So it happens in our home, probably not in your home — but it does in ours. There are arguments. And the stupidest thing that happens in said arguments is someone making a ridiculous or grandiose declaration that they haven’t really thought through.
“If you don’t like the food so much — don’t worry — I’m never going to cook for you people again!!! For the rest of my life!!!”
“Fine! If your going to do that, just go to your rooms and don’t come out until your 20!”
The problem with knee-jerk impulsive overreactions is both that we look stupid when we make them and that they have huge consequences that we may not actually want.
See figure 1… The petulant, pointlessly embarrassing Colorado legislature.
In their infinite wisdom, these winners thought they should give away Colorado’s electoral college votes to the winner of the general election. It’s a temper tantrum from our “leaders” who didn’t like the results of the electoral college this election. It didn’t turn out the way they liked. I get it. I often hate the way other people vote. But we don’t have a direct democracy for a reason. Direct democracy hurts minorities.
Let’s do a thought experiment. Let’s say there was an area of the country that had a huge population. Tons and tons of voters. Let’s say they lived in a big old desert. Too many people and not enough water (let’s say)…. And then… let’s say another state had a smaller population but was using the same water stream. In fact, let’s go out on a limb and assume that the tinier group was upstream from the big group.
Now, let’s assume we toss out the electoral college and the water rights issue is up for debate. You don’t have any reason to think about the tinier state and its needs. After all, you gotta win the popular vote — you need to win over the big group — or at least lose as little of that big group as possible. There is not a single national candidate that’s going to go against the water desires of the big group. Even a candidate who isn’t likely to win the majority of the big group — they can’t risk losing any more of that big group than is absolutely necessary.
So… let’s call that big group — oh Californahoozy and we could say the smaller state was Coloradourstateisbeingrunbycrybabyidiots. By no longer having a guaranteed percentage of representation, there is no motivation to not lose our votes… all candidates will do as much as possible to win as much of Cali-hoozy’s population. So they will all take the same position on states rights issues.
I know it’s hard to believe… but out current community of politicians is not exactly built of the same stuff that the founding fathers and mothers were built of. Let’s take a sample of the logic from James Madison: “An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among the several bodies of magistracy as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.”
Or Benjamin Franklin: “The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy.”
I’m not implying here that we are genetically losing our minds… but that when some scrappy folks without luxuries like flushing toilets were ready to go to war against the most powerful country on earth, with the most powerful military on earth, based entirely on their understandings of political philosophy and then set out to create the best, highest, and least corruptible form of government ever created by mankind and put their lives on the line to do it… they were a little more knowledgeable and invested than that dingbat chick with the crazy eyes. Just a smidge.
So, I’m not claiming to be the best voice of reason here, but I am asserting that the bar in our legislature is shockingly low, and I feel more than justified in my scathing (but articulate) rebuke. It’s like watching Harry Reid get rid of the 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court confirmation only to lose the majority and have the new Senate vote on several Supreme Court justices. Maybe… maybe it wasn’t a good idea to be so impulsive. Those windowlickers over in the statehouse have no clue how much potential damage could be done to this beautiful state by this knee jerk tantrum weakening the power and autonomy of Colorado.
Twyla Righter is a native of Western Colorado. She is the mother of three children bent on world domination (they have pie charts) and a proud CASA advocate. She writes two columns for The Press as well authoring the definitive guide to a horrible pregnancy: “About That Pregnancy Glow.” Righter’s “Outside the box” column appears every other Friday in the Montrose Daily Press.