Clearly, our electoral system is in need of great reform as much as our hearts and psyches are in need of rest and mending. As we all look for what is next, I propose a change that moves us in a unifying direction.
It is time to evolve from the Electoral College, established when it was not plausible for the general public to travel to vote. We don’t need the power to elect our President in the hands of a few hundred people. It is the 21st century. The Presidency should be chosen by popular vote from our the millions of voters.
The exploration and discussion of issues need to be the main focus throughout the campaign. At the most critical time In the campaign, all attention goes to the socio-demographic identity politics of swaying a few “swing” pocket areas in the nation. The mass majority waits with bated breath to see what these select voters will do.
This usurps the balance of power in an antiquated manner for no justifiable or compelling reason.
Democracy requires discourse, discernment, diplomacy, and decision making within the populace itself. The necessity of directly engaging one another gets lost focusing on the moveable pockets rather than the magnitude of our wholeness.
Now all substantive discussions stop once the state is determined to be either red or blue. This determination also eclipses the diversity of opinion that actually exists. We are perhaps more united than apparent. If a state goes red with 52%, that eclipses and marginalizes the 48% that were blue, and vice versa. The places of commonality are lost. Constant characterization of red and blue states cloaks both our unity and our diversity perpetuating on-going divisiveness.
The early assumed distribution of electoral votes also makes many question the efficacy of voting. “Why bother if my vote will not count?” The Electoral College disenfranchises the individual voter. Let us make certain that every person’s vote matters. Let’s create arenas where we can listen to one another and build upon each other’s ideas.
Who knows what creativity we may unleash. Perhaps even new political parties. It is time to move beyond bi-partisan gridlock and move forward together.
RevDeborah L. Johnson