Elizabeth Warren Doesn’t Like Electoral College Because She Can’t Get Tenure There

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2019/03/21/elizabeth-warren-doesnt-like-electoral-college-because-she-cant-get-tenure-there/

Our irony-proof senior senator announced she wants to get rid of the Electoral College while campaigning in one of the least urban states in the country.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Bern), a presidential candidate, made the comment Monday night at a CNN Town Hall broadcast on the campus of Jackson State University, a historically black college in the capital of Mississippi.

Nor was she cajoled into it. After getting a question about how to ensure convicts can vote and how to end other types of “voter disenfranchisement,” Warren took the question and ran with it to other places – a constitutional amendment to ensure every American citizen can vote and an end to “voter suppression acts.”

Then she got to where she wanted to go all along:

“And I’ll tell you one more:  We need to make sure that every vote counts. And you know, I want to, I want to push that right here in Mississippi. Because I think this is an important point. You know, come a general election, presidential candidates don’t come to places like Mississippi. Yeah. They also don’t come to places like California and Massachusetts. Right? Because we’re not the battleground states. Well, my view is that every vote matters. And the way that we can make that happen is that we can have national voting, and that means get rid of the Electoral College, and every vote counts. Yup. Everybody. I think everybody ought to have to come and ask for your vote. What do you think? Yeah!”

The crowd loved it, because partisan Democrats hear no-Electoral-College and think Al Gore would have been elected president in 2000 and Hillary Clinton would have been elected in 2016. (Maybe, maybe not, by the way – presidential campaigns target states, not merely mass numbers of votes, and would have been run vastly differently both years without the Electoral College. We can guess at what might have happened each year, but it’s hard to say for sure.)

Now, it’s understandable why Elizabeth Warren is against the Electoral College. For one, it’s a good applause line at Democrat-laden gatherings where many people think of it only as an old provision that has appeared to hurt Democrats twice during the past 20 years. Also, as a left-left-left candidate whose Indian problem is never going away, it’s hard to imagine a toss-up battleground state that Warren could win in a general election.

But let’s forget about 2020 for a moment, and just take Warren’s comments at face value – that the Electoral College ensures that Mississippi is ignored during presidential general elections because it tilts so far Republican.

The flip side is that without an Electoral College, no serious candidate for president would ever pay attention to Mississippi — even if it became more evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats sometime in the future — or any state like it.

Jackson, at about 165,000 people, is the largest city in Mississippi. It’s also the 156th largest city in America. It anchors the 95th largest metropolitan area in America.

Politically, that puts it in Nowheresville. Presidential candidates eyeing efficiency would target major metropolitan areas and nowhere else, hoping to drive up their vote counts while spending the least amount of dollars per vote possible. Rural areas would be ignored.

That doesn’t just mean they would be ignored during a presidential campaign, by the way, but more importantly by a presidential administration in Washington, which would spend an inordinate amount of time and money keeping cities and suburbs happy, because that’s where the votes are.

Even worse:  Abolishing the Electoral College would go a long way toward abolishing our federal system of government and the theory of dual sovereignty it rests on. Our federal government, big and overbearing as it is, is not currently a national government. There are 50 state governments with which it must contend. The healthy tension between the two is one of the things that guarantees both individual rights and the ability of communities to preserve their local way of life.

Because of the system we have, which is based on states electing presidents, and not all individual voters massed together electing them, presidential candidates have to think of the country not just as a mass of people but as individual people congregated in 50 distinct states. Each state has a rightful claim on how federal policy affects it, and that starts with a rightful claim on how each presidential candidate thinks about that state.

These principles, by the way, are in the long run more important than whether Republicans or Democrats win the presidency. They ensure, among other things, that certain core values remain intact even when we have bad leaders.

That’s one of the reasons the founders created the Electoral College in the first place.