Reconciling Fairness with the Electoral College
Hillary voters are furious at the system related to the electoral college framework as Hillary currently stands at $2.6 million more votes than Trump received. Hillary leads in the election by votes cast by 2% of those ballots received. It truly is staggering that the overwhelming majority of voters chose Hillary and she still did not win. Thanks to our Electoral College, we disproportionately weigh votes from less populated states so that they have more of a say in the elections. So, as a citizen of Alaska, each person’s vote is weighted at 2.5 of each citizen throughout the US; where as a California citizen’s vote counts only 0.83 of each citizen in the US.
This election framework is built into our Constitution, so it cannot be argued that it is unconstitutional. It is inherently constitutional since it is woven into the document itself. But we must ask, why do we have it?
Alexander Hamilton is undeniably one of our great Founding Fathers. Keen with both intelligence and wit, we as a Nation were bountifully blessed to have him as a guiding hand. Hamilton eloquently set forth his opinion for the reasons of the College. In his Federalist Paper 68, he stated that ” the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.” Id.
Hamilton clearly sets out that the will of the people are not necessarily what should prevail. This is not to say that Trump possesses any quality of a leader fit for ruling the free world. This is to say that the Electors are duty bound to be a last line of defense against raising someone ” who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.” Id. Rather Hamilton espouses that a particular suitor for this role would be one with “[t]alents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States.” Id.
Our present state of affairs is greatly concerning. Trump has exhibited no quality of that which is a leader. This is not to say he is not a politician. He has shown all the attributes of a politician in that he can rile his base, he can break promises, he is adept at the art of self-dealing, he can draw a crowd and he can manipulate media into covering his verbal vomit. These qualities are not Presidential. In fact they are more in line with Cousin Eddie. See National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. [It should be noted that Hillary is not the ideal candidate either, but if you only have two apples in front of you to eat and you hate apples…it’s better to eat the one that’s not rotten].
It should be recognized that the Electors that are chosen are not done so by the various people of their respective states, but rather by each political party. As many states are “winner take all”, there is no proportional voting in such states and the majority of votes for a particular party will all be representative of the party that controlled the majority of votes in that state. Being selected politically from within the party, the electors are much less likely to be those individuals to which Hamilton called to be statesmen and women, but rather political mouthpieces.
It is my sincere hope that the electors that are charged with the utmost responsibility to the Nation choose their respective vote wisely in line with the gravity of the situation and weighing both the measure of the candidate for which their vote is cast along with the grave decisions to be faced by that person. These are our progenies’ futures to which we decide. Pray the responsibilities for making a choice are well placed among these Electors.