Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
Two 2020 Democrat presidential candidates, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg, have called for getting rid of the Electoral College. Three others, Senator Kamala Harris, Robert Francis ‘Beto’ O’Rourke, and Senator Bernie Sanders, have endorsed a discussion about possibly getting rid of it.
A major lefty criticism of the Electoral College is that it gives disproportionate individual power to voters in small states over voters in large states.
“In the electoral college, each individual Wyoming vote weighs 3.6 times more than an individual Californian’s vote,” a Washington Post post-election whine objected.
That’s what happens when you eat red meat instead of drinking emetic soy lattes.
Why pick on Wyoming? It has the highest percentage of Republican lean in the country. Meanwhile the highest and the same exact percentage of Democrat lean of any state is Vermont, which is nearly as lightly populated. But the Electoral College hating Democrats don’t complain about Vermont.
Trump won Wyoming with 67% while Hillary won California with 61%. The two examples, like everything else in the media, have an extremely obvious partisan tilt. They aren’t comparing the relative political influence of Vermont to Texas, because lefties don’t have set standards, just situational strategies.
Variations of this complaint abound in the lefty attack on the Electoral College. Why should a handful of people in tiny states have more per capita political sway than the beautiful people in California?
But the Washington Post, the same paper running attacks against the disproportionate sway of the 577,737 Wyomingers, and the absurdity that such a small state should have political influence, has also repeatedly run pieces advocating for the statehood of the 68 square miles and 702,455 residents of D.C.
As recently as March, the government city paper praised a government proposal to turn the city into its own state. “It was the first time that a chamber of Congress has voted to support statehood, and that hopefully means the long-standing disenfranchisement of D.C. residents in Congress will finally get the attention it deserves,” the paper’s Editorial Board cheered.
As if all the license plates, a constitutional amendment and generations of whining didn’t get attention.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, who led the attack on the Electoral College, also pushed for making a 68 square mile city of government employees and welfare recipients into its own state.
“Now that Democrats are back in charge, the House is getting ready to vote to make D.C. a state. And Elizabeth Warren will keep fighting to make sure it become law,” she declared in an email.
“I strongly support statehood for Washington D.C.,” Bernie Sanders said.
Senator Kamala Harris and many other Democrats have also come out for D.C. statehood.
After all the complaints about the disenfranchisement of Washingtonians, there’s no mention of the ‘unfairness’ of the three electoral college votes held by Washington D.C. The District is bizarrely unique in that there is an entire constitutional amendment (the 2nd most inappropriate amendment) granting it electors even though it barely has that many more people than Wyoming does. And many of the people it does have are government employees exercising an inappropriate degree of political power.
Wyoming is also more politically diverse than Washington D.C.
Trump won Wyoming, but Hillary Clinton still received over a fifth of the vote. Hillary won Washington D.C. by over 90%. It’s not just the swamp’s hatred for Trump. Obama won D.C. against Mitt Romney by an even higher margin. Washington D.C. may pretend to mourn McCain, but Obama beat him by an even higher margin in the District than he beat Romney. No red state or blue state is this un-diverse.
Why are Wyomingers guilty of wielding disproportionate political power, but Washingtonians are entitled to it? There is the obvious Democrat tilt. And another equally obvious factor.
38% of workers in Washington D.C. were government employees. 27% were federal workers. The government is by far the largest employer in the region. Government employees are meant to serve the public. Instead, statehood would give the already powerful federal government its very own state.
Do Democrats really oppose the disproportionate political power of small states? Of course not. Beyond Washington D.C., they have been lobbying to make Puerto Rico, with its 3 million people, a state.
Even as the Democrats inveigh against small state power, they’re trying to create new small states.
There’s no consistent standard here, only a consistent strategy.
Democrats will attack the political power of small states, when it helps them, and try to create small states when it helps them. Their problem with Wyoming isn’t that it’s small, but that it’s Republican. Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico aren’t likely to have that problem.
The votes of Wyomingers shouldn’t outweigh Californians, but the votes of Washingtonians should, it goes without saying, outweigh Texans.
When the contradiction is raised, Democrats revert to their first principle and final refuge, racism.
California, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico are more (or less) diverse than the national average. The votes of Californians, Washingtonians and Puerto Ricans should therefore be empowered, by whatever means necessary, whether that means abolishing the Electoral College or creating new states.
The tactic is a purely technical issue. The real problem is that Wyoming isn’t all that diverse.
The debate isn’t really about the Electoral College, its fairness or unfairness, or about whether Washington D.C. should be a state. If immigration and industrial migrations had followed a different pattern, lefties would cling to the Electoral College with a passion that Romeo could only envy. And if Washington D.C. were Republican, they would discover that it had been invented by slaveowners.
Racism, like fairness, is a selective sense that can be applied when convenient without regard to history. Diversity is a political principle that conveniently favors Democrat political power. When it did not, then the Democrats were cheerfully racist about championing the exact opposite of the ideas they do now.
“It is blatantly undemocratic to make the best interests of millions subservient to those of a much smaller number of people,” a Harvard Political Review article complained in its attack on the Electoral College. Unless the smaller number of people are the right sorts of people in which case, never mind.
At 68 square miles, Washington D.C. is a fraction of the size of territories like Guam, never mind states. You could drop the entire District into Wyoming well over a thousand times. You could drop it into Vermont over a hundred times. You could even fit it into Rhode Island enough times to get tired.
Wyoming isn’t a state because of a devious racist conspiracy. It’s a state because at 6 people per square mile, it has plenty of room to grow. Washington D.C. has over 11,000 per square mile. It’s already full.
So why make the District a state? Where’s the fairness in giving six figures of government employees crammed by the thousands into each one of its 68 square miles their very own state?
Statehood proponents insist D.C. has a unique culture. That’s flattering, but corruption and graft aren’t that unique. Neither are overrated restaurants and gang violence. If having a unique culture is grounds for becoming a separate state, there are a whole lot of rural Californians who would like to split off.
As would upstate New York.
And yet it’s only Dems in the bowels of Government City who are entitled to have their culture of stealing, leaking, pandering, and getting drunk after a hard day of lobbying, recognized with statehood.
That’s only fair.
Fairness is that thing with feathers which dwells in electoral calculators. The only way to know whether an election was fair is to see whether a Democrat won. If he or she didn’t, it is retroactively unfair.
And the Russians were probably behind it.
Creating more Democrat states is fair because it elects more Democrats. Abolishing the Electoral College is also fair because it elects more Democrats. California’s general elections which feature two Democrats running against each other, while the Republicans stay home and pay taxes, are the fairest of them all.
Here’s what’s actually fair.
Washington D.C. shouldn’t be a state and it shouldn’t have Electoral College votes. Its residents should be able to vote in the blue state that they were and should still be a part of. There has never been a rational argument against retrocession. Statehood proponents demand voting rights for D.C. residents, but reject the one fair, workable and sensible proposal that would actually grant them that right.
Why? Because, according to them, it’s inconvenient. And they don’t want to be ruled from Annapolis.
As if Californians want to be ruled from Sacramento or New Yorkers from Albany. That’s what statehood is. What the most powerful city in the country wants is cityhood: all the privileges of statehood without any of the sacrifices. Districters want to be ruled by the same dirty crooks and get two senators too.
Maryland Democrats and Washington D.C. residents both oppose retrocession because they don’t want equal rights, they want superior rights. They’re not looking for fairness, but unfair privileges.
And where better to find those than in the District?
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