Two Distortions (2)

As a result of the electoral college, twice within this young century, Republican candidates who lost the popular vote have nevertheless won the electoral vote and been named president. In 2004, Democrat Al Gore came in second in the electoral vote but received 547,398 more popular votes than Republican George W. Bush, making him the first person since Grover Cleveland in 1888 to win the popular vote but lose in the Electoral College. Even worse, in 2016 election, Donald Trump, who four years earlier called the college “a disaster for democracy,” lost to Hillary Clinton by 2.9 million popular votes but won in the electoral college.

It is long since time that the electoral college be eliminated. How long must we allow the Republicans and racists to prevent its abolition?

And our system of representation by senators is equally undemocratic. The Constitution specifies that each state, of which we now have fifty, will have two senators representing it. That means that the 40 million people who live in the 22 smallest states get 44 senators to represent their views and interests.  The 40 million people in California get two. Nevada, next door to California with a population of three million, gets the same representation as California. This means a vote in Nevada is worth about 13 times as much as a vote in California.

The small state bias, like the electoral college, produces a Republican bias. That is because most small states tend to be overwhelmingly rural, white, and conservative. In the six-year election cycle that produced the 2019 Senate, the Democratic senators actually received 4.5 million more votes nationwide than the Republican senators. And, on average, each Democratic senator won 30 percent more votes than each Republican senator. And yet the Republicans won the majority of the seats and control of the Senate—a flagrant case of minority rule.

More next time.

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