Lance Scranton: Summer rain
As summer heats up it was so nice to have a few weeks with rain in the forecast almost daily. The rain will go a long way toward keeping things green, buttressing our reservoirs and keeping those destructive wildfires at bay. Rain isn’t always a favorite weather pattern when you live in Colorado and you are used to blue skies and warm days. The great thing about moisture is that while it isn’t always welcome and can bring with it some issues like flooding, it generally ends up as a net benefit.
Sort of like the debate currently focused on the Electoral College and how it just doesn’t seem to serve the purposes of a democracy. Lesson number one in school civics is that we live in a republic with democratic characteristics. The founding fathers understood the issues and complications that are involved in representative government but were more concerned about how pure popular vote isn’t always most representative of the people.
If you live in New York State, California, Florida, or Texas, you likely don’t think too much about representative constitutional frameworks and how other less populous states should have some influence in who becomes our country’s leader. It has always bewildered me somewhat that people can be pro-union and argue for a popular vote for president. The idea of representation is that the most amount of people will get involved because their vote counts. Unions boast the fact that they represent the worker so they will not be taken advantage of and can be protected from the very people tasked with making decisions whom they had very little influence over hiring.
It makes sense in a republic that some measures of protection are afforded each voter and that their vote means something. I wish the rain that falls wouldn’t always flood the west side of my house, but if I take care of drainage, I can direct the water so that it benefits my entire yard. It is much like the Electoral College. It seems like it is counter to what is popular for the selection of our president but in the end it directs the most votes from the most states to select our leader and has a net benefit for all 50 states.
Sure, if you are on the short end of the electoral map, it can be frustrating, especially if you won the popular vote. However, without an electoral college it would be five or six very populous states that would determine our president. Representative democracy demands a more inclusive determination for the most powerful job in the country and also makes certain that those running pay attention to more than just a few selected states.
The rain has quit for awhile but I hope we don’t ever stop determining leadership in the presidential election by soaking up the votes of a few states and leaving the others thirsty for influence. After all, a republic means that we take the most representative leader to represent our country.