I’ve seen a lot of people advocating for the dissolution of the Electoral College over the past few days. Allow me to defend it.
I feel it necessary to point out that the Electoral College is not functioning in the same capacity that the Founders intended. As originally intended, people would vote not for a Presidential candidate, but for an elector. This was meant to function in the same way that the House of Representatives functions – you choose an elector for your district and they vote on your behalf with their own ideas and opinions. The elector would then vote in the Presidential election. It was designed this way because men like Alexander Hamilton believed that the average person wasn’t smart enough to pick something as important as President. This system was upended by the creation of political parties and state laws that would see electors chosen along party lines.
Eventually, our system became as is, where elector votes are all but pegged to the popular vote of each state. Only two states don’t currently allocate their votes based on statewide results – Maine and Nebraska. These states allocate their electoral votes on a Congressional District basis. That’s why you saw that Hillary got three electoral votes from Maine and Trump got one. Now, it should be noted that electors are not required to vote for the popular vote winner in their state. “Faithless Electors” are those whom vote their conscience as opposed to what has been dictated they vote for. However, these are exceedingly rare. In the entire history of our country, only 157 electors have not voted for the candidate to whom their vote had been promised. I believe that there were three or four this year that pledged not to vote for Hillary if they were allocated to her.
Now, why do I think the Electoral College is necessary? I think it’s necessary for egalitarian purposes. What we’re seeing in this election, and what we saw in 2000, I think, will become the norm. Generally speaking, I believe that there are more liberals in this country than conservatives. This is because the Democrats have a strangle hold on the metropolitan areas of this country. Those places have more people than do Republican strongholds. If we do not wish to become a feudal society of sorts where the inhabitants of the cities make the policy decisions for the entire country, we must keep the electoral college. The Electoral College is all the Republicans have.
I consider myself to be a Center-Left Moderate. A country without the Electoral College would most assuredly favor my personal beliefs as it relates to politics. But I also believe that every voice should be heard and that we should never put ourselves in a situation that could lead to one-party dominance. That’s how dictatorships are born. And yeah, we may be entering a political era in which the GOP controls all major branches of government, but this doesn’t mean that we have a system which creates one-party dominance. The Democrats lost this election because they took it for granted. They put up someone who was fundamentally unlikeable to a segment of their voting bloc and did nothing to try to persuade that bloc to vote for her. Instead, they focused on getting the groups that they already knew would vote for them. In the Democratic Party’s quest to be the all-inclusive party for minorities in this country, they forgot about the rural communities that were heavily white and generally voted Democrat due to its support for Unions. Had Hillary focused a little more on the more tenuous parts of the Democratic bloc than creating an echo chamber, she could have easily won.
In a Democracy, majority rules, but that doesn’t mean it should rule absolutely. There should always be a dissenting voice to be heard. Without opposition, you have tyranny, and no matter how well intentioned the ideas espoused by that tyranny are, it is still tyranny. The Electoral College helps us maintain a modicum of equality of thought. Remember, although you disagree with the beliefs of the opposition, they still have a right to their belief.