Is the Electoral College approach still fulfilling an important function? Do we really want a popular vote to determine the winner?
What the electoral college actually does today is make it much harder for third parties to have a voice. I don’t think that’s a good thing, personally. The other function it fills, practically speaking, is to make it possible for a president to win the popular vote but still not be elected. It’s a matter of personal opinion as to whether undercutting democracy is good or not.
Is there not credence to the notion that far more of Hillary’s votes were garneered from the ill-informed and easily led?
Given the types of propaganda campaign money has been getting spent on for decades, I would say the majority of votes cast in presidential elections are cast by people who have been misled and misinformed. One of the shortcomings of democracy in its practical application is that nobody has the time to be a “professional voter,” meaning, they cannot possibly learn the nuances of all the issues involved in party platforms or possibly evaluate the veracity of all the statements made by and about the candidates. In that sense, the American populace ranges from being extremely low-information voters to moderately low-information voters.
In all seriousness, isn’t this election result as much a function of Hillary fatigue, and Hillary entitlement as anything else.
Well, she did win the popular vote. That said, I think the fatigue voters have extends well beyond Clinton.
Regarding the point I was making before, about the electoral college and slavery, I realize it is entirely tangential to DiFranco’s argument, but I think there is value to undoing the whitewashing of American history, and it even relates to some of the woes of democracy that we’ve been discussing.
When we talk about how great the American resistance to British oppression was, or what great statesmen the founding fathers were, or what a great document the Constitution is, but refuse to acknowledge how the evils of slavery permeated and tainted every aspect of the founding of the United States, it leads to hero worship of these men and the nationalistic deification of the Constitution. We ascribe undeserved greatness to this era, and critical analysis goes out the window. We turn a blind eye to the legacy of slavery, hamstringing calls for justice that still echo in our society today.
I think we can make cogent arguments about the state of affairs of America today without whitewashing the past and, at the very least, learning truth from history has the potential to make people today better informed and less easily misled.