To Do List: Eliminate the Electoral College

Samain and the Moon of the Radical Change (with the International Space Station passing close to it this morning.)

Monday gratefuls: That giving Trump bad news is finally upon us. Early voting. Alan with the Ancient Ones. The conversation about the American Way. Left over chili. With sour cream. The Queen’s Gambit. Got me interested in chess. Again. Netflix. If you haven’t seen it, it’s good. Excellent. Seeing the International Space Station this morning. Orion, Canis Major, Venus, the almost full moon of Radical Change. Wildfires, Covid, Hurricanes. The alarm system provided courtesy of Mother Nature.

I know. Me, too. Nate Silver’s I’m Here to Remind You That Trump Can Still Win. Everybody in the political and polling world has a case of low chance heebie-jeebie’s. No wonder. The Electoral College, the Democrat’s bĂȘte noire, can nullify the will of the American people. It’s possible, but not likely. Not this time. I am confident this time. I hear the Cassandra voices, but they are not Cassandra herself. 10% is still a pretty damned dismal chance for accomplishing anything. Not none, yes, it’s true. But I don’t believe God plays dice with the U.S. government twice in four years. Especially after he/she/it (deity pronouns) saw the result from 2016. So, big guy in the sky lean on the levers this time and give us a blue tsunami.

The Electoral College is, of course, doing what it was designed to do. Give the rural states a way to compete with California, New York, Texas, Florida. This same intention of the founders plays out in the Senate as well. South Dakota has two senators, so does New York. You can see the plantation holder mentality in both. Sure, democracy relies on the will of the people, but it has to be tempered by – geography? Type of main industry? Willingness to use slavery or very cheap migrant labor to scare up a profit? The big city is trouble. Lots of bad stuff goes on in them. Even a thing back in 1776.

It is true that the rate of urbanization has accelerated. As the website link shows, humans lived in low density rural populations for most of human history. It was only in 2007 that global urban populations exceeded those living in rural areas. By 2050 though the estimate is 2/3’rds will call a city home. The rural bias of the founders conforms to a rural/urban split that was around 1 person in a city for every 20 living in a rural setting in 1790. It was only in 1907 that the U.S. went over the 50% line of citizens living in cities. Right now we’re 80% urbanized. That trend will increase.

The world of the founders is no longer the world of today. We’ve outlawed slavery. The franchise extends well past white, male, property owners to almost every adult except felons. Ours is a consumer economy and has not for a long time been an agricultural one. So much so that 80% of us live in urban areas. The nation goes from shore to shore, Atlantic to Pacific. Our population has grown from 2,100,000 in 1770 to well over 300,000,000 today.

IMHO. It’s time to get our method of selecting a President in line with these realities. Well past time, actually. If you used the logic of, let’s be sure rural, agricultural states get maximum chances at representation since that’s what we’re like now (1776), the solution should now to be enhance the representation of urbanized areas. But that seems wrong to me. Let’s go with the popular vote. After all, that’s how every other office in the land gets decided.

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