How Do We Fix the Electoral College?

Currently, the group Moveon.org is sponsoring a petition to abolish the Electoral College here. Perhaps I should be concerned that the group describes itself on Twitter as “America’s largest independent online [emphasis mine] political group”, but no matter, sign me up … right after a detailed solution is proposed to replace it that is. 'We should abolish it' is not sufficient. Neither is reactionary anger.

Honestly, I find it difficult to support abolishing the Electoral College in favor of a direct people’s vote when many people voted in a well-known broken system yet expected fair and sensible results. Here, I think it is worth noting that the process was instituted in the first place because the Founding Fathers distrusted the intelligence of the people. In a country founded on the principle of checks and balances, who and what will check the people?

I am in support of a direct vote of the people, but with the guiding belief that voting is a privilege and not a right. It is also an historical fact that most seem to forget in an age of entitlement à la idiocy. Natives and African Americans were prohibited from voting at one time, as well as certain religions, white women and non property-owning white men. Historically, voting in America, even for Americans, has been a privilege reserved only for an elite.

So we celebrate the 15th Amendment, granting and protecting the voting rights of former slaves and all adult men of any race, and the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women’s suffrage, by voting. We vote because we’re minorities, because we’re women, because we’re non-property owning men, because it’s our duty, because it’s our right. We vote because we take for granted that we can.

Somewhere, tangled in the partisan bullying and fear-mongering, wild ignorance, anger and faux freedom of social media, we have de-evolved, taking liberties with our liberties and perhaps forgetting that they are not and never were free.

So how do we move past identity voting into better informed voting? How do we fix a system that many couldn’t explain but participated in, yet would like to abolish?

How Do We Fix the Electoral College?

And if we do not know, then maybe we do not deserve the privilege of voting.