Photo via Associated Press
After Donald Trump’s victory Tuesday, with Hillary Clinton seemingly winning the popular vote, I’m seeing some calls to bring an end to the Electoral College. I remember writing a paper for an American History class after the 2000 election making the very same argument that I see disgruntled Americans making today. I have a very different understanding of things today though than I did 16 years ago. So before you join the crowd and blame the Electoral College for your woes, let me point out a few things.
The Electoral College is one of the critical fail-safes written into the Constitution to prevent the “tyranny of the majority,” majority rule, mob rule, pure democracy, or whatever you want to call it. The Founding Fathers took the lessons they learned from Aristotle and the Greeks with respect to Democracy. A pure Democracy is a complete failure because a mob is very fickle. We may vote to ban pit bulls on a Monday and then bring them back on Tuesday, but instead of pit bulls, we ban Boxers. Then on Thursday we might vote to put everybody in jail who voted to ban pit bulls. You get the idea.
Also, more importantly in my opinion, the Founding Fathers didn’t want so much power to be held by such a small geographic area. Have you looked at the electoral map recently? It’s kind of like a massive landmass of red, from sea to shining sea. Then there is a couple of blue blots in New York and in California. They wanted to make sure that those population centers didn’t hold such a political advantage over the other forty-eight states.
In my opinion, asking to abolish the Electoral College is a bit like asking to abolish the Senate. Why should each state have two Senators when New York has 8 million people and Alaska less than 1 million? No really, have you asked yourself why? Well for the same reasons I stated above. There’s something fundamentally wrong about the people in some far away city 2,500 miles away calling all the shots when they wouldn’t come visit your state for all the money in the world and don’t know a thing about it. It’s too much like a far-off country (like England) imposing their will on us from across the ocean.
So no, we do not need to abolish the Electoral College. It’s one of the fail-safes that is preventing you from becoming a citizen of District 12 in Panem. And fankly, people can sign all the petitions they want but the electoral process is clearly outlined in the Constitution and it isn’t going anywhere.
Thanks for reading! If you are so inclined, go pick up my book (available on Kindle or paperback) at Amazon. It’s called “Jamey Jones and the Sons of Noah.” It’s a fun science fiction book about a group of teenagers living on a planet called Kepler 438b. It’s seventy pages long, inexpensive, and it’s kinda good, even if I say so myself.