A republic. If you can keep it.
The Nation alerted its readers that “Republican nominee will become president with less popular support than a number of major-party candidates who lost races for the presidency.” (The Nation conveniently ignores the fact that Bill Clinton won his first race with just 43% of the popular vote.)
California Sen. Barbara Boxer introduced a bill to eliminate the Electoral College, calling it an “undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society that.”
The feelings among those who supported Hillary Clinton is understandable. After all, as it stands, Trump currently has 46.78% of the vote, compared with Clinton’s 47.69%. And as votes continue to be counted, her margin has increased, according to data from US Election Atlas.
But a closer look at the election returns show that Hillary’s lead in the popular vote is entirely due to her oversized margin of victory in uber-liberal California.
Read all of it—and thank God every minute of every day for the genius of our Founding Fathers, who knew exactly what they were doing right down the line. The electoral college might have been the very best of their many great and forward-looking ideas. They knew very well that sooner or later, a political faction would come along which would represent precisely the kind of tyranny they loathed and feared. It has, in our time, and it’s called the Democratic Party. Bottom line:
Yes, the Electoral College occasionally produces the odd outcome where the popular vote winner is the election night loser. But without the Electoral College, abnormally partisan states like California could permanently dominate the nation’s politics.
It’s unlikely people in “flyover” country would consider that fair, or even democratic.
It’s even more unlikely that they’d put up with it for very long. This election represented a giant middle finger waved in the Democrat Socialists’ faces, along with a heartfelt “fuck you!” for good measure. But nobody needs to think for a moment that it will be the last time we’ll need to do it. Thankfully, the Founders provided us with a means for doing exactly that, in a way that actually matters.
The root of the problem update! Repeal the 17th. Period, full stop, end of story.
The citizens’ representatives in the federal government were called—well, Representatives—and they made up the House of Representatives. The Representatives were chosen directly by the voters, apportioned by population. The House was given the power of the purse—which the Founders’ generation understood to be paramount (“no taxation without representation”)—and which meant every Representative had to face the voters with frequency and regularity.
Each state got two electoral votes by virtue of its two Senators, and one vote for each Representative. Please note that under the original Constitution each state government was treated perfectly equally. Each state government got two Senators. No disparity there! Only when the progressives overthrew this system by means of the Seventeenth Amendment did a kind of disparity appear. The 17th Amendment instituted the direct election of Senators, the system we now have. It took away from the states the power to appoint the Senators who were to represent them in the federal government and to oversee federal execution of the responsibilities the states had delegated to the federal government. The result was a diminishing of the power of the states and the growth of the gargantuan central government we have today.
The 17th Amendment reneged on a deal honorably entered into by honorable men, and approved by the voters of the Founders’ generation. The method of election so perfectly suited to choosing the Representatives, and so imperfect for the function of the Senate, was imposed on the Senate by the progressive “reform.” Today, Progressives use the disparity which resulted from what they did as a reason to go even further—and abolish the Electoral College.
That’s why they are called Progressives; they never stop their assaults on the Constitution.
We may ask: did the Constitution fail America or did Americans fail the Constitution? The question answers itself. The generation which ratified the Seventeenth Amendment failed in its primary responsibility as citizens, its responsibility to understand and defend the Constitution. We are living with the consequences of their failure—a federal Leviathan operating in an increasingly post-Constitutional America.
One can legitimately take hope from this election in which the Electoral College may have again saved the Constitution—or at least given us another chance to save it.
May we prove worthy of this opportunity.
Indeed. Frankly, I think any push for this would have to come from someplace other than Trump himself; it’s not the sort of thing I can imagine him being much interested in. Although wouldn’t it be great to find out I was wrong about that assumption?