Allow me to just say that for someone who has never once watched a single episode of The View, I certainly wind up seeing it, hearing about it and even writing about it more than I would have expected. That happened again this week after social media began lighting up over the latest bit of craziness from co-host Joy Behar. She’s no stranger to sticking her foot in her mouth, but with the election fast approaching and Joe Biden slipping in the polls, Behar and her fellow liberals are growing increasingly nervous. But fear not, campers. Joy has a solution to this “problem” and it’s easy as pie. We just need to get rid of the electoral college or at least “change” it and everything will be right as rain again. (The Hill)
“I’m worried that Trump could pull this off. We see the polls and we see Biden is leading … but the Russian interference is alive and kicking. Facebook is continuing to leave all the lies on the pages. The Postal Service is being interfered with,” Behar, a frequent and ardent Trump critic said Tuesday.
“The electoral college is an issue and a problem. In the history of the United States, there were four presidents who won without the popular vote because of the electoral college,” Behar continued.
“I think it’s ridiculous that a few states, a handful of states, determine my future. It’s ridiculous, so why bother voting in the rest of the country? They need to change the electoral college as soon as possible.”
There’s a video available from the show’s Twitter feed so you can hear the full tone and attitude on display. You’ll want to turn the sound on, though, as the closed captioning is a mess.
TRUMP’S “LAW & ORDER” MESSAGE WORKING? With the presidential election eight weeks out, the co-hosts react to Pres. Trump pushing his “law and order” agenda and question if it will resonate with voters. https://t.co/1091s9WYqN pic.twitter.com/zWb9c7dlgh
— The View (@TheView) September 8, 2020
If you listened to the introduction to that clip, Behar had a laundry list of other concerns leading her to worry about Biden’s prospects. She actually starts with a particularly valid one, questioning whether or not the nation was lining up with Trump’s law and order agenda. She also seems to grudgingly give a nod to the fact that the presentations at the RNC were more on point and effective than the show that the Democrats organized. But then she delves into a list of conspiracy theories about the Russians, Facebook’s failure to shut down the President’s statements and mysterious individuals stealing mailboxes.
All of that was only a prelude to the big knock on the electoral college. It’s ridiculous, you see. Only a handful of states “determine her future,” so why should anyone else bother voting? So “they” (whoever “they” might be) need to “change” the electoral college as soon as possible.
Hoo boy. That’s a lot of malarkey shoved into a tight space to unpack. First of all, the electoral college is not the reason we have “battleground states” beyond the fact that we organized the nation in the form of a group of states, to begin with. (Hint: the name “United States” wasn’t chosen at random.) We have battleground states due to the migratory patterns of Americans with different ideological views piling up in many regions. That leaves a handful of states “in play” during the general election in most years. But those lines could have fallen anywhere and they continue to shift over time. Examples of this can be found in states like Michigan that seem to be showing more of a conservative streak and the formerly reliably red state of Texas seeing significant inroads being made by liberal Democrats.
As to asking why anyone else should bother voting, well… if they don’t, then your argument about the electoral college evaporates. There is only a “red wall” and a “blue wall” in America right now because so many of those people do go out and vote. If we didn’t have any remaining battleground states, there would be little point in bothering to hold elections because we’d all know how it would play out before the voting even began.
As to the unspecified “they” who need to “change” the electoral college, that would be all of the citizens of the country. If enough people really wanted to do away with it, there would be a constitutional amendment either modifying or abolishing it and the job would already be done. But Behar and her ilk don’t hold nearly as much of a unanimous view on that subject as she may think. A slight majority are in favor of going to a popular vote model, but not nearly enough to get such a proposal over the finish line in the 34 states you would need to approve such a change. (Absent the calling of a new Constitutional Convention, of course.) So the college isn’t going anywhere in the foreseeable future, I’m afraid.
Honestly, is this what passes for political analysis on the morning talk shows? I’m amazed they’ve stayed on the air for this long.