Pop icon Barbra Streisand has declared that the Electoral College, a system widely seen as the bedrock of the U.S constitution and its democratic principles, represents an “assault on our democratic principles.”
Speaking to The Washington Post for an article on what the U.S. Constitution represents to herself as well as other progressive figures such as Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Streisand described the system as “antiquated” and advocated replacing it with a system that allows the winner of the popular vote to win the election.
“The 14th Amendment of our Constitution actualized what many of the Founders wanted, promoting equal protection under the law for all Americans,” Streisand said. “If I could, I would end the antiquated electoral college. Twice in the last 20 years the popular vote winner was denied the presidency. This is an assault on our democratic principles, where the dictum should hold true: one person, one vote.”
The Electoral College has repeatedly proved an issue for Democratic presidential candidates, with both Al Gore in 2000 and Hillary Clinton in 2016 winning the national popular vote but losing out to George W. Bush and Donald Trump, respectively, via the Electoral College vote. Some 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VM) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, have recently called for its abolition.
This is not the first time that Barbra Streisand, a progressive stalwart who is one of Hollywood’s most fervent anti-Trump critics, has expressed her opposition to the Electoral College. Last year, the Oscar-winner admitted to having been brought to tears by Hillary Clinton’s defeat at the hands of Donald Trump and argued the fact that she got 2.9 million more votes than her Republican counterpart had left her “numb.”
“So, I was in tears,” the 77-year-old singer said of the night of the presidential election. “We walked around of kind of numb. I’m still a little bit numb because I can’t believe it happened, since, you know, Hillary got 2.9 million more votes than Trump and she’s not the president, so I don’t know. This antiquated Electoral College doesn’t sit well with me. It’s not fair. I think the people should vote for who the leader is of our country.”