A ‘non-scalable’ fence was built around the White House for Election Day. The sitting president will not commit to following a peaceful transition of power if he loses. Seems like a sign of a healthy, well functioning democracy to me!
As the election grew closer and closer, myself and many of my peers are finding it harder to want to go out and vote. “Vote blue no matter who!,” constant ads, robo texts pressuring you to vote and who to vote for become more of an inconvenience than motivation.
Did my vote really matter? I mean, technically, yes, it’ll get counted along with all the others and calculate into my district. But is there any point if my district has been gerrymandered to hell and it all comes down to the swing states?
The root of the frustration comes down to the Electoral College. Not to devalue the importance of voting and political efficacy, but if a candidate with close to 3 million more votes than their opposition can still lose, I am not being represented fairly. Why should land have a bigger vote than an actual person?
Beyond individual beliefs, the Electoral College blatantly harms low income communities and people of color at a higher rate than anyone else. By devaluing the voice of cities and densely populated communities, minority groups are disproportionately affected while white Americans reap the benefits. Representative legislation won’t be passed until those in need actually get the representation they deserve.
While removing the Electoral College could be viewed as limiting the voice of farmers and other small area groups, that’s what local government is for. Logically, the government should be representing the most people possible, while state and county governments can narrow in on specific issues.
Every Election Cycle ultimately comes down to which candidate can win the most swing states. If millions of voters favor one candidate over the other, the other candidate shouldn’t take the election by winning one more electoral vote in Wisconsin. Since the formation of the Electoral College, only five times has the winner not won the popular vote. In a nation priding itself on freedom and democracy, that’s five times too many.
Over 700 attempts have been made to abolish or alter the Electoral College. As a living document, the Constitution was literally made to be changed and the continued blocking of attempts to reconcile inequality in our electoral system only serves to amplify its flaws.
Part of my personal frustration comes from the fact that the candidates we have to choose from are so similar. I don’t want to take my pick of old, racist sex offenders. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this quote from W.E.B. Dubois in his explanation of why he was not voting: “In 1956, I shall not go to the polls. I have not registered. I believe that democracy has so far disappeared in the United States that no "two evils" exist. There is but one evil party with two names, and it will be elected despite all I can do or say.”
Unfortunately, I’m starting to agree with him. Neither party aligns with my beliefs and, as tensions grow worse and we become more divided, campaign claims and gridlock have blended together policy goals. Do you want the moderate that leans towards freedom or the moderate that leans towards welfare?
I think no matter the outcome, I’ll be disappointed. Better luck next election? Unless we make some serious changes, probably not.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.