Well, it looks like Hillary Clinton got over 1.5 million votes more than Donald Trump. Throngs of people are going nuts over that. How, they ask, can we have a country where the majority votes for one candidate, and the other candidate wins the election? Big-name Democrats across the nation are decrying what they want others to view as a grossly unfair election system. Do they have a good point? Well, in a way, but don’t be too quick to jump aboard that train.
Our founding fathers created the Electoral College process for the election of the president for good reason. Article II of the U.S. Constitution implemented the Electoral College process with the signing of the Constitution in 1787. The Article was Amended by the 12th Amendment ratified by the states in 1804. Some argue that this method was meant to accommodate the agrarian culture of that day with austere communication capability and supremacy of states’ rights. They say it has long been outdated. Certainly states’ rights were important in the formative years of our nation. The 10th Amendment, part of the Bill of Rights ratified in 1791 states that all powers not specifically ascribed by the Constitution belong to the states.
This sovereignty of the states, ensconced in the Constitution, has been a deeply respected and strongly held belief throughout the history of America. Not only do the states hold a great degree of independence and separation from the federal government, they also are separate entities protected from each other. Unlike most other countries, the United States is, by design, a collection of united states. Although, states are subject to certain federal laws and courts, their self-governing powers are necessary for the freedoms their citizens enjoy. These powers, unfortunately, have been chipped away little by little over the course of our history.
The founding fathers made sure that each state was guaranteed a high level of equality in relation to other states. That is why each state has an equal number of Senators to complement their number of Representatives which are based on population. Similarly, the Electoral College ensures that the citizens of each state, each sub-culture, have a voice in the election of the head of our federal government.
If the popular vote determined the presidential election, the winner would almost always be determined by those in the highly populated northeast states and California. The candidates would only campaign in those few states and the victor would be accountable to those states. The votes of the rest of the population residing in the vast stretches of middle-America would be worthless. Therefore, the country would be led with a bias in favor of these liberal-leaning states. The Electoral College system insures a fair mix of political philosophy, especially in close elections. Our forefathers recognized that, and it is just as important to equitable representation today as in the eighteenth century.
The tyranny of the majority, where 51 percent of the people can run roughshod over the other 49 percent must never be allowed in America. The smaller, less populated states must always be allowed the right of a voice in their destiny. The people must govern themselves through the sovereignty of their own state.
Yes, the downside of this process is an occasional president elected with a minority of popular votes. It has now happened five times in our history–twice already in this century. It is the result of deep division within the country. If we elected the president by popular vote, the liberal side of the divide in the northeast and west would keep a liberal president in office permanently. The more conservative side, as stewards of most of the nation’s land, food, energy, and other natural resources would likely never produce a conservative president. Also, can you imagine a contested popular vote that required all states to conduct a recount?
The 38-state ratification required for a Constitutional amendment to repeal the Electoral College will probably never happen. But, the controversy over the issue is sure to continue, further polarizing the nation. I encourage you to help everyone to understand better the truth about the Electoral College. You may want to share this post with a friend or on your news feed.