Let’s make this clear to everyone. The Tangerine lost the popular vote. He lost the popular vote by a broad margin. Hillary Clinton had almost 3 million more votes than he did. I don’t address the votes that went to those who were running from other parties because they aren’t actually part of the argument that I am going to touch on today. I support the idea of multiple parties with people joining the parties that best matches their personal beliefs and I feel that encouraging these parties promotes discourse, discussion about the issues.
Today I was hit once again with the argument. The one that seems to be nagging at the Tangerine and causing him and his press secretary to bold face lie (sorry present “alternative facts”) about the numbers present at his inauguration. This president does not have a mandate. He is in office simply because he rode into office on the back of an antiquated and failing system that was manipulated through a variety of means.
Each and every day someone decides that they are going to attempt to belittle or discount the fact that more people voted against him than for him. There are statements made about the number of counties who voted for him. There are arguments made in which people declare that they don’t want California to be the ones who pick the president in perpetuity. They jump up and down supporting the electoral college because it delivered to them the president they wanted. All the while being perfectly alright with the fact that millions of voters across this nation had their votes effectively nullified by a system that we broke a long time ago.
Let me start by saying, I grew up in California. There are no mass emails that go out telling every citizen of the state to vote a particular way. There are no organizational meetings in which the populace decides to get behind a particular candidate. If there were, don’t you think that there would have been no votes for the Tangerine (he had almost 4 million from that state) in California? What is it about California that makes it alright to say that their votes should not matter? Is it because of the fact there are more people who live there? I don’t hear you complaining about Texas having an exorbitant amount of influence because of the fact so many people live there and guess what she had almost 4 million votes from Texas.
The electoral college was created in a time when we had limited access to shared information. At the time it was put in place to allow educated people to overturn the popular vote and ensure (quote from Alexander Hamilton), “that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.” That was its purpose and guess what, it failed. It failed because we have made laws since that time that adjusted how the group acted.
You may not want to hear that it failed, but it did. We currently have in office a person who is wholly unqualified to be there and who thinks that because he is in that office he should be able to do whatever he wants. He has repeatedly failed to follow through with things that have been required of his predecessors (disclosing tax returns, divesting of his business interests) and he quite probably colluded with a foreign government to alter the outcome of the election. So yes, the electoral college failed due to how it has been altered over the years.
At the time of its creation the electors were not legally bound to give their votes as dictated by the popular vote. They could, by all means do so, but they were not legally required to vote any particular way. There was also no idea of winner take all from any of the states. Those things came later and they changed the operations of this panel. Effectively the laws and ideas that have come since the inception of the electoral college have castrated it and left it as merely a formality. However that formality is also one that is able to be exploited by the minority to ensure that the will of the people is ignored. Which is the case in this recent election.
We have come a long way in this country since the college was established. We have seen minorities stop being considered ⅗ of a person. We have seen women get the right to vote. Senators are now directly elected by the people (guess what they weren’t back then). We have open access to information allowing that people are able to become informed on the issues and the beliefs of the candidates. Yet there are those who are still clinging to this system. A system that we broke a long time ago with the adjustments as to how the electors were selected and awarded.
It is time to stop clinging to a broken system and stop discounting the votes of those who vote differently. In the state where I live my vote was effectively tossed out and counted for nothing because of the fact that I live in a winner take all state (not something dictated by the original creation of the Electoral College). There are millions of people in this country who voted differently and their votes matter. They have a voice and they have a right to speak up and shout about the fact they were discounted. They have the right to be angry with the people who devalue their vote. It’s time for the electoral college to stop being a weapon used against the rights of the people.
Check out the reasons for the electoral college at: http://www.factcheck.org/2008/02/the-reason-for-the-electoral-college/