Recently, the California Senate voted to keep Donald Trump off the ballot in 2020 unless he releases his tax returns. Once again, this has brought the discussion of the electoral college to the forefront. The electoral college is one of the most ingenious things our founders gave us to ensure that all states in our republic are represented. Still, the left refuses to consider any argument in its favor.
Scan the social media of any self-respecting social justice warrior, and you’re sure to find a couple of things: memes about woke books and love for big government. What you won’t find is any kind of acknowledgement that the central conflict in just about every one of the former could have been prevented by the latter. Just ask Katniss Everdeen and the rest of the kids in The Hunger Games why we need an electoral college.
For those who don’t know, The Hunger Games trilogy takes place in a dystopian future in which America has been destroyed. Now known as Panem, the country is made of 12 struggling districts and the thriving capitol. Every year, two young people are chosen from each district, one boy and one girl, and they are sent to The Hunger Games. The kids then fight to the death. Winning is simple- be the last one left alive. Like the gladiators were in ancient Rome, this violent spectacle is big entertainment in the capitol while, in the districts, their children are being sent to their deaths.
In the United States, there are a total of 538 electoral votes available. A majority is 270, so that’s what it takes to win. Simple enough, right? Taking the population of each district in Panem and using our current formula to allocate electoral votes, the capitol gets 3 electoral votes and the rest are allocated based on population. Panem has a total of 102 electoral votes, so any president would need 52 to win. There is no path to victory that doesn’t require at least four districts (including the capitol). If a candidate couldn’t get district six, which is a very poor district unlikely to vote with the capitol, there is no path that doesn’t require at least 7 districts (including the Capitol). How likely is it that any district, let alone at least three, but probably seven, is going to vote to send their children off to fight to the death for the entertainment of a distant and authoritarian government? Pretty unlikely.
If Panem had an electoral college, they would need the support of the majority of the districts, which would mean calling an end to the Hunger Games. Even if the government bought off district six with better infrastructure, better schools, a higher standard of living, anything to get those votes, driving the other districts further into poverty, they would need two more districts to vote along with them. Would two more districts vote to continue the Hunger Games for the entire country?
We don’t need an electoral college in America because there will be literal hunger games, but the principle remains the same. Without an electoral college, a few states (California, Florida, Texas) can execute mob rule that lets people in the majority of states have their and voices and needs trampled.
These states would always have their needs meet. They would have all of the incentives, the tax breaks, the infrastructure, and their whims, while other states would be abandoned. Their roads and schools would be top notch while, in other states, they’d be left to deteriorate from neglect. With an electoral college, the FBI wouldn’t be able to get away with doing a great job investigating crime in California but ignore cases in South Dakota because all of the resources were allocated based on population alone. Workers wouldn’t be well protected in Texas but left in unsafe workplaces with bias and harassment running rampant in Delaware because the Department of Labor doesn’t really care what happens in a state with so few people.
The genius of this system our founders created is that the government can’t afford to let any one state suffer too badly, too boldly, too explicitly. The needs of the entire nation must be taken into account, because every electoral vote counts.
The electoral college is one of the only things that truly protects the little guy for whom liberals claim to fight. Liberals can protect them further by voting against oppressive federal power (you’ll actually find that to be a theme in all of the woke books on your bookshelf) and get back on track with state and local governments doing the heavy lifting.
When people have a problem with the electoral college, they really have a problem with the size of the the federal government. We were meant to be a collection of states with the power resting there, and the federal government managing the few things that needed to be managed between them. Because the federal government has now been entrusted to do things it was never meant to do, people are upset that other states get a say in those matters. If you’re mad about the electoral college, vote for a smaller federal government. Then it won’t even matter. In the meantime, remember Panem.