Electoral College

The Intellectual Dishonesty of the Campaign Against the Electoral College

4/20/19
from The Daily Signal,
4/10/19:

But as activist groups become more desperate to overturn our way of electing presidents before voters go the polls in November 2020, their arguments become more absurd and hyperbolic. CNN recently ran a preposterous segment suggesting that James Madison called the Electoral College “evil,” a shameful distortion and an absurdity given that the man known as the Father of the Constitution had a direct hand in creating the institution. Others have made more serious but ultimately absurd indictments of the Electoral College.

Among the biggest stretches made by critics of the Electoral College is that the institution was created simply to benefit slavery.

However, it isn’t true and is clearly a smear, a desperate ploy by sophists who want to tarnish the institution because they think it stands in the way of progressive electoral dominance.

A more honest debate about the Electoral College would not be over its relation to slavery, which no longer exists, but over whether it works for our republic today. The standard argument against the Electoral College is that it’s not fully democratic and is unfair. Detractors lament that a failure of the system is indicated by the rare cases—such as 2016—in which the winner of the presidency is not determined by the winner of the national popular vote total. This is a fair, but wrongheaded, criticism of the Electoral College.

The real principle at stake, and the one most threatened by a national popular vote, is the concept of federalism. Detractors complain that votes in states are unequal, that a voter in a massive state such as California has less power than a voter in dramatically less populous Wyoming. This criticism is overblown. The framers of the Constitution designed the Electoral College as what they hoped would be the best way of choosing America’s chief executive. This meant preserving the concept of federalism and a diffusion of power among the states.

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