It’s unfortunate that Americans have lost the British outlook on government. To Britons, Parliament is not the government. It watches the government. The Prime Minister puts in place the government and Parliament watches the Prime Minister closest of all.
In America it is not much different, though Americans don’t know that. They don’t know it because they have come to view the Senate and House of Representatives as the government as well. In practical application this is quite incorrect. The Senate and Congress govern nothing. They legislate. At all times they watch the government. If something needs doing that is not being done, they make a law requiring the government to do it. If the government is doing something that it shouldn’t, they make a law forbidding it.
In substance, the Senate and Congress administer nothing. They watch. They are the watchdogs on government. They are designed to safeguard the country and the people from the government.
Sadly, Americans refer to the government as the Administration. They know the President is in charge of the Administration and appoints the Bureau heads and as the chief executive runs the Administration.
But this outlook should be dropped.
The President of the United States, like the British Prime Minister, appoints and forms the government. The President is the chief executive officer and runs the government. The legislatures watch the President.
The difference between Britain and the United States is this: Britain is a country. The United States isn’t. The United States is a federation. In Britain the party in majority, according to Parliamentary Procedure, appoints the Prime Minster, and in turn the Prime Minster forms the government. Thus the party in majority actually sets the pulse of the government.
But since the United States is a federation, its States in federation must appoint the Federal Government. This is logistically impossible except one way– voting for the individual who will appoint and control the Federal Government: in other words, the President.
People do not elect federations. Countries federate themselves together and have an equal say regardless of their population disparity. The United Nations is a perfect example. Each nation has a single vote. It is not based on population. If it was based on population, China and India would perpetually control the UN. And what is good for China and India may not be the best for every other country and hemisphere on this planet.
The same with the United States. What is good for New York may not be best for New Mexico.
The United States is no different than the United Nations. As a federation, the States in federation must have an equal share in appointing the Federal Government. They have this in only 2 real ways. Each State has 2 Senators which represent the State and can pass or block Federal legislation. But most of all, each State has it through the Electoral College, for it is through this College alone that each State can influence who will be President.
The fad to abolish the Electoral College is dangerous. To abolish it is tantamount to a willful dissolution of the federation. There is no reason for any State to remain in the Union if the Electoral College is abolished.
The reason given to abolish the Electoral College is that it is not democratic– i.e. the people do not ultimately elect the President. This false straw man premise is the direct result of Americans believing they live in a country and not a federation. In truth, no federation is democratic. Nor can it be. For the United States, each citizen’s State is their actual country, and each State government is directly voted for by the people. Only because their State has agreed to federation with the others are they automatically citizens of the federation called the United States. If the State withdrew from the Union, its citizens are automatically withdrawn from being citizens of the United States.
All States must have their influence in this federation, and not just one State over the others. Since the President alone forms the Federal Government, the States must all have their chance in influencing this process. Without the Electoral College it is impossible.
Election statistics have shown that a number of presidents have won with slim popular margins– sometimes 500 thousand votes or less. In the case of Bush (II) and Gore, Gore won the popular vote by about 500K, close to the same margin he took New York City. In essence, New York City gave him the popular vote. When looking just at numbers, it may have appeared that 500K more Americans wanted Gore over Bush, but this 500k did not reflect the federation. The number was grouped in a single city, reflecting the desires of a very heavily populated area of a single State in the federation that is quite different in its outlook and needs than the rest of the federation.
In 2000, the Electoral College spoke differently than New York City because it reflected the federation as a whole. It did so because the entire federation spoke through the Electoral College.
The example of New York City is true of any major city. Without the Electoral College to reflect the entire federation, any major city can ultimately decide who is President– it can be Los Angeles, New York, Chicago. It would be like turning over the UN to China because China has more citizens than any other member of the UN.
But that’s not how federations work. Each member State has its influence through an equal vote.
Again, the United States is not a country. It is a federation. The people never have nor ever can elect the Federal Government. They elect their own State’s government and then according to a fair distribution of electoral votes, the States cast the final vote for the office that will appoint the entire Federal Government, the person who will then control foreign policy as well.
Now imagine abolishing the Electoral College. Why should New Hampshire or Iowa, or any State without a swollen urban culture wish to remain in the Union? There is no real reason. Why should its citizens even vote for President? New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, will constantly tip the scales, and their vote will always be based on their own local outlooks.
Large urban areas in America habitually vote Democrat whereas rural areas vote Republican. This is true even of California. Abolishing the Electoral College turns the direction of the federation over to cities. Only Democrats will become presidents.
Urban verses rural culture is an age old phenomenon of human nature. The Roman Empire was no different. Rome, Alexandria, bustling with half a million to a million people, wanted perks– the free corn dolia, etc. The outlooks of major cities has always been very different from the citizens of smaller towns and the countryside.
City dwelling culture has always been more self indulgent and self serving. But great cities had little influence after the collapse of the Roman Empire because kings and great nobles abhorred city dwelling culture.
Cities have become influential again in the last 100 years after the fall of monarchies and the rise of America resurrecting ancient attitudes.
There is no need or room for a lecture on the fall of civilizations. But I think all and sundry understand the end result of division. For a federation to seriously entertain abolishing its actual cornerstone of federation shows how education has eroded to self indulgence. People are being motivated by nothing but a slogan level intelligence that continues to preach that the individual voter is not ultimately deciding the presidency. That such a slogan is successful is a testament to self indulgence and ignorance. This “Me Tarzan, You Jane” equation then demands abolition of the Electoral College without even understanding what a federation is or foreseeing the end result of enacting its “Me Tarzan, You Jane” agenda.
It is common to assess the beginning of the fall of the Roman Empire to Septimius Severus. He divorced the army from any civilian influence and control. If the Electoral College is abolished, in retrospect historians will affix it as a significant mark in the decline and fall of the American federation. Severus’ precedence turned over the empire to an individual who could control the largest army. Abolishing the Electoral College turns America over to the largest city.
It may take a little time, but the populations of the States will see there is little point in remaining in the Union.
I seldom write of politics, as my readers know. My hobby of pursuing answers to many great mysteries puts me largely outside its discussions, but I have written of matters of logic and logistics before and of the Electoral College. After I removed 200 + blog posts to clear the slate of many topics, some things it seems just bear repeating now.
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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.