A Bully Threatens Our Presidential Elections

We’ve witnessed the bully in the schoolyard

You’ve encountered a bully before. Perhaps it was in school when some kid was bigger than the rest and forced his way, intimidating everyone else. Or maybe it was a kid who thought he was cool. He was the kid with the swagger, supported by his sycophants. A bully has few friends and is always up to no good.

Our Founding Fathers despised the bully

Our Founding Fathers recognized the bully threat. They feared the tyranny imposed by kings and mobs and took steps to prevent either from gaining advantage. Shirking a pure democracy in favor of a representative one, they wrote a Constitution that included federalism (states rights) and republicanism—a Federalist Republic.

Our Founding Fathers debated vigorously over how to effectively separate and protect the new country from other nations and unbridled bullying amongst themselves. For example, Delaware Delegate, Gunning Bedford (representing a small state), exclaimed, “I do not, gentlemen, trust you.”

Today, we still participate in a federalist republic form of governance with 50 individual and independent states. None of which can be a bully to another, regardless of their geographic size or population density. The map looks like this:

050819 Bully 1

Our Electoral College silences the bully

Thus, it was no small matter when the foundation for the Electoral College was established. As Tara Ross points out in The Indispensable Electoral College that the selection of our President avoided mob rule and the bully influence by including:

… concessions to both the large and the small states. States with larger populations would get more electoral votes in the college, but the small states were guaranteed at least three votes, regardless of population.

050819 Bully 2

A bully is emerging in our midst

Today we are witness to the emergence of a new kind of bully. It is a bully within our nation that promises havoc in our presidential elections. It is the formulation of a new big bully fake state of NPV – The National Popular Vote compact.

The new big bully fake state has grown to include 15 jurisdictions: 14 states and the District of Columbia. Collectively, these jurisdictions hold 189 electoral votes and promise to cast them for whichever candidate wins the nation’s popular vote, their individual state constituent choices notwithstanding.

The current big bully NPV fake state (in black) looks like this:

050819 Bully 3

The big bully NPV fake state is growing and looms every larger. Acting as one state, it is likely to soon include Oregon as my home state succumbs to the influence of its neighbors. Oregon, in terms of electing a president, will no longer exist as it becomes absorbed into the larger fake state. Oregon’s voting borders will be erased. Oregon’s sovereignty in this regard will perish.

The NPV bully fails to be democratic

The big bully NPV fake state cannot even claim it is a push for pure democracy. Our Founding Fathers found a pure democracy abhorrent and a precursor to a future governing demise because of the potential bully influence. At its core, NPV erases state lines within the compact and enshrines the winner-takes-all strategy within its collective borders. No longer, should it succeed, will minority voting voices be represented because disenfranchised voters will be blocked out. This is not democracy of any stripe! NPV is simply a knee-jerk emotional reaction to the realization that a candidate can win the majority of popular votes and still lose the presidency.

NPV shirks the Constitution and hides viable options

I am sympathetic to the election result concern when the popular vote does not deliver a winning presidential candidate. Yet, I must also point out two of the many concerns I have about NPV in this regard:

First, the Constitution provides a remedy if the process fails to serve the nation’s citizens. It’s called a Constitutional Amendment. We’ve used the process before and it can work again. To circumvent this remedy with an interstate compact is to ignore the Constitution (ignore the rule of law) in favor of a rush for a mob-like majority rule. It promises a future Supreme Court confrontation. NPV is a remedy the likes of which our Founding Fathers struggled hard to avoid.

Second, NPV fails to diagnose the problem we all sense must exist. The malady we endure is the result of the winner-takes-all add-onwith which we shackle the Electoral College. It need not be.

Equal Voice Voting addresses the popular vote concern

Equal Voice Voting (EVV) removes the winner-takes-all constraint and allows the Electoral College to reflect both the popular vote and individual state sovereignty. Further, EVV exercises representative democracy within each state as it ensures every vote matters and all votes for serious contenders are represented. We don’t enjoy this last element in today’s presidential elections, yet it’s within our reach with neither a Constitutional amendment nor the bully compact of states.

If EVV were enacted the disparity between the popular vote and Electoral College results we witness today would diminish. The smaller margins would reflect the built-in difference, harkening back to the original Constitutional compromise, which avoids the dominance of a large bully state.

Let’s not be bullied. Let’s not silence any minority voting voices in our midst, suppressing their rightful place among us (vote suppression). We need to become aware of how NPV promises to bully its way into our future with a knee-jerk emotional reaction.

Equal Voice Voting respects the rule of law, the Constitution, the sovereignty of states, and the popular vote. Let’s keep such values going.

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