Vote in elec­tions | Wiki­media

Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke joined the growing list of pres­i­dential hopefuls eager to abolish the Elec­toral College this week, calling it an out­dated system com­pa­rable to “slavery.”

“Yes, let’s abolish the Elec­toral College,” he said at the annual We The People Mem­bership Summit in Wash­ington, D.C. “This is one of those bad com­pro­mises we made at day one in this country. There are many others we can think of and they are all con­nected, including the value of some people based on the color of their skin. There is a legacy and a series of con­se­quences that have per­sisted and remain with us to this day.”

O’Rourke’s com­plaints against the elec­toral process aren’t unusual: Sen. Eliz­abeth Warren, D‑Mass., Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D‑N.Y., have made similar com­ments. And Col­orado Gov. Jared Polis recently signed a bill that added Col­orado to a growing list of states apart of the National Popular Vote Con­tract.

The argument is the same: Every vote matters, so the popular vote should out­weigh the indirect rep­re­sen­tation the Elec­toral College pro­vides.

“If we get rid of the Elec­toral College, we get a little bit closer to one person, one vote in the United States of America,” O’Rourke said.

Abol­ishing the Elec­toral College would be dis­as­trous. Oppo­nents of the insti­tution claim it’s out­dated and no longer fits American gov­er­nance. But its checks on the election process and human nature are both timeless and nec­essary.

The Founders under­stood that man has the right to govern himself, and that he can do so badly. The Elec­toral College serves as a check on man’s worst ten­dencies, placing a barrier, or a rea­sonable body of electors, in the way of the mass’s pas­sions.

The Elec­toral College guar­antees that less pop­ulous states still have a say in national elec­tions. Without it, can­di­dates would cam­paign heavily in large states and highly-par­tisan cities — more than they already do. It’s true: Even with the Elec­toral College’s guidance, flyover states still hold less sway than pop­u­lated swing states. But abol­ishing the Elec­toral College would elim­inate this influence com­pletely, fur­thering the divide between urban and rural America.

The country’s longevity is largely due to the sta­bility the Elec­toral College pro­vides. Abol­ishing it would put at risk America’s values and well-being. O’Rourke and the rest of the Demo­c­ratic gang would be wise to remember its purpose before calling for its dis­so­lution.