- Jun 2014
I assume your post is in reply to mine. "Tyranny by the minority?" That's quite stretch. We have had only a few presidential elections where the winner of the popular vote did not take office and in none of these elections, with the exception of Quincy Adams, was the differential more than a few percentage points: United States presidential elections in which the winner lost the popular vote - WikipediaThe founders also didn't intend for tyrany by the minority - where the minority has so much power that the majority can't enact any of its agenda at all. Take for example the power of the American South in the mid-19th century. Population-wise the South was a clear minority yet they were able to control the national agenda for a lot of years until finally the North said no more. Then we had a civil war because the majority will only tolerate a tyrany of the minority for so long. It's one thing to protect the rights of minorities, but it's something else to let small groups grind the whole train to a halt.
Can you think of any issues in the last 50 years where small states like Wyoming and Vermont agreed on something but were opposed by big states like California and Texas that would have resulted in good public policy if the small states had their way? I can think of one example where bad public policy came about because small states had their way. Shortly after 9/11 the federal government made lots of money available to cities and states to upgrade their counter-terrorism preparedness. But the likely terrorist targets are not evenly distributed across the country. They tend to be concentrated in the big cities. Because small states are over represented in the US Senate and in the Electoral College, a lot of small towns in Wyoming and Vermont got new fire engines and ambulances even though the terrorist threat is very low there. The big cities that really needed the money ended up with less because they had to share with smaller communities that didn't really need the money - at least not for counter-terrorism.
States' rights or states' interests just are not as prominent or distinct as they were 200 years ago. Modern communications have rendered state borders almost irrelevant. Millions of Americans cross state lines every day just communting to work. Millions more consume mass media that is transmitted across state lines. It's been 100 years since the 17th Amendment provided for direct election of senators. Giving states a role in national politics is increasingly anachronistic.
Wyoming and Vermont are far more likely to disagree on political philosophy (conservative vs liberal) than they are to agree on anything size related. Big states vs little states just isn't the issue today that it was in 1787.
So there has never been a "tyranny by the the minority." Remember , in 1992 the winning candidate only garnered 43% of the votes cast, less than the majority: 1992 United States presidential election - Wikipedia
Was that "tyranny?" This recent talk of eliminating the electoral college smells kind of funny to me, but I will be the first to congratulate you when it happens. The issue may be less big state versus small state and more urban versus rural, progressive versus tradition.