These days, being “progressive” means, more than anything else, the urge to constantly look backwards (digging up every bad idea from the past, from socialism to anti-Semitism to non-PC Twitter jokes to measles), Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is the latest “Progressive” to try to rerun Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election campaign by calling for the elimination of the Electoral College.
Many so-called progressives are still grumbling about Trump’s presidency not being “legitimate” because he didn’t win the popular vote, which is irrelevant (if it had been a popular vote election, both candidates would have run completely different campaigns aimed at turnout.) They seem to have forgotten that Trump is actually the fifth president who took office without winning the popular vote. They say this is an affront to democracy, but America is not a pure democracy. The Founders feared the tyranny of the majority and created a Constitutional Republic for good reason so that any candidate would have to win broad support across the nation, not just in a handful of heavily-populated cities.
Some dismiss this as putting “geography” ahead of people but it’s actually protecting people. People in farming or ranching states shouldn’t be steamrolled by voters 1,000 miles away who have no understanding or concern about their lives and interests. If you want to see what a national popular vote election would be like, ask a conservative farmer in California or Colorado how well he feels his state government represents him now. It's no coincidence rural counties in both states have secessionist movements.
Hillary was done in by a number of factors, not the least of which was her decision to ignore the problems of voters in Rust Belt states. Because of this, they voted for the candidate who actually came and addressed their concerns (Trump), which is exactly as the Founders intended.
Think of it this way: Hillary received 2,833,220 more votes than Trump nationwide. But if you remove from the results California (where Hillary received 4,269,978 more votes than Trump) and New York (where Hillary received 1,736,590 more votes than Trump), then Trump would have won the popular vote by 3,173,348. The Electoral College worked exactly the way it should have in 2016 by preventing two states from imposing their will on the clear preference of the rest of the country, and exactly the way the Founders intended.
That’s why the Electoral College needs to stay.
This op-ed was adapted with permission from “Warren supports eliminating the Electoral College,” which originally appeared on MikeHuckabee.com.