2004/08/18

Even if you aren't in a "battleground" state ...

Even if you aren't in a "battleground" state, VOTE ANYWAY. I'm going to vote for George Bush in November even though I know he doesn't stand much chance of picking up Illinois' electoral votes. I'd vote for him if I still lived in Texas, even though I know he has Texas all sewn up. Why? Because I'm sick and tired of hearing people bitwhimper and moan about the fact that Al Gore received more of the popular vote in 2000 than George Bush, but Bush won in the Electoral College, where it counts. I don't want to listen to that for another four years.

A History Lesson
Back in the old days, before political correctness and "self esteem" became more important in our public schools than actually teaching kids something useful, those of us who paid attention graduated from High School understanding that the Founding Fathers created two houses in Congress, and the Electoral College, for very sound reasons. They recognized that if the laws of the land were determined purely by popular vote the populations of a few major cities could demand laws that totally ignored the rights and needs of people in rural areas. -- "Let's tax all the farmers and ranchers more so we can have more street lights in New York." ... "Why should Bostonian's have to pay taxes to support an army to protect people in Kansas from Indians?" ---To keep either segment of the population, urban dwellers or city dwellers, from overriding the needs of the other, they created a House of Representatives, where more populous states would have the greatest influence, and a Senate, where all states would be equal. For presidential elections, they created the Electoral College, where each state would have a number of votes equal to the sum of its House members and Senators. It's not a perfect system, but it's the best way anyone has come up with to balance the needs of New York and Boston tenement dwellers against the needs of New Mexico ranchers and Nebraska farmers. Since the Founding Fathers had the good sense to give New Mexico and Nebraska just as much influence in the Senate as New York and Massachusetts, it's a system we are, fortunately, likely to be "stuck with" for a good while longer. [Yes, I understand New Mexico and Nebraska weren't states in 1789. I've used modern-day examples to make the matter easier to understand for those of you who went to public schools too recently to learn what you should have there.]

Since there's a sizable portion of the population that doesn't understand why we have the system we have, any time one candidate wins the popular vote and the other wins in the Electoral College there's going to be four more years of whining and moaning. The best chance we have of preventing that is to all get out and vote, whether we expect our votes to affect the Electoral College totals or not.

1 Comments:

At 1:54 PM, Blogger willowfae said...

I do understand how the Electoral College works and why it is in place, and it still really bugs me. I'll try to post something on my thoughts on the matter on my site today or tomorrow. I am still feeling woozy right now after being up all night with the flu. :(

 

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