Missing The Boat-2 of 2: The College Is Killing the Country

editor’s note: this is the second of two pieces that deal with the media’s misplacement of focus within issues of critical import. The first piece can be found here.

These past few days I’ve read a number of expected and predictable pieces about the Electoral College. I’ve also read a number of pieces on the notion of two Americas.

I didn’t read anything that made a connection between the College and the rupture.

The Electoral College is what keeps Sarah Palin from coming to NYC for anything but a Saturday Night Live appearance. If New Yorkers and Californians aren’t in play for her, and she comes from the relatively isolated and insulated background that she does, it makes it easy for her to see the citizens of these and other deep blue states as two dimensional, unpatriotic Americans.

And if Barack Obama doesn’t have reason to go to blood red states because there’s nothing to be gained in his election bid, how are the people there supposed to see him as anything but an alien, discomforting being? And how is he going to absorb the feelings and orientations of people with whom he truly doesn’t, at present, have much in common with?

I just received an e-mail from the Obama campaign urging me to “Help Barack Win Battleground States”. I’m sure I’ll be getting something similar from the McCain campaign shortly.

States shouldn’t be battlegrounds. That only further polarizes an already divided nation.

The founding fathers created a provision for flexibility in the face of changing circumstances. It’s called a constitutional amendment. Most of the calls for abolishing the Electoral College have to do with giving every individual the right to make a difference in the presidential election.

This call is motivated by the desire to begin to close the chasm that’s been widening over the last 8 years.

The Electoral College, once a protector of state’s rights, now threatens the existence of the nation it helped midwife. It’s having the increasingly insidious effect of pitting brother against brother.