Blowing up the contract for political gain

The Washington Post published this statement on November 15, ignoring both the facts about this past election and basic principles of the system of government in these United States:

It is alarming that a candidate came so close to winning while polling more than 5 million fewer votes than his opponent nationwide.

Note: The margin is bigger now that more votes have been tabulated.

The size of Biden’s margin in the nationwide popular vote is entirely due to an enormous popular vote margin in California. It is simply dishonest to claim Biden won a huge popular vote margin nationwide when the vast majority of the margin came from a single state. It was even more stark four years ago, when Hillary Clinton “won” the nationwide popular vote due to a huge margin in California. If you take California’s votes away from both, Trump actually won the popular vote across the other 49 states.

The point? We are the United States of America, not the United States of California.

The fact that Biden and Clinton won their margins from running up the score in California is exactly why we have an Electoral College in the first place. When this nation was founded, the states were sovereign over their own affairs and were jealous to keep that authority. There is no way that the smaller states would have agreed to join the Union if they would be overwhelmed in the national government by more populous states. That is also why each state has equal representation in the U.S. Senate.

What the Washington Post proposes is radically rewriting the basic bargain of these United States: Moving from the system as founded to a new system where a few large states can cram down policy on all of the rest. This is a bait-and-switch: States agreed to join the Union under one set of rules only to have the rules radically shift because one political party decides that the system does not give them enough power.

This is not a recipe for national unity. This is a recipe for states on the losing end of a national election to refuse to go along, leading to more conflict and rancor.