Inspection- An Answer for Your Right Wing, Electoral College, Loving Friends
Right on cue, as I polished off this column, late last week Bill O’Reilly repeated the very same talking points I challenge in this edition. Of course, as per usual O’Reilly “logic” he had it exactly backwards; claiming those who want to eliminate the Electoral College are playing race-based politics. No, Bill, it’s those who are arguing for white superiority when it comes to the vote who are playing “race-based politics,” and historically one of your talking points originated in race-based politics. By the way, Bill, like many of your usual tirades, why am I not surprised you would back a white supremacist-like view?
The scene: a homebrew club event in Pensacola.
The argument: why the Electoral College was more “fair” than the popular vote, and why we should rely on something like the College more when it comes to voting in general. Through this we see future plans to skew the vote in their favor.
”Evidence” given that the Electoral College is “more fair:” colored map of U.S. showing vast tracts of land that’s purple, or just red.
My response: “Land doesn’t vote.”
But this topic goes even deeper than that, or even deeper than what I stated next, “If you want to have more influence, then move.” Yes, and that argument even has a tinge of neo-con to it that I hoped they’d get, as in, “If you want a job…” “If you’d rather not have the disadvantages of living in a…”
Still not deep enough for this topic.
Part of this can be explained by referring to a different topic, yet a similar ill-informed rightward argument. The topic: gay rights. No, they want the same rights most people have: just like voters across the country want one vote whether they live in the country or a big city. And, if asked, I’m sure no one wants their vote to count less.
If the right really likes the Electoral College so much, this specific talking point they use sucks.
Yes, the right certainly seems to want to argue for having “special rights” when it comes to voting. Gee, they always seem so damn sure that any “formula” for adjusting admissions to a school is inherently unjust, but a formula that favors them and the few states they have locked down voting-wise? Better than fine and dandy.
Anyone else think such a formula is ripe for abuse, politically? Why, there are many of us who think it already has been abused for political purposes. Depending on who is in power, anything but one vote per person is a ripe opportunity for screwing over the will of the people.
Not like that has ever happened, I type with glee and gusto driven sarcasm.
The argument continued to sink lower and lower into even worse talking points, like claiming that white people’s votes were being “oppressed,” or marginalized, because so many immigrants: non-whites who tend not to vote Republican, live in highly populated areas. I tried to be polite because telling people in a public event they were, apparently, advocates of white superiority when it comes to the vote gets one nowhere, influences nobody. But if you don’t want to live in these metropolitan voting hot spots please don’t demand compensation in the form of “special rights” election time to make you have more of a vote than they do.
Should a voter from NYC have to be treated like 3/5ths of a voter? Gee, where have we heard that before? Does someone from Botulism, North Dakota deserve to be considered a super voter when the Electoral College over emphasizes his vote at 1.5 of a vote?
There may be good reasons to keep the College: this isn’t one of them.
How well would this work in other applications? Let’s say you live in Bundum, Nevada, outside a tiny community where mass transportation is little to none. Does the government owe you mass transportation equal to Pittsburgh? If you live Los Angeles, California does Dingledorf, Alaska, deserve to have as many interstates? “No,” to both. Neither do residents of Atlanta or LA deserve sit in the back of the bus with limited seats available while Bundom and Dingleorf residents get more “seats” on the bus headed towards the presidency.
It amazes me how those so opposed to affirmative action, when it comes to race, somehow wiggle and squirm philosophically; like a worm caught on logic’s hook, to come up with excuses for special rights when it comes to the vote. Want more influence for your party, more votes, but don’t want to move? Then pick candidates who appeal more to the areas where you have less support. To use a rightward refrain: “Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.” Why should the government do that for you?
This brings us back to the Electoral College. As I have already mentioned, there may be good reasons to keep it, my argument here is simply to counter the “white people in rural areas deserve to have more of a say” nonsense.
If you read Hamilton, and others, there were many reasons for the EC. One was they couldn’t decide between an appointed president or elected. And despite protests from the right, yes, there was a concern that the popular vote alone would lead to a dangerous populist becoming president.
Many of us find that sadly ironic right now.
However there is one part of this argument that may make sense, historically. The “flyover” states back then, if there had been planes, would have been the slave states. So their argument is, essentially, areas with non-white voters should count each voter as 3/5th of a voter.
So remind me again who’s playing some “race card” here? Maybe those who think whites should have special rights when it comes to voting? Excuse me while I fake cry about all the centuries whites have been oppressed and denied basic rights. Boo de, hoo, de hoo. Go ahead. Please, right wing, continue to argue for favoritism. Continue to use a talking point that actually means all these non-white, very inconvenient, voters should be considered 3/5ths of a voter. You’re only confirming the charges of racism, bigotry, and ethnocentricity coming from the left.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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