UNITED STATES—I’ve heard this argument before and it seems it has reappeared yet again after the 2016 presidential election. What is the purpose of the Electoral College if America is a country dictated by democracy? Rule by the people for the people, that is what democracy is all about. However, the idea of the Electoral College changes those dynamics.
To clinch the coveted seat of becoming the next President of the United States of America, one has to win the Electoral College to the tune of 270 votes. Now, if you want a history lesson, the Electoral College consists of each state in the United States being allotted a certain number of votes based on population numbers. There are a total of 538 electors where the POTUS is chosen by members of Congress. Now something worth raising is the notion that the idea of the Electoral College was manifested at a time when slavery was still intact in the United States. That is very problematic if you ask me America, very problematic to say the least, as certain people were NOT allowed to vote or to allow their voice to be heard.
We’ve had two presidential elections where the popular vote was won by one candidate, yet they failed to clinch the win from the Electoral College. That has raised a few eyebrows with people and for good cause if you ask me. This has nothing to do with rather one is a fan of George W. Bush or Donald J. Trump (who happened to win the Electoral College votes, but not the popular vote from Americans). It is a question of if this country is based on democracy, where the people are to have a voice and their voice is too be determined by popular vote, what is the purpose of democracy, if we have a system that undercuts what democracy is all about?
Alexander Hamilton, who was a major proponent of enacting the Electoral College, happened to be a Republican who was adamant that implementing the Electoral College would prevent government takeover or manipulation amongst politicians. Come on, who is this guy thinking he’s trying to fool. I mean we all know that in the world of politics it’s all about pay to play. Politicians line their pockets all the time from donors and companies looking to get the angle on something that benefits them in the long run.
The electors are those from each state who have been chosen to represent the individuals in their district. Which is something I whole heartedly believe in, however, when these electors are chosen for office they win based on the POPULAR vote, not some system that adjusts the rules to benefit in a way that some might deem questionable. Yet, when it comes to POTUS, we have a system in place that one has to wonder, why? If the popular vote is supposed to matter when it comes to any election, why don’t the rules apply as one expects them to apply? I’d seriously like for someone to give me a definitive answer on what is going on here people?
Now if anyone thinks the Electoral College will disappear, I don’t think it will happen. There are more benefits to the Electoral College than drawbacks for most politicians. So the only way that it changes is if there is some sort of uproar from Americans who start to question rather their vote matters. Why? We have the electoral map which the political pundits love to decipher, disseminate and show Americans how there state may not matter all that much when it comes to the presidential outcome. If you’re a resident of a small states with a few electoral votes, your vote matters, but not as much as let’s say a state like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina or Michigan where a bevy of votes are up for grabs every 4 years.
Let me repeat this is not a conversation solely about the Electoral College; it’s a conversation about democracy. If the popular vote is to win at the end of the day, how can one explain how a candidate can win the popular vote of Americans, but not the most coveted seat of power in this country?