One American Citizen

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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Why The Electoral College Is Important
     With the presidential election coming up this November, I am sure the debate around the  Electoral College will rear its ugly head again. On side thinks the popular vote should be the only vote that counts, and the other thinks its one of the most important provisions in the Constitution. I personally believe that the Electoral College is more important today than it was at the forming of this nation. Before I get into why, let's take a look at why it is there in the first place.
      The Electoral College was a compromise between two sides during the writing of the Constitution. One side wanted a straight popular vote so that it could be a truly democratic election, the other wanted congress to elect the president. They finally came to an agreement where the popular vote of the individual state would select the electors who would then cast their vote for president. This was done for three reasons. First, to satisfy those who wanted congress to have the power, it prevented uninformed voters from directly electing a president who was not qualified or who could turn into a tyrannical leader like the king they had just left. It installed a middleman in between the people and the presidency so if need be, the electors could go against the will of the people if it was necessary to prevent a dangerous president. Second, to satisfy those who wanted a popular vote, it allowed the people to have some form of direct say in the election and did not give the power to congress. It was feared that a congressional election could lead to corruption between the executive and legislative branch when deciding the presidency. Third, the most important reason for today's elections, it prevent a "mob rule" elections meaning that the population centers of the country couldn't decide the election on their own.
      One of the misconceptions of our country is that we are a democracy when in fact we are a constitutional republic. While the terms can be used synonymously in most cases, it is important when discussing elections. Under a true democracy, the majority always rules meaning a direct popular vote for all elections. Our framers decided that this was not okay and that's why we have a constitution that protects the rights of the minority. In our republic, the minority has the right to have a meaningful say in our presidential election and that is facilitated by the Electoral college.
    So why is its so important for modern elections? It is important for the same reason it was at our countries founding, to prevent a small geographic area from having complete control over the presidency. In recent years, our major population centers on the coasts have become increasingly more liberal while less populated rural areas have remained conservative. Rural conservative areas account for a vast majority of the geographic area of the United States. If we went to a popular vote, it would mean that areas centered around cities would be able to elect a politician that fit only their needs and not the needs of Middle America. It would lead to politicians only campaigning and designing policies to entice the voters in the cities. Candidates would not even bother stopping in states that have low populations because it wouldn't be worth the time and money when they could target a lot of voters in states like California and New York. This would ultimately lead to an entire region of the United States being stepped on and forgotten by politicians only looking to make policies that would help them get the votes in the next elections.
    With the country divided as it is, the Electoral College is even more important. President Trump is not popular in a majority of the big cities because he campaigns against most of their progressive views. While cities may want gun control, nearly all rural areas want their second amendment protected. Liberals want free college, while the conservatives don't want to pay more in taxes for someone in California to get a liberal arts degree. Most importantly, progressives want major taxes and regulation when it comes to climate change and carbon, while there are a lot of jobs dependent on fossil fuels in the "fly over" states. The people living in the cities tend to forget where their food comes from. If liberals could elect a president that didn't have to care about the farmland states, surely fossil fuels would be a huge target of the new progressive leader. If they got their way, fuel needed for farming and the transport of that food from Middle America to the cities, would become so expensive that the cost of living everywhere would increase dramatically likely causing complaints from those same people that voted that president in. It is so important for all of the United States to have a say in the election because it ultimately benefits everyone. It forces candidates from all parties to make campaign stops in rural America, to craft policies that are positive for everyone and not the few. It can make a small, less populated state a deciding factor in the elections.

    For those who lean left and claim that the Electoral College isn't fair, let me ask you this? How would you feel if the roles were reversed and and Middle America always got to decide the direction of the country based on their needs without regard for your needs? In my opinion it would be just as destructive to the country. We need the Electoral College to make our president accountable to everyone.

-American Citizen
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