The National Popular Vote is the Bad Idea We Need Right Now

For those of you who are not aware of it, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is a campaign that means to render the Electoral College impotent and irrelevant. The idea is that states agree to change their election laws with regards to how their electoral votes are awarded during a presidential election. Each state awards its electoral votes to the candidate that wins the national popular vote, regardless of the vote totals for that specific state. For example, if the Republican candidate were to have the most popular votes nationwide, then that candidate would receive California’s electoral votes, even if the Democrat won California. This system only goes into effect once there are enough states on board to give the popular vote winner 270 electoral votes and the election.

Don’t get me wrong, as I have said before, I think the Electoral College is the inflamed appendix of democracy, both useless and dangerous, so I absolutely sympathize with the NPV folks’ desire to short circuit it.

Unfortunately, I also think the National Popular Vote is a bad idea.

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The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave?

On his HBO show, Real Time, comedian Bill Maher has repeatedly asked his interview guests about the possibility that, should he lose his bid for re-election in 2020, Donald Trump might refuse to step down as President. By and large, his guests have tended to pooh-pooh the idea as alarmist or paranoid. MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, Jr assured Maher that there are institutions that would take care of such an eventuality and forcibly usher the vanquished former president out of the building.

I have to say, and this isn’t often the case, but I’m with Maher on this one, in that I don’t find such reassurances to be, well, reassuring. There may be institutions with that purpose, but exactly how much exercise have they gotten in the last 200-plus years? Is there really a playbook in case a defeated president refuses to relinquish power?

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Russia Derangement Syndrome

The #MAGA crowd has a nickname for what they see as the irrational hatred liberals have for their Lord and Savior, Donald J. Trump. They call it “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” In their eyes, the left is inexplicably apoplectic because their Great Leader is somehow making America great again by giving away trillions to billionaires, bankrupting the treasury, and by not making Mexico pay for a wall.

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