Let's go out swinging

Jake Tapley

I’ve been thinking lately about how much I want to move to a swing state so that my vote will have more of an impact.

I understand that Obama was re-elected despite Indiana’s solid red status, but I still can’t help but mourn for our state’s typical incapacity to deviate from its agenda. Granted, 2008 was an exception.

I have no qualms with either the Republican or Democratic parties, in and of themselves. They are both fine institutions with good intentions and should be accredited as such.

What I do have qualms with is the American vision of “democracy.” Though we are certainly democratic in many ways (and I am thankful for those ways), there are definitely instances where we come up short. One of those instances is the Electoral College system.

Democracy is supposed to mean that every vote holds the same amount of power – the Popular Vote is a great representation of democracy. With the Popular Vote, everyone who wants to vote votes, the votes get tallied, and a winner is announced. It is basically as fair as can be.

The Electoral College process moves away from true democracy. It lumps voters into their states, which then get assigned “blue” or “red.” At this point, your vote is either accounted for or overridden.

This would be alright for swing states, where it’s typically difficult to predict the outcome. However, for states that are set in their ways, like Indiana, voters typically know where they stand.

True democracy promotes voter turnout. People like knowing that their vote is going to make a difference. Therefore, taking that incentive away by assigning their state a color is risking accuracy.

I also don’t like the unfair advantage the Electoral College places on a particular candidate. In this recent election, it was determined that President Obama had the upper hand and that, in order to win, Gov. Romney would have had to win a majority of the swing states – a task that is much easier said than done.

I say we ditch all of these silly rules, systems and methodologies that warp American democracy by limiting and restricting true democracy. “By the people and for the people” isn’t just a part of history.