April 26, 1974. The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Oakland Athletics 6-5 in 15 innings. The game pitted the two teams that would meet later in the season for a chance to go to the World Series, and featured future Hall-of-Famers Reggie Jackson, Jim Palmer, Rollie Fingers, and Brooks Robinson. It also featured one of the greatest anomalies in baseball history. But I am getting ahead of myself.
Trump Derangement Syndrome is a real thing. Democrats still can’t believe they lost the 2016 election, and subsequent events have caused them to make sure that they won’t have to deal with losing for a while, and that the damage done to their party is mitigated in some measure. As a result, Democrats have made actual pushes to transform the current political system. The three main proposals are (1) Abolish the Senate, (2) Expand the Supreme Court, and (3) Abolish the Electoral College. These are all obviously bad ideas, but further than that, they won’t accomplish what the Democrats want to accomplish. Here’s why:
Abolishing the Senate
This idea has been batted around for quite some time now. In fact, it was first proposed in 1911 by Representative Victor Berger of Wisconsin, who was the first Socialist member of the House of Representatives (no surprise here). Berger’s claim was that Congress should be made up of a direct popular vote (remember that for later). However, this has been trumpeted by Democratic members of Congress to this day, most notably, Representative John Dingell Jr., who holds the record for the longest serving member of either house of Congress, serving from 1955-2015).
According to Vox’s Dylan Matthews, Dingell’s tenure means he knows “a thing or two about how Congress works.” Matthews then quotes an excerpt from Dingell’s memoir, which explained that The Great Compromise required that all states, regardless of size, “needed two US Senators to protect itself from being bullied” by larger states. Dingell goes further: “Today, in a nation of more than 325 million and 37 additional states, not only is that structure antiquated, it’s downright dangerous. California has almost 40 million people, while the 20 smallest states have a combined population totaling less than that. Yet because of an 18th-century political deal, those 20 states have 40 senators, while California has just two. These sparsely populated, usually conservative states can block legislation supported by a majority of the American people. That’s just plain crazy.”
While Dingell may know a thing or two about Congress, Matthews proves that he doesn’t understand a thing about it, because, intentionally or not, he leaves out the other side of the Great Compromise – the establishment of the House of Representatives – you know: the house that is more representative of the population. And the notion that this is an antiquated system because the gap between California and Wyoming is greater than Massachusetts and Rhode Island were in the 18th century is ridiculous. It’s actually even more of a reason to offer protection to the rights of the little guy. The whole notion ignores the idea that the framers of the Constitution wanted to make it as difficult as possible to change a law. By creating separate legislative houses, they made it even more difficult for a law to be passed, and one could only happen if there was a vast agreement between the two.
Abolishing the Senate would cause more harm than good. Vast swaths of Americans would be ignored, and the only opinions worth having would be those found in large coastal cities. The idea that “majority rules” is how we should govern is anti-American, and comes as no shock that it was initially touted by a socialist. America was never a pure democracy, and Democrats tend to conveniently forget that.
Expanding the Supreme Court
John Dingell is nice, but this one is being touted by several 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls including Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, and Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Kirsten Gillibrand. This move comes after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell basically stole a Supreme Court Justice. As a brief refresher, Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in the beginning of 2016. President Obama appointed Merrick Garland to replace him. McConnell claimed that he refused to hold hearings in an election year, and when President Trump took office in 2017, he appointed Neil Gorsuch to the seat. Democrats argue that McConnell stole the seat. Yet here we are two years later, and Neil Gorsuch is a member of SCOTUS, and Merrick Garland is not. I used to be on the fence about McConnell’s move, but just last week, he announced that should a SCOTUS seat become available in 2020, he would hold hearings for it.
As part of the 2020 campaign, many are calling for court packing to counteract McConnell’s actions. Just add more justices to the Supreme Court, and take back the majority. In fact, in March, O’Rourke didn’t rule out as many as six more justices being added, I guess just to give a large majority on the bench and establish a future cushion.
But obviously this is a bad idea, and not just because nothing prevents the next president from adding on even more justices on top of that to create a larger majority. McConnell started this whole mess, and despite how much Democrats hate him, they have to acknowledge how good he is at politics. I get it. I’d hate him, too, if he were on the other side. But he’s like LeBron James. He’s awesome when he’s on your team, but you hate him when he’s playing against you. Despite his shady methods, McConnell is possibly the best political mind in history, and doesn’t mind leaving a ridiculed legacy. Nobody understands the rules of Congress and the backchannels of Washington better than he does. Somehow even under a highly disliked President, McConnell not only was able to hold onto his majority in the Senate, but expand it during the midterm elections. McConnell has caused so much ire in the eye of Democrats that one need only search Google News for the latest headlines about him to understand that they have absolutely no idea how to fight back against him. Democrats really should think twice before going head-to-head with this man, and failing to do so could backfire in spectacular fashion.
Abolishing the Electoral College
Like those who want to abolish the Senate, the main argument for removing the Electoral College is that it isn’t representative of the wants of the majority. Unlike the abolishment of the Senate, this one has the backing of 2020 presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren. The arguments against the Electoral College are similar to those against the Senate. In the last 20 years, there have been two instances where the president won election while losing the popular vote (Bush 2000 and Trump 2016 – both Republicans). Therefore, the person in the White House does not represent the view of the majority of the people.
Now, in the Senate section, I have already explained the reasons why reflecting the majority isn’t how this country was founded. In this section, I want to explain why abolishing the Electoral College won’t have the effect Democrats hope for. I live in a Blue State. Therefore, my vote for president tends not to matter. I used this understanding to vote for Gary Johnson in the 2016 election, not because I thought he’d be a good president, but because he wasn’t Donald Trump and he wasn’t Hillary Clinton. Oh, and because Clinton was going to win New York anyway. There are potentially hundreds of thousands of people (maybe more) who don’t vote in presidential elections simply because their vote won’t matter. Many Red State Democrats and Blue State Republicans don’t even bother going to the polls. Removing the Electoral College will have an enormous impact on how campaigns are run, which voters decide to turn out, and ultimately, who wins. So no, I do not believe that Al Gore would have won in 2000 or that Hillary Clinton would have won in 2016 if the elections were decided by popular vote. We would have seen completely different campaigns.
Remember that baseball game I mentioned at the start of this article? The anomaly that happened in that game is that the A’s lost with 21 hits, while the Orioles won with only 10 hits. It’s the largest gap in baseball history in hits between the losing and winning team. Imagine after that game the A’s decided that they really won because they had so many more hits than the Orioles. In fact, the rules of baseball must be changed because of this injustice. Democrats must learn that they lost the 2000 and 2016 elections based on the rules of the game at that time. Changing the rules of the game won’t hand you the win; it will require a shift in strategy. If somehow the day comes when the Electoral College is abolished, and the Republicans win the next election, I believe that Democrats will have another excuse lined up ready to go, and a new law will be passed to give them an advantage.
Izzo Zwiren works in healthcare administration, constantly concerning himself with the state of healthcare politics. The topic of healthcare has led Izzo to become passionate about a variety of political issues affecting our country today. Aside from politics, Izzo is a fan of trivia, stand-up comedy, and the New York Giants. Izzo lives on Long Island with his wife and two adorable, hilarious daughters.