French Uprising Shows Why We Need the Electoral College

Europe Yellow Vest Uprising

The problem in France is that all of the power and representation is centered in Paris with the French elites, who could care less for the common Frenchmen and French women living outside of Paris.
This is the same situation we would have in the states if the Electoral College was abolished.

The Riots In France Perfectly Illustrate Why We Need The Electoral College

  13, 2018

The debate over the Electoral College comes up constantly during American elections, including the midterms last month, with many on the left calling for a popular vote instead. The process of electoral delegates voting for one particular party even if the popular vote of their state had only a slim majority makes the presidential elections seem generally unfair.

Under the electoral system, lower-population states have outsized influence, higher-population states have somewhat limited influence, and swing states enjoy all the attention. With a popular vote, so the thinking goes, each citizen would have a voice, and the president and his administration would consequently have more legitimacy and better serve the American population.

Conservatives argue that popular elections would lead to politicians giving overriding preference to people in large population centers (i.e., cities) and ignore sparsely populated rural areas. This would result in a “tyranny of the majority” where urban majorities behind the winning party would be overrepresented and rural minorities would be even more underrepresented.

To this, the left simply responds, “So what?” Why should anyone care about what happens to hillbillies withering away in ghost towns? Why should ignorant farmers and ranchers living on big, unpopulated fields have more of a voice than educated professionals living in uptown? Cities are the centers of commerce, industry, education, and culture; they clearly put more in the system than small towns.

It should also be noted that people who support popular elections will cite European countries, like France and other European Union member states, as a reason to give up the Electoral College. If sophisticated Europeans have accepted direct democracy, they reason, Americans seem positively provincial to continue on their present course.

In truth, the bias against rural communities and for European cosmopolitanism often fuels these arguments for the popular vote more than anything substantial. Still, even if the sentiment behind the argument assumes the worst of people in the countryside and the best of people in old cities of Europe, the logic behind it deserves a response. Why should this group receive these protections?

A Popular Vote Feeds into Progressivism

There are two things to consider for this question: (1) what a popular vote implicitly suggests about the role of government, and (2) how a government that exclusively represents urban voters would act.

First, to understand what the argument for a popular vote says about the role of government, one should look at the premises: politician overserve small states, and underserve large ones. These premises envision government as a great provider and the states as needy dependents; they do not present government as the representation of so many different constituents. The motivation behind supporting a popular vote is to make sure the government gives more fairly, not that the government truly speaks for everyone impartially.

Constitutionally speaking, the government should not favor any state or any individual. As defined by John Locke, it does not give out favors, but secures freedoms of life, liberty, and property. People are protected by the government to provide for themselves and prosper. The government keeps the peace, while the people keep their property, and the idea of redistributing property to meet the demands of a favored constituency simply does not exist.

Because liberals have come to see government as a provider, and they shift ever leftward into socialist utopianism, they see elections as opportunities for enrichment. If they really saw government as a representative body of officials intended to secure rights, national elections really wouldn’t make a difference whether they were based on popular vote or something else. A popular vote is thus based on a distorted expectation about government and rewards the wrong kind of leaders. Demagogues who promise to give away more social benefits quickly overcome the statesmen who promise to uphold their duties so people can benefit themselves.

This doesn’t mean that the Electoral College eliminates the possibilities of urban demagogues, but it does discourage it. A politician who has to meet the needs of all kinds of voters, instead of just a few, will not easily be able to make so many promises, nor be able to vilify or ignore unpopular minorities.

Read More: