U.S.A. –(AmmoLand.com)- Since President Trump won the 2016 election, one idea has been gaining steam in some quarters – the National Popular Vote movement. Those pushing it note that two of the last five presidential elections have seen the person with the higher popular vote total lose the election. In 2000, Al Gore lost to George W. Bush. In 2016, Trump beat Hillary Clinton.
President Trump has been a godsend for Second Amendment supporters, primarily for his Supreme Court appointments. Certainly, if she had been elected Hillary Rodham Clinton would be pushing to enact the wish lists of Charles Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, Michael Bloomberg, and other anti-gun zealots. Many are upset, thinking that democracy has been thwarted.
Now, let’s be honest, the United States is not a democracy. It’s a republic. Furthermore, the Founders were rightfully wary of a pure democracy. We’ve seen how “pure” democracies like Australia and the United Kingdom rammed through massive gun bans after mass shootings. To accept the National Popular Vote would be to push us closer to that brink.
The fact is, the presidential election is never about who wins the popular vote. It’s winning a majority of the Electoral College that matters. Back when the Constitution was drafted in 1787, the Electoral College was one of two institutions intended to make sure that smaller states were not drowned out by bigger ones (the other was the United States Senate, which gave equal representation to all states).
That wisdom has been borne out. In 2000 and 2016, the margin of victory in California alone was enough to swing the national popular vote in favor of the Electoral College loser. In 2000, Al Gore won California by about 1.3 million votes – and had a popular vote plurality of about 500,000. In 2016, Hillary won California by 4.3 million votes – with a popular vote plurality of roughly 2.9 million.
If the National Popular Vote were to become the rule of the land, then the state that routinely sent anti-gun zealots like Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, and Kamala Harris to the Senate would effectively control the White House.
What makes it even more dangerous is the method being used to pursue the National Popular Vote. More accurately, it is called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
The Electoral College is enshrined in Article II of the Constitution. But some proponents of a national popular vote have seized on a loophole. They note that according to that article, “Each state shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress.”
So, what they have done is to get various state legislatures to establish a compact between states. According to Ballotpedia, 11 states and the District of Columbia that represent 161 electoral votes, have passed legislation declaring that those electoral votes will go to the winner of the national popular vote when enough states to total 270 electoral votes have passed similar instructions. One of those states, as you might imagine, is California.
The same California that alone made the popular vote swing in favor of Al Gore and Hillary Clinton. The same California with a claim to having the most onerous anti-Second Amendment laws in the country.
The fact is, this compact is stoppable, but doing so will take a lot of vigilance at the state and local levels. The good news is the state legislative races can be affected the most by grass-roots efforts. The threat of the National Popular Vote is a very real one and it is up to you to understand this threat and what it means to do to the value of your vote.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.