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Electoral College’s value is underestimated

Electoral College’s value is underestimated

In this election year of 2024 I want to discuss two controversial topics: the Electoral College and two-senators-per-state rule. 

You may think the Electoral College is anti-democratic and that only stupid conservatives could want it. Same with the two-senators-per-state rule where a state with a small population like North Dakota (800,000) gets the same number of senators as a state with a huge population like California (40,000,000). I’m guessing if you don’t like these two parts of our Constitution then you’d describe yourself as a modern liberal, or a progressive. Well, I’d like to give one conservative’s view on why these are good things.

Aristotle described six types of government: (1) Monarchy — one leader ruling for the benefit of all; (2) Tyranny — one leader ruling for the benefit of one; (3) Aristocracy — a few leaders ruling for the good of all; (4) Oligarchy — a few leaders ruling for the benefit of a few; (5) Democracy — the majority ruling for the benefit of the majority; and, (6) Polity — the majority ruling for the benefit of all.

I don’t know about you, but I’m for polity. And so were John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, among others. You hear it called a “democratic republic” sometimes. (You may claim that instead of a polity we’ve got an oligarchy, the oligarchs being Gates, Musk, Bezos, Zuckerberg, etc., but that’s another topic for another day.) Several of the Founders had fine classical educations and the ones that didn’t were well-read home-schoolers with brilliant minds, so they knew which political systems worked best and which worked worst, going back 2,000 years.

If you’re for Democracy (or democratic socialism) then think again. Do you really want the majority to rule so they get what’s best for them? If you’re progressive, don’t you want minority groups to be represented? If you’re for minority rights, then polity — not Democracy — is the one for you. Moreover, if you like polity you ought to be beholden to the Founders instead of calling them bad names — judging them by present-day standards instead of by standards of their time — because they came up with about the only sane solution to make a polity and not a Democracy, and that solution was the two-senator-per-state rule and the Electoral College.

I’ll explain.

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Suppose instead of 50 states, we divided up the USA into fifty identities, or “The United Identities of America (UIA).” One identity group might be made up of Black lesbian trans-women, which we could call the “state” of “Blesbitroma.”

Another state might consist of non-binary Native Americans who are missing at least one limb, or “Manynampia.” I can’t tell if either of these two states would have the population of North Dakota, but I’m pretty sure they’d have much smaller populations than California.

The important thing is that at least forty-nine different minority identity groups — 49 of the 50 states — would get two senators each to represent them just the same as the largest and most obnoxious state of all, “Strawmanlandia” made up of straight white males. Strawmanlandia would have nothing over Blesbitroma or Manynampia in so far as being equally represented in the Senate. Wouldn’t that be a good thing for minorities? Minorities represented nationally by leaders they elected? As for the minority population of North Dakota in the USA, so for the minority populations in Blesbitroma and Manynampia in the UIA.

Likewise for the Electoral College. Suppose Strawmanlandia has 90,000,000 voters, 90% of whom (81,000,000) vote for the Republican candidate for president, say (to make up a name), “Ronald Slump.” Suppose further that in the remaining 49 states — remember, all minorities — vote on average 60% Democratic giving their presidential candidate “Werrin Hiding” a plurality of Electoral College votes but only 80,999,999 total votes, which would make Werrin president by the Electoral College, but since you’ve dispensed with that you get Slump.

You see, with the Electoral College, Strawmanlandia is limited on how much influence it has on the rest of the country, so that even if everyone in Strawmanlandia voted for Slump, the Strawmanlandian majority doesn’t get its way for the entire nation.

If you’ve endured this article so far, you’re better than me because I’m nearly spent, but I bet you can see the analogy that I’m trying to draw. If not, here’s the best I can do. It is conceivable that in the near future heavily-Democratic states like California and New York shrink in size and states like Texas, Tennessee and Florida increase in size making their majority Republican populations so large that their combined Republican votes — if taken as majorities — would mean Republicans dominate nationally (What goes around comes around). The Electoral College puts a check on that.

So, which do you prefer, polity or democracy? And do you still want to badmouth Jefferson and Madison?

(Steven Crider is retired physician who lives in Waynesville. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..)

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