by William Teach | November 25, 2016 7:02 am
If the shoe was reversed, had Trump lost but received more votes, does anyone think that august organizations like the Washington Post would allow opinion pieces like this, or would they say “no, we do not need that, Clinton won”?
Conventional wisdom tells us that the electoral college requires that the person who lost the popular vote this year must nonetheless become our president. That view is an insult to our framers. It is compelled by nothing in our Constitution. It should be rejected by anyone with any understanding of our democratic traditions — most important, the electors themselves.
The framers believed, as Alexander Hamilton put it, that “the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the [president].” But no nation had ever tried that idea before. So the framers created a safety valve on the people’s choice. Like a judge reviewing a jury verdict, where the people voted, the electoral college was intended to confirm — or not — the people’s choice. Electors were to apply, in Hamilton’s words, “a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice” — and then decide. The Constitution says nothing about “winner take all.” It says nothing to suggest that electors’ freedom should be constrained in any way. Instead, their wisdom — about whether to overrule “the people” or not — was to be free of political control yet guided by democratic values. They were to be citizens exercising judgment, not cogs turning a wheel.
The Electoral College was, in part, set up to provide protection to States and their Rights within our Federal Republic. It was so no one state could dominate others, much like there are checks so that the majority cannot tyrannize the minority.
Writer Laurence Lessig, who, shockingly!, is a big proponent of many vastly left wing policies, and goes on to mention how two presidents, Benjamin Harrison and George W. Bush, lost the popular vote but won the electoral vote, even trotting out the Left’s favorite word, “selected”, bandied about by Liberals in their apoplexy and unhingedness post 2000.
In both cases, the result violated what has become one of the most important principles governing our democracy — one person, one vote. In both cases, the votes of some weighed much more heavily than the votes of others. Today, the vote of a citizen in Wyoming is four times as powerful as the vote of a citizen in Michigan. The vote of a citizen in Vermont is three times as powerful as a vote in Missouri. This denies Americans the fundamental value of a representative democracy — equal citizenship. Yet nothing in our Constitution compels this result.
First, if one person, one vote, then why do Democrats fight so hard against measures, such as voter ID, to make sure that the people voting are who they say they are?
Second, we see the real gripe, namely, that people in non-Democratic Party states are actually given power, exactly as the Framers intended. It’s the same reasoning that gives tiny Blue state Delaware the same number of Senators as mega-Blue state California. If you do not know the reasons, you’ve failed Civics 101, thanks to the uber-leftist education system.
The framers left the electors free to choose. They should exercise that choice by leaving the election as the people decided it: in Clinton’s favor.
That would, in actuality, negate the votes of all the people who voted Trump in the majority of States, giving people in certain states the Power, destroying the idea of a Federal Republic. The system worked. Democrats say they love our Constitution: this electoral college drumbeat provides further evidence that they despise it.
Now, just imagine the situation was reversed: Lessig and outlets like the Washington Post would be telling us all about the integrity of the election, that the Electoral College should uphold the votes for their states regardless of the popular vote, etc and so on. Because everything is about power with them, not principles.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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