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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 - Elections - Politicians - Preference - People
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.
People - Elections - Countries - France - Union
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...
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