Thursday, June 5, 2008

It's time to say adios to the Electoral College and bid adieu to Election Fatigue Syndrome

By S. Derrickson Moore
Sun-News reporter
LAS CRUCES — The dog days of summer started earlier than usual this year, compounded by record high temperatures and very little in the way of raindrop relief.
But many of us were suffering long before that from a malady I’ve decided to name EFS (Election Fatigue Syndrome). It’s a 2008 summer epidemic.
Maybe the latest marathon siege of campaign overkill will finally start a critical mass of us thinking about some overdue reforms.
I’m talking about the principle of one person, one vote.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot over the last decade, from the time when the winner of the most popular votes was denied the U. S. Presidency in the 2000 election to the endless machinations and ridiculous rules of the current Democratic Party primary season, which seems to have been going on for most of my life now, and I’m a grandmother.
It first occurred to me that the Electoral College was just plain silly when I was a little kid. That was back in the Jurassic Age, where things were so different that President Eisenhower, a Republican former general, mind you, actually warned about the evils of a burgeoning military-industrial complex.
“Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society,” he cautioned. “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.”
For a good time, read more of Ike’s eerily prophetic words of wisdom at
And speaking of “democratic” processes, I complained about the Electoral College system in elementary school classes, in high school civics and government classes and political science courses in college.
How can the same forces that proclaim the sacred importance of each individual vote and the principles of democracy, subscribe to all the mumbo-jumbo shenanigans involved in this process? I wondered then and I’m still wondering now.
I was told by many that it was all part of the wonder and glory of a system of checks and balances and was right up there with the hallowed principles of separation of church and state and the inspired ideals that created separate legislative, executive and judicial branches of government. We saw how well that worked out when a partisan judicial branch decided the 2000 presidential election.
I’ll go along with the concept that our unique union of United States may have needed something to make the little teensy and unpopulated states feel like they had a voice, in there with the populated behemoths. That’s why we have both a House of Representatives and the Senate.
Now that we have lived through the odious exceptions that prove the point, it’s time to face up to the fact that the Electoral College is undemocratic, cumbersome and just plain unfair and wrong.
And while we’re doing away with that, why don’t we do away with the stupid primary systems and go to one national presidential primary on one day, and consider channeling all that money, time and energy into something more useful? Like education, the energy crises, and cleaning up the planet, for starters.
Got it, politicians of America? One presidential primary on one day. No more Electoral College. One person, one vote.
Nothing like summer in the hot Southwest to encourage simplicity. It’s too late for 2008, but we the public should think about polling our one votes to send a message and eliminate EFS in the future.

S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at

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