Some Guys in Western PA

The problem with the Electoral College is not that we can’t fix it. It’s that it’s broken in a way that will essentially prevent democracy from proceeding in the future.

Think about what just happened. Everyone says Trump won the election, but in fact he won the Electoral College. Hillary won the actual election—you know, where they count all the votes and the candidate with the most wins, the way they do it for senior class treasurer and US Senator—by a decisive margin, 1.7 million votes and counting so far. Trump got about what Romney got, which is to say he essentially maxed out the white vote. But it’s where he got those votes that’s a problem.

The Democrats can still get more votes than Hillary got. Obama got about three and seven million more the two times he ran. But unless he gets them in Florida, it doesn’t matter because there is no way the Democrats are going to flip the voters in western Pennsylvania. They are solid. You can’t convince them; you can’t buy them. They have been aggrieved since the sixties and will never not be aggrieved. It’s what they do. Maybe they stayed home for Obama. Maybe the counties around Philadelphia can be flipped, as they were for Obama, but how often can you be the first African American president?

No get-out-the-vote effort will turn the tide. No amount of Californians will matter. The Electoral College counts their votes less than those of some guys in western Pennsylvania and there’s nothing any of us can do about it. They’re the real Americans. The one whose votes count. Heaven help us.

Author: leonardrysdyk

Leonard Rysdyk is the author of more than a dozen novels, stories, articles and poems. His work has appeared in many publications including Snow White, Blood Red, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Aboriginal Magazine and the New York Review of Science Fiction. A professor at Nassau Community College, he teaches literature (including science fiction), cultural history (including the history of science) and is an acknowledged innovator in the field of Computer Aided Instruction (CAI), a subject on which he has lectured and consulted.

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