by Beau Hebert
Dear The Beauster,
If Boris Johnson’s conservative triumph in England is a harbinger of things to come in the 2020 election, should I start planning my move to Canada now?
Nervous Nelly in Upper Rainier Beach,
Dear Nervous N in U-R-B,
Boris Johnson, England’s Trump Doppleganger, is riding the strongest wave of conservative momentum since Margaret Thatcher mom-jeaned the Union Jack pants in the 80’s. She and Ronald Reagan formed a Trans-Atlantic alliance based on fear-mongering and trickle down economics. Though they were a pretty nauseating pair, they pale in vulgarity to the morbid narcissism, fascism, racism, and sexism of a Boris johnson-Donald Trump tandem.
England’s recent Brexit vote was a powerful victory for Johnson and English nationalism. To avoid a similar fate on our shores, Trump must be defeated. The majority of Americans do not favor Trump. In fact, he received 2.87 million fewer popular votes than Hillary Clinton, but won the electoral college by 77 votes. Does that seem Democratic? In 2000, Al Gore received a half million more votes than Bush, but lost the presidency by 4 electoral votes. Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” platform, which sought to combat climate change was shoved into the cellar. Twenty years later, sea levels are rising, Arctic ice is melting, species are going extinct and wildfires are raging. The Inconvenient Truth is less convenient than ever and should serve to highlight the other Inconvenient Truth: The Electoral College.
The electoral college system, a Colonial era relic, undermines the will of the majority of American voters and gives disproportionate weight to voters in lower population states with generally lower levels of education. The fact that it is a “winner take all” system means that even the narrowest victory in a given state results in all of the electoral votes going to one party. The Republican party loves this system because it lends itself to manipulation – a bit of district gerrymandering here or voter suppression there and Presto! The Donald is POTUS. The fact that a candidate can have almost three million more votes, yet lose an election by a whopping 77 electoral votes shows how effective the Republican party has been at working this thing. While electoral colleges exist in the other democracies, such as Kazakhstan and Vanuatu, it is not common and the time is nigh for the United States to join the rest of the world and move on from this troglodyte of a voting system.
You may rightly point out, Dear Nervous, that because the electoral college is part of our constitution it is not going away any time soon. Probably true. Therefore, the vast numbers of Dems & Liberals redundantly clumped in the highly populated Eastern seaboard and West Coast states have had their votes effectively neutralized. They post angry messages to their social media and simmer together in a stew of left wing reciprocity within the confines of their sanctuary cities, but none of this has an impact on the actual outcome of elections.
California alone had a surplus of over four million Democratic votes left on the table after the last election. If a mere million of those votes had been re-distributed thusly: 350,000 to Pennsylvania, handily flipping that state’s 20 electoral votes to blue; 500,000 to Florida, securing 29 more; and 150,000 to Wyoming, which would gain only 3 electoral votes but would send a psychologically crippling message to the Republican party by flipping a deeply red state, the distribution of the electoral college would have been Trump 252; Clinton 279.
What I’m suggesting is that we gerrymander through interstate migration causing Democratic votes to explode like blue algae blooms in battleground states. For Liberal voters with the mobility to relocate it could be something like a Mormon mission to strategically botox real Democracy and decency into critical voting districts.
So listen here, Nervous. Instead of fleeing to Canada, please consider Pennsylvania. I hear Pittsburgh is nice.
Beau Hebert is a humor columnist and owner of Lottie’s Lounge in Columbia City
Featured image by Lou Patnode