How the Electoral College Protects the Rural Community

As of this writing, the results of the presidential election are not yet known. But there are some things we can already take away from this year’s election.

One of the most distinct elements is the urban and rural divide. If presidents were elected by acreage, Republicans would still win because of their strong rural hold. On the other hand, urban areas are obviously more populated and they tend to vote more democratic. This is nothing new, but it shows how each side has become even more rooted in its tribal ideology; neither President Trump nor Vice President Biden succeeded in convincing the other side to give them leeway. Democrats have a credibility problem in rural America. They seem out of touch with rural values ​​as much of their conversation revolves around policing farting cows.

Some farmers have such a negative view of Democrats that they think markets are sure to drop if Biden is elected. This is an exaggeration, as markets will continue to trade fundamentals.

Popular vote vs electoral college

The other thing that seems certain is that the Democratic candidate will win the popular vote again despite losing (or nearly losing) the election. In 2016, Hillary Clinton had a total of three million more votes than President Trump. As of this writing this Wednesday morning, Biden currently has 2.6 million more votes than President Trump with 86% of the calculated votes. However, that doesn’t matter because that’s not how we elect our presidents.

Despite what we are led to believe, we are a republic and not a democracy. The difference being that the electoral college, made up of state voters, is the one that determines who is president rather than by popular vote.

The origins of the electoral college are rather shameful; however, it has evolved to the point today where it has helped shift the balance of power so as not to be so heavily concentrated in large population centers. In other words, it gives more weight to rural and less populated states than to pure democracy, whereas a one-person, one-vote system would deprive them of the right to vote.

I don’t know if the ancestors saw the rural / urban divide become what it is today, but they ended up protecting the smaller, less populated states with the current government structure.

This is the only reason President Trump won in 2016, but it may or may not be enough for him to win in 2020.

And the other countries?

Brazil is a democracy. Everyone is required to vote there and without proof that they have voted, people are denied government services or legal processes such as titles, passports and the like. The poor must vote to be eligible for social assistance.

Election day is like another national holiday as services are closed to make sure people can vote.

Brazil is a poor country. One of the drawbacks of this system is that populist candidates can influence the vote because of the large number of welfare candidates. They vote based on who gives them government support, as opposed to who is the better candidate.

The Brazilian agricultural sector loves the current president, Jair Bolsonaro, because he has taken a strong stand against corruption and has helped channel more funds towards infrastructure projects.

Before President Trump, we had trade deals with other countries that took decades to develop. The United States’ agricultural export sector has benefited greatly from these agreements. Trump’s renegotiations have added tremendous uncertainty and volatility, specifically related to China. It will not go away if he is re-elected.

The goal of these trade wars is for us to be better off in the long run. After several years, this still has not happened. China’s agricultural purchases picked up in the second half of the year, but that’s also because its economy recovered much faster than ours. They have been more successful in deploying policies to suppress the coronavirus.

A Biden presidency doesn’t necessarily mean the Phase I trade deal with China is canceled. I suspect China will want to get out of this, whoever the president is. So whoever wins will have to keep their feet on the fire.

Matthew Kruse is president of Commstock Investments, a commodity brokerage firm with offices in Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas. He can be contacted at [email protected] or 712-227-1110.

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