An editorial in the Oberlin Review recently decried the Electoral College as outdated and dangerous, claiming it is “an existential threat to our democracy.” Why the hysteria over an integral part of the United States’ electoral process? Well, Donald Trump lost the popular vote in 2016, but he won a large majority of electoral votes.
The editorial board claiming the Electoral College is “an existential threat to our democracy” is typical leftist alarmism. First of all, the United States is a Republic, not a democracy—democracies are based on majority rule. Direct democracies tend to strip minority groups of their rights simply because of the fact that they are not in the majority. Furthermore, in the last 3 years, the Left has said that Donald Trump’s presidency would cause widespread racism and sexism, Net Neutrality would destroy the internet, the United States withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord would ruin the environment, conservative tax cuts would cause an economic recession, and now the Electoral College will ruin the country. Amazingly, we have survived these events, and life is pretty great in America.
The goal of this editorial is to urge Ohio, a state that is trending conservative, to pass legislation that would make the state pledge its electoral votes to whichever candidate wins the popular vote in the national election. This means that residents of Ohio could vote for one candidate, but if a different candidate wins the popular vote, Ohio will not honor its constituency’s request, but rather that of the whole country. The education at Oberlin College must be lacking, as the editorial board clearly has no idea what federalism is and why states’ rights are important.
Federalism was implemented in order to avoid a far too powerful centralized government, while still allowing that centralized government to perform some necessary functions. Residents of Ohio have a right to give their electoral votes to whomever they see fit. Why should any other state influence who Ohioans vote for? Do Californians know what is best for Ohio? What about residents of any other state? Of course not. Let Ohio decide for itself.
College leftists need to learn about how government works in the United States. The Founders set up checks and balances, like the Electoral College, in order to ensure protection of minority rights. America is not perfect, but this system of government has been crucial in making the United States the greatest country in the history of the world. We would be fools to throw out that system.