Judge Steve Russell on the Electoral Dilemma


There’s a movement afoot to convince enough Trump electors to switch sides that Clinton wins.

My first reaction was, “Sore losers!”

I’m persuaded my first reaction was wrong. Of course, I’m still smarting from Al Gore winning the popular vote and losing the Electoral College.

What’s wrong with trying to bend the Electoral College toward the popular vote?

Aren’t we in danger of exacerbating “the problem of the faithless elector?”

Why is it dangerous to highlight a structural problem?

We could at least have a debate about whether we want to continue an institution crafted to enhance the representation of rural areas.

The argument I’ve seen to keep the Electoral College is that switching to the popular vote would result in candidates aiming resources at the big media markets.

So it changes the definition of battleground states. The argument about driving money to where the people are is not up against some golden age when there was a 50 state strategy.

The structural issue is clouded by the fact that the boonies vote Republican and the cities vote Democrat. This is bassackwards to how it used to be and it might turn again. The Constitution is not for right now–it’s supposed to be for always. It’s hard to amend for a reason.

The Founders, collectively, feared democracy, and the Electoral College was a product of that fear. Read the original Constitution and notice that the only power nub thrown into the checks and balances was the House of Representatives.

Senate? Elected by state legislatures.

POTUS? Elected by the Electoral College.

Supreme Court? Appointed for life.

The House is uber-democratic. Every seat up every two years. Reapportionment every ten years to keep districts the same size. Still, the Democrats get more House votes but the Republicans get more seats because the GOP used the last reapportionment to put cities in the middle of pies, dividing the left votes in right districts. Exhibit A: Austin, Texas.

The GOP now runs the whole shebang and, despite campaign rhetoric, the GOP has a history of running up the national debt. Look for a BIG tax cut next year. In Trump’s plan, 51% of the cuts go to the one percent. There will be three brackets: 15%, 25%, and 33%.

On the spending side, Trump wants to drastically increase “defense” spending. There will be war on the CFR and repealing all those regulations should save some money. We will also quickly remember why the regulations were put in place.

There is nothing to stop the GOP from driving us over a fiscal cliff, but I’m thinking the downside will show pretty quickly.

I’m much more worried about foreign affairs. Authoritarians like Trump historically keep power by appealing to solidarity in the face of foreign enemies. If there are no enemies that are scary enough, it’s necessary to create them.

Faithless electors–if they are evil at all—are the lesser evil.


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