Hey electoral college… we need to talk.
You’re the legislative equivalent of mom saying “no” and dad saying “yes”.
Donald Trump did not win the popular vote. In fact, he lost it “big league”. CNN shows he’s down 2.8 million votes, while Fox News shows 1.3 million, but both sources agree, he lost the popular vote. But he’s our president elect, so… how did that happen? Enter: The Electoral College, or a group of people chosen by each political party that actually get to decide who is elected President of The United States.
This isn’t the first time that the electoral college and the popular vote have chosen different candidates. Just 16 years ago in the 2000 Presidential Election, Al Gore, a democrat, won the popular vote, but lost the presidency to George W. Bush, a republican, because of the electoral college vote. So this is the second time in only five elections this century that the popular vote just didn’t matter. It’s also the second time in five elections that the electoral college has screwed over the democratic presidential candidate.
One function of the electoral college is (as told by Alexander Hamilton in The Federalist Papers) “that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications”. Basically, the electoral college should stop someone who has no idea what they’re doing. Yet here we are, just a little more than a month away from watching the most unqualified man to ever be elected president take the presidential oath.
Although it is completely within the rights of the electoral college to choose a more fit and qualified president, it’s not likely to happen. A few electors (called “Faithless Electors”) have said they will vote against Trump in their states, but it probably won’t be enough to stop him. Which makes me wonder… if the electoral college won’t act in this instance, when will they ever? If the main purpose of the electoral college is to stop the country from electing a candidate with no experience and no sense of how to run a country, and they don’t stop him now, at what point are we going to say enough is enough?
The electoral college used to make a lot of sense. When it took days or weeks to get news from coast to coast, or when the majority of our population was uneducated or uninformed, it offered a safe backup option to guide America in the right direction if necessary. But now, in a world as connected as ours, and with the amount of information we have access to, how can we justify the electoral college?
The truth is, we can’t. The electoral college just isn’t necessary anymore, and it’s not even going to be used in this situation (the tragic mess that was the 2016 presidential election) that the founding fathers intended it to be used. So, I think it’s time we break up with the electoral college. They aren’t helping us out when we need it, and they’ve gone against the majority vote in almost half of the elections this century. Our relationship just isn’t healthy, and it’s not benefitting anyone anymore. That is, besides the republican party, who have had two presidencies handed to them by the electoral college in very recent history. Our own president elect even thinks that the electoral college is a disaster, and although I’m sure he’s changed his mind since the above tweet, this is one time I agree with him.
So to the electoral college: it’s been fun (not really), but it’s time we go our separate ways. It’s not me, it’s you. We don’t see eye to eye anymore and I just really can’t stand you stabbing every other democratic nominee in the back.
Do you want to dump the electoral college too? Great, here’s some things you can do:
1. Talk about it. The most important thing you can do is educate and engage with others.
2. Sign petitions. Like this one that already has 613,000 signatures. It shows that there’s real interest in getting rid of the electoral college.
3. Support candidates and legislation that aim to get rid of the electoral college. For example, senator Barbara Boxer from California introduced a bill to Congress that will abolish the electoral college.
With solidarity and love,