If Stacey Abrams ever publishes a book about her involvement in the current era of politics, I suggest she call it “The Encyclopedia of Excuses.” This past week’s incident, however, isn’t necessarily an example of an excuse for how she lost her own gubernatorial bid. It’s more of a catchall for Democrats in presidential races. You see, Abrams has examined the issue closely and determined that one major example of racism in our country is… the electoral college. (Free Beacon)
Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams called the Electoral College “racist” during remarks Friday at the National Press Club.
“The Electoral College is racist and classist,” Abrams said. “We have to remember the Electoral College was not designed because people were worried about Idaho not having enough votes. We didn’t know about Idaho. What we did know was that in the south, the populations in the south had equal or roughly equal populations to the north. However, because black people were not considered human or citizens, they wanted their bodies to count for the purposes of the population count but not their humanity.”
The Electoral College was born out of that compromise, Abrams said. She added states in the north didn’t want immigrants or those who were poorly educated to have a say in who picked the president either.
As Alexander Pope once wrote, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. This seems to be a classic case of that rule.
If you want to make the case that the founders of this nation were insufficiently woke when viewed against 21st century standards you’ll get no argument from me. They definitely didn’t want the slaves voting. (The fact that slavery was baked into the cake of our founding documents should be proof enough of that.) They also didn’t much care for women voting. Activists today talk about the evils of the patriarchy, but trust me. Those guys had an actual patriarchy going.
Saying they weren’t wild about immigrants is a bit of a stretch when you consider that a significant number of them were immigrants themselves. It might be more correct to say that they weren’t all that interested in the rights of immigrants who were from the wrong countries.
But none of this has anything to do with the electoral college. While the founders weren’t interested in protecting the voting power of the not-yet-extant state of Idaho, they definitely were concerned that each state would have a voice in the decisions of the new nation. They didn’t want the smaller states being entirely drowned out by the more populous ones. And since it was mostly just white landowners voting anyway, that decision had nothing to do with racism.
Now, counting all of the slaves and other non-voting people when determining each state’s representation and power in the electoral college while not letting them participate could definitely be considered racist and/or sexist. But that was centuries ago. Now all of those people are voting. If anything, you could say that the electoral college has become decidedly less racist and sexist since the founding, essentially eliminating these complaints.
What Abrams and many of her Democratic colleagues are actually upset about is precisely the thing that the founders were trying to guard against. If you can load up enough votes in a relatively small number of coastal, liberal states to win the popular vote and still lose a presidential election, they see that as a bad thing. But that’s how the nation was designed. It’s not a “national election” in the popular sense. It’s an election based on the combined will of the various states, each holding their own elections.
If you don’t like that, fine. Draft an amendment or call a constitutional convention. But unless you’d prefer to just ignore the bedrock design of the country you seek to serve, play by the rules until you can figure out a way to change them.