The Conservative Case for the National Popular Vote

Henry Olsen argues that it is “in conservatism’s long-term interest to trade the college for a major reform of our voting system that works for both parties:”

The majority of Americans will not consent to being ruled by a minority, nor should they. Whatever the republican theory of the founding generation, public opinion now conflates republican government with liberal democracy, and democracy cannot long endure the rule of the majority by a minority.

Continued endorsement of this system by conservatives and the Republican Party will, over time, convince a crucial segment of Americans, especially the young coming of age during this debate, that conservatives do not favor democracy. Forget the slanderous cries of “racist” and “fascist” frequently hurled by the left; if conservatives come to be seen as opposed to democracy itself, Americans will reject their cause.

Conservatives should also favor a change because of the perverse incentives the electoral college creates. We cannot change our country without a majority of people behind us. But the electoral college system encourages a president such as Trump to double down on a base-only strategy that maximizes the political power of important minority groups such as blue-collar whites. This prevents conservatives and Republicans from making the broader appeal necessary to win majority support, rendering their quest to change the country fruitless.