Donald Trump has pulled off a surprise victory in this election and already it has sparked outrage among many left-leaning voters.
The list of who to blame for Clinton’s loss continues to get longer, which includes the Libertarian Party, sexism, racism, lack of education, for all we know next week they will link Trump’s victory to global warming. Mostly they are blaming the system itself that has been around since the election of George Washington. I am talking, of course, about the Electoral College.
Watching the election in process, it can be very understandable why the Electoral College seems like a terrible idea; especially when your candidate loses.
Donald Trump may have won the Electoral College, but Hillary Clinton was ahead of him in the popular vote. It would seem only reasonable to assume at first glance that this system is corrupt. How could the Founding Fathers create a system of government where the Electoral College does not have to agree with the people?
Well, what they do not teach in social studies is that this is the whole point of the Electoral College. It helps to promote republican values in order to protect the United States from being ruled by the majority.
First, you should remember that when the United States goes through the electoral process of choosing a new president, he or she is being elected to represent the states; not the people. It is the legislative branch that is filled with those who are elected to represent the people to write the laws of the land. The President has the job of either passing or vetoing laws based on what is unconstitutional, or what can help defend the rights of the people. The executive branch also has the responsibility of enforcing the laws that have been passed, and is chosen by the states to be trusted with this responsibility.
Today, there is a common misconception that the President is meant to represent the will of the people. This would be thanks to Andrew Jackson who believed that, as president, being elected by the people, he was acting on behalf of the majority that voted for him. This proved to be a major assault on the balance of power as he grabbed more authority for the executive branch. He would go down in history as the first modern president. Nothing to be proud of to be the man who helped drastically tip the scale of the balance of power.
This was the very reason why the Electoral College was created in the first place: The President was never meant to be elected by the majority of the people. History played an important role in helping the Founding Fathers design the system. It has been proven time and again that allowing the majority to rule can often lead to disastrous results.
Let’s say hypothetically that Gary Johnson was more popular in this election (just for laughs – bear with me). Say Johnson received twenty six percent of the popular vote, Trump received thirty five percent, and Clinton won thirty nine percent. It’s well-known that more urbanized communities tend to vote more Democratic, especially in California and New York. Even in Kentucky, Lexington and Louisville are more populated with left-leaning voters. All Clinton would have to do is campaign in the urban communities to win the popular vote and become president. But there is a problem: A little less than two thirds of the population were not equally represented in the process of choosing Clinton as president. All she had to do was campaign in the urbanized communities win.
The Founding Fathers decided that in order to prevent these sorts of problems from happening, they had to create the Electoral College. It’s a mix of a democratic and republican method of choosing the President. Within the states the people cast their votes on who receives the electoral votes from their states, which varies depending on the state’s population, and then the President must have a required majority of more than fifty percent of the Electoral College. It is a work of genius to come up with this method together, to ensure the people are equally represented as well as preventing the United States from being ruled by majority.
Whether people like it or not, the Electoral College plays a very important role in preserving freedom for the people. As some wise people have pointed out the flaw of simply making decisions based on majority rule: In a room with two wolves and a sheep, you wouldn’t want them to vote democratically what’s for dinner.