Manage episode 226874567 series 306
Dennis Prager. Venezuela and The Left’s Effort to Destroy the Electoral College.
The Left’s effort to destroy the Electoral College.
The Electoral College and why it matters. Prager University.
The Popular Vote vs. the Electoral College. Prager University.
John Stossel article. School Choice
The Dennis Prager Show. Venezuela
Dennis talks to Mary O’Grady, columnist for Wall Street Journal who specializes in Central and South America. The topic is what is going on now in Venezuela.
Dennis Prager talks to Electoral College scholar Tara Ross. The Left’s effort to destroy the Electoral College is making progress in states now controlled by Democrats.
Do You Understand the Electoral College?
Published on May 18, 2015
Do you understand what the Electoral College is? Or how it works? Or why America uses it to elect its presidents instead of just using a straight popular vote? Author, lawyer and Electoral College expert Tara Ross does, and she explains that to understand the Electoral College is to understand American democracy.
Script: I want to talk you about the Electoral College and why it matters. Alright, I know this doesn't sound the like most sensational topic of the day, but, stay with me because, I promise you, it's one of the most important. To explain why requires a very brief civics review. The President and Vice President of the United States are not chosen by a nationwide, popular vote of the American people; rather, they are chosen by 538 electors. This process is spelled out in the United States Constitution. Why didn't the Founders just make it easy, and let the Presidential candidate with the most votes claim victory? Why did they create, and why do we continue to need, this Electoral College? The answer is critical to understanding not only the Electoral College, but also America. The Founders had no intention of creating a pure majority-rule democracy. They knew from careful study of history what most have forgotten today, or never learned: pure democracies do not work. They implode. Democracy has been colorfully described as two wolves and a lamb voting on what's for dinner. In a pure democracy, bare majorities can easily tyrannize the rest of a country. The Founders wanted to avoid this at all costs. This is why we have three branches of government -- Executive, Legislative and Judicial. It's why each state has two Senators no matter what its population, but also different numbers of Representatives based entirely on population. It's why it takes a supermajority in Congress and three-quarters of the states to change the Constitution. And, it's why we have the Electoral College. Here's how the Electoral College works. The Presidential election happens in two phases. The first phase is purely democratic. We hold 51 popular elections every presidential election year: one in each state and one in D.C. On Election Day in 2012, you may have thought you were voting for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, but you were really voting for a slate of presidential electors. In Rhode Island, for example, if you voted for Barack Obama, you voted for the state's four Democratic electors; if you voted for Mitt Romney you were really voting for the state's four Republican electors. Part Two of the election is held in December. And it is this December election among the states' 538 electors, not the November election, which officially determines the identity of the next President. At least 270 votes are needed to win. Why is this so important? Because the system encourages coalition-building and national campaigning. In order to win, a candidate must have the support of many different types of voters, from various parts of the country. Winning only the South or the Midwest is not good enough. You cannot win 270 electoral votes if only one part of the country is supporting you. But if winning were only about getting the most votes, a candidate might concentrate all of his efforts in the biggest cities or the biggest states. Why would that candidate care about what people in West Virginia or Iowa or Montana think? But, you might ask, isn't the election really only about the so-called swing states? Actually, no. If nothing else, safe and swing states are constantly changing. California voted safely Republican as recently as 1988. Texas used to vote Democrat. Neither New Hampshire nor Virginia used to be swing states. For the complete script, visit https://www.prageru.com/videos/do-you...
The Popular Vote vs. the Electoral College
Published on May 18, 2015
Right now, there's a well-organized, below-the-radar effort to render the Electoral College effectively useless. It's called the National Popular Vote, and it would turn our presidential elections into a majority-rule affair. Would this be good or bad? Author, lawyer, and Electoral College expert Tara Ross explains.
Script: In every presidential election, only one question matters: which candidate will get the 270 votes needed to win the Electoral College? Our Founders so deeply feared a tyranny of the majority that they rejected the idea of a direct vote for President. That's why they created the Electoral College. For more than two centuries it has encouraged coalition building, given a voice to both big and small states, and discouraged voter fraud. Unfortunately, there is now a well-financed, below-the-radar effort to do away with the Electoral College. It is called National Popular Vote or NPV, and it wants to do exactly what the Founders rejected: award the job of President to the person who gets the most votes nationally. Even if you agree with this goal, it's hard to agree with their method. Rather than amend the Constitution, which they have no chance of doing, NPV plans an end run around it. Here's what NPV does: it asks states to sign a contract to give their presidential electors to the winner of the national popular vote instead of the winner of the state's popular vote. What does that mean in practice? It means that if NPV had been in place in 2004, for example, when George W. Bush won the national vote, California's electoral votes would have gone to Bush, even though John Kerry won that state by 1.2 million votes! Can you imagine strongly Democratic California calmly awarding its electors to a Republican? Another problem with NPV's plan is that it robs states of their sovereignty. A key benefit of the Electoral College system is that it decentralizes control over the election. Currently, a presidential election is really 51 separate elections: one in each state and one in D.C. These 51 separate processes exist, side-by-side, in harmony. They do not -- and cannot -- interfere with each other. California's election code applies only to California and determines that state's electors. So a vote cast in Texas can never change the identity of a California elector. NPV would disrupt this careful balance. It would force all voters into one national election pool. Thus, a vote cast in Texas will always affect the outcome in California. And the existence of a different election code in Texas always has the potential to unfairly affect a voter in California. Why? Because state election codes can differ drastically. States have different rules about early voting, registering to vote, and qualifying for the ballot. They have different policies regarding felon voting. They have different triggers for recounts. Each and every one of these differences is an opportunity for someone, somewhere to file a lawsuit claiming unfair treatment. Why should a voter in New York get more or less time to early vote than a voter in Florida? Why should a hanging chad count in Florida, but not in Ohio? The list of possible complaints is endless. For the complete script, visit https://www.prageru.com/videos/popula...
John Stossel article on School Choice. 5 minutes.
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