12 Years Later and the World is Still Laughing…Abolish the Electoral College

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It has been just over 12 years now since Bush defeated Gore in an election that will forever be remembered as an International Embarrassment.

The obvious question for many Americans is, “Why has nothing changed since that fateful day of humiliation?”

Have you ever really thought about what the rest of the world was thinking? Here we have a country that labels itself as “Defenders of Democracy” and the people are not even allowed to select their own president. Excuse my French, but… Fuck the constitution. It needs to be changed. What’s right is right and what’s not right is wrong. Al Gore should have been president. Everyone with a conscience knows it. I was a proud conservative at that time and I still knew it. I feel that election was a lot like the O.J. Simpson trial. Most seemed to know that O.J. was guilty but we just accepted that the system was corrupt and moved on. Why do we continue to have to accept that our system is corrupt?

There have been polls abound on this issue and they all tend to reflect the same thing… The Average American is for Abolishing the Electoral College.

I’ve read numbers as high as 75% for abolishing it. Do some research and you will find the same thing. Most people want it gone.

At the very least I think people would love to see it “fixed.” So why is it that the states of Nebraska and Maine are the only two states that allow for a “split electorate?” Why aren’t the other 48 states interested in the same thing?

We will get to that in a moment but it’s money. It always is. It’s just money.

OK, so if candidate A wins Texas by 50.1% to 49.9%, he or she gets all 34 of those Texas electoral votes. It’s not 18 to 16 or something that is practical. It’s winner take all!!! WTF? This is exactly how Gore lost. Gore was unlucky enough to win lesser states by huge margins and lost key states by smaller margins. In the end he had more votes than Bush, and he lost? How in the hell can we let this happen? This is supposed to be a country that prides itself on doing what is right.

You don’t do what’s right when it’s convenient, you do it all of the time. The biggest embarrassment of this situation is that 12 years have since past and we have done nothing to fix it. It took the story only a couple of months to vanish and not one of our duly elected representatives was concerned enough to get something done about this travesty.

People that say, “My vote doesn’t count” are often labeled as negative outlets who don’t believe in our wonderfully democratic system. To the contrary these people know what the hell is going on and would love to see a change. But they won’t sugarcoat a turd and call it candy. They are realists and know that the system is broken and needs to be fixed.

So I said it’s about money, and it always is. Do you want to hear my take? It’s pretty simple but I believe that if you look at it, you will see it’s pretty obvious.

I thought it was totally fucking disrespectful to watch the 2012 campaign. Obama was given credit as a master strategist who knew how to use the electoral map to get elected. I will grant that his team was good at this. But when he and Romney made stop after stop in “battleground” states and ignored most of the country I thought it was a slap in the face of the American voters. It was more obvious than ever that the candidates were either “conceding” certain states or just totally apathetic toward smaller electoral states.

Say, for instance, in 2016, that Wyoming is a dead heat… this is just a hypothetical. Neither candidate will likely care. Why? Because 3 measly electoral votes isn’t as important to chase as those 27 electoral votes in Florida. A candidate down by 5% in Florida is more likely to campaign there than if he is down by 1% in Wyoming. It’s “winner take all” remember, and it’s about money and power. Fuck Wyoming, let’s get Florida turned around. That is where the majority of their energy and campaign money will flow. It’s also why states like Florida and Texas and California would never stand for a change in the electoral system. They are making too much money from it.

States with big electoral counts love it. Why? More campaign stops and more news coverage means more money. It means tourism money if nothing else. Don’t think for a minute that a stop in Ohio by a presidential candidate won’t bring followers from 700-800 miles away to Ohio. Ohio loves having 20 electoral votes. It means advertising money to papers and television stations. It means hotel reservations, It means more Big Macs sold on the campaign trail. It’s about network dollars and campaign contributions. It might even mean more Craigslist prostitutes being summoned, but that’s another story that has already been covered on other blogs.

The other reason it will never change is the exact thing we heard in the news. Obama’s team was genius. They knew where to put their efforts and when to do it. Candidates don’t have to fight tooth and nail over undecided voters in the small town of Hyder, AK when they can fight over a huge constituency in Cuyahoga County in Cleveland. Oh, I know…Cuyahoga is a bad example since it always votes democrat. Let’s just say the state of Ohio in general. It’s more important to fight over Ohio than it is to fight for Alaska. How does that make the average family of 4, with 8 mush dogs, and an igloo feel? My bad, not all people in Alaska have mush dogs. 😉

The point is that the big campaign money can be spent in a more effective way when candidates are allowed to follow a strategic electorate map. The guy in Alaska will still feel the effects of the election, but the people in Cleveland may be speaking for him. Does his vote count? Yes and no. It counts only to the extent that it determines the state of Alaska. It doesn’t matter if Alaska is carried by one vote or 100,000…it’s still worth 3 electorates. And if it is carried by 100,000…99,999 votes do not get applied elsewhere. That’s why Gore lost and it is wrong.

It’s insane and it’s about money. Why did Al Gore go away so gracefully? Have you ever wondered that? This man was the choice of the American people to be our next president and he went away with only a few whimpers. What kind of fucking leadership is that?

Some would say it was his class and belief in our system. I say that’s bullshit. I would love to have heard the conversations with his party peers after that election. I will call myself a liberal democrat for just a second here and tell you what any money-grubbing, power-hungry, constituent-enslaving politician would have said.

“Al don’t you fucking rock the boat. This system is not perfect but the future of the party depends on you walking away right now. The system works and we can’t afford for people to question it.”

My best guess is that the corrupt two-party system knows that the status quo can not be questioned. The Democrats agreed it was better to lose one battle than to risk losing the whole war. They like the system because of all of the money and power it affords them.

Do I have a bad attitude? Maybe. But I am tired of being embarrassed by people who obviously don’t give a shit what you and I think. They throw new political spins at us so quickly that we forget what we were angry about yesterday.

Not me. I still haven’t forgotten that the world laughed at us in the year 2000 and they are still laughing. Abolish the Electoral College. Every vote should count. Voters in the state of Hawaii should not feel like they are wasting their time because the election has already been called by all of the major networks. It’s fucking stupid and everyone knows it.

Disagree? I’d love to hear your take.

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About Dean Garrison

Dean Garrison is a father of five, who faithfully pursues the American Dream. In the greatest country on earth there are hypocrites and liars abound, and he tries to expose them one at a time. It's time to get rid of the servant leaders who treat us as slaves.
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7 Responses to 12 Years Later and the World is Still Laughing…Abolish the Electoral College

  1. BretBret says:

    “The Average American is for Abolishing the Electoral College.”
    That’s also because the Average American does not understand the Electoral College. It isn’t American Idol, you can’t text, phone, vote via twitter etc for your favorite Candidate. So trying to understand it, just isn’t a priority. Which also reflects one of my favorite things about Human nature. If we can’t eat it, use it or have sex with it. It has to die. If it is unknown to us It has to die. If it doesn’t make sense to us. It has to die.

    Ladies and Gentlemen. Getting rid of the Electoral College would mean that just six or seven States of fifty would choose the winner of every election. California, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas, Why? Because their population is by far significantly higher than most other States. Most States have just three or four electoral votes. The next group has between ten and eighteen. But the aforementioned group is all nineteen or more electoral votes. The Electoral College is designed so that each State has an equal and fair share of the decision. That share is decided by the population of a State. A popular vote would also mean a Republican or third-party could never get elected. So you would force a one party system.

    California – Blue as it gets
    Florida – We are not sure….
    Illinois – Blue as it gets
    Minnesota – Blue State
    New York – Blue State
    Pennsylvania – Blue State
    Texas – Red State

    Allow me to explain Florida….

    Gadsden, Leon, Jefferson, Alachua, Orange, Osceola, Hillsborough, Pinellas, St. Lucie, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties voted Democrat. Thirteen out of sixty-seven counties. Of which those thirteen are also the most highly populated. Obama won Florida by 0.9% of the popular vote in 2012. 2008? The votes went the same way. 2004? Only Pinellas and Hillsborough changed and went Red. Which is how Bush beat Kerry in Florida. In 2000 The only thing that changed from 2012 is that Hillsborough voted Republican. Which is why Bush won over Gore by all of 450 or so votes. Bush:2,912,790 v. Gore: 2,912,253.

    I live in Pinellas County. I live in the heart of its largest City. Saint Petersburg, Down town, by the pier. It is pretty good mix of Republican, Democrat and crazies.

  2. I agree with a lot of what you say Bret but not all. You see, one thing I think the electoral college promotes is voter apathy. For instance, if your state is showing Gore ahead by 15 percentage points, and you are a Gore supporter, then maybe voting isn’t the highest priority if you have a sick kid at home, or whatever… Getting rid of the electoral college doesn’t mean that 7 states would determine the winner. I can’t agree with that. I think that’s what happens now. I can’t understand how winning 52-48 or 50.5-49.5 constitutes receiving ALL of the electoral votes from a state. The system is corrupt. Seven states may have a huge population compared to the rest of the country but this gets back to the point of what I view as a real democracy…where every vote counts. Why shouldn’t every vote count? As it currently stands a vote in someplace like Wyoming may actually have many times more weight than a vote in a place like Illinois, because they have more electoral votes proportionally. Is that fair? I think each vote should be counted and that should be that. That’s what most Americans want. I think the argument could be made to the contrary of your statement.

    No longer would only six or seven states choose the winner because… Now each vote would count singly. No longer would you simply have to win a state by a small margin to receive 100% of their electoral votes. If Florida went 51-49 then that would not necessarily override a small state like Nebraska going 90-10. In the current system it does. If every votes counts it does not.

    Just my two cents. We won’t all agree on everything, but I think I’d like to see this discussion actually become part of campaigns and not continually swept under the rug.

  3. I’m dealing with normal life stuff right now (family) so I’m not sure I am making complete sense, but let’s put it this way. California has 55 electoral votes under the current system. If you win California by even a small margin you win all 55 electoral votes. What would it take to counteract that?

    If the opponent won the following states, they would end up with only 54 electoral votes and still be trailing: Wyoming, Vermont, South Dakota, Montana, District of Columbia, Delaware, Alaska, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, Idaho, Hawaii, West Virginia and New Mexico. Those 14 states (though I shouldn’t really call D.C. a state) are worth a grand total of 54 electoral votes.

    Granted those are on the bottom of the list with all of them only have 3-5 electoral votes, but it’s still a possibility as a mathematical model. So in our current system it is possible that a small majority in California can outweigh a huge majority in 14 other states.

    This is why the system is broken. If it’s mathematically possible for the system to fail then it should be fixed. If it’s possible for a candidate to receive more votes nationally, and still lose, then the system is flawed.

    If you want to argue for example that a few states decide and election, you could dig even deeper and duly note that it’s actually major metropolitan areas within those states that decide the election. I live in Missouri, and Kansas City and St. Louis are largely responsible for outcomes of any state race. Sure more of the population lives there and those people deserve to vote. But I simply feel until every vote counts equally, we will see the potential for more elections like 2000.

    The only reason it doesn’t happen more often is because most elections are not that close. But in the case where the election was insanely close…the system proved that it was ultimately flawed.

    That’s my take and that’s the way a lot of people feel. There are arguments for and against the electoral college but I am definitely against it.

  4. Bret says:

    I have a better idea than disagreeing with you. Constructive Consensus. I think the electoral college is almost the best we can do. The popular vote is pretty much a bad idea for the fact that it still solves nothing, States like Hawaii are still a non-factor, and not to mention its simply a logistical nightmare.

    A third option that we are both forsaking is a sort of hybrid format. I say sort of because it addresses what I think are some of your concerns but does not eliminate the electoral system. A means of circumventing say California’s 55 electoral votes into a single bucket.. If you broke the States down into electoral districts for instance. an entire States electoral votes wouldn’t go to a single candidate. Each vote would count that much more. Because in every state your looking at a 1 District for 1 Electoral Vote.

    For instance here in Florida. Under this principle the voters would be better served as their vote would hold more weight in their electoral district. Florida’s 29 electoral votes could easily be broken down. For Example Starting in the Panhandle.
    District 1: Escambia County and Everything North and East until Franklin County
    District 2: Wakulla County North and East to Suwanee County
    District 3: Everything North and East of Gilchrist County
    Then Continue moving South West to East cutting the State up into 29 Districts for 29 electoral Votes.

    I hate to say it though.. Even if by popular vote, By the time the election reaches Hawaii its already over. No matter which way you slice it. unless it is seriously 50/50 all the way until Hawaii.
    First popular vote is a problem of logistics. Your asking the Governments of 50 States to not screw up? Lets go for gold and ask for Light Sabers and clones of Velociraptor’s while we are at it. We can get funding from Obama because light sabers use energy! LOL There I just wrote our entire proposal. Someone get on submitting that to the Energy Commission.

    It Really depends on the goal here? If we want to make the individual vote carry more weight? Electoral Districts seems a pretty sound idea. Keep in mind I thought of this on the fly. I’m sure someone else has as well. Haven’t fact checked. If we are wanting to give the people a voice within their own State that their vote goes to the politician they picked? Electoral Districts are a good way to go about it. Plainly lay out what the goals are specifically. I will give you the best damn answer possible.

    I do not know about any other State but here things are pretty polarized.
    Central Florida is our Baptist Republican Revival Squad. In which Sheriff Grady Judd will and has put out an All points Bulletin for someone stealing $20.00 from a church collection plate. The Far South (Miami & Dade) is nothing but Democrats, Where I live We change based on the Candidate. (Hillsborough & Pinellas) Everywhere else is Pretty much Republican.

  5. Bret says:

    One more thing.. Since when do we live in a democracy? This is a Constitutional Republic last time I checked =P

  6. See that’s exactly what Nebraska and Maine provide for. Basically two electoral votes automatically go to the person who gets the most popular votes in the state (Representing Two Senate seats) and the district votes can be voted singly to different candidates. The problem here is that Nebraska has 5 electoral votes and Maine has 4. It’s only a drop in the bucket, and honestly I’m not sure if they have ever split the electorate in reality, or if it’s just provided for. But the big boys… I still have to believe that they like being “Winner Take All” states. I think it’s about power, prestige, and money. With that said…a hybrid system works if you could ever get the right people behind it. As for Hawaii. I almost think the biggest problem there is network coverage. I can’t limit their right to cover the news, but maybe states could agree to release results to the press a little later in the evening or something, to give other states in different time zones more of an opportunity to seem relevant. There again, you are dealing with egos of politicians. A state like New York or Pennsylvania loves being relevant and probably wants to be known as the first crushing blow of the election. I know it’s sounds silly but I believe the biggest problem we deal with here is the ego of those involved. They like being the “big kids on the block.” It’s almost like the episode of West Wing where they talked about eliminating the penny. Total fiction but funny…the response was the “People in Illinois will never allow that.”

    Anyway my big goal is just to make the system a little less likely to fail. Mathematically it’s not sound and it has been proven that it can fail. I can’t speak for the reasons of the general population but I think they are much the same. So a hybrid system would be so much better, because it is less likely to fail. It’s not impossible for it to fail but way less likely.

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