John Kass NVD

When we were kids on the playground and there was an angry dispute, someone would always shout "majority rules." And we'd vote.

If the losers didn't like the outcome, there were two options: punch the winners in the stomach or take the ball and go home.

It worked on our playgrounds because a punch in the stomach isn't the end of the world, exactly. You could punch a kid, or he could punch you, and half an hour later you could both ride your bikes to a convenience store for a Slurpee. You could always find a ball somewhere. There was always the next afternoon to get out there and play.

But is majority rule any way to run a country -- of 50 separate but united states -- if what you're interested in is protecting the rights and the liberty of all?

When it was weak, the American political left was keenly interested in liberty and the rights of the minority. But now with power just exceeding its grasp, on the verge of flipping the Senate, the left wants to change the rules we've lived by since the early 1800s and abolish the Electoral College.

There are two reasons they want to abolish the Electoral College:

One, of course, is Trump. And the other is power after Trump.

President Donald Trump won the election in 2016 through the Electoral College, not the popular vote. And now he's stubbornly holding on to the dream that his court challenges of elections in key swing states will flip reality on its head and give him another term at the expense of Joe Biden and the Democrats. I don't see that happening.

Yet he persists. This enrages his opponents, though wasn't Hillary Clinton applauded for telling Biden before the election not to concede under any circumstance? That a close race would come down to absentee votes and the counting would drag out? That was her advice.

Unofficial totals show Trump received about 73 million votes this year, more than he got in 2016. But Biden received about 79 million votes, almost 6 million more than Trump. Yet if Trump had picked up just a few thousand more votes in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia, and took those states' electoral votes, he would have won the White House in 2020.

So now The Washington Post Editorial Board, news pundits and Democratic Party politicians want to do away with the Electoral College and have presidents elected by simple majority, which would give power to elect presidents to the population-rich coasts and make most states obsolete.

"Americans are not going to be satisfied with leaders who have been rejected by a majority of voters, and they're right not to be," says the Post. "It's time to let the majority rule."

At least the Post had the decency to admit their scenario wouldn't likely happen, and that if it did, there may be "unintended consequences." You can drive a whole fleet of Amazon delivery trucks through "unintended consequences" and think of your good intentions, and pretend you bear no responsibility for what happens down that road to hell.

Hundreds of years have passed since the framers established the Electoral College. And the genius of America is that it worked and still works.

Now, politicians seeking the presidency have to stop in Iowa and stand by the hay bales and wear jeans. But without the Electoral College, they won't come near an Iowa hog. They wouldn't think about Minnesota or Maine or Missouri or Mississippi.

They'd fly to the coasts where the population is centered, spend all their money and time catering to New York and California and large urban areas and ignore many of those flyover states. And what would happen?

Those "flyover states" would be diminished. The people in those states would be diminished. When people are diminished, they grow sullen and their anger builds.

If the answer is "majority rules," why stop with the White House?

Why not put the Bill of Rights up for popular vote?

Then we could decide those "freedom of religion" and "freedom of speech" issues once and for all.

You don't like what somebody says or writes, or how they worship? You won't have to wait for Twitter and cancel culture. Why not just put it all to a vote and let majority rule on the First Amendment?

You don't want somebody you don't know in another state to have a gun? The very thought of some grandmother owning a gun to protect herself in a city where the police have been defunded triggers you?

With majority rule, all you have to do is get your side together and vote and get government to take that grandma's gun.

Same for unreasonable search and seizures by the government. Perhaps you might not mind government searching and seizing what it thought best from those you despise on the other side of the political divide.

That's majority rule for you, without much concern for liberty.

Of course, someday, you might be in the minority. You might remember that someone mentioned "unintended consequences."

You might think about the tyranny of the majority. But it'll be too late.

And America won't look like a playground.

2020, Tribune Content Agency

(13) comments

LVW

I think things should remain as they are; everybody knows the rules, so play the game accordingly. But don't pretend that if a couple of GOP presidential candidates in recent memory had lost the election but won the popular vote that there wouldn't be some Republicans asking the same questions about switching to the popular vote. It should be obvious by now that, in politics, principles are fluid.

bishopsboy

LVW, your last statement is completely false. While it may be true for most Democrats, most Republicans respect and play by the rules.

LVW

Bb: Hogwash.

bishopsboy

LVW, it's true, just look at the last 4 years. Which party spied on the incoming President and impeached him on the dubious Steele dossier paid for by Hillary Clinton? Which party trashed Justice Kavanaugh (including Joe Biden and Kamala Harris) over ridiculous made up stories that never happened? Which party mailed in Biden ballots from dead people? It's clear the Democrats have no principles and as prodigalson constantly reminds us, they are evil. In all the above instances, Republicans asked for fairness and rule of law. Now show me where the Republicans did anything as egregious or lacking in principles as the Democrats.

LVW

Bb: First, your examples are themselves instilled with political bias; no surprise there.

But to answer your question, there is an example in today's column by George Will of he GOP going with politics over principle. Or, another in recent memory, the principle that no Supreme Court seat should be filled in the x months before a presidential election. You must be truly blind if you haven't seen numerous things like this before from your own party. Open your eyes.

bishopsboy

LVW, I’m not seeing the George Will column – did I miss something or are you referring to another newspaper?

The Republicans’ refusal to consider Garland while seating Coney Barrett on the SCOTUS is hypocritical, but a realist would have to admit the Democrats deserved having one rammed down their throats after they completely disparaged Kavanaugh despite his clear innocence of any of the ludicrous and baseless charges against him. IMHO, a little hypocrisy doesn’t even come close to spying on a political opponent, impeaching a President on the flimsiest of “evidence” that would never hold up in any American court of law, or showing utter disdain for the millions of Americans who voted legally while Democrat operatives were completing mail in ballots for dead people.

I’ll give you one point for the Republican hypocrisy and will take 3 points for the Democrat dirty deeds.

LVW

Bb: Will's column is in the paper paper.

bishopsboy

LVW, thank you, I found and read Will’s piece. I didn’t realize the paper version and this version were different.

I fail to see the hypocrisy though. Enumerating illegal aliens dilutes the political power and influence of real Americans so they should not be counted - the illegals should not be here to begin with. And if blue states want to be sanctuaries for these criminals, then they should not benefit politically from their anti-American actions at the expense of law abiding states.

LVW

Bb: Do I have to spell it out for you? A political party that continuously harps about steadfastly adhering to the Founders' original words is being hypocritical when they reinterpret the Founders' words in a situation that benefits that party politically.

bishopsboy

LVW, yes, the Republican position does benefit the Party, but it also stands for the rule of law, which is a principle the Republicans steadfastly adhere to as well. It is the latter that is the most important principle to uphold in this situation, do you not agree? Do you think it's acceptable for criminals to invade our country, deprive low wage American workers of jobs, drive down the wage base, not pay their fair share of taxes, and place increased demands on social services and benefit programs they are not entitled to? That's the Democrat position. As an American, my response is heII no, they need to get out of our Country and not be counted while they are here.

Programmer

People in general are not following the rules. For just one example how many people observe the speed limit on the interstate or 33.

newshound

Yes, excellent viewpoint. Those dilly Dems can dream their lurid dreams!

prodigalson

Great column.

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