By Tilda McLafferty and Leopold Salinger
In the shocking conclusion to the
Day After National Popular Vote series, UnPopular Vote reveals the final, inevitable result of a switch to a national popular vote for president. Hint: it's the apocalypse.To avoid spoilers, you should start with our coverage of the national popular vote election and recount.
January 13, 2021 - UnPopular PressThe Dystopian National Popular Vote Future is Real
If you read the prior two news stories concerning the ghastly effects of electing a candidate by counting all the votes for that candidate, you might have thought that the United States had entered the ninth circle of Hell. As it turns out, we were only in maybe the fifth or sixth circle and now we’re in like the zillionth circle which is so bad I can only describe it by explaining it in words.
Defenders of the state-by-state winner-take-all Electoral College system warned us that the candidate elected by national popular vote would lack a mandate to govern because the Electoral College tricks people into thinking the President was elected by lots of votes instead of by a small or even negative margin of votes. This is why presidents like George W. Bush and Barack Obama were empowered to do whatever they wanted without question, an obvious advantage of the system. What few popular vote zealots remained after the Great Recount Disaster of 2020 assured us that the new system would only enhance that popular mandate. The winner would win all of the states that were party to the compact as well as whatever other states they happened to win that still used the old system.
As it turns out, these were the sweet lies of hopeless naïfs, who drew us in as a siren would a sailor. What actually happened is that the electors from several states that were party to the compact, but whose states were won by another candidate, defected from the candidate they were pledged to and voted instead for the candidate who won their state. This seemed odd, given that the electors were specifically chosen because they believed passionately in the candidate to whom they were pledged, but it must be remembered that the general populace are such fervent adherents to state-by-state winner-take-all rules that they kidnapped the dear pets of the electors and demanded those electors’ defections. Of course, any elector can be swayed by such a mob when they must choose between democracy and their dear sweet dachshunds and turtles and sugar gliders and so on.
By Tilda McLafferty and Leopold Salinger
In the second installment of Unpopular Vote's
Day After National Popular Vote series, we enter a world in which a national popular vote recount is real...and terrifying. The inevitability of the recount scenario presented here should be obvious to anyone who thinks about it for five seconds (thinking about it for more than five seconds is not encouraged).To see how we reached this dark place in American history, read the harrowing first episode.
December 9th, 2020 - Unpopular PressPresidential Recount Ends, but the Nation Remains in Chaos
Five weeks after Americans cast their votes to elect the next president of the United States, real estate mogul Donald Trump has emerged as the candidate with the most popular votes. A long and bloody recount was necessary to establish Trump as the winner, though doubts still remain about the validity of the process. Neither of his two challengers, Senator Julian Castro and incumbent President Chris Christie, has conceded.
In the final tally, Mr. Trump led Senator Castro by only 413,269 votes and President Christie by a more substantial 4,728,118 votes. He will be the first non-Democratic or Republican candidate to win the national popular vote since the Whig Party’s Zachary Taylor was elected in 1848, and is almost certainly the least qualified president-elect of all time.
These results deviate immensely from the original national popular vote count, in which President Christie led both candidates by a small margin of less than 100,000 votes. The unexpected shift came after the discovery of massive nationwide vote fraud, as was predicted by the 2012 Republican Party platform
with Nostradamus-like accuracy. A significant number of the fraudulent votes were cast by one elderly Christie supporter who had managed to register all of the thousands of dead cats she had owned over the course of her life to vote. In addition, millions of new votes for both Castro and Trump were discovered on the streets and rooftop gardens of Brooklyn after the floodwaters that had covered New York and Connecticut following Hurricane Xena retreated back into the sea.
By Tilda McLafferty and Leopold Salinger
We at Unpopular Vote have teamed up to imagine what would happen if all of our worst fears about the outcome of a national popular vote were to come true. Sure, these predicted disasters have been dismissed as myths by proponents of National Popular Vote, and the likelihood of any single one of them actually occurring ranges from nonexistent to infinitesimal. But all of them happening at once? That's a possibility we simply cannot afford to ignore. What follows is the first in a series of news stories detailing the nightmarish scenario that we fervently believe could come to pass under a national popular vote for president. The details come from nightmares that we've actually dreamed up.
November 4, 2020 - UnPopular Press The Day After the National Popular Vote for President, the Only Certainty is the Need for a Recount
Yesterday, the United States held its first presidential election since the activation of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. For years, opponents of the plan – both liberal and conservative – warned us of the disasters that would ensue if we elected the President by having people vote and then counting up all of those votes to see who received the most. If only we had listened
Preliminary election results show a race that is still too close to call, as Democratic challenger Senator Julian Castro and surprise fringe third-party candidate Donald Trump (of the Childish Conspiracies Party or CCP) both received vote totals within fifty thousand votes of incumbent Republican President Chris Christie. A national recount appears to be inevitable in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The switch to a popular vote was finalized after Texas’ legislature and governor decided to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact in July 2020, when it became clear that Senator Castro, who was unanimously the favorite of Texas’ rapidly growing Latino population, would win the state. Texas provided the last electoral votes needed to activate the National Popular Vote Compact, which designated that member states would award all of their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote for president once states controlling a majority in the Electoral College (270 votes) had also joined the compact.
Without the switch, the election would have been decided by the state-by-state winner-take-all method, the method that the authors of our Constitution secretly wanted the United States to adopt piecemeal over the course of a century. Although they never actually wrote the method into the Constitution or the Federalist Papers or in any letters to Abigail Adams or whatever, and James Madison actually wanted to amend the Constitution to make it illegal, it is well known that the founders worked in mysterious ways that only defenders of the status quo can really divine.
Judge Richard Posner is an extremely well-respected and influential intellectual in a vast array of subjects. Which is why I’m just so sad
that Posner is not getting the respect he deserves
for the brilliant article he wrote for Slate
yesterday, “In Defense of the Electoral College
Posner poses “five reasons for retaining the Electoral College despite its lack of democratic pedigree.” They’re all fantastic reasons, though I don’t understand the lack of democratic pedigree comment—the Electoral College is, of course, derived from the electoral college used by the Holy Roman Empire, which descended from the Roman Empire (it’s right there in the name!) which in turn modeled itself after ancient Greece--the inventor of democracy
! Sounds like a pretty democratic pedigree to me.
But I digress. Here are his five reasons.
1) A dispute over the outcome of an Electoral College vote is possible—it happened in 2000—but it’s less likely than a dispute over the popular vote.
I don’t know if this is true since it seems like a very complex mathematical problem that Posner dismisses casually, but I’ll assume it’s true since everyone seems to think Posner’s pretty smart. A tie in the nationwide electoral vote is possible because the total number of votes—538—is an even number, but it is highly unlikely; it has not occurred since 1824.
Okay, this one’s definitely true: a tie in the Electoral College has not occurred since 1824. But since there wasn’t actually a tie in the Electoral College in 1824, Posner could have made his point stronger here—he could have said “it has not occurred since 1824, 1936, 1817, 2056, or (aside from a bit of an accident in 1800
) since the first democratic election ever a couple thousand and a half years ago.
(note: Posner later unnecessarily corrected this true statement) The losing candidate would have an incentive to seek a recount in the states in which he’d lost by only a small margin. So, for that matter, would the winner in states that he had lost or that he had won by only a small margin in order to shore up his overall vote total.
Again, Posner isn’t going far enough with his argument. Both the winning and losing candidate would have incentives to seek recounts in all states
because every vote would matter
. The votes in one state would be no more important than the votes in others. I’m sure this sounds as awful to you as it does to me.
I've had about enough of Democrats taking the "high road" when it comes to our democracy. The high road makes for a really nice trip--it's the scenic route. You get to see gorgeous vistas like "every vote counting equally," "no states getting completely ignored," and "people feeling like their participation in democracy matters." Here's the problem with the high road: it's a one way trip to losing
The Democrats who want a national popular vote for president are so in love with their high-minded ideals that they can't even appreciate a system that is giving them a major electoral advantage right now. It's pretty obvious at this point. Everyone from Daily Kos
knows that Romney is much more likely to win the popular vote and lose the Electoral College than Obama. Polls are consistently showing Obama leading in the swing states, but tied or trailing in the national popular vote.
That makes the winner-take-all Electoral College awesome again...for Democrats. Sure, I hated it as much as the rest of us progressives in 2000 when it robbed Al Gore of his rightful presidency.
But when it comes to the Electoral College, the ends justify the means. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the greater good. When it comes to the future of our American democracy, the fairness of elections is something we can definitely put off till later.
So don't be stupid, progressives. Take the low road. Keep the current Electoral College rules, and keep winning elections. That's what democracy's all about, isn't it?
You may not have heard of the Village Independent Democrats before right now, probably because they're a local progressive political organization from Greenwich Village and that's just not that interesting a thing to be. Well, you'd better start hearing about them, because the Village Independent Democrats are on the FRONT LINES of the most critical political battle of our time: The Battle for the Electoral College.
Now, you may not think that the VIDs will make very fearsome warriors given their logo, shown above. At this point the Democrats are pretty much stuck with the donkey as their animal, so I guess they just have to make the best of it. It's impossible to make a donkey look extremely intimidating, so the Village Independent Democrats did the next best thing and made it look extremely cute. Like, "My Little Pony-spinoff featuring prancing donkeys" cute.
But don't let the peaceful image fool you. On April 17, 2012, the Village Independent Democrats passed a STRONG-WORDED RESOLUTION
against the National Popular Vote, specifically its adoption in the state of New York. This resolution used some powerful arguments to show just how disastrous it would be if the great state of New York fell under the NPV's tyranny. For instance:
If you have not yet been corrupted by the National Popular Vote heresy, we strongly urge that you recite this oath every morning to ensure that you remain faithful.
I pledge allegiance
To the Electoral College
Of the United States of America
And to the Federal Republic
In which it stands
With inequality for all
And incessant campaign ads for a few
By Tilda McLafferty
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is a true hero of America, Democracy, and the Electoral College. On December 7, 2011 at the Heritage Foundation, Senator McConnell delivered an impassioned defense of the American (read—best) way of doing presidential elections. The speech still stands today as one of the greatest examples of oratory in American history, cementing McConnell’s place in the pantheon of speakers like Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, and George W. Bush.
Sadly, not enough people appreciate just how brilliant this speech was. In an effort to change that, I will highlight some of the Senator’s best lines and explain why they are so indisputably correct. Follow along with the video if you'd like McConnell's inspiring words to touch your very own ears (3:06-21:50 concern NPV):
Without the Electoral College, some of the greatest leaders in our country's history would never have been elected to the presidency. Their names are synonymous with patriotism, courage, leadership, charisma, brilliance, and all things America. They are:
John Quincy Adams
Rutherford B. Hayes
George W. Bush
Any child of American grade school could list of these names without a second thought, having heard them repeated thousands of times. Even the Washington Nationals baseball team has a "President's Race" every game, in which mascot versions of Adams, Hayes, Harrison, and Bush run around the field, to the delight of the crowd. It's a running joke that J.Q. Adams loses every time, since he not only lost the popular vote but actually lost the plurality Electoral College vote in 1824 before winning the presidency in a House of Representatives vote. These men have become icons of the office of the presidency.
Here are the four Presidents in their rightful place, hewn into the rock of America.
In the third installment of the beloved National Treasure franchise, Nicholas Cage stars as Benjamin Gates, a treasure hunter who has uncovered a massive conspiracy to destroy the Electoral College called National Popular Vote. Gates will have to go to unimaginable lengths to save the College, protect his country, and make sure that his Floridian girlfriend still has a disproportionate influence in presidential elections.
Written and produced by UnPV Films.