Donald Trump has spent much of his presidency promoting a map of the United States featuring Republican areas in red and Democratic areas in blue. The point, of course, is for people to see the image, notice the prevalence of scarlet, and assume that Trump's GOP is dominant.
A closer look, however, makes clear that the image is fundamentally misleading: because Democratic voters are often concentrated in urban areas -- which take up far fewer square miles than a state like Wyoming, for example -- Trump's preferred map makes it seem as if land is more important than people. To take democracy seriously one must discount such nonsense.
And yet, it remains a prevalent posture in contemporary Republican politics. After Gov.-elect Andy Beshear (D) narrowly won in Kentucky this week, Kelli Ward, the chair of the Arizona Republican Party, published a tweet featuring images of the Bluegrass State that were similar to Trump's national map, with much of Beshear's support concentrated in smaller geographic areas with larger populations.
For Ward, this pointed to a problem in need of a solution -- such as a state-based electoral college. It didn't take long for the Arizona Republic's Laurie Roberts to note the problem.
Republicans, take heart. Arizona state GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward has a truly genius idea for the party's next move in light of this week's election losses in three states.
While some Republicans are warning that the results in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Kentucky should serve as a wake-up call, Ward has a different vision for how to stop the bleeding.
It's simple, really: just cut back on democracy.
Quite right. As the chair of the Arizona GOP sees it, if a Democrat wins an election, the proper response is to explore ways to dilute the electoral power of areas where there are more voters. That way, Republican candidates can win -- whether voters like it or not.
A CNN analysis noted in response, "The problem with Ward's argument is, well, it's dumb. Very dumb."
That's more than fair under the circumstances. But it's arguably incomplete, because the idea that American voters shouldn't decide the outcome of American elections is as pernicious as it is foolhardy.