The election of Donald Trump has renewed conversations regarding how the American election process works. The electoral college is at the forefront of the debate, as Hillary Clinton “won the popular vote” but Donald Trump won the election. This is the second time this has happened in the last two presidencies; the first being the 2000 Bush vs Gore race.
Unfortunately, public schools have done a poor job teaching people why we have an electoral college in the first place, what the founders’ intent was, and how the electoral college system was designed to protect the minority from the majority.
It is key to remember that America is NOT a democracy. In fact, the founders were explicitly against a democracy because they saw it for what it was – mob rule; the 51% taking advantage of the 49%.
The Founders were also strongly against a large powerful federal government, and even though its powers were strictly limited in the Constitution, they believed that one day the federal government would grow and grow, and another check they put into our system was the electoral college. The electoral college prevents the highly populated states from imposing their will on the less populated states.
Those complaining that Hillary Clinton won the “popular vote” ought to know that there is no such thing as the “popular vote”. It is as foolish as winning the “high score” in golf. The aim is to get the lowest score and winning the “high score” is just changing the rules. Winning the “popular vote” is not winning anything – it is changing the rules.
Those wishing the change the rules also ought to think about what would happen if the shoe were on the other foot. If Clinton had won the electoral college, but Trump had gotten more votes, would they still be clamoring for a change to the system? Certainly not!
The bottom line is that the calls to change the rules of electing a president are not honest. It is not about injustice – it’s about being a sore loser. The rules are what they are for a reason, (read history) and changing them is not wise, but rather pathetic and immature.