If red states don't reform Electoral College, it's mob rule in America

We all witnessed the shocking moment on Election Day when Arizona instantly turned blue, for the second time in 76 years.  The way Arizona voted in the presidential election was determined solely by Phoenix.  Phoenix voted blue, so the Electoral College went blue.

In other words, every red county in Arizona had zero say in who was to become president, simply because the urban population officially overcame the rural population.  Once this happens, it's blue forever.  Take California as an example, or the state of Oregon.  Both are ruled by their cities, while both have enormous swaths of unrepresented conservative regions.

This is the fate of every red state in the nation, most alarmingly in deep red states adjacent to deep blue states.  Idaho will be the next flipped election.  Just like Phoenix once was, Boise is now the fastest-growing city in the nation.  Where are Boise's immigrants coming from?  California.

The original intent of the Electoral College is constantly debated.  The original intent doesn't matter, however; it's the effect that actually matters.  Let's explore this.

In U.S. history, two states have exercised their constitutional right and power to reformulate how their electoral votes are calculated: Nebraska and Maine.  They recently rejected the "winner takes all" method that the 50 states traditionally employed.

In doing so, their 2020 election results are noteworthy.  For the second time in history, Nebraska split its Electoral College votes: Four votes went to Trump, and one was delivered to Biden.  The sole Democratic vote came from the urban district.  Maine, which is New England's last conservative stand, sent one vote to Trump and three to Biden.

Nebraska and Maine understand how important the Electoral College is in preventing the urban culture from overriding the rural culture.  Conservatives in these two states were not shut out of the presidential election process, unlike in Arizona, Georgia, and Idaho soon to follow.

Now, by looking at the actual effect of the Electoral College, we can determine its purpose: to give equal representation to cultures.  It prevents the dangerous effect of groupthink and mob rule.  This is important to understand, because cities, by definition, are more populated, but that doesn't mean their values are more important.

When the Electoral College was originally established, it can be imagined that it was intended to prevent the population of the major cities (then only on the coast) to override the values of the vast interior of the country.  The "winner takes all" method was widely accepted because interior states were still culturally homogeneous.

U.S. population has exploded since then, and with the ubiquity of the internet, interior cities are proving to be just as liberal as coastal cities.  Therefore, we need to rescale and reformulate the Electoral College in each state so the E.C can still be effective at giving both cultures equal voice (and preventing mob rule).

It should be mentioned: rescaling the E.C. is not the same as eliminating it.  Direct democracy will always result in the urban culture overriding the rural culture.  The E.C. is essentially a scoring handicap.

The takeaway: all red state legislatures are strongly advised to re-establish the way the Electoral College votes are calculated, ASAP, while their legislatures are still red.  The power to determine election law is well within the constitutional rights of each state, as it is yet another form of separation of powers.

This legislative action appears to be safe (debate encouraged).  By definition and circumstance, it can only benefit the rural culture.  If a future liberal Legislature wants to revert back to the "winner take all" model, its argument will appear thuggish and suspiciously contrary to liberals' battle cry of "direct democracy."  Breaking up the E.C. is a wise maneuver for the conservative party.

To contact your state senators and representatives about this issue, simply copy this article and resend it in an email, or print and send a hard copy directly.  An explanation of how Maine and Nebraska have established their Electoral College rules can be found here (though a different formula may be better for your state).

Image: Don Hankins via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

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