Electoral College is a relic that should be eliminated


White entitlement has been on full display in the defense of the Electoral College. Recently, in this paper, a letter writer concluded stating: “...eliminating the college would eliminate the voice of rural America.” The writer had pointed to the fact that rural areas contain just one-sixth of the total U.S. population. While lamenting the fact that Democrats want a president who is elected by “the most voters” the writer exposed his own prejudice. He states, “In doing so they (the majority) do not need to listen to the rest of normal America.” Yep. Got it. “Normal.”

In defense of his privilege the writer explains the need for white entitlement.

“Wyoming, for instance, would have only 585,000 votes whereas California would have 39 million. ... As you can see, rural Americans’ voice would be drowned out by the metropolitan vote.”

California is a majority non-white state and its two senators represent 39 million people. Wyoming’s majority is over 90 percent white and its two senators represent 585,000 people. No matter how you characterize it – a “normal” voter, a rural voter or a white voter – a voter in Wyoming has over 65 times the voting power of a California voter. Eliminating the Electoral College would not eliminate that entitlement.

Parroting talking points, the writer, ignoring his own God-given brain (i.e., facts) opines: “Instead of visiting each state....” Wait. What? Since when? Presidential candidates do not visit each state. They don’t campaign in red states. They don’t campaign in blue states. The Electoral College forces presidential candidates to campaign in the battleground states. Because of the Electoral College the special interest groups in a battleground state wield enormous power. Sucking up to the NRA or coal industry to gain a few thousand votes and win a battleground state and thus the Electoral College distorts the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans.

In the 2010 midterms Republicans gave President Obama a shellacking, winning 3 million more congressional votes and gaining a record 60 house seats. In the 2018 midterms Democrats gave Trump a shellacking, earning an unprecedented 9 million more congressional votes, three times what Republicans did, but only gaining 40 house seats. Feeling entitled or just “normal?”

Five times a Democrat has won the popular vote and not become president because of the Electoral College. That’s fully 10 percent of all presidents. The Electoral College is a relic, exploited by monied special interests and right-wing bigots. Eliminating the Electoral College will not eliminate the voice of “normal” Americans. Rural Americans have their senators. “Normal” American voices are bolstered by gerrymandering and voter suppression efforts. The success of the racist “Southern Strategy” has given voice to all those “fine people” marching openly, without hoods, in the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va. FOX News, Rush Limbaugh and the right-wing noise machine guarantee the voices of bigotry will always be “normal” in the United States.

Anthony Marsala

Benton Harbor