Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
The Democratic Candidate for New York's 14th Congressional District, Ms. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, continued to display her less than superior intelligence on Saturday when she tweeted that the Electoral College was a "shadow of slavery's power on America today that undermines our nation as a democratic republic."
There are many reasons one could validly employ in arguing that the Electoral College ought not be used in selecting the President. Those arguments include the underrepresentation of urban areas and the apparent inconsistency of a victorious president who fails to win the popular vote. I understand these arguments and am willing to debate against them. But claiming that the Electoral College represents some outcrop of slavery is not merely an immensely unsubstantiated charge, its promotion serves only to reveal its proponent's complete ignorance.
The Electoral College is a method by which the President of the United States is elected that employs electoral votes instead of popular votes. Those electoral votes are loosely proportional to each state's population and serve to grant slightly greater weight to those less populous states; states that tend to be more agrarian in nature.
The Electoral College is an outcrop of the tension between those larger, more commercial states and those smaller, more agrarian states at the time of our nation's founding. Although those states were largely separated by latitudes back then, today the battle lines are more properly drawn between the urban coastal centers and the nation's agrarian midsection, erasing whatever shadows Ms. Ocasio-Cortez may be divining.
Moreover, the selection of the Electoral College as the system by which the President is chosen springs from the philosophical presumption that the President of the United States answers to the states. It is because he or she is subservient to the states that the states ought to be given the responsibility of electing the President. This concept was a foundational precept for the nation's creation.
But if her wildly erroneous comment about the Electoral College and slavery's power were insufficient to demonstrate her ignorance, her charge that it "undermines our nation as a democratic republic" does.
The Electoral College is the centerpiece of our republican system of government because it places an extra tier of representation within the democratic process. Not only is each state a republican system of government, but also by making sure that the states elect the President, we have essentially created a second republic. This concept of multiple republics under the auspices of a larger one is the essence of federalism and provides an extra layer of protection for the minority.
For Ocasio-Cortez not to recognize these concepts as the Democratic candidate in a general election defies belief. Quite frankly, the notion that any district within this great Republic would ever cast its vote for her is even more inexplicable.
Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and serves in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.