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Culture > News

Bill O’Reilly Defended the Electoral College By Saying it Keeps the White Establishment in Power

Fox News commentator Bill O’ Reilly, who once declared that there is no white privilege in America, is being criticized on social media after his assessment of why people are pushing for the abolishment of the Electoral College.

“This is all about race,” O’Reilly said on his show. “The left sees white privilege in America as an oppressive force that must be done away with. Therefore white working class voters must be marginalized.”

“Very few commentators will tell you that the heart of liberalism in America today is based on race,” he continued. “It permeates almost every issue. That white men have set up a system of oppression. That system must be destroyed.”

Fox News tweeted out a picture that shocked users. O’Reilly seemed kind of, well, right. Until people watched the clip in full and realized that he was trying to defend this white establishment—the same one whose existence he has denied various times.  

Of course, the internet exploded in a fit of rage over O’Reilly’s straightforward admission that he actively wants to preserve a white establishment.

The conservative commentator acknowledged that abandoning the Electoral College, leaving elections up to a popular vote, would let Democrats win future races too easily.

“Because in the large urban areas and blue states like New York and California, minorities are substantial,” he explained. “Look at the landscape. Philadelphia, Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami. In all of these places, the minority vote usually goes heavily to the Democrats…You have targeted populations. Newspapers like the New York Times and the L.A. Times have editorialized to get rid of the Electoral College. They well know that neutralizing the largely white rural areas in the Midwest and South will assure liberal politicians get power and keep it.”

Getting rid of the Electoral College would indeed “neutralize” largely white rural areas by giving every American an equal say in elections. That way, a farmer in Idaho’s voice would count equally to that of an African American voter in New York City.

Even President-Elect Donald Trump once opposed the Electoral College, calling it a “disaster for democracy.” Until it won him the presidential election.

Later that night on his show, Lawrence O’Donnell reiterated this point. Getting rid of the Electoral College isn’t about race or oppressing whites—it’s about “making all votes equal,” O’Donnell said. “That’s all we’re talking about when we’re talking about getting rid of the Electoral College … making those rural votes equal to urban votes, as opposed to 20 times more powerful.”

Mother Jones’s David Corn, a guest on O’Donnell’s show, shared his own scary insights into how O’Reilly talked about America. ““O’Reilly and the folks at Fox News are always yelling at the left and others for putting things in racial terms. I can’t think of anything more racial than saying that people are protecting or trying to attack a white establishment…It sounds like he was defending apartheid.”

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Bridget Higgins

U Mass Amherst

Bridget is a senior Journalism major focusing on political journalism at UMass Amherst. She interned for the HC editorial team, writes columns for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, and occasionally gets a freelance article or two on sailing published by Ocean Navigator Magazine. When she isn't greeting random puppies on the street, she loves to cook for her friends, perpetuate her coffee addiction, and spend too much time crafting Tweets. She is also an avid fan of chocolate anything and unnecessary pillows. If you want to know more about Bridget, follow her on Instagram - @bridget_higgins - or Twitter - @bridgehiggins