We have heard many on the left saying we need to abolish the Electoral College. The endless Democrats running for the presidency have picked up this cause, and they are shouting it from the rooftops. The leftist darling, socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York, blasted the system again this past week, calling it a "scam."
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and the countless others who think this way need to return to their ninth-grade civics class and relearn about the system. If they would take some time away from the camera and go visit a library, they would understand eliminating this system would cease the voices of the residents of about 46 of the 50 states, rendering the votes of these millions of U.S. citizens null and void.
Let's examine some history. The founders feared tyranny of the majority, where some voices could be drowned out and cast aside. There were two primary reasons they set up the Electoral College as part of a representative republic system to select the president and not simply a pure democracy.
First, the founders knew there needed to be a "buffer" between the direct populace and the selection of a president. This was important so we could be more readily assured that only a qualified person could become president. In addition, it would be more difficult to manipulate the citizenry, and it acts as a check to a population that might be duped.
Second, the Electoral College was part of a compromise to better represent the smaller states. Under this system, each state has the same amount of delegate votes as they have in Congress. This was important to the founders, and it should be important to us today - especially those of us living in the heartland.
People who reside in Oklahoma and think the Electoral College should be abolished are foolish. Their votes - and the opinion of the majority of their state, and every state that borders Oklahoma except for Texas - would not be considered, needed or even desired. In fact, the selection of the president would basically come down to those living coastal regions of the country - most specifically residents of four states: New York, California, Texas and Florida.
In essence, most of America would be rendered vote-less and voice-less. Presidential candidates would never have to visit the majority of the states, but could put all their efforts into those four. Americans in the other 46 would never need to hear about their plans, ideals or platforms. The candidates would care mainly about those four states and the people in them, and the rest of us would be dictated by the whims and wishes of New Yorkers, Californians, Texans and Floridians. How does that make you feel as an Oklahoman?
Yes, in the last election, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, which is the primary reason for this onslaught of Democrats calling for change. However, when you break it down to the county levels across the U.S., like it or not, she was not the favored choice, as she only won about 487 counties, compared to more than 2,600 won by Donald Trump. Her popular vote came with over 13 million votes from two states alone: New York and California.
It is highly unlikely the Electoral College will be changed. It would take a constitutional amendment ratified by three-fourths of the states to change it, and it is difficult to imagine the smaller states ever agreeing.
The founders were wise in coming up with this system because it forces candidates to win a multiple set of states instead of four basic ones. It is brilliant, and should be left alone.
Randy Gibson is CEO of RDG Communications Group LLC, and the former director of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce and Texas State Rifle Association.