Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly is known for his brash tone and willingness to make controversial statements on issues that other politicos might avoid in the interest of not offending anyone or igniting a controversy. In some cases, he makes valid points; in others, he offends massive swaths of people for the sake of it (think back to the segment where Jesse Watters asked Chinese individuals what they thought about Trump). His latest remarks have placed him in hot water, as he has addressed the issue of race and the Electoral College.
As Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, yet Donald Trump handedly secured the electoral votes needed to win the White House, the debate surrounding the legitimacy and future of the Electoral College has heightened in recent weeks. Some argue that the institution is a relic of America’s past and should be abolished and replaced with a mere popular vote count for the nation’s highest office. Others claim that doing so would leave smaller, less populous states’ interests on the sideline during election seasons, as candidates would campaign in populous, urban centers to gather votes. The issue has also picked up a racial component, as some find that the institution was initially established in order to grant southern slaveowners more influence in the country’s political sphere.
The electors gathered Monday to cast their ballots for president and vice president, and Bill O’Reilly had some harsh comments for those who claim the institution needs to go. “The left in America is demanding that the Electoral College system put into place in 1787 be scrapped. But there is a hidden reason for this,” he said.
He painted a picture of American race relations in which one party believes in equality and opportunity for all, regardless of skin color, while the other lives five decades in the past, holding onto Barry Goldwater’s creed. “Very few commentators will tell you that the heart of liberalism in America today is based on race. It permeates almost every issue. That white men have set up a system of oppression. That system must be destroyed. White men have largely abandoned the Democrats, and the left believes it's because of racism that they want to punish minorities, keep them down."
He then went on to explain how voting would be affected by abolishing the Electoral College. “That's what the left wants - because in the large urban areas and blue states like New York and California, minorities are substantial. Look at the landscape - Philadelphia, Dallas - Fort Worth, Miami - in all of these places the minority vote usually goes heavily to the Democrats. Add that to New York City, LA, Chicago, and San Francisco and you don't really have a national election anymore, you have targeted populations.” This analysis of the way a termination of the Electoral College would affect voting is fact-based, and thus it did not draw much heat from critics.
His final remarks on the issue, however, have landed him in a world of trouble. “Summing up: Left wants power taken away from the white establishment. They want a profound change in the way America is run. Taking voting power away from the white precincts is the quickest way to do that."
O’Reilly seems to feel as though that “white establishment” is an item that must be preserved at all costs, and thus this has given other pundits and commentators ammunition to launch allegations of racism and bigotry toward the Fox News host.
On the other hand, however, O’Reilly does make a valid point in that eliminating the Electoral College would grant Democrats an incredible electoral advantage, as they could campaign in highly populous, urban centers that tend to favor Democratic candidates.
What do you think about his remarks?