and detached urban elite who will vote blue want the EC gone for myriad reasons, but all going back to gaining and then centralizing power. (The Green New Deal would both require and result in an enormous amount of centralized political power.) The economically-nationalist conservative populists on the right (with or without the RINO relics who may be onside depending on which way the wind is blowing) want to preserve the EC to spread and check power. (I do not doubt that some Republicans, too, are after affluence, but the right generally views the state as a threat to liberty, not as its guarantor).
Jefferson stated in 1785 that: “The mobs of the great cities add just so much to the support of pure government, as sores do to the strength of the human body.” If Democrat policy and conduct in Portland, Washington D.C., New York, and Los Angeles are to be scaled up, then we are headed for a truly impure and sickly government.
In addition to the catastrophe of unchecked coastal reign, the EC’s undoing would precipitate additional destruction. Allen Guelzo rightly pointed out that were we to abolish the Electoral College, "there would be no sense in having a Senate (which, after all, represents the interests of the states), and eventually, no sense in even having states, except as administrative departments of the central government.” Anyone wary of too great a centralization of power should take pause at the possibility of an unchecked Washington establishment wedded (extra to what is already the case) to an authoritarian Silicon Valley. The result would be a cyberpunk nightmare realized.
Biden supporters were able to tear down statues of the Founding Fathers without any real opposition. They are now emboldened to think themselves capable of tearing down those institutions the Founders gifted this nation, the Electoral College specifically. If successful in tearing down this key republican institution, they will be caught in the collapse along with us. It’s a suicidal prospect, but the Democrats—with G.K. Chesterton’s understanding of suicide as a murder of the whole world—are keen to kill all if from the carnage they can exact some form of unbridled power or wealth. The foundations will, however, hold so long as patriots rally to protect them.
Most Americans do not think that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are outmoded parchment. They instead recognize these foundational works as living documents that guarantee the rights, liberties, and destiny of people across America; in small towns, on remote farms, in quiet villages, and in bustling cities, all originally granted by a living God (not by the state). They recognize that the Electoral College buttresses these guarantees. Thankfully, there is a sufficient number on the right as well as some moderates who will not dare forsake that great nation bequeathed to them by proud Americans, won with the blood of patriots. It is essential that they vote for those who will protect what protects our regional agency, which is precisely why the Dems are doing everything they can to confuse and suppress the Republican vote.
To dismantle the Electoral College is to dismantle America. This election is about more than personalities; about more than taking on the genocidal CCP, onshoring manufacturing jobs, making citizenship mean something again, or reifying America’s borders; it’s about more than protecting the unborn from Democrat butchers or treating Americans as individuals as opposed to constituents of deplorable collectives; it’s about more than making America great again. It’s about making sure that this country remains America in more than just name.