Despite appeals for electors to defy the will of voters and cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump and subsequent calls for the Electoral College to be abolished, an early December Gallup poll revealed a higher number of Americans tend toward preserving the constitutionally mandated system as a safeguard for democracy.
Support to amend the Constitution eliminating the Electoral College reached its height in 1968 at 80 percent, but since then, confidence in the election instrument has grown. Up from 35 percent in 2002, 47 percent of Americans surveyed in 2016 say they favor keeping the election mechanism firmly in place.
Actual efforts to abolish the system initiated in the U.S. Senate failed on two occasions, first in 1934 by a mere two votes and a second time in 1979. Constitutional amendment proposals require a two-thirds majority in both chambers of Congress and three-fourths of all state legislatures to pass.
After the Nov. 8 election, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) introduced legislation to replace the Electoral College with a direct popular vote to elect the president.
“In my lifetime, I have seen two elections where the winner of the general election did not win the popular vote,” Boxer’s statement read. “In 2012, Donald Trump tweeted, ‘The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.’ I couldn’t agree more. One person, one vote!”
As of early Sunday morning, the latest tally shows Hillary Clinton earned 2,566,520 more votes than Donald Trump.
Roiled by two elections, 2000 and 2016, in which their candidates have faltered at the ballot box, calls for the Electoral College to be abolished are manifestations of the Left’s anger with their inability to offer convincing arguments on behalf of their policy proposals to a sensible public.
Following the election of 2000, in which President George W. Bush defeated Bill Clinton heir Al Gore, the Left reacted with fury and denounced the Electoral College as a relic of a bygone era unneeded to certify a presidential election. At the time, the Left bellowed, the Founder’s wisdom was misbegotten. Naturally, as the tide turned against President Bush’s brand of conservatism and an unworldly community organizer, Barack Obama, seized the White House, the Left became tone deaf to the hue and cry it inspired among its gullible followers.
As voters rejected a second and equally-corrupt Clinton in November, the Left has taken the predictable step to obscure the profit and intent of the Electoral College once again. Men of profound and extended vision, the Founding Fathers were, however, mere mortals: Despite their brilliance, they could not imagine every election condition and acknowledging their imperfections with humility, they reconciled with the Electoral College.
Preferring to make the Electoral College an abstraction and a labeling it a disruption to democracy, the Democrats have marched forth declaring the clock has expired on the system with a movement calling on electoral voters to reject the election’s outcome. They demand electors cast ballots for Hillary Clinton, individual states weigh changes to existing code to allow Electors to cast ballots in favor of the candidate of their choice or the winner of the popular vote, and demand the Electoral College be eliminated.
Although it is unlikely such a change is forthcoming, it is equally imperative demands for the Electoral College be eliminated never be realized. Unsurprising as they are from Democrats, calls for the Electoral College to be abolished are injudicious for the reason the system protects the legitimacy and significance of smaller states.
For example: Comparing and contrasting the most-populous and least-populous states in the Union, California and Wyoming, one grasps the power the Founding Fathers vested in smaller states. Unlike California’s 39 million citizens affording it 55 Electoral votes, Wyoming’s 586,000 citizens permit three electors. This Electoral College arrangement accords Wyoming three times the leverage in variance with California. This vast sway for the least populous state is a paramount reason smaller states will never sanction a constitutional change and witness a dramatic reduction in influence Democrats now call for because states will smaller populations recognize the Electoral College protects small states.
Similarly, and of equal importance, the Electoral College is a guarantor of an orderly, non-disruptive election. Without the Electoral College, mayhem which occurred in Florida following the 2000 election would have been widespread and have impelled the Supreme Court to issue a decision which could have caused calamity for the governing power of the candidate elected president.
Most important, the Electoral College persists for the reason it is a vital function to preserve democracy: It is a safety device to prevent dishonorable persons from occupying the Oval Office. The Founders were aware voters could be sensible often, but they may not always be truly enlightened. The Founders, however, did expect electors to be sharp-witted and wise enough to act as gatekeepers and to exercise better judgement than the average voter prior to handing over the keys to the White House. Despite Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump being deeply-flawed individuals, neither qualify for exclusion from the presidency according to the vision set forth by the Founders.
That the Democrats have resorted to such a strategy calling for the dismantlement of a crucial security measure in the Constitution is no surprise: It is entirely consistent with their common practice of dissent against legitimate authority. Subsequent to the Democrats’ 2016 electoral catastrophe, instead of a moment of introspection followed by a reorganization of party, priorities and offering a governing agenda, the Democrats reflexively launch broadsides against a sacred tool installed into the political framework and cry foul because it became a nuisance when their chosen candidate was rejected by voters.
Some of the wisest men to ever live, the Founders fixated on creating a form of government centered not on one personality in office, but an impenetrable law to stave off mob rule. Despite their admitted limitations which led to the creation of the Electoral College, the Founders may have been perceptive enough to have envisioned the single greatest threat to their creation, the Constitution, would come from their direct descendants.
[RT America] [Gallup] [Washington Post] [The Hill] [CNN] [Photo courtesy Mental Floss]