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Outlived Laws and Ideas
By RU Contributor Gunship Load
Living in the 21st century is a blast. Internet just about everywhere you go. Cars that can get 70 mpg. Facebook, and the Rhino Den. We have it all in America. The 20th century paved the way for all the great shit we have now.
But with all the cool gadgets, we left so many behind. Do you remember your G.I. Joes? Your beloved Hot Wheels cars? Do you know what happened to them? I have no idea what happened to mine – they were merely “left in my past” somewhere.
Well, here are a few more things that could (and probably should) have been left in our past; stupid laws. Just from the states I have lived in, for example:
Florida – If an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.
Illinois – In the Pullman area, it is illegal to drink beer out of a bucket while sitting on the curb.
South Carolina – Every adult male must bring a rifle to church on Sunday to ward off Indian attacks.
Tennessee – It is illegal to use a lasso to catch a fish.
Kentucky – One may not dye a duckling blue and offer it for sale unless more than six are for sale at once.
Texas – A recently passed anti-crime law requires criminals to give their victims 24 hours notice, either orally or in writing, and to explain the nature of the crime to be committed.
Arizona – Hunting camels is prohibited.
Colorado – It is illegal to ride a horse while under the influence
United States of America – The Electoral College
Yep the Electoral College is still on the books. While I am pretty sure the other ones listed above are no longer enforced or applied, the Electoral College is alive and well. As far as I can tell, it’s outdated and needs to go away. Here’s a brief history on it, and why I think it needs to go away. Read up, maybe you’ll agree with me.
I’m no law professor, so I might get this wrong. Unfortunately, and my guess is that it is intentional, the laws for Americans are written in a language that the common man (me) are unable to comprehend without vast amounts of time and effort put in, because they are incredibly wordy, thus difficult for me to read.
The race to 270 right now is a hot topic on every channel, on every radio station, and on just about every web page. It is known that it takes 270 Electoral College votes for a candidate to win. The Electoral College is set up on the same system of how the amount of representatives each state gets, it’s based on population. There are an equal number of electors to congressional representatives, the total being 538.
On November 6th this year, we should all go and do our civic duty, cast our vote for the presidential election. Results come out, the same night, and the process is over, right? Well, not exactly. The Electoral College comes in, and does their “job.” They don’t meet until the Monday following the second Wednesday in December, and officially cast their vote in the respective state capitol (remember what I said about laws being wordy?). The votes get sealed up and sent to the president of the Senate, the sitting V.P. of the U.S. The V.P. announces who the winner actually is. Well, the V.P. doesn’t really do it; he has his duly appointed representative do it. He works way too hard to be bothered with such a tedious task.
Of our grand 50 states, only two of them do what’s called a “district system” vs. the normal “winner take all” for their electoral votes. Maine and Nebraska have the right idea on this, following the district system where the votes are split between the candidates instead of all or nothing, like the other 48.
The idea of the Electoral College is that they should vote with the populous – but they are not required to. Four times the Electoral College has gone against the popular vote. In 1824, Adams vs. Jackson; in 1876, Hayes vs. Tilden; in 1888, Harrison vs. Cleveland; and in 2000, Al Gore beat out G.W. Bush in the popular vote, but Bush pulled more of the electoral votes.
From the best that I can tell in my reading is that the length of time between the popular vote and the Electoral College vote is so that all the votes could be assembled and counted, and the results could be sent to D.C. When this country still used the Pony Express, or when cars still had a hand crank in the front of the engine to start them, or even when my grandpa’s grandpa was still alive, this was probably a pretty good idea.
But in today’s world? The media declares a winner long before the polls are closed and the loser usually concedes the popularity contest way before the Electoral College can even meet.
Maybe it’s time for our Congress to update this system. Maybe if we as a country can fix the little things that maybe aren’t broken, but need updated, just maybe, the bigger ones won’t seem like such mountains.