Whenever I want to remind myself of the significance of feel-good celebrities’ thoughts about politics, I do one or both of the following: the first is listening to the intro to the song “Babe” on Dennis DeYoung’s Music of Styx album, in which he says, “actors pretend to be other people. And rock stars? Who is more full of s**t than them.” And number two is an Internet search of the names of the more politically-vocal, left-leaning celebrities who have the same level of inadequate education, such as high school dropouts who people on the left believe are the bulk of Donald Trump’s voters.
Although it is unlikely that anyone could top Cheryl Crow’s timeless quote about “avoiding war by not making enemies”, or something like that, there are entertainers who have either proved the importance of earning an education, or the dangers of replacing education with indoctrination by expressing their opinions about the Electoral College.
Although I had been told that the Electoral College is a counterbalance that is intended to keep the majority from oppressing the rights of the minority, such as allowing three or four of the largest cities in the U.S. from deciding the results of every presidential election, the importance of the Electoral College became clear as soon as the results of the Illinois 2010 gubernatorial election were announced.
In that election, the incumbent candidate, Pat Quinn – who had been appointed to that office after the arrest, trial, and conviction of the previous governor Rod Blagojevich – defeated his Republican challenger, Illinois State Senator Bill Brady. While there are obviously winners and losers in elections, there was one notable quirk in this one.
There are 102 counties in Illinois. State Senator Brady won ninety-nine of those counties, while he was defeated by a candidate who had won only three. Cook County is home to Chicago, and it is also one of those three counties that decided who would live in the Illinois governor’s mansion until the 2014 election.
Cook County and its neighboring counties are culturally different than the rest of the state. In fact, southern Illinois has more in common with the neighboring states of Indiana, Kentucky, and Missouri than the rest of the state, especially Chicago. Unfortunately, the entire State of Illinois is left with no option than to try to exist under the rules established by a governor who is the product of one group of voters who also elect the people who practically control the state General Assembly.
If Illinois had its own version of the Electoral College, such as each county having one electoral vote, and that electoral vote were determined by the winner of the popular vote in that county, then Senator Brady would have won that 2010 election 99-3.
Yes, there are critics who would claim that such a system is as unfair as the Electoral College, since those critics usually tend to support the winner of the popular vote of a presidential race, but lose the electoral vote; the same mentality applies to someone who wants to tax the rich in the name of fairness, until that person wins a Powerball drawing.
If Illinois’ statewide elections were decided by the electoral system as described above, then the state General Assembly would still fall under majority rule due to the party affiliation of the majority of its members having been decided by the majority of the voters’ political affiliation. The majority vote would decide the direction of the state’s Legislative Branch, while the minority would have a voice in the election of the Executive Branch; the Electoral College also explains why the United States is a Republic, and not a Democracy.
Due to the power that is held by a select few politicians in Illinois, such as Speaker of the Illinois House of representatives, Michael Madigan, the only option for implementing a statewide Electoral College is via an amendment to the state constitution. And since a majority vote is needed to revise the state constitution, the odds of the popular vote surrendering their influence in statewide elections are also long.
If residents who live in the majority of the state of Illinois who have little or nothing in common with the voters in the northeast corner of the state, are at the mercy of that gaggle of urban and suburban voters who vote for politicians with no regard for citizens outside of Cook County, then imagine the fate of the voters outside of the three or four largest cities in the U.S. if the voters in those cities determined the political direction of everyone else using politicians who will determine national policies with only the interests of those cities to worry about.
Those actors who pretend to be other people for a living, as well as those rock stars who claim to stand for human rights have more in common with the politicians who want the elimination of the Electoral College than the meal tickets (fans) who make their careers possible. Those celebrities, like Democrat politicians, are separated from their votes – and the consequences of those votes – by their checkbooks. And once those politicians have no use for celebrity endorsements, there is no guarantee that those Democrat-voting celebrities will remain immune from the policies that are negatively affecting everyone else.
The words “be careful what you wish for” apply to everyone, especially those who confuse “doing good” for “feeling good”.
Image: 2016 Presidential Election results by county; By Ali Zifan – This file was derived from: USA Counties.svg, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48100980