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Sun, Oct. 20

Community View | A defense of the Electoral College

The argument that the Electoral College is anti-Democratic is specious because it assumes both that we are a democracy and that such a form of government is desirable. But we aren’t a democracy. We are a republic precisely because our Founders knew they needed to protect the rights and prerogatives of ALL of our citizens. It was an exceedingly wise decision and one we should not put aside lightly by adopting the National Popular Vote (NPV) program that requires the electors in all states to cast their votes for the candidate garnering the most votes nationwide.

Any call to overturn or end run the Electoral College is a call for changing our basic form of government from a republic to a pure democracy. And anyone who has studied history knows that pure democracies always fail as soon as the people discover they can vote themselves largesse from the public till.

The main goal of our Founding Fathers was to establish a form of government to prevent the rise of the very tyranny they had just defeated. To that end they sought to limit the power of government over the individual and to limit the power the most populous states could wield in Congress and in elections so that the rights of citizens in less populated states could be protected. The Electoral College was designed as a bulwark against such tyranny and has served that purpose admirably.

If we negate the Electoral College process by instituting the NPV program, we will effectively disenfranchise the voters of every state that doesn’t have a coastline. Politicians campaigning for the presidency will focus their campaigns on the large cities in those states and the rest of the country will be ignored.

Los Angeles County alone, with its estimated population of more than 10 million people, will be able to outvote more than a dozen entire states. So, if you want the future of our nation to be decided by voters from Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City, you should support the National Popular Vote initiative. But if you live in a state such as Arizona and you want your vote to count, I urge you to lobby your state senators and representatives to not follow the mass of lemmings over the National Popular Vote cliff.

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