Sunday, 1 September 2019

The Real Problem with the Electoral College

From the mid-1800s to 1920s....what you generally counted on to spread the 'message' or sell people on political candidates...was newspapers.

In the 1920s era, came radio.  It took roughly a decade for radio to figure out the 'message' game and how they could make it work.  The FDR era?  They benefited greatly off of radio.

So then came the 1950s, and television.  This was a harder medium to crack.  There were two methods developed and both had problems.  The news folks had worked awful to appear impartial.  So they'd bring special folks who were 'experts' and explained things in a certain way. 

But the second method was the work of advertisements during a campaign period, and how the naive public would take to them or push back.

This all worked fine until you got to the 1990s, and AM radio with it's talk-people suddenly found a new way to connect to people.  In rural areas, just three stations over a two-state area....could connect to 500,000 voters.  People would talk about the topics brought up, and how things were being 'stacked' against them.

Then the internet arrived with the Huff-Post, Drudge, and the rest. 

Finally in the 2010 era....came social media (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, etc).

The problem you have now is that the two political groups can look over the menu options, and throw out some methods of getting to people.

Social media works great in urbanized areas, and helps the Democrats carry a message.  But social media also helps in rural areas by carry a Republic message.

So we come to the Electoral College.  You need to craft x-number of messages and get them out to various states, and then hope to carry the 270 EC votes.  Right now.....even with a ton of money spent on the top forty cities in America....the Democrats can't get those EC votes lined up.  The Democratic message is failing.

Social media to carry the heavy-load? helps the Republicans or Trump just as much. 

TV news people to carry the heavy-load?  The credibility of CNN and the rest of the crowd has dissolved away, and are now more of a burden than an asset.

The Huff-Post and internet crowd?  They can't seem to reach people in the fifty states in sufficient numbers to arrange the EC numbers.

If the Electoral College had been newly crafted, then you'd go through the court system and just say it's unfair.  But it's been there 200-plus years. 

Rigging up the Electoral College to give your state's votes to the highest vote-getter?  That's really the only 'trick' left in the book and this could backfire in a harsh way, if Trump were to get the public-vote numbers this time around.  Imagine a case where twelve states were winners for Biden, but because of the rigged nature....they were all given to Trump because he had 100,000 more votes across the US than Biden.  So you could be talking about Trump having 400 EC votes?  Yes, that's really the humiliating end-piece of this story. 

The problem with the Electoral College centers on the fact that general message system to reach urbanized areas is failing to reach all fifty states in the method devised.  And on the horizon?  There's no new system ready to deliver the message.