Electoral College

No, The Electoral College Isn't Rigged to Favor Rural Trumpism

It's time to put the myth of electoral bias out of its misery.

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It's time to shed the mythical claim that electoral features of the United States Constitution somehow infuse our national political system with a rural Republicanism, conservatism, or Trumpism.

This charge appears prominently in Nancy MacLean's controversial book Democracy in Chains, which cites the U.S. Senate's equal representation clause as well as the Electoral College as evidence of the Constitution's anti-democratic features. MacLean accuses libertarians of seeking to enhance these features with further constitutional "locks and bolts" that supposedly thwart the popular and progressive-leaning "will" of the electorate. But she also does little to conceal her own contempt for these existing provisions, attacking our "grossly malapportioned Senate" in which "the vote of a Wyoming resident carries nearly seventy times more weight than the vote of a Californian." Suggesting that this feature constitutes a built-in bias towards conservative voters, she describes it as even "more egregious departure" from equal voting rights than the notorious manipulations of state legislature apportionment that typified the segregation era.

Indeed, to MacLean, the claimed Senate and Electoral College biases are a pernicious anti-democratic relics of slavery's influence over the drafting of the Constitution. Today they are "change-blocking mechanisms [that] prevent us as a polity from addressing our most profound challenges," which in her mind entails imposing radical tax hikes on the wealthy to stave off "inequality" and adopting a favored package of aggressive regulatory policies to combat global warming.

Is there in fact a detectable electoral bias in a Republican direction that supposedly emerges from the Constitution itself? While the Senate and the Electoral College indeed mathematically disfavor high-population states, the specific claim that they "rig" a supposed rightward bias into our politics is far more often asserted than substantiated. A simple examination of recent electoral results reveals that there is no reason to believe that Republicans or conservatives are the exclusive beneficiaries of these constitutional features. Rather, the much-discussed Republican-leaning rural states of the west are basically canceled out by the overlooked Democrat-leaning small states of the northeast.

To see how, let's take the 10 smallest states in terms of population (2016 estimates) and tabulate how they vote. Beginning with the least-populous state and increasing in size, the list includes Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, Rhode Island, Maine, and New Hampshire.

This is also a mathematically defensible cutoff point, as New Hampshire's apportionment of House seats sits well below the national average of population per district. The next state on our list, Hawaii, sits slightly above. Note also that this list does not include the heavily Democrat-leaning District of Columbia, which has 3 electoral votes but no senators. The nation's capital would sit below Alaska and above Vermont in terms of population if it obtained statehood.

The current U.S. Senate representation of these ten smallest states actually shows a slight bias towards the Democrats. They currently elect nine Republicans, nine Democrats, and two independents who caucus with the Democrats. Note that this pattern is basically a wash though, even if we recognize that rural western states occasionally elect centrist Democrats such as Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and small northeastern states occasionally elect centrist Republicans such as Susan Collins of Maine.

But what about the Electoral College? In the 2016 election, these same states gave 17 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton and 16 electoral votes to Donald Trump. The inclusion of D.C. would up the slight Democrat advantage to 20 electoral votes. In short, for every North Dakota (population 758,000) that tilts Republican, there's an offsetting Vermont (population 625,000) that tilts Democrat. The results for the 10 smallest states alone may be seen on this map.

The emphasis on disproportionate electoral power of rural states out west not only obscures famously left-leaning New England and its mid-Atlantic neighbors. It also distracts attention away from where the actual electoral battles tend to take place—medium-to-large population swing states like Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

It's true that, through Electoral College quirks, these states can determine the outcome of the presidency. It's also often the case that non-competitive large population states like California, New York, and Texas may see their voting power diminished nationally, creating the circumstances in which a candidate could lose the popular vote and yet win the presidency. But note that none of these characteristics are exclusive to Republican-leaning rural states, which largely see their clout canceled out by Democrat-leaning small states.

There's little doubt that the country is currently divided between distinctive and sometimes sharply-partisan political poles. But it's time we cast off the conspiratorial talking points that suggest the Constitution electorally disadvantages a latent "progressive" popular will. These unhelpful claims of a constitutionally rigged outcome lack any basis in the realities of our current electoral math.

NEXT: Can Cards Against Humanity Stop Trump's Wall?

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  1. Also, this isn’t a “democracy”. Its a representative republic with elements of democracy. Another distinction unrecognizable by leftists and progressives. The “will” of the electorate is more often than not uninformed, ill-informed, or exhibiting wholesale ignorance.

    1. This is fundamentally not the issue. Even if all votes were treated equally in the national election, it would still be a representative democracy. We aren’t issue voting.

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    2. “The “will” of the electorate is more often than not uninformed, ill-informed, or exhibiting wholesale ignorance.”

      Of course, the democrats came up with a system to deal with this. It’s called the Super Delegate. That way, if the “will” of the electorate is ill-informed in the sense that they choose to vote for the wrong candidate in the primary, the party can use their superdelegates to ensure that the correct/preferred candidate gets the nomination.

      But, that should be completely ignored and we should all just remember that republicans are the ones thwarting the will of the people with their evil machinations.

  2. It all makes sense, once you accept the question-begging premise that federalism is a bad idea.

  3. Winner-take all gives an advantage to large states, or would if those large states were actually competitive. New York and California are sluts who jump into bed with the Democrats at every opportunity then whine to their friends about how the Democrats take them for granted.

    1. In fact, it could be argued that the EC bias toward large states (more votes at stake due to winner take all) counterbalances the advantage small states have in the Senate.

      1. The EC does not force states to be winner take all. Take Nebraska and Maine for example

        whats so difficult to understand — states vote for the president and each state gets as many votes as their representation in Congress.

      2. In fact, the electoral college is a limiting factor on a county like Los Angeles dictating all of American politics.

        1. In 2012, under the current state-by-state winner-take-all system (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), voters in just 60 counties and DC could have elected the president in 2012 ? even though they represented just 26.3% of voters.

          The population of the top five cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia) is only 6% of the population of the United States.

          Voters in the biggest cities in the US are almost exactly balanced out by rural areas in terms of population and partisan composition.

          16% of the U.S. population lives outside the nation’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Rural America has voted 60% Republican. None of the 10 most rural states matter now.

          16% of the U.S. population lives in the top 100 cities. They voted 63% Democratic in 2004.
          The population of the top 50 cities (going as far down as Arlington, TX) is only 15% of the population of the United States.

          The rest of the U.S., in suburbs, divide almost exactly equally between Republicans and Democrats.

          1. A valid enough point though, overall. States should work towards a proportional system. There may be some hidden downsides there I’m not aware of, but it seems like a ‘more fair’ system of apportionment.

            I agree with the electoral college in principle, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be reformed by the States. That ball is in their court.

            1. The National Popular Vote bill is 61% of the way to guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by changing state winner-take-all laws

              All voters would be valued equally in presidential elections, no matter where they live.
              Candidates, as in other elections, would allocate their time, money, polling, organizing, and ad buys roughly in proportion to the population

              Every vote, everywhere, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election.
              No more distorting, crude, and divisive and red and blue state maps of predictable outcomes, that don’t represent any minority party voters within each state.
              No more handful of ‘battleground’ states (where the two major political parties happen to have similar levels of support) where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 38+ predictable states that have just been ‘spectators’ and ignored after the conventions.

              The bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes?270 of 538.
              All of the presidential electors from the enacting states will be supporters of the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes among all 50 states (and DC)?thereby guaranteeing that candidate with an Electoral College majority.

              1. Yes, it sounds doable. Unless… Could a small state thwart the plan by refusing to publish its popular vote totals, either at all, or until it was too late for the states who signed on to the plan to assign their electoral votes on the basis of a totaled-up popular vote?

                1. Although the procedures vary from state to state, representatives of the candidates, political parties, proponents and opponents of ballot measures, civic groups, and the media typically all have the ability to immediately obtain the vote count from every precinct for local, statewide, and national elections. Indeed, the almost-instant availability of precinct-level vote tallies provides the basis for the vote tallies that are posted on government web sites and broadcast by the media on Election Night.

                  Existing state laws also require rapid transmission of official documentation of vote tallies to some designated central location (e.g., the secretary of state).

                  Shortly after Election Day, local authorities make official determinations on the eligibility to vote of provisional ballots that were cast on Election Day, and the additional official documents are created at the local level to reflect the results of including eligible provisional ballots in the precinct totals. In addition, in the process of rechecking local vote tallies, local authorities sometimes notice and correct administrative errors that may have occurred on Election Night (e.g., transposing digits, accidentally double-counting a precinct).

                2. Within a few weeks after Election Day (long before the meeting of the Electoral College in mid-December), “official returns” consisting of the precinct-level vote tallies for President exist in at least two separate places in every state.
                  ? at the level of the precinct or unit of local government where the votes were actually counted, and
                  ? at the state office to which the local vote counts were transmitted.

                  Federal law (Title 3, chapter 1, section 6 of the United States Code) requires the states to report the November popular vote numbers (the “canvas”) in what is called a “Certificate of Ascertainment.” You can see the Certificates of Ascertainment for all 50 states and the District of Columbia containing the official count of the popular vote at the NARA web site

              2. In practice, candidates would focus on dense population areas where less money and effort could reach more voters.

                They would never visit the small states again.

                1. With National Popular Vote, when every popular vote counts and matters to the candidates equally, successful candidates will find a middle ground of policies appealing to the wide mainstream of America. Instead of playing mostly to local concerns in OH and FL, candidates finally would have to form broader platforms for broad national support. Elections wouldn’t be about winning a handful of battleground states.

                  14 of the 15 smallest states by population are ignored like the big ones because they’re not swing states. Small states are safe states. Only NH gets significant attention.

                  In the 25 smallest states in 2008, the Democratic and Republican popular vote was almost tied (9.9 million versus 9.8 million), as was the electoral vote (57 versus 58).

                  The 12 smallest states are totally ignored in presidential elections. These states are not ignored because they are small, but because they are not closely divided “battleground” states.

                  Now with state-by-state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), presidential elections ignore 12 of the 13 lowest pop states (3-4 electoral votes), that are non-competitive in presidential elections. 6 regularly vote Republican (AK, ID, MT, WY, ND, and SD), and 6 regularly vote Democratic (RI, DE, HI, VT, ME, and DC) in presidential elections.

                  Similarly, the 25 smallest states have been almost equally noncompetitive. They voted Rep or Dem 12-13 in 2008 and 2012.

                2. In 2012, 24 of the nation’s 27 smallest states received no attention at all from presidential campaigns after the conventions. They were ignored despite their supposed numerical advantage in the Electoral College. In fact, the 8.6 million eligible voters in Ohio received more campaign ads and campaign visits from the major party campaigns than the 42 million eligible voters in those 27 smallest states combined.

                3. Voters in the biggest cities in the US are almost exactly balanced out by rural areas in terms of population and partisan composition.

                  A successful nationwide presidential campaign of polling, organizing, ad spending, and visits, with every voter equal, would be run the way presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida, under the state-by-state winner-take-all methods. The big cities in those battleground states do not receive all the attention, much less control the outcome. Cleveland and Miami do not receive all the attention or control the outcome in Ohio and Florida. In the 4 states that accounted for over two-thirds of all general-election activity in the 2012 presidential election, rural areas, suburbs, exurbs, and cities all received attention?roughly in proportion to their population.

                  The itineraries of presidential candidates in battleground states (and their allocation of other campaign resources in battleground states, including polling, organizing, and ad spending) reflect the political reality that every gubernatorial or senatorial candidate knows. When and where every voter is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.

                  1. Most urban metros are growing in population. That balance, if it existed, would likely not be in place for long. Also, while it’s true that our country is pretty polarized, that doesn’t mean it is completely polarized and that partisan ID is static. The fact that the vote was nearly tied in 2008 means nothing.

                    And it doesn’t seem you’ve really taken in the point of other posters about how that really just ends up as being centered on the largest national metros, or places like the eastern seaboard with a lot of metros close together.

                    Yes right now solidly red or solidly blue states may appear overlooked. But that’s not static. Look at Michigan and Wisconsin and PA in the last election. Or look at Colorado and VA, which not too long ago used to be thought of as red states, then purple, and look pretty blue now. States that seem less competitive in one election cycle or another may eventually become the new Florida. If one party starts taking a state too much for granted, the other is all to happy to try to pick it off.

                    With NPV, if you were campaigning in Ohio, your agenda is going to be whatever issues people in Cleveland/Columbus/Cincinnati are focused on, and your opponent will be doing the same. Concentrating mostly on the major metros is just more physically and economically feasible when the whole country is a battleground state. And that would be static.

                    NPV is just the rich trying to make sure their voices are the only ones that matter.

                    1. Campaigning does NOT end up being centered on the largest metros.

                      A successful nationwide presidential campaign of polling, organizing, ad spending, and visits, with every voter equal, would be run the way presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida, under the state-by-state winner-take-all methods. The big cities in those battleground states do not receive all the attention, much less control the outcome. Cleveland and Miami do not receive all the attention or control the outcome in Ohio and Florida. In the 4 states that accounted for over two-thirds of all general-election activity in the 2012 presidential election, rural areas, suburbs, exurbs, and cities all received attention?roughly in proportion to their population.

                    2. Because of state-by-state winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution. . .

                      Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in 2015 was correct when he said
                      “The nation as a whole is not going to elect the next president,”
                      “The presidential election will not be decided by all states, but rather just 12 of them.

                      Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind.

                      With the end of the primaries, without the National Popular Vote bill in effect, the political relevance of 70% of all Americans was finished for the presidential election.

                      In the 2016 general election campaign

                      Over half (57%) of the campaign events were held in just 4 states (Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio).

                      Virtually all (94%) of the campaign events were in just 12 states (containing only 30% of the country’s population).

                    3. With the end of the primaries, without the National Popular Vote bill in effect, the political relevance of three-quarters of all Americans was finished for the presidential election.

                      Over the last few decades, presidential election outcomes within the majority of states have become more and more predictable.

                      From 1992- 2016
                      13 states (with 102 electoral votes) voted Republican every time
                      16 states (with 195) voted Democratic every time

                      Many states have not been competitive for more than a half-century and most states now have a degree of partisan imbalance that makes them highly unlikely to be in a swing state position.
                      ? 38 States Won by Same Party, 2000-2016
                      ? 29 States Won by Same Party, 1992-2016
                      ? 13 States Won Only by Republican Party, 1980-2012
                      ? 19 States Won Only by Democratic Party, 1992-2012
                      ? 7 Democratic States Not Swing State since 1988
                      ? 16 GOP States Not Swing State since 1988

                    4. In the 2012 general election campaign

                      38 states (including 24 of the 27 smallest states) had no campaign events, and minuscule or no spending for TV ads.

                      More than 99% of presidential campaign attention (ad spending and visits) was invested on voters in just the only ten competitive states..

                      Two-thirds (176 of 253) of the general-election campaign events, and a similar fraction of campaign expenditures, were in just four states (Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Iowa).

                      In the 2008 campaign, when candidates concentrated over 2/3rds of their campaign events and ad money in just 6 states, and 98% in just 15 states. Over half (57%) of the events were in just 4 states (OH, FL, PA, and VA).

                      In 2004, candidates concentrated over 2/3rds of their money and campaign visits in 5 states; over 80% in 9 states; and over 99% of their money in 16 states.

                    5. In Ohio?the single state that received over a quarter (73 of 253) of all of the 2012 general-election campaign events (and a similar fraction of advertising expenditures),
                      the candidates campaigned in various parts of the state essentially in proportion to its population.
                      ? The 4 biggest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in Ohio have 53.9% of the state’s population and received 52.1% of the state’s 73 campaign events in 2012?slightly less than their share of the population (but very close to their percentage of the population). They voted 54% Democratic.
                      ? The 7 medium-sized metro areas have 23.6% of the state’s population and received 23.3% of the campaign events?almost exactly in proportion of their population. They voted 52% Democratic.
                      ? The 53 remaining counties (that is, the rural counties lying outside the state’s 11 MSAs) have 22% of the state’s population and received 25% of the campaign events?slightly more than their share of the population (but very close to their percentage of the population). They voted 58% Republican

                      In the 4 battleground states — Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, and Florida — that got two-thirds (176 of 253) of the 2012 general-election campaign events, and a similar fraction of campaign expenditures, campaigns were proportional-to-population in various parts of the states.

                    6. Because of state-by-state winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution. . .

                      Issues of importance to 38 non-battleground states are of so little interest to presidential candidates that they don’t even bother to poll them individually.

                      Charlie Cook reported in 2004:
                      “Senior Bush campaign strategist Matthew Dowd pointed out yesterday that the Bush campaign hadn’t taken a national poll in almost two years; instead, it has been polling [the then] 18 battleground states.”

                      Bush White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer acknowledging the reality that [then] more than 2/3rds of Americans were ignored in the 2008 presidential campaign, said in the Washington Post on June 21, 2009:
                      “If people don’t like it, they can move from a safe state to a swing state.”

                      Over 87% of both Romney and Obama campaign offices were in just the then 12 swing states. The few campaign offices in the 38 remaining states were for fund-raising, volunteer phone calls, and arranging travel to battleground states.

                    7. TV ads cost much more per impression in big cities than in smaller towns and rural area. Candidates get more bang for the buck in smaller towns and rural areas.

                    8. Under National Popular Vote, every voter, everywhere, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election.
                      Every vote would matter equally in the state counts and national count.

                      The bill would give a voice to the minority party voters for president in each state. Now their votes don’t matter to their candidate.

                      In 2012, 56,256,178 (44%) of the 128,954,498 voters were minority party voters in their states.

                      And now votes, beyond the one needed to get the most votes in the state, for winning in a state, are wasted and don’t matter to presidential candidates.

                      The National Popular Vote bill was approved in 2016 by a unanimous bipartisan House committee vote in both Georgia (16 electoral votes) and Missouri (10).
                      Since 2006, the bill has passed 35 state legislative chambers in 23 rural, small, medium, large, Democratic, Republican and purple states with 261 electoral votes, including one house in Arizona (11), Arkansas (6), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), The District of Columbia, Maine (4), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), North Carolina (15), Oklahoma (7), and Oregon (7), and both houses in California, Colorado (9), Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico (5), New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

                4. With National Popular Vote, when every voter is equal, everywhere, it makes sense for presidential candidates to try and elevate their votes where they are and aren’t so well liked. But, under the state-by-state winner-take-all laws, it makes no sense for a Democrat to try and do that in Vermont or Wyoming, or for a Republican to try it in Wyoming or Vermont.

                  TV costs much more per impression in big cities than in smaller towns and rural area. Candidates get more bang for the buck in smaller towns and rural areas.

          2. 16% of the U.S. population lives in the top 100 cities. They voted 63% Democratic in 2004.
            The population of the top 50 cities (going as far down as Arlington, TX) is only 15% of the population of the United States.

            So, 1% lives in cities 51-100?

            The appearance of thorough research is undermined by numbers that don’t pass the sniff test.


            1. So, 1% lives in cities 51-100?

              The appearance of thorough research is undermined by numbers that don’t pass the sniff test.

              The 50 largest cities are about 49.9 million population or 15.1%
              51-100 is 13.9m is 4.3%

              I’m going with fat fingering and that 19% was intended, which is pretty close

              1. I’m going with fat fingering and that 19% was intended, which is pretty close

                Maybe, but when someone rattles off a bunch of “facts and figures” that are a little bit suspect and perhaps careless on the face of them, and then says “therefore vote for my magical piece of legislation,” my ears tend to turn off.

                1. Apologies for my one math error,

                  But BYODB’s idea that without the current system, Los Angeles county could dictate all of American politics, is still ludicrous.

                  Support for a national popular vote for President has been strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in every state surveyed. In the 41 red, blue, and purple states surveyed, overall support has been in the 67-81% range – in rural states, in small states, in Southern states, in big states, and in other states polled.

                  Most Americans don’t ultimately care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state or district. Voters want to know, that no matter where they live, even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans think it is wrong that the candidate with the most popular votes can lose. We don’t allow this in any other election in our representative republic.

                  The National Popular Vote bill was approved in 2016 by a unanimous bipartisan House committee vote in both Georgia (16 electoral votes) and Missouri (10).
                  Since 2006, the bill has passed 35 state legislative chambers in 23 rural, small, medium, large, Democratic, Republican and purple states with 261 electoral votes, including one house in Arizona (11), Arkansas (6), Maine (4), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), North Carolina (15), and Oklahoma (7), and both houses in Colorado (9) and New Mexico (5).

          3. Out of the 3,007 counties in the United States, half the US population lives in 146 of those counties.

            Your 15% probably only works if you count just the city. New York City has a population of 8.5 million but a metro area of 20.2 million, or 6% of the US population. Chicago, 10.8 million. LA, 18.7 million. Atlanta, 5.8 million. DFW, 7.3 million. Houston, 5.6 million. That’s 25% of the US population.

            The thing is, as an Illinoisan it would be emotionally satisfying to take voting power away from Chicago and the ring counties, but I’d be taking voting power away from 65% of the state’s population, and 70% of the tax base. Taxation without representation, what’s that? And when you ask people why they move to places like Chicago and Atlanta, is it for the night life? Is it for the art scene? No, overwhelmingly it’s for work.

            Talk like this came up in droves when Obama won in 2008. Republicans and conservatives couldn’t believe that an inexperienced politician with no military experience won the election, so they looked and saw that Obama won with almost no rural support, and started strategizing on how they could sell the notion of disenfranchising urban voters without alienating collateral damage, hence all this talk of Real Americans?.

            This is why rural folks join orgs like the NRA and Farm Bureau; they lobby for things rural America tends to care about.

            1. Because of state-by-state winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution. . .
              In 2012, under the current state-by-state winner-take-all system (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), voters in just 60 counties and DC could have elected the president in 2012 ? even though they represented just 26.3% of voters.

              I said cities, and noted suburbs, divide almost exactly equally between Republicans and Democrats.

              Now, because of statewide winner-take-all laws, in some states, big city Democratic votes can outnumber all other people not voting Democratic in the state. All of a state’s votes may go to Democrats.

              If you had popular vote, every conservative in a state that now predictably votes Democratic would count. Right now they count for 0

              The current system completely ignores conservatives presidential voters in states that vote predictably Democratic.

              The National Popular Vote bill would give a voice to the minority party voters for president in each state. Now their votes don’t matter to their candidate.

              In 2012, 56,256,178 (44%) of the 128,954,498 voters were minority party voters in their states.

    2. The “winner takes all” applies to the states themselves. The states decided that they have to assign electoral votes on a winner takes all basis. They do not have to. In fact, Nebraska does not. The electoral college would not be a “problem” if states allocated their electors according to the election results.

      California has 55 electoral votes. California electoral results were 61.6% Democrat, 32.8% Republican, and 3.4% for some nutty Libertarian. Splitting the electoral votes up would mean, rounding totals to the nearest whole, there would be 34 Clinton electors, 18 Trump electors, 2 Johnson electors, and 1 Stein elector.

      1. There are good reasons why no state awards their electors proportionally.

        Although the whole-number proportional approach might initially seem to offer the possibility of making every voter in every state relevant in presidential elections, it would not do this in practice.

        The whole number proportional system sharply increases the odds of no candidate getting the majority of electoral votes needed, leading to the selection of the president by the U.S. House of Representatives, regardless of the popular vote anywhere.

        It would not accurately reflect the nationwide popular vote;

        It would reduce the influence of any state, if not all states adopted.

        It would not improve upon the current situation in which four out of five states and four out of five voters in the United States are ignored by presidential campaigns, but instead, would create a very small set of states in which only one electoral vote is in play (while making most states politically irrelevant),

        It would not make every vote equal.

        It would not guarantee the Presidency to the candidate with the most popular votes in the country.

        The National Popular Vote bill is the way to make every person’s vote equal and matter to their candidate because it guarantees the majority of Electoral College votes to the candidate who gets the most votes among all 50 states and DC.


        1. The whole number proportional system sharply increases the odds of no candidate getting the majority of electoral votes needed, leading to the selection of the president by the U.S. House of Representatives, regardless of the popular vote anywhere.

          You’re not wrong, but assuming that the electoral votes needed to keep the vote out of the House wouldn’t also be lowered seems unlikely if a scenario presented itself where something like this had an actual chance of being passed.

          I could be way off base though.

          1. That would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population.

          2. I am not a lawyer, but it seems pretty clear in the relevant parts of the Constitution that the number of electoral votes needed to keep the vote out of the House is a majority of those cast. This is roughly equivalent to requiring that a candidate not just get the most votes, but at least 51% of the votes cast as well.

            Why having the election sent to the House–which only happened twice, and how the Electoral College’s voting works has changed significantly since the last time–is undesirable should not be assumed to be a bad thing without evidence. It might be a bad thing only in that it would signal that nobody ran a candidate capable of meeting the victory conditions, which is bad, but the problem there would rest with the methods used to select the candidates in the first place…and ought to be addressed at that level.

            Pretty much all of the rest of Ms. Anthony’s concerns are ones that proportional assignment of Electoral College votes have in common with popular vote; the solutions, where they exist, are the same. The main difference is that proportional assignment would force a broad-based popularity–which has more potential for forcing the candidates to actually try to visit everywhere, and it should be noted that a straight popular vote was considered for electing the POTUS at the time the Constitution was written…


        2. The National Popular Vote bill is the way to make every person’s vote equal and matter to their candidate because it guarantees the majority of Electoral College votes to the candidate who gets the most votes among all 50 states and DC.

          Maybe, but direct democracy is cancer so why should we infect ourselves with it?

          1. You’ve ingested so much crap on this subject you don’t even know what you’re talking about. Electing a representative of the people is not direct democracy.

            Or do you mean to say you prefer pointlessly convoluted democracy?

          2. Even if we elected the president by popular vote, like *every other elected position*, we would still be a republic.

        3. It would not make every vote equal, because candidates would not spend the same amount of effort pandering to low density voters as high.

          This coincidentally would benefit urban/democratic voters.

          1. Support for a national popular vote has been strong in rural states

            None of the 10 most rural states (VT, ME, WV, MS, SD, AR, MT, ND, AL, and KY) is a battleground state.
            The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes ( not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution) does not enhance the influence of rural states, because the most rural states are not battleground states, and they are ignored. Their states’ votes were conceded months before by the minority parties in the states, taken for granted by the dominant party in the states, and ignored by all parties in presidential campaigns. When and where voters are ignored, then so are the issues they care about most.

          2. With National Popular Vote, when every voter is equal, everywhere, it makes sense for presidential candidates to try and elevate their votes where they are and aren’t so well liked. But, under the state-by-state winner-take-all laws, it makes no sense for a Democrat to try and do that in Vermont or Wyoming, or for a Republican to try it in Wyoming or Vermont.

            TV ads cost much more per impression in big cities than in smaller towns and rural area. Candidates get more bang for the buck in smaller towns and rural areas.

          3. Voters in the biggest cities in the US are almost exactly balanced out by rural areas in terms of population and partisan composition.

            A successful nationwide presidential campaign of polling, organizing, ad spending, and visits, with every voter equal, would be run the way presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida, under the state-by-state winner-take-all methods. The big cities in those battleground states do not receive all the attention, much less control the outcome. Cleveland and Miami do not receive all the attention or control the outcome in Ohio and Florida. In the 4 states that accounted for over two-thirds of all general-election activity in the 2012 presidential election, rural areas, suburbs, exurbs, and cities all received attention?roughly in proportion to their population.

            The itineraries of presidential candidates in battleground states (and their allocation of other campaign resources in battleground states, including polling, organizing, and ad spending) reflect the political reality that every gubernatorial or senatorial candidate knows. When and where every voter is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.

      2. there would be 34 Clinton electors, 18 Trump electors, 2 Johnson electors, and 1 Stein elector.

        And I suspect at least part of the reason for not doing it this way is that this would create the impression in voters that there are more than two choices.

        Tony hardest hit.

    3. If you’re a Republican in a blue state or a Democrat in a red state, your vote for president doesn’t matter to your candidate.

      Trump received more votes in California than he got in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and West Virginia combined.
      None of the voters or votes in California for Trump, helped Trump.

      California Democratic votes in 2016 were 6.4% of the total national popular vote.

      California cast 10.3% of the total national popular vote.
      31.9% Trump, 62.3% Clinton

      In 2012, California cast 10.2% of the national popular vote.
      About 62% Democratic

      California has 10.2% of Electoral College votes.

      8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

      With the National Popular Vote bill in effect, all votes for all candidates in California will matter.

      1. This is an interesting psychological gambit.

        What will be the cost to influence an urban vote versus a rural one? How will that impact which voters have more influence?

        1. With National Popular Vote, all voters would be valued equally in elections, no matter where they live.
          Candidates, as in other elections, would allocate their time, money, polling, organizing, and ad buys roughly in proportion to the population

          Every vote, everywhere, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election.
          No more handful of ‘battleground’ states (where the two major political parties happen to have similar levels of support) where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 38+ predictable states that have just been ‘spectators’ and ignored after the conventions.

          TV ads cost much more per impression in big cities than in smaller towns and rural area. Candidates get more bang for the buck in smaller towns and rural areas.

          The itineraries of presidential candidates in battleground states (and their allocation of other campaign resources in battleground states, including polling, organizing, and ad spending) reflect the political reality that every gubernatorial or senatorial candidate knows. When and where every voter is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.

          When every voter is equal, everywhere, it makes sense for presidential candidates to try and elevate their votes where they are and aren’t so well liked. But, under the state-by-state winner-take-all laws, it makes no sense for a Democrat to try and do that in VT or WY, or for a Republican to try it in WY or VT.

          1. Great plan while we are at it we can forgo any illusion and just let party mechanisms in populous cities chose the Presidency

            1. Voters in the biggest cities in the US are almost exactly balanced out by rural areas in terms of population and partisan composition.

              16% of the U.S. population lives outside the nation’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Rural America has voted 60% Republican. None of the 10 most rural states matter now.

              16% of the U.S. population lives in the top 50 cities (going as far down as Arlington, TX)

              The rest of the U.S., in suburbs, divide almost exactly equally between Republicans and Democrats.

    4. In 2016, New York state and California Democrats together cast 9.7% of the total national popular vote.

      California & New York state account for 16.7% of the voting-eligible population

      Alone, they could not determine the presidency.

      In total New York state and California cast 16% of the total national popular vote

      In total, Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania cast 18% of the total national popular vote.
      Trump won those states.

      The vote margin in California and New York wouldn’t have put Clinton over the top in the popular vote total without the additional 60 million votes she received in other states.

      In 2004, among the four largest states, the two largest Republican states (Texas and Florida) generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Bush, while the two largest Democratic states generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Kerry.

      New York state and California together cast 15.7% of the national popular vote in 2012.
      About 62% Democratic in CA, and 64% in NY.

      New York and California have 15.6% of Electoral College votes. Now that proportion is all reliably Democratic.

      Under a popular-vote system CA and NY would have less weight than under the current system because their popular votes would be diluted among candidates.

  4. The electoral college has a bad history, given that its original motivations were resolved almost 200 years ago and the function was maintained because of slave-owning states. That aside though, vote power shouldn’t be a thing for president. Its the one part of our representative democracy that doesn’t make any sense, has proven not to actually help us, and needs to be shed.

    Federalism is a good thing. The senate was built to accomodate the need for small states to have their voices heard. But when it comes to electing a president, there is no conceivable reason why a voter from Illiniois should matter less than a voter 2 miles away in Iowa.

    1. So, a national popular vote? Do you trust Illinois and California to properly vet eligible voters? If they cheat by a few hundred thousand votes now, no harm is done. In a national race, vote totals must be reliable in all 50 states.

      1. Or just scale the Electoral votes to population, instead of adding 2 to each state for the Senator count?

        1. This more or less completely misunderstands the intent of Senators in the first place. Of course, Democrats had a hand in making sure that function was subverted when they demanded the direct election of Senators.

          1. ^This is my bugaboo as well.

            1. People think the Senate is supposed to represent them. They aren’t.

              They are literally there to represent the interests of the States themselves.

              Whoops.

              1. They are literally there to represent the interests of the States themselves.

                As a natural counterbalance to the Federal impulse to centralize power in DC.

                1. Exactly, and it’s not a coincidence that the 17th amendment was written and passed during the centralization of Federal power.

              2. I should make it clear that the Senate did represent the will of the people even before the 17A, but very tangentially. They were intended to be chosen by the States Congress to represent the interests of the State government at the Federal level. It was also to prevent exactly the kind of idiotic bullshit grandstanding that we see in the Senate today.

                I only feel it’s necessarily to clarify because few people seem to grasp that as a concept. The 17th Amendment was a shitty amendment because of this ‘feature’.

                1. I couldn’t agree more.

                2. Plus if we go to direct election of the President it will simply be the will of the Party elites and their political machines.

              3. States don’t have interests. They are areas of land bound by lines on a map. So what is this supposed to mean exactly?

                I’ll tell you: to give more representation than is due to low-population states so that their pet policies (namely, enslaving human beings) wouldn’t get obliterated by the big states.

                There’s nothing sacred or even logical about this arrangement.

                1. I forgot how retarded Tony was.

                  1. Yeah, it’s easy to forget how bad he really is.

                    Get any new planks lately, by the way? I hear just a few more and you won’t be the same ship.

                    1. Planks… like Tony?

                    2. Well, he’s gotta be useful for something. It might as well be decking, right?

                2. I’ll give you the benefit of a doubt and assume you didn’t read my clarification that, honestly, was written precisely because I anticipated you not understanding the basic history that’s taught nation-wide in public schools.

                  1. So great historian, what is your theory as to why the method of electing senators was changed? Mind you, this was a change felt so necessary that it got enough support to result in a constitutional amendment.

                    1. Lots of stupid progressive amendments were passed around the same time…

                      Income tax
                      Direct Election of Senators
                      Prohibition

                      *whispers* Women voting


                    2. So great historian, what is your theory as to why the method of electing senators was changed?

                      Mostly, if memory serves, because of unproven concerns over corruption and vote buying. Instead of reform, of course, they chose to undermine the States say in the Federal Government. I’m sure it’s purely coincidence that so many anti-state amendments were added around the same, and that it coincided with the rise of Progressivism through Woodrow Wilson who did not believe the Constitution was useful.

                      It seems that ignorance of the Progressive movement throughout American history is virtually a requirement to be a Progressive. I’m sure it’s just coincidence, though.

                    3. So a conspiracy of nefarious people with the wrong political beliefs. Just what I thought.

                      Just don’t know what’s to be gained by the old system.

                    4. “Let’s throw out the old system and install a new one. One where the people decide everything. And we should do away with anything we deem unfair. We should ban bad things and enforce good things. What could go wrong?”


                    5. So a conspiracy of nefarious people with the wrong political beliefs. Just what I thought.

                      I didn’t say wrong political beliefs, or even imply a nefarious conspiracy, I stated it was the result of Progressive ideology which is factually true and is something you should have learned before you even started thinking about applying to college.

                      Although now that I think about it if you ever did take a civics or philosophy class there is no evidence of it, collegiate or otherwise. So way to support my theory that ignorance of Progressivism is required to be a Progressive.

                    6. You just hand-waved away the rampant corruption that is the historically accepted explanation for the change in how senators are elected. You read a goddamn history book. A real one, not one written by Ann Coulter.

                    7. I didn’t hand wave anything, I specifically mentioned corruption and how it was mostly unproven and was, in fact, pushed by interested parties not the least of which was Hurst who was prominent Progressive Democrat of the time. I’m positive there was corruption, don’t get me wrong, but that’s because corruption is endemic to politics. Widespread corruption, however, was usually the claim made by those we now call ‘Yellow Journalists’.

                      Amusingly, if you read up on that time period it’s so like today that it’s like reading through a modern newspaper. The more things change, the more they stay the same I guess.


                    8. A real one, not one written by Ann Coulter.

                      Honestly I don’t even know what that harpy writes, is it history? I’ve never written a single thing penned by her in my life. Seeing her once or twice on television was enough to trigger my gag reflex.

                    9. *read a single thing…

                    10. Honestly I don’t even know what that harpy writes, is it history?

                      No – she’s essentially exactly like Tony, but Republican.

                3. States don’t have interests. They are areas of land bound by lines on a map.

                  The US Federal Government, on the other hand . . .

                  1. That’s different. That’s just all of us doing things together! /derp

        2. That change would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population.

      2. None of the voters or votes in California and Illinois for Trump, helped Trump.

        Trump received more votes in California than he got in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and West Virginia combined.

        California Democratic votes in 2016 were 6.4% of the total national popular vote.

        California cast 10.3% of the total national popular vote.
        31.9% Trump, 62.3% Clinton

        In 2012, California cast 10.2% of the national popular vote.
        About 62% Democratic

        Illinois Democrats cast 2.3% of the total national popular vote.
        Illinois cast 4% of the total national popular vote.

      3. With the current system, not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states, a small number of people in a closely divided “battleground” state can potentially affect enough popular votes to swing all of that state’s electoral votes.

        537 votes, all in one state determined the 2000 election, when there was a lead of 537,179 (1,000 times more) popular votes nationwide.

        The current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes maximizes the incentive and opportunity for fraud, mischief, coercion, intimidation, confusion, and voter suppression. A very few people can change the national outcome by adding, changing, or suppressing a small number of votes in one closely divided battleground state. With the current system all of a state’s electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who receives a bare plurality of the votes in each state. The sheer magnitude of the national popular vote number, compared to individual state vote totals, is much more robust against manipulation.

        National Popular Vote would limit the benefits to be gained by fraud or voter suppression.

        1. You’re a bot. This has been copy/pasted all over the internet for months/years.

      4. The closest popular-vote election count over the last 130+ years of American history (in 1960), had a nationwide margin of more than 100,000 popular votes. The closest electoral-vote election in American history (in 2000) was determined by 537 votes, all in one state, when there was a lead of 537,179 (1,000 times more) popular votes nationwide.

        For a national popular vote election to be as easy to switch as 2000, it would have to be two hundred times closer than the 1960 election–and, in popular-vote terms, forty times closer than 2000 itself.

    2. And to be blunt about it, the two times in modern history where the EC overrode the will of the people, we got monumentally horrible presidents out of the deal.

      1. “Will of the people”

        You can always tell the communists from this tell.

        1. Fine, the popular vote.

          You people are so fucking sensitive.

          1. To Authoritarian scum? Yes.

          2. Ah, pure Democracy. Where the rights of the minority are absolutely not respected whatsoever.

            Sounds perfect for Tony.

            1. What are you even trying to talk about? You’re changing the subject. A presidential election is a choice between two people. You’d have to have a pretty fucking good reason for why the minority in that circumstance should get its way over the majority.

              It’s certainly not because of their track record of picking presidents.

              1. This is normally when I’d advocate the typical liberty-oriented notions of diffusing power (e.g. the original purple of States electing Senators, as discussed above) and limiting the impact of Presidents you disagree with, but it’d be a waste of time because the arguments wouldn’t be taken in good faith and/or would be totally ignored.

                1. purple? TF? I meant purpose.

                2. Well it would likely be a bunch of post-facto justifications for an obviously flawed system but whose flaws happen to benefit the democratically unsupported politicians you like. Just a guess on that.

                  But I was talking about a single election for one office. There’s no “minority rights” involved in that. The same can be said for most collective decisions. And just because I said the word “collective” doesn’t mean I’m talking about Marxism, so keep your panties on.

                  1. In my perfect world scenario, we have three candidates and the people vote to kill one, let one live unscathed, and have one fucked by a gorilla. The one fucked by a gorilla gets to be president.

                    That’ll teach them for having any desire to rule people.


              2. A presidential election is a choice between two people.

                False, even if that’s how it often ends up. There is no rule that says only two people are on the ballot. In a strictly utilitarian sense, that’s probably ‘good’ simply because more than that has a higher chance of throwing the election into the House.

                What’s a little shocking is you don’t appear to understand the tyranny of the majority in any sense. Wow, that’s an easily illustrated feature of democracy that even elementary school children are easily capable of understanding.

                1. So if I understand your incoherent mishmash of 6th grade civics concepts, you think that the president should not be the one who gets the most votes, because that would be tyranny of the majority? Thus, some minority should win, because it wouldn’t be tyranny of the majority? Which minority? The 5% who backed your guy?

                  1. Notably ‘my guy’ wasn’t in the election at all.

                    That said, my comment was a reply to your notion that somehow the electoral college was the primary cause of the issue you mention. Personally, I’d put more blame on the party primaries but that’s an opinion.

                    In all honesty, I wouldn’t have any problem whatsoever with direct election of the President and going off the popular vote if the President had less power. Like, a lot less power.

                    I would hope that in the era of Trump a partisan like yourself might even agree on that last point but as you’re a Progressive I sincerely doubt you think the concentration of power is bad thing.

                    1. I think it’s obvious that the president has too much power. The power to unilaterally end life on earth, pretty much by definition, is too much power.

                      Not sure why that’s a qualification though. Why shouldn’t the majority always get its way every time? The only alternative is letting the minority get its way.


                    2. Not sure why that’s a qualification though. Why shouldn’t the majority always get its way every time? The only alternative is letting the minority get its way.

                      Purely in terms of Democracy vs. ‘Something Else’ the reason is patently obvious so I’ll take it as read that’s not what you’re asking.

                      In terms of the office of the President in particular I would prefer a non-popular vote precisely because the office of the President has too much power. Limit the office the President to non-important things, and we can elect them with a popularity contest. Seems pretty fair to me.

                    3. But as long as we have a too-powerful president, we should let the minority sometimes pick him?


                    4. But as long as we have a too-powerful president, we should let the minority sometimes pick him?

                      Sure, why the fuck not when the only times that’s happened (off the top of my head) is when:

                      A) Nobody liked either candidate anyway
                      B) The vote was incredibly close anyway

                      While I would have bitched about Hillary being elected for a lot of reasons, the electoral college would not have been one of them.

                      In either scenario, you’re not going to win the EC if your popularity among voters is significantly less than the alternative. It’s just not going to happen. Even if every state only broke for the winning candidate by 49% that’s still around half of all Americans that wanted the person in office.

                      Now, if a situation occurs where a significant minority wins the Presidency and the supermajority of Americans hate the winner we might have a conversation about making sure that never happens again. Since it didn’t happen with Trump, I’m hesitant to say it will ever happen.

                    5. The vote was not incredibly close this time.

              3. Because that was the deal when the US was founded, to prevent New York from running roughshod over New Hampshire.

                But more specifically, the only reason anyone cares is because partisan politics. No Democrat would give two shits if they were the ones coming out ahead.

                So, suck it.

                See also judicial filibusters.

                1. I would be deeply disturbed if Democrats kept winning the presidency despite losing the popular vote. I actually have principles unlike you people. Funnily enough the only Republican that is bothered by the reverse happening is Donald Trump, but that’s because he is seriously mentally ill.

                2. Trump, Nov 13, 2016, on “60 Minutes”
                  ” I would rather see it, where you went with simple votes. You know, you get 100 million votes, and somebody else gets 90 million votes, and you win. There’s a reason for doing this. Because it brings all the states into play.”

                  In 2012, the night Romney lost, Trump
                  “The phoney electoral college made a laughing stock out of our nation. . . . The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.”

                  In 1969, The U.S. House of Reps voted for a national popular vote, 338?70.

                  Recent and past presidential candidates who supported direct election of the President by a constitutional amendment, before the National Popular Vote bill was introduced: George H.W. Bush (R-TX-1969), Bob Dole (R-KS-1969), Gerald Ford (R-MI-1969), Nixon (R-CA-1969), Dukakis (D-MA), Carter (D-GA-1977), and Hillary Clinton (D-NY-2001).

                  Recent and past presidential candidates with a public record of support, before November 2016, for the National Popular Vote bill that would guarantee the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency to the candidate with the most national popular votes: Bob Barr (Libertarian- GA), U.S. House Speaker Gingrich (R?GA), Rep Tom Tancredo (R-CO), and Sen Fred Thompson (R?TN), Sen and VP Al Gore (D-TN), Ralph Nader, Gov Martin O’Malley (D-MD), Jill Stein (Green), Sen Birch Bayh (D-IN), Sen and Gov Lincoln Chafee (R-I-D, -RI), Gov and former DNC Chair Howard Dean (D?VT), Congressmen John Anderson (R, I ?ILL).

                3. Because of state-by-state winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution. . .

                  In 2000, 537 popular votes in Florida determined that the candidate who had 537,179 less national popular votes would win.

                  Less than 80,000 votes in 3 states determined the 2016 election, where there was a lead of over 2,8oo,ooo popular votes nationwide.

                  Since World War II, a shift of a few thousand votes in 1, 2, or 3 states would have elected a 2nd-place candidate in 6 of the 18 presidential elections

      2. And, in both cases, both the candidates presented were terrible. Coincidence?

        1. ^ This.

  5. Just let the blue states form their own nation. Everyone would be happier.

  6. We already ignore enough of our Constitution. If the leftists hate something, it must be good.

    1. ^^ This is what has taken over libertarianism. Mindless Hannity-esque tribal blather. Can’t you people do better?

      1. I see you still don’t understand that Republicanism and Libertarianism aren’t the same thing, but by all means continue to highlight your own political ignorance.

        Should a rabid left wing liberal, on a Libertarian website, be surprised to find Republicans there as well? Apparently, they should.

        1. I understand they’re not supposed to be the same thing.

          1. I take this to mean that you don’t understand that you’re not a libertarian, and yet here you are spouting anti-libertarian ideology on a libertarian website.

            Yet, you’re surprised to find Republicans here doing the same thing and accuse us of being ‘the same’?

            Curious. By your own logic, we’re all Democrats since you’re here spouting Democrat talking points.

            1. Sometimes I’m the most libertarian person here. I’d respect libertarians who argued in favor of the Republican party on pragmatic grounds. I mean, a little.

              What I’m talking about is the “proggies derpy do everything leftist commies believe is evil because fat Hannity told me to think that burpy burp.” It’s just retarded ass bullshit from the dregs of the right-wing stupid-sphere and I wish you’d spend as much time calling that out as you do me for believing in a few more government services than you might.

              1. His point is that Philadelphia Collins doesn’t necessarily represent Libertarians.

                Do you really not understand this?

                1. But it’s like 70% of the crap that goes on here. Proggies this, leftists that. And nobody ever calls it out. Almost as if it’s welcome rhetoric.


                  1. But it’s like 70% of the crap that goes on here. Proggies this, leftists that. And nobody ever calls it out. Almost as if it’s welcome rhetoric.

                    As someone who occasionally leans Classically Liberal, you’re far from a liberal. Some of my best friends are liberals, in fact, and I feel like I can say this pretty confidently.

                    Many people, including a lot of folks around here, fail to understand that Progressivism is distinctly anti-liberal as well as anti-libertarian, so it’s not that hard to understand why people around here dislike them regardless of their views when it comes to the Republican / Democrat dichotomy.

                    Almost everyone is guilty of painting with a broad brush on occasion, but you seem incapable of understanding that there are smaller brushes at all.

                    1. Oh God I’d rather sit through a lecture on fucking ants than listen to yet another person harp on the semantics of “liberal.” Can this horsecrap go out of vogue finally so that we can all go back to living our lives?

                      No form of liberalism, however defined, ever supported the extremist quasi-anarchic bullshit that libertarianism currently peddles. Ayn Rand was no liberal. She was a psychotic.

                      Call me whatever you want. It’s just a label. I count myself a member of the political persuasion that has championed minority rights, increased democratic participation, and an increasingly robust social welfare state. Because we’re the only ones who’ve ever succeeded at doing good.

                    2. No form of liberalism, however defined, ever supported the extremist quasi-anarchic bullshit that libertarianism currently peddles.

                      And now we move to the phase where Tony pretends that libertarianism = anarchism.

                      Ayn Rand was no liberal. She was a psychotic.

                      Agreed. What’s your obsession with Ayn Rand, anyway?

                    3. Because the libertarianism espoused by most of you coincides more with Ayn Rand than with anything in the actual libertarian tradition and certainly anything called liberalism. All of the libertarian thinkers believed in a welfare state, for example. They were at least rational enough not to peddle absurdities like “charity will take care of it all” etc.

                    4. Because the libertarianism espoused by most of you coincides more with Ayn Rand than with anything in the actual libertarian tradition and certainly anything called liberalism.

                      Like who? I’ve been here a long, long time, and there really haven’t been that many Randians, especially among the libertarians (as opposed to the “libertarian-leaning” Republicans, of whom we have many). Rand wasn’t a libertarian by a long shot, and never claimed to be.

                      All of the libertarian thinkers believed in a welfare state, for example.

                      Such as?


                    5. No form of liberalism, however defined, ever supported the extremist quasi-anarchic bullshit that libertarianism currently peddles.

                      Well, that’s false which is understandable since you are not a liberal of any stripe. You don’t understand any political ethos, you just social signal against the one you dislike the most.

                      Frankly, you have a lot more in common with Republicans than I think you’d ever care to admit. Needless to say, you’ll never recognize it. Sadly, I suspect you’re just not smart enough or introspective enough to realize it.

                    6. Many people, including a lot of folks around here, fail to understand that Progressivism is distinctly anti-liberal as well as anti-libertarian, so it’s not that hard to understand why people around here dislike them regardless of their views when it comes to the Republican / Democrat dichotomy.

                      ^ This.

                      I, for one, see “Progressivism” as something entirely distinct from “Liberalism,” and one that has much more in common with Christian Conservatism than it does with the “liberal” wings of either dominant party.


              2. Sometimes I’m the most libertarian person here.

                False. How would you even know, when you don’t understand anything about libertarianism? Shit, you don’t even understand Republicanism or Democracy when it really comes down to it.

                1. I’m the most libertarian person here when the subject is something bad Republicans did and y’all can’t stop licking their boots long enough to notice.

                  1. Incidentally, your current obsession with Roy Moore is a little…concerning. Show us on the doll where the bad judge touched you.

                    1. I intend to use Roy Moore against John until the heat death of the universe. Sorry for the inconvenience.

                    2. Fine. No problem with that. While he did nothing illegal (a fact you have trouble grasping) he’s a distasteful, sleazy, batshit crazy fundy. Feel free to point that out to John, but maybe not in every comment?

                    3. It was illegal to molest a 14 year old even in the dark ages of the 1980s. Even in Alabama.

              3. Everything’s “belief” with you, isn’t it? Of course it is; belief doesn’t require rational thought.

              4. I wish you’d spend as much time calling that out as you do me for believing in a few more government services than you might.

                There’s a reason for that. Maybe you’ll be listening today, so here goes:

                Philadelphia Collins comments here maybe a couple of times a week, and he tends to just drop some fairly stupid and pointless comment like the above and moves on.

                When a guy just dumps “if leftists hate something it must be good” and moves on – whatever. There are lefties who come here and do essentially the same thing, and they get ignored too.

                What you do, on the other hand, is actively chase people around and insult them, say completely hypocritical things, change the subject when you’re called out on it, and generally run around acting like a bitchy little stray dog who’s begging to be kicked all the time.

                And so you get kicked. Because you’re also the most entertaining troll to kick around, on account of the above-mentioned tendencies to make no sense at all, but to double down on saying completely moronic shit and insulting people as if you think your a god among men.

                1. ^ Possibly the most accurate thing that will be written today on these boards.

                  1. I haven’t said anything that was stupid. Leftists are collectivists. They leave a trail of destruction throughout history.

                    1. Leftists are collectivists. They leave a trail of destruction throughout history.

                      Yup. Leftists are collectivists. Not you.

                2. You frequently get compared to John, for example, and I’ve definitely gotten into long, medium-heated exchanges with John.

                  The difference between you and John?

                  John can get caught up in an argument and become a raging asshole, and John is aware of this. John will argue with you one day, but still treat you completely civilly the next day, or even in a different discussion on a different topic in the same day.

                  But John actually has a viewpoint. It’s Republican, not libertarian, but he has one, and he disagrees with people when they disagree with him.

                  You start by wanting to be a raging asshole to people, and you take whatever positions you need to take in order to constantly insult us, even if it means diametrically changing your position over the course of a single sub-thread.

                  That’s why you get piled on. You bring it on yourself, intentionally. So stop complaining about it.

                  1. It’s called the Socratic method.

                    1. It’s called the Socratic method.

                      Now I know you’re retarded.

                  2. And excuse the fuck out of me for getting a little hot when people, whose political ideology I already think is literally destroying the human species, spend days on end defending a pedophile theocrat monster because of the (R) after his name, on a libertarian forum. I would think it would bother you too.

                    1. I bothers me that you don’t know what the Socratic method is.


                    2. I bothers me that you don’t know what the Socratic method is.

                      Indeed. It’s even more baffling when supposedly Tony has a degree in philosophy. Truly an enigma wrapped within a riddle.

                    3. That was obviously a joke. Jokes are things that right-wing assholes forgot how to do because the fat man on the radio put too much umbrage in their heads.

                    4. And once again the point flies right over his head.

                      *sigh*

                    5. And that’s why “your” despised here: You state that a group of people with a philosophy that boils down “NAP” — i.e., leave me the fuck alone — are literally destroying the human species.

                      Your constant showcasing your lack of insight, self-reflection and integrity on these forums has made you into a joke punchline.

                    6. Stop denying basic scientific facts because they’re inconvenient to your worldview as a group and I’ll lay off. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that climate change denial is the single biggest threat to humanity now or ever. And while it’s not actually the position of this magazine or its science department, it is the position of an overwhelming number of its readers.

                    7. Stop denying basic scientific facts because they’re inconvenient to your worldview as a group and I’ll lay off.

                      And . . on to the subject-changing portion of the evening’s festivities . . .

                      I’ll take “things no libertarian here has ever said to you” for $1,000.

                    8. You state that a group of people with a philosophy that boils down “NAP” — i.e., leave me the fuck alone — are literally destroying the human species.

                      And literally does so in response to me pointing out that he comes here with a pre-existing hatred and randomly attacks people he doesn’t know and whose thoughts on things he doesn’t understand and has no interest in.

                    9. My usual shtick is pointing out how much you guys lick Republican boot even when it damages your credibility and contradicts libertarian principles. That’s what I mean by destroying the world. Republicans are the biggest threat to the world because they control the world’s biggest power and are stupid and corrupt.

                      I would be happy to tell you why the NAP is a load of horseshit as well.

                    10. Republicans are the biggest threat to the world because they control the world’s biggest power and are stupid and corrupt.

                      And if Her Hagness had won the election you’d be all about how *she* was the biggest threat to the world, right?

                    11. Do you think your sexism enhances your argument?

                      No. Democrats believe in science. They aren’t a party run by freaks with snake oil to sell. They’re not perfect, but they are normal.

                    12. No. Democrats believe in science.

                      Never stop beating that straw man – it’s one of your most persuasive arguments, and totally doesn’t make us all snicker at you.

                    13. My usual shtick is pointing out how much you guys lick Republican boot even when it damages your credibility and contradicts libertarian principles.

                      No it isn’t.

                      Like we keep trying to explain to you, you stroll right past the libertarians and stop at the first Republican troll you come across and start screaming “OMG YOU SO-CALLED LIBERTARIANS ARE JUST A BUNCH OF REPUBLICAN BOOTLICKING COUSIN-FUCKERS!1!!eleven!”

                      And then you accuse every libertarian here of agreeing with everything that John, loveconstitution1789, Azathoth! and Domestic Dissident say and pat yourself on the back for having proved us to be such hypocrites.

                      This is why people mock and despise you.

                    14. Oh okay, so you do believe that burning fossil fuels contributes to a greenhouse effect that is warming the planet in an unchecked and potentially catastrophic way?

                    15. Oh okay, so you do believe that burning fossil fuels contributes to a greenhouse effect that is warming the planet in an unchecked and potentially catastrophic way?

                      Yes. I’ve believed this since you were in diapers. I used to be a bona fide door-to-door environmental activist, trying to convince Orange County Republicans that global warming is something to be concerned about.

                      I’ve mentioned this to you before. Many times.

                      What you mean when you say that “we don’t believe in science” is “we don’t agree with the politicized bullshit that the Democrats peddle and call science when all they’re doing is pushing a cartoon-version of ‘science’ in order to achieve a political agenda and perform character-assassination on their enemies.”

                      But you literally do not seem to know the difference between these two things, because you don’t care about either science or “saving the planet” – you care about one and one thing only, which is calling your perceived political opponents assholes.

                      And you don’t actually care whether or not the person you’re talking to actually believes the things you accuse them of – you just want to call someone an asshole.

                3. “You’re”

                  1. Humans have been here for .004% of Earth’s history. You can’t measure our effect on the planet. Yet. The climate has always been changing. Some of the global warming scientists were predicting global cooling in the 1970s, and their solution is always the same: stop free enterprise.

                    1. Humans have been here for .004% of Earth’s history. You can’t measure our effect on the planet. Yet. The climate has always been changing. Some of the global warming scientists were predicting global cooling in the 1970s

                      And you don’t show much more awareness of the science than Tony does. You’re just tossing out the talking points from the “other side.”

                      We’re overdue for a global cooling cycle by thousands of years. That realization in the mid-20th century is part of what started the speculations about why that isn’t happening.

                      The strongest and most obvious correlation other than “weird coincidence” is “human civilization.”

                      But Tony and his camp continually lie about how certain the scientific community is that CO2 is primary culprit.

                      You’re correct that we don’t “yet” have the ability to measure our effect on the planet with much precision or confidence (a point Tony flagrantly refuses to understand), but that doesn’t mean that warming isn’t happening (it’s as undeniable as gravity), and that doesn’t mean that human activity isn’t contributing. We just don’t yet know how much of either is really going on.

                    2. Fair enough, but you don’t know what I “believe” on the issue because you’ve only ever seen me arguing with people who flat out deny the basic facts. And I think your emphasis on uncertainty is only adding fuel to the denier fire, because they take that crap and run with it. At any rate, I defer to your scientific expertise, but I take issue with your implication that I’m equally bad as the ones who outright deny the phenomenon exists.

                    3. I think your emphasis on uncertainty is only adding fuel to the denier fire, because they take that crap and run with it.

                      Well – we’ll have to agree to disagree on that, because I think your emphasis on certainty and self-righteous demagoguery is one of the main forces that’s been driving people to so called “denialism.”

                      I take issue with your implication that I’m equally bad as the ones who outright deny the phenomenon exists.

                      I never implied that. What I’ve been trying to explain to you is that you’re an asshole, and that that’s why people react with hostility to you.

                    4. But the proper intellectual stance for the basic facts of climate change is certainty. When people keep insisting that believing facts and saying so hurts their feelings, and that’s why they vote for raping orange incompetents as president–out of spite–why is that a flaw of mine? I am not here to coddle the feelings of idiots. Asserting that me being nice to them is a political strategy is a trap. This place is overrun with assholes. Racists and MRAs and Republicans who lie about it. Harass them for a minute how about.

                    5. But the proper intellectual stance for the basic facts of climate change is certainty

                      So Tony, I can be certain that you will be the first to complain when your electricity bill goes through the roof and you can’t afford a plane ticket for vacation because these proper intellectuals have decided that we must all pay dearly into their pockets for our past carbon sins.

      2. Individual rights are hated by leftists. What more do you need to know?

      3. Maybe it’s that we see through this as mindless Democrat whining. Two shitty Democrats didn’t get to be President and that’s a reason for Libertarians to give a fuck?

        I think not.

  7. Gee, I hope the crowded states never realize how much they could hurt us empty states by taking away the power of the federal government…

  8. change-blocking mechanisms

    Yes.

    our most profound challenges

    Like who can use what restroom.

    disadvantages a latent “progressive” popular will

    This progressive popular will is centered in cities which wish to rule over surrounding communities. Eliminate CA and NY and Trump wins handily. The ec is intended to balance the power btw population centers and low population areas (among other things, like ensure that the States elect the president of the States, preserving state boundaries and distinction.) Proggies hate this and want to centralize power in the presidency and retain perpetual control of the presidency. This is why they concentrate so hard on and seek primarily the presidency and why they have lost so many state legislatures and governorships. No need for lower levels if you get your proggie dictator.

  9. “…It’s also often the case that non-competitive large population states like California, New York, and Texas may see their voting power diminished nationally, ”

    For someone who lives in CA, I find this to be a feature.

  10. The most obvious fix is to stop limiting the House of Representatives to 435 seats, which would give each state proper representation in the House and, by extension, the Electoral College. Doesn’t even require a Constitutional amendment.

    1. How big should we make it then-1000 seats? Why not 10,000 or 100,000 like a Brazilian soccer stadium…
      Just what we need, more congresscritters in DC.

  11. The real bias is towards the entrenchment of the Duopoly against third parties and independents. This is what’s really preventing us from adequately addressing our political challenges. That and useful idiots like Nancy McLean.

  12. Don’t like it? California is welcome to break up into lots of little pieces any time it wants. Or leave the union entirely. Republicans won’t fight another war against Democratic slavers wanting to leave, promise.

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