Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Electoral College

                Early in the morning on November 9, 2016, Donald Trump was declared President-elect of the United States because he won more than 270 electoral votes. It does not matter that Hillary Clinton might have won the popular vote. (I say “might” because I have heard that Trump won the popular vote.) 

                Immediately after the results of the election were announced, published a petition urging members of the Electoral College to reject the votes of the states and give the election to Clinton. About the same time, protestors “spontaneously” began marching in the streets of numerous cities to demand that Clinton be made President. Several of those marches turned into mobs that began destroying property.

                I have personally had a running discussion with several friends about the Electoral College. Three of those friends seem to stand on the conservative side and support keeping the Electoral College. The discussion has been interesting and educational. I started the discussion by posting a link to this video on Facebook. I encourage you to watch the video to gain greater understanding of the Electoral College.

                A couple of my friends explained that the Founders divided the powers of the national government. After much debate the Founders compromised on how the leaders are elected. Each state has two Senators – no matter how many people live in the state. Each state also has Representatives elected according to the population of the state. This is an example: Alaska has three electoral votes while Florida has twenty-nine electoral votes. A state’s senators and representatives are added together to make the total number of electoral votes from that state. If the Census, taken every ten years, finds that population has shifted from out of a state, the number of representatives are decreased from that particular state and added to another or others. There are always 100 senators and 435 representatives, making 535 electoral votes. The District of Columbia has three electoral votes. This makes a total of 538 electoral votes. 

                Jarrett Stepman at The Daily Signal has an interesting article titled “Why We Use Electoral College, Not Popular Vote.” He writes, “The Electoral College remains in place over two centuries after the framers of the Constitution empowered it to select presidents. Though occasionally maligned, this system of electing a chief executive has been incredibly successful for the American people….
                “The Founding Fathers created the Electoral College after much debate and compromise, but it has provided stability to the process of picking presidents. Though the winner of the national popular vote typically takes the presidency, that vote failed to determine the winner in four elections: 1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000 [and possibly 2016]….”
                Stepman quotes Hans von Spakovsky, a legal expert at The Heritage Foundation, as stating: “In creating the basic architecture of the American government, the Founders struggled to satisfy each state’s demand for greater representation while attempting to balance popular sovereignty against the risk posed to the minority from majoritarian rule.”

                By following the link to the article by Hans von Spakovsky, I found the following information: “Since the 2000 U.S. presidential election, there have been many ill-informed calls to abolish the Electoral College. Even before that contentious election, there had been more than 700 proposals introduced in Congress to amend the Constitution to change the Electoral College – more than on any other topic.
                “The latest scheme, the National Popular Vote (NPV) plan, is bad public policy. The NPV plan would:
[1] Diminish the influence of smaller states and rural areas of the country; [2] Lead to more recounts and contentious conflicts about the results of presidential elections; and [3] Encourage voter fraud.
                “The NPV plan also strikes at the Founders’ view of federalism and a representative republic – one in which popular sovereignty is balanced by structural protections for state governments and minority interests.”

                Here is a link to a video about the National Popular Vote (NPV) about doing away with the Electoral College and electing our presidents on purely popular votes. I encourage you to watch this video. Please note that the supporters of NPV are more than half-way to their goal.

                The Electoral College has worked for electing our presidents for over 200 years, even as the population has increased greatly. I see no reason to throw something away that is still working. Those who want to do away with the Electoral College want to elect our presidents on a purely popular vote. I believe this is unwise. The Electoral College helps to make our nation a constitutional republic instead of a democracy. Adolf Hitler was elected in a democracy, and he was not good for his country. Democracies destroy themselves in a short period of time while our constitutional republic has lasted for over 200 years. There is no reason to do away with the Electoral College.

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