And if you support or defend it, then you are either UnAmerican or just plain ignorant.
There is a lot to unpack here, so let’s just dive right in.
First, I must point out that the overwhelming majority of people who defend the Electoral College are right-wing conservatives/Republicans. If you are adhering to an ideal that is extremely partisan, you really should ask yourself whether you have arrived at this idea because you truly have thought it through and arrived at your belief based on rational logic of if you are somehow self-diluding yourself and your belief is being influenced by tribal protectionism.
I would argue that the reason Republicans are the most likely to defend the Electoral College is because Republicans are almost always the ones who are going to benefit from it. Therefore, the defense of it is not based in reason and logic, but rather partisan tribalism. This is fine, we are all susceptable to these human foibles. Just don’t delude yourself into thinking you have arrived at this belief through rational means as we are all prone to do. For more on our ability (all of us) to self-delude ourselves into believing completely irrational things check out these great articles on Fanboyism and Confirmation Bias.
UnAmerican vs. UnDemocratic
Now, let me take one more aside to explain why I use the term UnAmerican instead of UnDemocratic. That is because of the Red Herring argument about semantics that conservatives often trot out about how the U.S. is a Republic and not a Democracy. Or as The Federalist writes, “The Electoral College Still Makes Sense Because We’re Not A Democracy” Oh give me a break.
In the above article, Donna Carol Voss argues that the United States was founded as a Constitutional Republic in order to protect minority groups from the “tyranny of the majority” and explains that “pure democracy” is just another form of “mob rule.” She further posits that the Founders designed the Electoral College to balance power among the states so that no one region gained control. These are great arguments to make in retrospect, but they completely ignore the situation at the time.
To the extent that the U.S. government was designed to protect minorities from the “tyranny of the majority” (as Alexis de Tocqueville put it) I will give Voss this one: Yes, the U.S. is a Republic in that sense (Pay attention though, because that same principal is a big reason why the Electoral College is so absolutely horrible). However, this is why the government was divided into three distinct branches and Supreme Court officials were appointed rather than elected and served for life. This is also why the Framers came up with a compromise to establish a bicameral legislature which gave vastly different states equal say in the Senate and proportional representation in the House. In fact, the very idea of proportional representation is a check against “tyranny of the majority.” Can anyone tell me a system that does not provide proportional representation? That’s right: the winner-takes-all Electors of the Electoral College.
And let’s not ignore the fact that many of the functions of the U.S. government – arguably the Electoral College itself – were designed around compromises to protect the institution of slavery in the South. It is a pretty well established fact that the Electoral College was introduced at the convention along with the 3/5ths compromise. Why have we rid ourselves of one and not the other? Unless we plan on bringing back slavery, I’m not sure many of these quirks of the U.S. government are entirely necessary anymore and their merits need to stand on their own.
Functionally, yes, the U.S. government is a Republic because issues are decided upon primarily by elected representatives and not through a direct vote. But in principal, the U.S. is a Democracy based on the principal that power is vested in the people and that the government derives it’s power and authority from the consent of the governed. That is why the first two words in the U.S. Constitution are “We the people…” and it is why our founders and statesmen have used such phrases as:
“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” ~ U.S. Declaration of Independence, 1776
“…we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth…” ~ Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, 1863
Arguing that the United States is not a Democracy because it is a type of Republic is a pointless exercise. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. A Republic is a type of Democracy. Some democracies are more direct and others are more indirect. The U.S. is a unique mix because, while the government is primarily run through representatives, those representatives are directly elected by the people and only remain in power through the people’s consent. Most developed nations have some form of this hybrid government, so using the term Democratic Republic is really not helpful either, therefore let’s just, for the sake of convenience, call the U.S. version of this hybrid the “American” version (sorry Canadians, I know you’re “American” too, but it is the easiest term to go with for now).
Arguing over what term to call the United State’s specific form of government is completely besides the point. The point is actually the values that the Founders wanted to promote through the form of government they established – what those values were and whether or not they have merit. The usefulness of the Electoral College should be evaluated on how well they promote those values if we agree these are values we want to promote. And here the Electoral College completely falls short and even works against those values. In fact, it falls short of supporting one of the most basic founding principals of the U.S. and human right’s: everyone’s equal right to freedom.
It is also important to note that the U.S. was founded on a principal of equality among humans which appears before the sentence stating that the government exists by the consent of the governed:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, , that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” ~ U.S. Declaration of Independence, 1776
“All men are born equally free and independent and have certain inherent natural rights of which they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.” ~ George Mason, 1776
Note, this equality specifically is about basic human rights, one of which is the pursuit of happiness and safety. In the American system, this value – this pursuit – is supported by allowing citizens to vote and by granting that no one person’s vote should be worth more than another person, but everyone’s vote should be worth an equal amount.
These ideas are rooted in the political philosophies of Locke as further developed Hobbes. I could go into a whole rant about the true meaning of “freedom” as defined by Locke and refined by Hobbes, and how that provides the framework for the social contract developed by Rousseau, and how the American Founders tried to adopt these three philosophers’ ideals into the Constitution. But I am pretty sure that without all that unnecessary detail.
On the surface everyone can agree on these two basic ideals: The U.S. Government’s power is derived through the people, and all people under the government should have an equal say.
One Person One Vote
This leads us to the principal of “One Person, One Vote” and the primary shortcoming of the Electoral College. This principal was very explicitly defined in the Civil Rights case of Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533 (1964) that based on the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution (14th Amendment), legislative voting districts must be the same in population size. The idea behind the rule is that one person’s voting power ought to be roughly equivalent to another person’s.
The idea of One Person One Vote is a functional application of the principal that all humans have an equal right to life and liberty as the U.S. founding documents attempted to establish. However, this functional application was never really explicitly defined in the United States until the 20th century through a series of high profile court cases such as Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962), Gray v. Sanders, 372 U.S. 368 (1963), Reynolds v. Sims, Wesberry v. Sanders, 376 U.S. 1 (1964) and Avery v. Midland County, 390 U.S. 474 (1968).
When the Electoral College was originally conceived, this idea of One Person One Vote was not a primary concern or problem that was being addressed at the time. In fact, many functional applications of equality under the law were lacking from the original founding document which is why the U.S. had slavery until 1865, blacks were not allowed to vote until 1870, and women were not allowed to vote until 1920. For goodness sakes, many of the founders wanted to restrict voting rights to landowners, which I am pretty sure most reasonable people today would find distasteful.
Again, I must make it clear: The founders established a very flawed form of government because they were trying to appease Southern slave owners. Arguing from the perspective of “original intent of the founders” is an morally bankrupt argument because it ignores the fact that much of that original intent was to preserve an institution that dehumanized people to the point of being property based on race.
It is safe to say that while the U.S. was founded on some excellent principals, the application of these principals was not every well executed until well into the 20th century. Today, the Electoral College is a remnant of one such horrible function that violates the basic principals of the American experiment, primarily that of equal representation.
Electoral College Myths
I have heard many arguments for why the U.S. adopted the Electoral College: To prevent candidates from only campaigning in states with large urban centers, to make it easier to actually hold elections and count votes, and so on. All of these arguments are retroactive in nature. These were not concerns of the founders, but rather excuses invented by defenders of the Electoral College to preserve the status quo.
And if you think about it, they are self-defeating arguments: The Electoral College makes it so that only a handful of states can swing an election and this means candidates spend the majority of their time and resources campaigning in those states while ignoring the wishes and needs of the others! Does anyone running for President care what Californians think or want? Of course not! California is always going to award it’s electors to the Democrat, so that state can be ignored. Are Presidential candidates sensitive to the unique needs of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana? Of course not, those states are solidly Red so candidates don’t need to consider their needs one iota.
Going back to the Voss article in The Federalist, she argues that the Electoral College balances power between regions of the U.S. She uses examples such as Ted Cruz being popular in Texas and Mitt Romney being popular in Utah, and that the electoral college somehow blunts those regions of the country and their competing interests may have contrary to the best interests of the rest of the nation. However, it is important to note that Utah and Texas did not exist when the Founders wrote the constitution. The only regional interests the Founders were interested in protecting was slavery.
It is also important to note that the Electoral College also spectacularly fails in this regard as well. Because the Electoral College makes only a handful of states truly decisive in Presidential Elections, a candidate from Ohio with a running mate from Pennsylvania – both rust belt states – has a massive advantage over a candidate from Arizona with a running mate from Alaska – both extremely different states. The Electoral College incidentally gives a tremendous amount of power to a handful of states – many of which are in the same region and have similar interests which might not exactly be in the best interests of the country as a whole. Has anyone noticed how much attention Presidential candidates pay to coal miners. Is the U.S. a coal mining nation? Goodness, no. Why do the interests of coal miners take priority? Because of Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, that’s why.
The Real Reason for the Electoral College
There was really only one primary reason the idea of the Electoral College was put forth that gets completely ignored in all of this debate, and that was basically to protect Americans from their stupid-selves! The founders didn’t trust American’s to directly elect the President because the founders thought American’s would be too easily tricked by a charismatic populist.
James Madison put forth in Federalist No. 10 that there was a danger of the country establishing “factions” which would work against the public interest and infringe upon the rights of others. This is why Madison argued for a Representative Republic rather than Direct Democracy and decentralizing power so that “the great and aggregate interests being referred to the national, the local and particular to the State legislatures.”
Alexander Hamilton carried this idea further and wanted to safeguard against a populist President. He originally proposed the ideas that eventually became the Electoral College we all know and love today in Federalist No. 68. Here, Hamilton argues that direct election of the President is a bad idea because the people may choose an “unfit” individual to hold the office. This is the idea of “Charismatic Authority” – someone rising to power through the Democratic process based on their charm, but who is a threat to democracy and freedom – which many founders, including Jefferson in particular, were extremely wary of.
Hamilton wanted to protect against this by having Electors for the purpose of – and get this – the Electors being free to be FAITHLESS. A Faithless Elector is one who thwarts the popular will of the people and chooses a President based on his own reason. As Hamilton wrote, he wanted…
“Men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice.” ~ Federalist No. 68, 1788
This was specifically meant to be a safeguard against “unfit” Presidents, or as Hamilton put it, men who had…
“Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States.” ~ Federalist No. 68, 1788
There are a few problems with how this Electoral College ended up working out in practice, however.
First, when voting for President of the United States, I’m pretty sure no one knows who the Electors are they are sending to the Elector College, or how intelligent, reasonable, or virtuous they are. So, if the purpose of an Electoral College was to send “Men most capable of analyzing” then we are massively failing in that regard simply because we have no idea who these men and women are or what their capabilities are. Electors are not functioning as representatives – they are functioning as a formality.
Second, if the Electoral College was designed so that Electors could be faithless and thwart the will of the people when necessary, it has either never been necessary, or Electors are too partisan to actually follow through in that regard. Electors have only voted against the will of the people on a handful of occasions, and always to make a statement rather than try to change the outcome of a Presidential Election. Throughout U.S. history, there have only been 157 faithless electors, and the Supreme Court already allowed states to require electors to pledge to not be faithless (Ray v. Blair, 343 US 214 (1952)) and 29 states do just that. It is safe to say that faithless Electors will never twart the will of the people in their states as Hamilton intended them to be free to do.
Electors run as a slate, not as representatives. When voters go to the polls, I would argue that because they think they are voting directly for the President and have no idea who their Electors are and certainly are not voting for Electors to make the decision of who should be President for them. For all practical purposes, despite the Electoral College, presidential elections are treated like a direct democracy initiative. The Electoral College has failed to fulfill it’s most basic task.
I would like to point out here just how interesting it is that the original intent of the founders was to have a system whereby we chose a technocratic group of elites to choose our President for us so that we wouldn’t end up electing a populist. How ironic is that?
So, while there are many arguable reasons for an Electoral College, the original and primary purpose of the Electoral College – selecting men of principal and virtue to go against the will of the people when necessary to avoid electing a President unfit for the office – is not being served by the Electoral College today. In fact, one might argue that the opposite is happening.
One Person One Vote Violated
No matter what your argument in favor of the Electoral College, there is one glaring problem with it that I believe trumps all other arguments: It completely violates the principal of One Person One Vote.
Each state receives a number of electors based on the number of Representatives and Senators they send to the U.S. Congress. Representatives are based on population and Senators are based on a simple 2 per state. Again, let’s avoid getting into the weeds on arguments for and against having a bicameral legislature, it’s roots in protecting the institution of slavery, and just agree that we do have one and it hasn’t been a complete disaster for our nation yet.
The problem is, that because the number of Electors are based on this bicameral legislature as a mirror designed in a compromise to prevent the actual legislative branch from selecting the President themselves like a Parliamentary system would provide. So, this gives an extreme amount of power to states with low populations. The most extreme example of this is the disparity of Wyoming vs. California. California has a population of 38.8 million people represented by 55 electors. Wyoming has a population of 584,153 people represented by 3 electors.
Let’s do some math on that: Each Elector in California represents just over 7 million people. Each Elector in Wyoming represents just under 200,000 people. That means that the vote of one person in Wyoming is worth the vote of 36 people in California! Forget the 3/5th’s compromise, can we not agree that is is kind of disgusting when one group of people – 38.8 million in fact – have a 1/36th say in who becomes President relative to another group of people?
This is an atrocious miscarriage of justice that we all must wake up to, regardless of what side of the aisle we are on. Everyone in the country should have an equal say in who becomes President. Right now, the system is set up in such a way that that is certainly not the case – by a magnitude of 3600%!
So why does this seem to primarily upset people on the Left and the Right is packed with people who want to defend this. Is there something inherently evil about being a Right-wing Conservative that it causes people to accept completely unfair and unrepresentative voting practices? Probably not. But the Right automatically benefits from this system because of how are country divides itself among partisan lines. You see, we aren’t really a country of Red states and Blue states. We are a country of Red rural areas and Blue urban areas.
City vs. Country
The simple fact of the matter is that if you live in a city you are vastly more likely to espouse liberal values and vote Democrat than if you live in the countryside. In fact, the more populous and diverse your city, the more likely you are to align with the Left. Many people have put forth theories on why this is the case, but the best explanation I can find is that living in isolation affects your values and ability to empathize with your fellow man.
People who live in dense urban populations more frequently come into contact with people who look different, hold different beliefs, have different cultural traditions, and have completely different socio-economic status than them. This constant exposure to people with different beliefs and people who look different helps people to overcome some of their natural biases towards an “us vs. them,” tribal way of thinking and pushes people to be more empathetic and respectful to those who are different. This leads people to want to become more inclusive, more tolerant, and more empathetic towards those who aren’t necessarily in their group based on race, religion, culture, National origin, and socio-economic status.
Because of this, liberal values tend to favor more inclusive and empathetic policies such as relaxed immigration policies and amnesty, progressive policies designed to correct perceived imbalances in opportunity for people of color, a wider and stronger social safety net and government policies that assist upward mobility. At one point during the 2016 Presidential election, Ana Campoy pointed out that the people who are most likely to hold strong beliefs about immigrants being more prone to criminal activity (a counter-factual claim) are the least likely to actually know any immigrants. Exposure certainly affects one’s beliefs, doesn’t it?
Of course, living in dense populations also introduces a whole new set of problems such as difficult resource allocation, transportation, pollution, and increased crime rates due to overcrowding and an increase of victim creating opportunities for the criminal element. That is why issues such as increased gun control, stricter environmental regulations, and increased spending on public infrastructure tend to also align more closely with the top priorities of city-dwelling liberals. Policing and criminal prosecution is greater in cities which leads to to more opportunities for civil rights to be violated or for innocents to go to jail and this in turn pushes these issues to the forefront of the minds of urban and “liberal” voters.
There are alternative theories such as the “urban cocoon” theory that posits Urban dwellers are out of touch with the difficulty of producing food, energy and resources and therefore insulated from the effects of regulation on said industries. This theory doesn’t get a lot of traction with me because it essentially rests on the idea that cities are full of an out-of-touch white-collar class while the countryside is full of an “in-touch” blue-collar class. But cities are so populous because they are packed full of blue collar workers who relocated there to get jobs at factories and serve the interests of the upper class. This group of citizens are certainly in touch with the difficulty of producing resources for consumption and the competing interests of the upper and lower classes. Furthermore, as you move out to the suburbs where many of the white-collar class in urban areas are located, you find yourself in a more conservative population, not less of one.
City and Country voters may actually share many of the same values, but because they face completely different challenges, their prioritization of those values is simply quite different. That means that when one value clashes with another, your country folk are more apt to choose one particular value over another value which your city folk would prefer.
Why Should Rural Values Be Superior?
Now, I’m not going to argue whose conflicting values or, more accurately conflicting priorities, are superior to each other. I think that most rational and fair minded people who believe in democracy and the marketplace of ideas would argue that everyone deserves a fair say and a fair vote, even those with whom they disagree.
However, because of the Electoral College, the United States has made a choice on whose values and priorities are more superior: Rural voters. Again, *cough* slavery…
As I explained before, less populous states end up with more electors per person than more populous states. Now, because of the history and sequence of how the U.S. states achieved statehood, you will notice that the further west you go on the map, the larger the land mass of those states are, which is one factor on population. The more developed East Coast however has a much denser population, so despite the states in the east being smaller in land mass, they tend to have more urban centers.
This leads to a situation where you have a few small, densely populated states on the East Coast, large land rich states in the center with well spaced out dense urban areas, and Western states which are both large AND have massive dense urban areas because of their access to the coast. Chicago stands out in the center of the country as a dense urban population primarily because of it’s position as a transportation hub for goods and people along the Mississippi and through the Great Lakes to the Erie Canal, and Florida, due to it’s climate has also developed several large dense urban populations.
Chicago’s population overwhelms the ruralness of the rest of Illinois, leading it to be a pretty true-blue state. Florida is a pretty even and strange mix of rural and urban which is why it is a major swing state. The rust belt states are also a very even mix of rural and urban. As you move West, despite Chicago, you get the great plains and much smaller towns, leading to that familiar swath of “red states” and before you hit the solid blue West coast you get a better mix in states like Nevada and Colorado, making them more likely to be swing states.
My point is, the blue states and red states and swing states are all the way they are politically primarily because of their unique mix of urban vs. rural voters. The problem with this is that the large in land / low in population states end up with a disproportionate number of electors relative to the states primarily populated through people living in dense urban areas. That means that when it comes to presidential elections, the least populated states have more of a say than the most populous states. Because of land mass, some densely populated East Coast states such as Vermont and Rhode Island do wind up in this category, but non-urban populated states have a slight edge. On the flip side, even though you have large Red states like Texas sort of balancing out Blue states like California, as a whole, most urban states tend to be the most populous and therefore have a slight disadvantage.
What this means in elections is that because Democrats are more likely to be concentrated together in the same areas and Republicans are more likely to be evenly spread out throughout the country, whenever there is a difference between the popular vote for President and the Electoral College winners, Republicans are almost always assured to be the benefactors of the Electoral College because the Electoral College favors sparsely populated rural states over densely populated urban-centered ones.
So, it should be obvious then that if you are a Republican then you are more likely to favor the Electoral College – you benefit from it – and if you are a Democrat you are more likely to oppose it – it hurts your political party the most! I would ask everyone on both sides of the debate to consider this and try to put aside the advantages or disadvantages to your group when considering the merits of the arguments for and against the Electoral College.
These problems are further exacerbated by the fact that the Electoral College uses a winner-takes-all system basically causing the Electoral College to be the victim of unintentional gerrymandering.
Gerrymandering is when district lines are drawn in such a way as to create an advantage for a minority over the majority. For example, if a region has 55% support for Party A and 45% support for Party B, one would expect Party A to comprise 55% of the government. Gerrymandering, however, can create 5 districts where two districts are 100% Party A and the remaining three districts are 15% party B and only 5% party A. That means that if each district elected 2 representatives one would end up with a government of 4 members from Party A and 6 members Party B.
This seems completely unfair, right? This is exactly what the Electoral College does however. The bluest of Blue states have extremely high margins of victory because they are comprised of large urban populations. However, their victories can be canceled out by a couple of Red states that are slightly more rural than urban and have much narrower margins of victory.
In fact, because being urban vs. rural is entirely correlated with population density, it makes it extremely likely that gerrymandering will occur – even if not intentionally – by virtue of the fact that districts and state borders are based in geography. By being geographically dispersed, one group of people can gain an advantage over another group which is heavily concentrated in one particular area. And this is exactly what happens with the Electoral College.
What this results in is a state like California, which may have a high margin of victory for one party having it’s 55 electors counter balanced by a couple of states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Iowa which may have a more narrow margin of victory. One need only look at the 2016 Presidential election to see how this works:
Hillary Clinton received 5.9 million votes in California, 2.8 million in Pennsylvania, 2.3 million in Ohio, 1 million in Indiana, and 0.7 million in Iowa for a total of 12.7 million votes. Donald Trump received 3.2 million votes in California, 2.9 million votes in Pennsylvania, 2.8 million votes in Ohio, 1.5 million votes in Indiana, and 0.8 million votes in Iowa for a total of 11.2 million votes. This is ignoring the fact that there are about 4 million uncounted votes in California right now, 2.6 which will likely go to Clinton and 1.4 to Donald Trump bringing the difference from 12.7 to 11.2 (53% to 47%) to something like 15.4 to 12.6 (55% to 45%).
However, Clinton received 55 electors from California and Donald Trump received 55 electors between those four states completely canceling out her lead of 1.5 to 2.8 million votes or 6-10% margin of victory between just those five states. Does this make any sense at all? That is gerrymandering – intentional or not – and it is a miscarriage of justice that violates the principal of equal representation regardless of what form of government you want to label the United States: Constitutional Republic, Democracy, Democratic Republic, etc.
The only reason one would support this kind of immoral devaluation of people’s rights is because they or their partisan team are the benefactors of it. And that should really give you pause if you are truly a person concerned with high-minded principals and the Founders’ intentions such as Donna Carol Voss claims to be.
More Myths Busted
We have already established that the primary reason the Electoral College was established was so that people could select men of reason and principal to choose a president for them those men could be trusted to thwart the will of the people vote in the best interest of the country against a wildly popular, but categorically dangerous candidate for the office of President. And we have already established that this reason is not being served at all due to fact that electors are not faithless at all.
That being said, there are also many other very compelling arguments in favor of the Electoral College – none of which are why the Electoral College was actually established, however. I touched on this a bit at the beginning – the fact that they are all retroactive justifications and many of them exacerbate the problems through the Electoral College rather than alleviate them.
More importantly, however, I want to make it clear that most of these retroactive arguments are functional arguments rather than principled arguments. Functional problems can be solved with clever work-arounds and technology. This is basically like trying to argue against sending a man to the moon because it would be technically difficult, therefore not worth even trying.
Those kind of arguments don’t hold much water with me, and they shouldn’t with you either – especially when avoiding such functional hurdles are leading to policies that violate core principals we all share such as the principal of One Person One Vote derived from idea that all people deserve equal treatment under the law and that government derives it’s power through the consent of the governed.
Here are a few “Mythbuster” videos produced by an organization that is in favor of establishing a National Popular vote to elect the President. The producers of these videos clearly have an agenda which should not be ignored, but also should not be used to discount the merits of their actual arguments. Please enjoy:
Ultimately, the Electoral College is a horrible thing for America. It establishes that one man’s freedom and value under the law is greater, sometimes as much as 36 times greater than another man’s by virtue of where those men live. This was intentionally done primarily to protect the institution of slavery.
The Electoral College was designed to prevent the direct election of presidents based on the idea that the people would accidentally elect a charismatic dictator of foreign agent (which has arguably not happened yet) and Electors would be willing to vote faithlessly to prevent that (which is practically impossible to happen).
Most of the arguments for the Electoral College are functional rather than principled, and were live in a day and age where most of these functional arguments are easily solved through technology and human ingenuity. Furthermore, the basis of many of the arguments for the Electoral College (not allowing a single region or state to have too much power) are actually better served by abolishing the Electoral College, rather than defending it.
The Electoral College, if it serves any purpose, is serving a very weak one. Meanwhile, it is violating the human rights of equality under the law based on an arbitrary fluke of where urban centers are located and how borders are drawn between states.
Donna Carol Voss concludes her argument for the Electoral College by comparing it to the World Series of baseball. She argues that because a baseball team can win the World Series with only 4 runs to their opponent’s 10 – provided they divide those runs up over four games of 1-0 and their opponent scores all 10 of their runs in a single game 10-0. Are we really comparing human rights to a game? Are we seriously comparing elections to a sports competition?
Ms. Voss, the stakes in the World Series are extremely low. No one will have their civil rights taken away, no one will have their freedoms curtailed, and no nations will go to war because of the results of a World Series. Runs scored aren’t the votes that represent the will and rights of individual humans. The rules of the World Series were not decided upon by elected statesmen at a Constitutional Convention after a bloody revolution was fought and thousands died for the right to have a World Series. Millions of humans haven’t died over the past century fighting to protect our country’s and other countries’ right to hold their own sports tournaments based on their own self-determined rules. Shame on you for making light of such a serious subject by making such a ridiculous comparison.
If you support the Electoral College, it is more likely due to the fact that you are too blind by your own partisan motivated self-interests rather than rational principals and logical reasoning. So let’s all be honest and admit: The Electoral College needs to go. If you don’t think so by now, you are downright UnAmerican. Shame on you.