Columnist calls focus on national popular vote ‘insanity’

Kelly Sloan writes for the Washington Examiner about the latest attacks on the Electoral College.

Abandonment of the Electoral College in favor of the popular vote has become a cause du jour among the Left, ostensibly for reasons of Democratic purity. To be fair, Democrats eponymously maintain a rather fanatical affection for untrammeled suffrage, (though, as others have pointed out, the popular vote would seldom, if ever, actually result in a president elected by a majority, but rather by a plurality of voters.) …

… [P]urely tactical motivations aside, the drive does fit a pattern of liberal disdain for institutions unconducive to their social ambitions. A judicial branch which merely interprets the law, for instance, does little to advance the march of progress. But one staffed with activist justices in the mold of Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsburg can do wonders.

The institution which perhaps most frustrates liberal designs is the state. Accordingly, the principle of federalism has been under assault in one form or another for about a century. The erosion of the 10th Amendment to virtual irrelevance and the federal pre-emption of the majority of both tax dollars and governing duties has steadily atrophied the states in favor of centralization. The Electoral College remains one of the final bulwarks reminding us that states are, well, independent states, and not mere provinces or subdivisions of the federal government. …

… Absent the Electoral College, smaller states (basically all but New York, California, Texas, and Florida, which together make up about a third of the nation’s population) lose pretty much any sway they might have over a presidential contest. Enabling the states to elect the union’s chief executive, via the Electoral College, serves as a check on political dominance by the unbridled popular whim of major urban concentrations.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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