Op-Ed: National Popular Vote Compact Betrays Our Constitution

Op-Ed: National Popular Vote Compact Betrays Our ConstitutionEXPAND
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The State Capitol is about to forfeit Colorado’s voice in presidential elections. On January 29, the Pueblo Chieftain reported that the Senate voted for Colorado to join the "National Popular Vote Compact." In a nutshell, the NPVC says that the rest of the country will decide which candidate will receive Colorado’s presidential electoral votes.

So what could possibly be so bad about electing our President by a majority of the people nationwide? That would be the fairest way to do it, right? Aren’t we a democracy? Shouldn’t the majority rule no matter what? Well, if you’re in the majority, you might agree. But if you’re in the minority, you probably have a very different opinion. A democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. It’s mob rule. The United States is not a democracy. It is a constitutional republic. You will not find the word “democracy” in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.

There are very real dangers to electing our President by a strict nationwide majority of the people. The United States contains 3,155 counties. A majority of American voters (68.7 million) reside in the 156 most-populated counties. That means merely 5 percent of the counties in America can determine our President, at the expense of the other 95 percent. A majority of American voters (68.7 million) reside in the 156 most-populated counties

The NPVC isn’t about “making every vote count.” It’s about making sure every future president is a Democrat. Democrats are concentrated in the largest cities in America. In the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton won 120 of those 156 most-populated counties. And she won them by huge margins. In Los Angeles, New York and Chicago areas alone, Clinton won by over 4,500,000 votes. Meanwhile, Trump support was spread throughout rural America, winning 2,613 of the 2,999 least-populated counties. Claiming the NPVC will “make every vote count” is laughable. Colorado and all the other rural states would be completely ignored. Presidential candidates would only need to pay attention to metropolitan voters to win.

It gets worse. When you rob Peter to pay Paul, you will have Paul’s vote. Legalized plunder. The densely populated areas have the highest population of welfare recipients. Of the 100 counties in America with the most food stamp recipients, Clinton won 75 of them. Of the 100 counties with the most Social Security Disability recipients, Clinton won 84 of them. Those who enjoy living at the expense of others will be able to sell their votes for promises of more “free” stuff. If you’re wondering who will pay for it, look at your next pay stub under “Federal Tax Withheld.”

Luckily, we don’t have to live under this kind of mob rule. We are a constitutional republic. Our Constitution protects the rights of the minority from being oppressed by the majority. It also establishes us as a federation of 50 sovereign states, not one consolidated nation. Our Constitution grants only a few limited national powers over the states (national defense, foreign affairs, a uniform commerce system). In all other matters the states retain their full sovereignty, independence, and powers. Our Constitution was written to protect this independence. All states are equals in the Senate, no matter their populations. This ensured no federal law could be passed without, first, a majority of the states (Senate), as well as a majority of the people (House).

The NPVC attacks the very spirit of the Constitution, and does so by circumventing the amendment process. And it specifically violates Article I, Section 10, which states, “No state shall, without the consent of Congress… enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State.” Call your state legislators and urge a NO vote.

John Pickerill, a columnist for the Pueblo Chieftain, was the 2018 Libertarian Party candidate for Colorado State Senate District 3. He advocates for individual liberty, free-market economics, private-property rights and constitutionally limited government.

Westword occasionally publishes op-eds and essays about issues of interest to Denver residents. If you'd like to submit one, send it to editorial@westword.com.

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