JAMES BROWN: Leave the Electoral College alone

To the editor:

I am writing this letter in response to the John LaForge opinion piece from this Monday’s paper called “How to Scrap the Electoral College”. 

There has also been a push by many others, since the presidential election results, to get rid of the electoral college. Of course, nearly all who push for this change were on the losing side of the election. 

The electoral college is very important to our election process for selecting a president. The electoral college exists to give even representation to all voters across the nation. That means even representation to those who live in rural areas, urban areas, industrial areas, farming areas, mountainous areas, warm areas, cold areas, seacoasts, etc. 

If we scrap the electoral college we should essentially just hold presidential elections in big cities and on the major coasts of our country. 

If you want to see an interesting perspective of the presidential election results then search for the results of the election by counties across our nation. This shows a very loaded map in favor of Donald Trump. It doesn’t even come close. For example, in Illinois the only counties that went for Hillary Clinton were a few around Chicago and a couple of other random ones. The remainder of the states counties went for Donald Trump. Eleven of Illinois’ 102 counties went to Hillary Clinton, yet she carried the entire state’s electoral count. 

Illinois is one of the larger electoral prizes of election day. Similar results like these also occurred in New York, Virginia, Minnesota, and others where Clinton won electoral votes while losing the vast majority of counties in each state. If anything should seem unfair in our presidential election it is that states like New York, Illinois, and Minnesota should give their entire electoral count to one candidate because of what a large city within the respective state decides.

Sometimes the big cities are defeated in numbers, much like Michigan this time around. Detroit and its surrounding area usually decides the electoral bounty for Michigan, unless voter turnout is down for a candidate like on Nov. 8 for Hillary Clinton. 

Our nation is a constitutional republic and it is confused as a democracy by most people. We are not a true democracy. 

As the Founding Fathers knew, true democracies encourage demagoguery and wild promises during elections to essentially create a popularity contest. The electoral college exists to give states more power, balance, and representation. If we got rid of the electoral college than why not get rid of national senators. As the two senator system was put in place to give all states balance with the house of representatives. 

Without the electoral college we would take another big step towards vast central control in our nation. Abraham Lincoln once wrote that the destruction of the electoral college process would break up the compromised balance between federal and state government. He also added that the entire population of our country would have to yield to the decisions of the few large states. 

Those pushing for the removal of the electoral college, like John LaForge and Ralph Nader, are those who want a large, centralized, and controlling government. Therefore, they are happy with a few making decisions for all of us. If Hillary Clinton would’ve won the election, as the U.S. Constitution prescribes, we would not be hearing this argument for scrapping the electoral college. 

James L. Brown 

Big Rapids

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