By Lloyd “Sticks” Burt. Right now there is a push by the Democratic Party to abolish the national Electoral College. The progressive movement has, for over a century, been trying to move the United States into a direct democracy rather than a constitutional representative republic.
The reason for this is power, plain and simple. By going directly to the masses it is very easy to sway public opinion based on emotion. Here in Ohio we have done some very bone headed things by using popular vote to put things in our State Constitution that should have been done with legislation, but could not get through the legislature and to the governor for signature. Minimum wage and casino’s come to mind.
As cities continue to get more populous there is a growing disconnect between urban dwellers and their country cousins. Since the metropolises have huge populations the view of the people that live there is over represented in the state legislatures. New York and California are the two most obvious examples; but it is happening across the country.
New York passed a hydraulic fracturing ban. It didn’t matter to the New York City delegation that is the majority in the state legislature that there is zero evidence that “fracking” is harmful to the environment or that it is being done safely in neighboring Ohio and Pennsylvania. All that matters is someone told them that it was dangerous and therefore must be banned. This removed a potential source of great wealth from the hands of upstate farmers that are already suffering from low commodity prices.
In Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania land owners were offered $5000 an acre simply to sign a 5 year lease with a renewal after 5 years, and, if undrilled, another $5000 per acre. The leases also gave them a 20% royalty on the gross value of a producing well after it was drilled. Farmers that previously were barely making it became cash millionaires overnight. They bought tractors, pickup trucks, and an assortment of other equipment to replace the outdated machinery many of them had been using.
Not so for the farmers in New York. The population centers decided that they knew better how to take care of the land than the people that have lived there and worked it for generations.
The same thing is happening in California. The religion of environmentalism has invaded the cities there as well. The State has plenty of water but hasn’t built a new reservoir in decades while the population continues to grow. The result is constant self-inflicted water shortages in the name of the environment. It’s a bad thing to shut off the water to a city. Besides the obvious sanitation issues, a whole lot of people live there that will get really pissed off if they are thirsty. So instead, California has shut off the water to the farmers decimating entire communities and driving poorer people into the cities.
I’m proposing an electoral college system for states. Each county should be granted a number of electors based on population. Just like in the Federal system. This would give rural counties a larger say in self-determination.
This wasn’t an issue even a few decades ago when the majority of people in cities had a country cousin of some sort that they would see at Christmas or Thanksgiving. But times have changed and a new religion has captured the hearts of our population centers. That is the religion of climate change and environmentalism. Now those legislators from population centers are righteous in destroying the economy outside of their city limits because they are doing so under the guise of “saving the planet”
I’m concerned that if something isn’t done the trend will continue until rural America becomes peasants and serfs to the large population centers. That is a recipe for armed insurrection and no one wants to see that.