After the elections in 2000 and 2004, a lot of people were muttering about the “popular vote”, and why we can’t just get rid of that stuffy old Electoral College and elect the President directly.
Why don’t we, then?
Well, here’s a list of the ten biggest cities in the United States:
- New York City, NY
- Los Angeles, CA
- Chicago, IL
- Houston, TX
- Philadelphia, PA
- Phoenix, AZ
- San Antonio, TX
- San Diego, CA
- Dallas, TX
- San Jose, CA
These ten cities alone can practically outvote every last patch of flyover country between NYC and LA. California and Texas each have three cities on that list. If you count the urban agglomeration (people not strictly living in the city, but in the mass of cities and towns making up the respective metropolitan area), the ten biggest cities in our country account for 100 million people, or a third of our population.
If we elected the President by popular vote, there’d be no point for politicians to campaign outside of Texas, California, Illinois, and New York, and there’d be no point for voters living outside of those states to even cast their ballots.
When they came up with the Electoral College, they set it up for different reasons, but in the 21st Century, it comes in handy, because with a popular vote system, the entire country would have to dance to the tunes whistled in a handful of major cities.
The Founding Fathers deliberately set up a system where the majority can’t just vote themselves the right to pee into the cornflakes of the minority, on Election Day or otherwise. They limited the extent of majority rule, because they knew that it’s not the majority which usually needs protection.