Since the 2016 elections, Democrats, upset that California and New York were unable to win the presidency for Hillary Clinton, have been calling for the abolition of the Electoral College.
Now, having lost ground in the Senate in the 2018 elections, they’re calling for the reapportionment of the Senate.
Does anyone else see a pattern here?
Donald Trump won popular elections in 30 states; Hillary Clinton won in 20 states and the District of Columbia.
Since the number of electors is determined by the total of senators and representatives from each state, those with larger populations, thus more representatives, get more electors. Using the example from the title of article, California has 55 electors; Vermont has three.
Looking at the popular vote, Hillary Clinton’s margin in the 2016 elections was the result of huge run-ups in the votes from just two states: California and New York. Removing the results from just those two states yields a different outcome: Donald Trump carried the remaining 48 states and the District of Columbia by a margin of more than three million votes. That’s a larger margin than Mrs. Clinton’s 2.9 million votes in the 50-state total.
In other words, Mrs. Clinton would have been elected by just two states, California and New York. This is what the framers of our nation’s constitution feared. They called it the tyranny of the masses and created the Electoral College specifically to prevent such an outcome.
The United States is not, and never has been, a democracy. It is a republic. Members of the House of Representatives are apportioned by population and are elected based strictly on the popular vote in each district.
The Senate is supposed to be a check on the House. For this reason, every state gets two that represent the entire state evening out regional differences within each state.
In the original Constitution, senators weren’t elected by popular vote. They were elected by the state legislatures. It wasn’t until the Seventeenth Amendment was ratified in 1913 that the people directly elected their senators. Incidentally, the Seventeenth Amendment shows that the method of elections can be changed, it just takes two-thirds of the Senate, two-thirds of the House and three-quarters of the states to make it happen.
The results of the 2018 elections show that the popular vote in four states shifted seats from Democrat to Republican. Not just to Republican but conservative Republican. This was the will of the people in those four states. The Democrats flipped two seats. The result was an increase of two seats for the Republicans. This was the will of the people in 2016.
It was also the will of the people that the Democrats took control of the House.
In short, the people have spoken and everybody needs to deal with it instead of trying to change the rules.
Democrats, with a great deal of justification, complain that congressional districts have been gerrymandered. The solution to that is not a change in the U.S. Constitution but changes in how each state determines its congressional districts. The states are perfectly capable of enacting laws that end meandering district boundaries.
One thing that those upset by the results in the past two elections seem to forget that even states like California aren’t uniformly aligned with one party or the other. Voters in eastern Washington state are unhappy with the fact that voters in Seattle and along the Pacific coast call the shots for the entire state. Voters in upstate New York resent the tyranny of New York City. Even in Texas, the larger cities lean Democrat while the rest of the state is deep red.
It is more than a bit ironic that the same people who protest the gerrymandering of congressional districts want to gerrymander the entire national vote. Since Senators are elected on a statewide basis, they are confident that those extra California senators would be elected by Los Angeles and San Francisco. Extra senators in New York would be chosen by New York City.
Perhaps instead of trying to shove their agenda down the throats of everyone in the U.S. by rigging the vote, Democrats should take a look at their agenda and make some changes to bring back some of the people they have turned off.