On Thursday’s episode of "The Michael Knowles Show," Knowles breaks down AOC’s confusing explanation for why rural voters actually want to abolish the Electoral College, too, but they just don’t know it yet. Video and partial transcript below:
The trouble is [that] AOC doesn't seem to know what the Electoral College is:
AOC: It's true. I’m not taking it back is bogus. It's a scam. And like, it's not just — it's not even about rural voters versus urban voters. That's the thing about the Electoral College — It's actually not about rural voters versus urban voters.
Stop. So the thing I learned — the main thing I took away from this video is not that AOC doesn't know what the Electoral College is, because I assumed she didn’t know what the Electoral College is, or much about our government. The main thing I took away from it is that AOC can't pronounce the word "rural." She says, [unintelligible noises]. Well, she sounds like Jenna Maroney on "30 Rock." She sounds like when everyone tries to pronounce Jenna's new screenplay "The Rural Juror."
30 ROCK: Coming up, I'll be talking to "The Girly Show" star Jenna Maroney about her upcoming project, The (Rurr-Jurr).
The "rurr jurr," this is not about "rurr" voters, this is about democracy. I don't know. So AOC then goes on to get to, I guess, something vaguely resembling a point.
AOC: If you cared about the voices of rural voters you would allow all of — you would allow all rural voters to come together and to have all of their votes counted. But instead, if your state is a blue state and you're a rural voter, your vote is essentially erased. And so for others like Republicans that are like, oh blah blah blah this helps us.
And what about all of those Republicans — all of those Republican voters in, for example, in New York or in California who feel like their votes don't matter. Whereas if they're in the popular vote, everyone's vote would count equally and we wouldn't give essentially affirmative action to a very few, small band of voters.
OK, since you asked AOC, I will say as a conservative Republican in a blue state — actually formerly lived in New York most my life — I love the Electoral College. Keep it, thanks for asking my opinion. I'm glad you want to know what we think. Keep the Electoral College, it’s great.
What she's saying is not true. What's so funny is [that] she's admitting that rural voters — while rural voters are Republicans and conservatives generally, now this isn't true across the board, there are plenty of rural voters who are Democrats — but she's basically just saying that we're going to give up all the rural voters, we're going to keep all of the city voters. The problem with her analysis is not even on the weight of the vote itself. It's true, if you live in a smaller state, for instance — doesn't have to be rural or metropolitan — but if you just live in a smaller state, your vote, given the Electoral College, does carry greater weight than if you lived in a larger state. The reason for this is because of how the Electoral College is set up: It takes into account the states themselves and also the population of the states.
So it takes into account, right, the Senate. Every state gets two senators and then it takes into account the House of Representatives, which is apportioned based on population. But let's take AOC's logic to its logical conclusion. If AOC is right, then we need to abolish the Senate. Forget about the Electoral College. The Electoral College is pretty even — I mean, the Electoral College is a pretty good representation of the popular representation of the country, of the populace generally. The Senate is not. The Senate is a representation of the states. Every state gets two votes, whether you're Rhode Island or whether you're California. So if you really want direct democracy, which is what she's talking about, then forget the Electoral College, you have to abolish the Senate.
She's not willing to go that far yet, probably cause she wants to run for Senate against Kirsten Gillibrand in a few years. But, what this belies is not just that she doesn't understand the Electoral College. She doesn't understand federalism. She doesn't understand what our country is. She seems to think that our country is called the United Individuals of America. The United Population of America. It's not. It's the United States of America.
We have a federalist system, I wish I didn't have to explain this to a representative in our federal government, but what federalism does is it divides power between federal power and the states and local communities, and [separation of powers] divides power between the different branches of government: The legislative, the judiciary, and the executive. And it divides power between the people and the states and the federal government. We have balances of power in this country. We're not just all spread out individuals ready to be clobbered by the federal power that AOC wants to expand.