If You Can’t Win, Change the Rules [OPINION]
A handful of Senate Democrats plan to introduce an amendment this week that would re-write the U.S. Constitution to do away with the Electoral College.
Good luck with that.
Since Hillary Clinton's defeat to Donald Trump in 2016, Democrats have been trying to figure out how to win again. So stunned were they that some Democrats even attempted a coup to remove Trump from office. Other proposals have included lowering the voting age to 16 and allowing non-citizen immigrants to vote. Pathetic.
Some veteran senators including Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin are co-sponsors of this amendment. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been a vocal supporter of doing away with the Electoral College, as have several other candidates for the Democrat presidential nomination including Kamala Harris, and flavors of the month Beto O'Rourke and Pete Buttigieg.
The logic behind doing away with the Electoral College, which has worked well for more than 240 years, is simply to declare the winner of the majority vote the winner of the election. The majority rules in a democracy, right? Maybe, but this is a republic and not a democracy. A common mistake for those who slept through civics class.
If the winner in 2016 was the candidate who won the popular vote and not the electoral vote, then population centers like New York City and Los Angeles would have decided the election and votes everywhere in between would not have counted. That is not the American way, because you see, in America every vote matters.
Counties all across the country vary in size. Some have hundreds of residents while others have millions. Should one or two counties decide an entire national race? There are 3,141 counties in the U.S. Some news accounts say Trump won 3,084 of them to Clinton's 57. The Associated Press disputes those figures and says Trump won only 2,626 to Clinton's 487. Either way, Trump kicked her butt.
The Electoral College is a necessary protection against allowing just a handful of communities to decide national elections while also protecting against a tyrant seizing power by controlling a simple majority of voters.
The Democrats are watching their once-powerful base erode and are willing to change the Constitution to prevent that from happening, when instead they should just settle upon a platform that appeals to a broad constituency. Fortunately, amending the Constitution is a lengthy and difficult battle. The founders made it that way on purpose.
I think that James Madison can rest easy tonight with the knowledge that the American people will not accept misguided schemes to help a political party regain favor with the voters.
If the Democrats want to regain the trust of the American people they have to embrace some common sense proposals, resist resisting and wear out some shoe leather in convincing voters to support their ideas.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.