Have you heard of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact? If not, you might want to give it a gander. Virginia just became the 16th state, along with the District of Columbia, to sign on to the agreement, which essentially promises to award each signatory’s electoral votes for President to the candidate who wins the national popular vote, rather than the winner of the state’s popular vote. If that sounds like a bunch of legal mumbo-jumbo, let me just put it this way: If your state is a member of the compact, it wouldn’t matter if its voters overwhelmingly went for Candidate X. If Candidate Y got more overall votes across the country, your state’s electors would be bound to vote for the other guy.
If that sounds like an end-run around the Electoral College, that’s because it is. Instead of amending the Constitution of the United States as spelled out in Article V—in other words, doing the hard work of convincing three-fourths of the states that it’s a good idea—these individual legislatures have taken it upon themselves to upend the system we use to elect the President of the United States because they didn’t like the results of 2000 and 2016, when George W. Bush and Donald Trump won an electoral majority even though they both lost the popular vote. And how could I know such a thing for certain? Well, take a look at the other states that have ratified this thing:
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
- New York
- New Mexico
Notice a pattern? Almost all of them are rock-solid Blue States, still butt-hurt over losing two elections in less than twenty years even though the Democrat got the plurality of the vote. Now, in their desperation to make certain the rubes in flyover country can never deny them their entitlement to victory, they seek to game the electoral system in such a way that they never need worry about losing an election again.
And they scream about Donald Trump trashing our precious norms?
Of course, the Constitutional soundness of their little scheme is very much in question. As Article I clearly states, “No State shall, without the Consent of Congress. . .enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State.” This makes it quite doubtful that the courts would uphold any agreement between certain states that would severely curtail the electoral influence of other states, basically rendering them powerless when it comes to choosing the President. Beyond that, however, this brazen attempt by Democrats to assure themselves a permanent presence in the White House represents a singular threat to the Union itself—for why would states that have been relegated to a lower-caste status in their own country want to remain part of it?
Just look at that electoral map. It’s the reason the Founders established the Electoral College in the first place. Geographically, Republicans trounce Democrats on a county-by-county basis—but since Democrats tend to be concentrated in large urban areas, they own the states with the biggest cities. Without the Electoral College to balance these two competing interests, every single presidential contest would be decided by a handful of states with the largest population centers. The Founders understood that a tyranny of the majority is still a tyranny, and that rural states would have little incentive to join a Union in which their concerns were constantly overridden by large, distant cities. So what makes Democrats believe that those same states would put up with having their voices silenced now?
Simply put, they wouldn’t—which is why changing presidential elections to a national popular vote would severely erode the stability of the Union. This is especially true these days with Congress having carelessly ceded so many of their powers to the administrative state and the unelected bureaucrats who run it. These agencies, under the control of the executive branch, have vastly expanded the power and influence of the presidency, and turned every single election into a must-win situation for both political parties. This is not what the Framers intended—but it’s the situation in which we find ourselves. And now the Left, having concentrated so much power in a single office, wants to see to it that over three-quarters of the country has no say in who occupies that office?
That is recipe for disaster, and the Union would not long survive it.