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Why the Electoral College

Posted by Scott Rohter on Sunday, January 1, 2017



The Death of Caesar – Portrait by Vincenzo Camuccini

By Scott Rohter, January 2017


The Democrat Party and the mainstream media keep playing up the fact that Donald Trump didn’t win the popular vote in 2016. Since he didn’t “win” a majority of popular votes, it is their opinion that he shouldn’t be the 45th President of the United States. The rest of the world looks on with a mixed sense of curiosity and dismay as Republicans and Democrats battle it out on the evening news… In the world’s oldest republic (We are not a democracy. We are a republic) 240 years after our country was founded we still can’t agree on how to elect a President, but at least no one has gotten killed over it yet.  Unfortunately that wasn’t the case in Rome. While it is frightening for the rest of the world to see how contentious our political system is, there is something that most of observers, and even people in our own country seem to be overlooking. The Americian system of electing our leader is functioning exactly the way it was intended to function, and it is providing the stability that America needs as power is transferred from one administration to the next, and from one political Party to the other.

Electing a President is contentious. It is very contentious. That is one of the reasons that we should be glad we have an Electoral College…  in order to reduce some of the stress and mitigate some of the contention… to even out some of the joy of victory with the agony of defeat.

In America the people do not directly elect the President. The official title of the person who lives in the White House is:  President of the United States of America…  not President of the People… The States play a very important role in deciding who the President of the United States will be, and the people who live in these States elect a person to be the President of all of the States in our country, not just New York and California.  The Electoral College system is designed to allow every State to play an important role in electing our President. Were it not for this Electoral College a single Party could control the entire country just by controlling a handful of big cities while losing the rest of the country as indicated in this map of the 2016 election.

The Electoral College system is designed to prevent this from happening. It is a compromise that was worked out at the Constitutional Convention between those who wanted the President to be chosen by the people, and  those who wanted the President to be chosen by State legislatures. While the compromise that they chose of electing our President by means of an Electoral College is over 200 years old… it is still doing a good job of ensuring that all States have a voice in electing the President of the United States. It is ensuring that all people who are legally eligible to vote can do so, but a President cannot be elected by just receiving a super majority of votes in only a few States. He must receive a majority of votes in a majority of States in order to be electedd. The Electoral College gives all States a role in determining the outcome of an election.

There is another important thing that the Electoral College does which no one seems to be taking into consideration. Back in 1787 computers and  electronic media didn’t exist. The result of a Presidential Election couldn’t be predicted or determined on the same day that millions of voters were still going to the polls. The Founding Fathers installed a series of built in delays in the Electoral College system that  provide a very important function. They act as a sort of shock absorber to the system… a buffer or cushion that absorbs unexpected or catastrophic shocks to the system like the one that occurred in 2016 when Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton. Our system of electing a President allows ample time for those in power to get used to the idea of relinquishing their power and accepting the results of the election. The Electoral College helps ensures a peaceful transition of power.

The first of these built in delays occurs between November 2, the day the popular vote is taken, and the day the Electoral College meets to cast their votes. That occurs on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. This year that was on December 19th, six weeks after the result of the Presidential election was  known. That delay provided plenty of time for Democrats to get over their angst and  get used to the idea that Hillary Clinton was not going to be the next President of the United States.

You saw how Democrats all over the country acted during this time. They complained that the Russians had influenced our election. They challenged the results of the election in three key States. There were riots in the streets in many American cities. It was a very contentious time for many Americans, but the President Elect himself was safe. No harm came to him. Unlike Julius Caesar he wasn’t stabbed in the back while eating dinner with people he thought were his friends and colleagues, nor was he murdered on the floor of the Senate as was too often the case in ancient Rome.

Our Electoral College System provides plenty of time for sore losers like the Clinton wing of the Democrat Party to challenge the results of the election and to file whatever  lawsuits they wanted to file like Jill Stein did on behalf of Mrs. Clinton.

The next delay in the Electoral College system occurs after members of the Electoral College meet and vote in fifty State Capitols all across America from Maine to California and from Alaska to Florida. Thanks to the media we already know  the result of that vote, but it still hasn’t been officially announced yet… By now though most of the sore losers in the Democrat Party are getting used to the idea that Hillary Clinton is not going to be the next President. They know that Donald Trump is going to be the next President of the United States whether they like it or not. There are only a few die hard nevertrumpers still out there who refuse to accept the fact that the election is over and the winner has been decided. For the most part the agony of defeat is over for most Democrats.  

On January 6th in a joint session of Congress with Vice President Joe Biden presiding the decision of the Electoral College will be officially recorded on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives and the name of Donald Trump will be announced to members of Congress as the next President of the United States of America.  Not until then will the 2016 Presidential election be officially over. It has been a full two months since Americans voted, two months since we knew who our next President was going to be, and two months for the sore losers… the Democrats to get used to the idea that Hillary Clinton lost the election.  Meanwhile the next President of the United States has been safe. He has not been murdered in his own home by friends and colleagues like Julius Caesar was. Order has been maintained and power has been peacefully transferred to the next Administration.  That is why we have an Electoral College.  That is why we need the Electoral College. The wisdom of the Founding Fathers has proved instrumental in maintaining  stability, law, and order. Unfortunately  Democrats have introduced a bill in Congress to repeal the Electoral College. They do so at great risk. It is a good system that provides stability and ensures a peaceful transition of power between opposing political Parties.


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