Let the people rule 

Let the people rule

Hurricanes like Katrina don't come every year, but they come often enough that potential victims are wise to plan for them. Electoral disasters like the 2000 presidential election don't happen every four years, either, but they've occurred with sufficient frequency to show that defensive measures are needed. Prudent citizens are preparing.

The Arkansas House of Representatives has approved and sent to the Senate a bill (HB 1339) to help assure that the American people are permitted to elect their president — all of the people, not just a handful of party regulars. A majority of the House believes that the world's oldest democracy should choose its leaders democratically, a proposition hard to argue with.

Hard for us, we should say, hard for most people, but not for the agitated elitists who resent the common man's having a say in the running of his country. The same sort who were against votes for blacks and women and young people, who believed that U.S. senators should be chosen by politicians rather than taxpayers, now oppose the National Popular Vote Bill.

If approved by a sufficient number of state legislatures, the bill would ensure that the presidential candidate who receives the most votes becomes president. In 2000, more Americans voted for Al Gore than voted for George W. Bush, but the quaint mechanics of the Electoral College gave Bush the presidency. You know the rest.

Throughout American history, some have wanted the states superior to the people. The country's bloodiest war was fought over this point, and the champions of people's rights won, though the states' righters still feign ignorance, if they don't already possess it. The head of the national Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh, has ordered Republican legislators to resist the popular vote legislation. So we see Rep. Dan Greenberg of Little Rock taking one for the team, arguing in essence that to be pro-American is to be anti-Arkansan, the sort of embarrassing argument that Orval Faubus used to make. Rep. Davy Carter of Cabot shared with the House that his grandfather-in-law (Limbaugh?) sometimes knows what's best, and grandpapa opposes the Popular Vote Bill.

Although Rep. Mike Burris of Malvern, a non-Republican, thoughtfully explained what the legislation was really about — “one person, one vote” — the opposition remained determinedly unenlightened. After the bill passed, the Republican state chairman declared it “inconceivable” that a New Yorker's vote should count as much as an Arkansan's. He seemed nostalgic for the poll tax.

HB 1339 is now before the Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee. Supporters should make sure the senators hear opinions other than Limbaugh's.



Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
  • Trump proposes an unconstitutional ban on flag burning, revoking citizenship

    Donald Trump, the president-elect of the United States, this morning made a public statement, via Twitter, that the flag burning should be disallowed by law: "there must be consequences — perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!"
  • Child welfare too often about 'punishing parents,' DCFS consultant tells legislators

    Reforms promised by the Division of Children and Family Services are "absolutely necessary," the president of DCFS's independent consultant told a legislative committee this morning. But they still may not be enough to control the state's alarming growth in foster care cases.
  • Donald Trump taps Tom Price for HHS Secretary; Medicaid and Medicare cuts could be next

    The selection of Tom Price as HHS secretary could signal that the Trump administration will dismantle the current healthcare safety net, both Medicaid and Medicare.
  • Fake economics

    Fake news is a new phenomenon in the world of politics and policy, but hokey economic scholarship has been around as long as Form 1040 and is about as reliable as the news hoaxes that enlivened the presidential campaign.

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Learn about one of the wildest oil booms in history in Smackover

Learn about one of the wildest oil booms in history in Smackover

This small south Arkansas city was once one of the top oil producers in the nation.

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Viewed

  • Arkansas Democrats' rocky road forward

    No state political party in the modern era has had a more abrupt fall than Arkansas's Democrats
  • Fake economics

    Fake news is a new phenomenon in the world of politics and policy, but hokey economic scholarship has been around as long as Form 1040 and is about as reliable as the news hoaxes that enlivened the presidential campaign.
  • Forget identity politics

    Amid the climate of disbelief and fear among Democrats following Donald Trump's election, a fascinating debate has broken out about what's called "identity politics" on the left, "political correctness" by the right.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Arkansas Democrats' rocky road forward

    • The Arkansas Democrats are disorganized. Black Democrats distrust white leaders who failed to support Obama…

    • on December 2, 2016
  • Re: Arkansas Democrats' rocky road forward

    • Moneyed Republican interests in Arkansas have grown considerably during Obama's administration and are really a…

    • on December 2, 2016
  • Re: Fake economics

    • While UCA's economics department is somewhat free market oriented, the professors there are aware of…

    • on December 2, 2016

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation