Using “Trump” along with “President” in the same sentence, never mind the same noun clause, makes me want to hurl.

Just so we’re clear on that.

However: the Electoral College exists for a reason. It keeps the more populous states from dominating the more sparsely populated ones. The principle is that the states are just as important as where the population resides. Any individual state can decide how it wants to distribute its electoral votes. Maine and Nebraska distribute them in proportion to the popular vote. That’s their decision. Other states go by the winner-take-all method. They get to decide that.

We have a rule book. We need to follow it. Dictatorships and banana republics change the rules when the game doesn’t come out the way they want it. That’s not how we do things in the USA. Think what your reaction would be, if the vote had gone the other way and Trump supporters were petitioning the Electoral College to cast its votes differently from the way they were pledged.

If you don’t like the Electoral College system, try working in your state to get your electors’ votes cast proportionately to the popular vote rather than as winner-take-all. Work to get Democrats elected in mid-term elections. Let your voice be heard in the new administration. Speak. Write. Register voters. Talk to people. Act. Contribute time, money, ideas, energy to the people and organizations who matter to you.

But let’s do things right. Democratically. By the rules. It’s true, rules can change, and sometimes they need to. Make sure, though, that the rules you ask for are fair to everyone, because next time the shoe may be on the other foot. Do as you would be done by. Do it by the book.


3 thoughts on “Orderly transitions

  1. I agree we have to play by the book for now. But the one thing that keeps me from agreeing with you about “states are just as important as where the population resides” is the fact that a large part of the reason why states were deemed more important than population was slavery. The electoral college worked hand in hand with the 3/5ths compromise to hand a lot more power to slave-holding states. I don’t think we should ignore that legacy. I don’t know if the best solution is to get rid of the electoral college, but I worry about taking this basic assumption on face value the way I used to.

    1. Fair enough. I will not defend slavery, and I hope that’s not what anyone heard in this post. But I’m hearing people say they don’t want the US to become like Turkey, and it seems to me that a fast way down that path is to start changing the rules every time somebody doesn’t like what happened.

      1. Agreed–wasn’t ever trying to accuse you of defending slavery, but it’s a part of the history of the institution that a lot of people don’t think or know about. I’m still wrestling with what that means for whether I could support (or feel that I should support) abolishing the EC.

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