George Graham

Love it or Leave it

electoral-college

 

The news that thousands, perhaps millions, of Americans are threatening to leave the country now that Donald Trump is President illustrates an important fact of life: We humans tend to seek the company of like minded people.

Most of the disgruntled American voters probably won’t actually go to Canada, of course. That’s more complicated than it sounds (although I recently read a report that Americans seeking jobs in Canada had crashed a web site with their applications).

What’s more likely is migration to a different state. A lot of Americans are relocating  because they can’t stand their neighbors.

Take, for example, this excerpt from a comment by “graywolf 48” on a recent Daily Kos article:

I lived 30-plus years in Florida. I was more than happy to leave. I found it to be a very hateful state and getting worse with every passing year.

Yes, graywolf 48, I understand how you feel. The Sunshine State seems to attract some really intolerant – and intolerable – folks, including a breed of retirees the kids call “wrinklebeasts.”

They got theirs, such as it is, and they aren’t about to share it with anyone else. Let those lazy bums starve. And their kids, too. Who told them to have kids anyway?

I get that kind of thing a lot, living in Lakeland, Florida. It seems everybody else around here voted for Trump. Why? As far as I could tell, they resent government aid to the poor and sick, and want a “businessman” to run the country in a “businesslike” way.

Sandra keeps urging me to get us to Canada. I think I still have my Canadian citizenship so that shouldn’t be too troublesome. But it’s a big decision, and I’ll have to see how things go in the era of Trump.

On a less personal note, I think interstate migration has far reaching political implications. Urban areas are getting bluer, and rural areas are getting redder.

One result is that the electoral college is becoming less democratic with each passing year. Created to strengthen the agrarian elite and give slaveholding states more clout, the electoral college system makes your vote less valuable if you live in an urban area than if you live out in the sticks.

For example, a vote in California or Florida is worth only a fraction of a vote in – say – Wyoming.

It seems inevitable to me that, unless America abandons the electoral college and elects the President by popular vote, the states will grow farther and farther apart until the union disintegrates.

The electoral college and democracy

Where Americans are going

About the author

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com