The 2020 presidential election was one of the most fascinating in my life. Ironically, I thought the 2016 election would be hard to beat, but 2020 made it dull by comparison. Tragically, these elections may mean the end of fair and honest elections is near if such things ever existed.
No! I am not interested in rehashing the voting controversy of 2020. Neither am I interested in the whining over one candidate winning the popular vote yet failing to win the election. The popular vote does not always match the electoral vote.
That is one reason the United States of America is still in existence. You see, there is probably no such thing as a completely honest and fair election, nationwide or even statewide, anywhere on this earth.* With that said, honesty is not the problem.
The real problem is what some might call gerrymandering, while others consider it a result of demographic changes. Whatever the reality, in future presidential elections, the outcome may be clear once the parties select their nominees. Presidential campaigns may be more of a Punch and Judy show than a serious election battle.
I say this because many states moved in a direction that may make a joke of the Electoral College (College). The College is the biggest factor in preserving the essence of the democratic republic that is the United States. If it had not been for the College, the U.S. would likely be just another failed democracy. Instead, we have retained a democratic structure for a record amount of time. Sadly, that record is rapidly coming to an end.
Whether by design, ignorance, or the luck of the draw, states have used their powers to neuter the College. In a majority of states, the electoral votes no longer represent the will of the entire state. They represent the will of the urban areas. Some would argue that is only right since most citizens live in urban areas, but that does not make it legitimate. The founders set up this system to prevent the bigger states and the urban regions from riding roughshod over the rest of the country, as far as electing a president is concerned.
Now, a handful of areas within a handful of states are critical to the presidential election outcome. It makes little difference what the rest of the country does; if Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, and a few other major metropolitan areas vote as a block, other regions may not matter.**
* I know it is impossible to empirically prove my statement. However, it is based on my experience with elections both as a voter, volunteer, and student of history, politics, and human nature.
**Just before I was ready to publish this, a study by the Brookings Institute came to my attention, which supports this position. In the 2020 election, available data indicates the incumbent won the popular vote in a significant majority of counties across the country. The challenger and now president won the popular vote in the heavily populated counties in key states.
© oneoldcop.com – 2021
Well said, S.E.
My hope is that the American system of government will prevail in the long run. I think two, maybe three kinds of effort are needed.
1. Supporting – not changing – what the founders laid.
2. Seeing that the condition of our souls is successfully addressed.
3. Remaining hopeful about #1 and #2.