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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 ancient Rome. While it is frightening for the rest of the world to see how contentious our political system is, there is something that most foreign 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 another.

Electing a President is contentious. It can be very contentious. A lot is at stake. That is why we should all be glad that we have an Electoral College…  to reduce some of the tensions and mitigate the stress on our political institutions… to even out the joy of victory with the agony of defeat.

In America the people DO NOT directly elect our President. The official title of the person who lives in the White House is:  President of the United States of America…  not the 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 the President. Were it not for the Electoral College a single Party could control the entire country just by winning a handful of big cities while losing the rest of the country as indicated in a map of the 2016 election results.

The Electoral College was designed to prevent something like this from ever happening. It is a compromise that was worked out at the Constitutional Convention between those who wanted the President to be chosen directly by the people, and  those who wanted the President to be chosen by State Legislatures. 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 every State has a voice in electing the President of the United States. It ensures that all people who are legally eligible to vote can do so, but a President cannot be elected by just receiving a majority of votes in a few big States. The President must receive a majority of votes in a majority of States in order to be elected. The Electoral College gives every State a role in determining who our President will be, not just New York and California.

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 into the system that provide a very important function. They act as a sort of shock absorber to the whole process of electing a President… a buffer or cushion that absorbs unexpected and possibly catastrophic shocks to the system like the one that occurred in 2016 when Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton. The way we elect our President allows ample time for those in power to get used to the idea of relinquishing power and accepting the will of the people. The Electoral College helps to ensure a peaceful transition of power.

The first of these built in delays occurs between November 2 (the day the people vote) and the day the Electoral College meets to cast their votes. This occurs on the first Monday after the second Wednesday of December. This year that was on December 19th, six weeks after the result of the 2016 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 somehow influenced the election in favor of Donald Trump and they have kept pushing this notion for the past three and a half years. They immediately challenged the results of the election in three key States. There were riots in the streets in some American cities. It was a very contentious time for many, but the President Elect was safe. No harm came to him. Unlike Julius Caesar he wasn’t stabbed in the back by his colleagues while eating dinner with the very people he thought were his friends, 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 file whatever  lawsuits they want like Jill Stein did on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

The next delay in the Electoral College system occurs after the members of the Electoral College meet in their respective State Capitols all across America from Maine to California. Thanks to the media we already knew  the result of that vote, but it still hadn’t been officially announced yet… By now  most of the sore losers in the Democrat Party were getting used to the idea that Hillary Clinton wasn’t going to be President. They knew that Donald Trump had won whether they like it or not. There were only a few die hard NeverTrumpers still out there who refused to accept the fact that the election was over and the winner had been decided. For the most part the reality had begun to set in even though the agony of defeat was still there.  

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 to get over it and 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 his peers and colleagues like Julius Caesar was. Order has been maintained and power has been peacefully transferred from one Administration to the next.  That is why we have an Electoral College.  That is why we need an Electoral College, and that is why we should keep the Electoral College. The wisdom of the Founding Fathers has proved crucial 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.


Corroborating Sources

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