Friday, November 23, 2012

Land does not get a vote.

Before I start this post let me be clear this is not a post about which political party is the best.  Anyone who reads my blog know I lean left but I also admit that there are many problems with both parties, however, this post is not about any of that, it is about a group small but vocal group of Republicans who are complaining their side didn't win the recent presidential election, and in particular a really bad argument I have seen some of them appeal to in order justify these complaints.

I've seen a number of conservative/Republican bloggers (here and here) base an argument off of this map:

Of course one immediately notices that there is a lot more red than blue, this has caused some bloggers to proclaim that Romney was the real winner because he won more square mileage.  

Of course the following map of population density should give you an idea why Obama could loose on square mileage but still win the popular vote.

See, Romney one in lots of areas that had very low population density, while Obama, on average, did better in high density areas.  This shouldn't even be a surprise, since there are plenty of studies showing that people living in areas of high population density tend to skew more liberal than those living in areas of low density.

Of course a variety of justifications are offered, one person said that it was unfair that states like California had whole districts go to Romney but those districts votes went to Obama in the end because the overall majority in the state went to him.  The claim is that is is unfair for the votes of the people in that district to not count.  But how exactly is that more fair than the current system?  If you want a system in which every vote counts equally then we should get rid of the electoral college completely, not simply shrink the presidential voting blocs from state to district.  In fact this would be very bad for one simple reason, the state legislature draws up the voting districts, this would make it very easy for state governments to manipulate the results of elections.

Another complaint that is odd is that cities have most of the voting control, why should it be either surprising or unreasonable that the a larger population has more voting power than a smaller one?  Isn't that the way a democratic voting system is suppose to work?  The person with the most votes wins?  Are they suggesting that the votes of people in underpopulated districts should be worth more?

Of course one comment gave a reason for the complaint:
Bill O’Reilly makes a good point about the people who “want stuff.” Today Rush said: “It’s impossible to vote against Santa Claus!”. But we knew this all along. We knew that there were people in this country who believe that the government should provide them everything. And they knew Obama would punish the producers and hand over the fruit’s of their labors to them for whatever latest technological gadgets or worldly desires they covet. What we didn't know was how many of these losers there actually were—until today.
There you have it folks, people who live in cities voted for Obama because they are lazy bums who want everything for free, simple as that.  It fits the narrative they would dearly love to be true, but does it really seem likely that over fifty percent of the population expect the government to give them everything for free?  It seems to me that it is folly to assume that everyone votes for one party or the other for a singular reason.

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