Hocus-POTUS: Rethinking the Electoral College

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overlooking Washington DC

This morning, while walking Scout Labradoodle and simultaneously catching up on a few social media messages (yes, I understand how silly this is; and, yes, I have – more than once – walked into a tree while reading and walking; and, yes I have repeatedly sworn never to to this again…) I came to a surprising new conclusion regarding the presidential election here in the USA.

I have – up to this point in time – held a position regarding presidential politics that I considered well-thought-out, practical, philosophically sound, and in the best interests of the American people. I believe it was grounded in research, history, moral integrity, and sound judgment.

But I was wrong…

It’s Okay to Change Our Minds:

Yes – and this is going to be the crucial point of this post – I have changed my mind. And in today’s political and religious climate, changing one’s mind seems to be largely verboten. In fact, people of conviction routinely refuse to even engage conversation about many issues. Why? Because, “I already know what I believe… I already know what the Constitution means… I already know what the Bible says… I already know all I need to know…”

Well, Mr./Ms. I Already Know All I Need to Know, bless your heart….

  • Little matter that every last one of us has something to learn, every day, about everything.
  • Little matter that the U.S. Constitution has actually been amended several times.
  • Little matter that people of supreme intelligence devote lifetimes to constitutional studies, and routinely disagree among themselves and change their personal positions.
  • Little matter that even God has changed God’s own mind any number of times.
  • Little matter that it’s far more important to be faithful than it is to be right…

But I digress. I’m here this morning to tell you that I disagree with myself and I’m doing an about face.

Scrap the Electoral College!

0501cover-ftrHere goes (and sorry to disappoint if you think this is a boring subject): I have changed my mind on the Electoral College. Short story, I think we should jettison the college and opt for an “every vote counts” popular vote election.

Why did I change?

Well, it goes back to one of the social media posts I was reading. A friend was passionately urging people to vote for his candidate, pointing out that standing on the sidelines is no way to participate in democracy. I heard his enthusiasm, I got his point, but then I realized he was living in a state that’s not even vaguely “battleground.” His candidate is slated to win handily, likely with a double-digit spread.

Here’s what suddenly “got” me. All but two states are “winner take all” for electoral votes. So it’s going to be the same number of electoral college votes, no matter how many more of my friend’s friends go to the polls.

I don’t believe a dozen or so battleground states (and, once again, I live in one today) should get to decide who is in the White House. I believe every American should own equal weight in the decision.

I believe every American should own equal weight in the decision.

Hocus-Potus:

twitter_cards_homepageOne more thing, but I’ll save writing about this for another post: I’m increasingly convinced the President of the United States should be non-partizan, the leader of the nation rather than the top Democrat or Republican. The way party politics look right now, such a move is imperative if we want to protect credibility and respect for the office going forward.

Anyway, that’s where I am. Thought you all should be the first to know that I still have a lot to learn about everything, a lot of listening to do, and a long way to go in terms of wisdom and understanding.

Peace – DEREK

 

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derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

2 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Welcome Aboard!

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided).

    Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in every state surveyed recently. In the 41 red, blue, and purple states surveyed, overall support has been in the 67-81% range – in rural states, in small states, in Southern and border states, in big states, and in other states polled.

    There have been hundreds of unsuccessful proposed amendments to modify or abolish the Electoral College – more than any other subject of Constitutional reform.
    To abolish the Electoral College would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population.

    Instead, the National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by changing state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), without changing anything in the Constitution, using the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes.

    Every vote, everywhere, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election.

    No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps of pre-determined outcomes.

    No more handful of ‘battleground’ states (where the two major political parties happen to have similar levels of support among voters) where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 38+ predictable states that have just been ‘spectators’ and ignored after the conventions.

    The bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes—270 of 538.
    All of the presidential electors from the enacting states will be supporters of the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC)—thereby guaranteeing that candidate with an Electoral College majority.

    The bill has passed 34 state legislative chambers in 23 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 261 electoral votes.
    The bill has been enacted by 11 small, medium, and large jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    National Popular Vote

    Like

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