While the Republican Party, the Tea Partiers, and the political pundits on the right are almost giddy with anticipation of the 2010 election results that promise a sea change in the ideological make up of the House and Senate, trouble is brewing for 2012. An evil wrapped in pretty paper that even many conservatives and even more independents actually think might be a good idea is bubbling to the surface. That evil is eliminating the Electoral College.
Massachusetts just passed a law that they will no longer use the electoral college for their votes. They voted to give all 12 of their electoral votes to the candidate who wins the national popular vote. If enough states would do this in the next two years it might be impossible to beat Obama, or any future democrat candidate for president.
The argument that is made is that it is an archaic system that can block the will of the people by allowing a candidate to win the presidency while getting less popular votes. This has happened four times in our Republic's history. The first time was in 1824 when John Quincy Adams, who actually lost both the popular vote and the electoral college vote to Andrew Jackson, but since neither won the mandatory 131electoral vote it went to the House to decide giving Adams the victory.
The second time was in 1876 when Rutherford Hayes won the election by one electoral vote but lost the popular vote by 250,000 to Samuel Tilden. Later in 1888 Benjamin Harrison defeated Grover Cleveland with a 233 to 168 electoral votes while losing the popular vote by 90,000. In 2000 George W. Bush won in a 271 to 266 electoral college vote but lost the popular vote by 540,000.
There are many who believe that those situations are not fair, that they are not democratic. How can we live in a democracy and not embrace the will of the people? First of all, we do not live in a democracy, but in a Constitutional Republic. Not one time in the Constitution is the word democracy found. In the founders writings and in the recorded comments from them the only time democracy is used is in a derisive manner as something to be feared and avoided at all cost. History had already proven to our founders that true Democracies always fail and always usher in an oligarchy and tyranny.
The left has been pushing this idea of ending the electoral college for decades with good reason. It would virtually guarantee that they would have a lifetime strangle hold on the presidency. All they would have to do is is win the election in the ten or eleven largest cities in America and everyone else's votes would be wasted. Our founders worked and fought throughout the summer of 1787 to put so many layers of checks and balances in our form of government to make sure that ALL Americans would have as equal a say in their government as humanly possible.
The Senate was formed to be the voice of the more wealthy Americans, it was also determined to give the small states equal voice by distributing to every state the very same 2 Senators. The House was divided by districts so that the citizens of large states voices would not be diminished. This was designed to have an equal representation for equal amounts of people, where states with larger populations would have more congressmen and states with less population few congressmen. This is why a fair and honest census is important to assure that your voice is heard equally. It was this distribution of power that brought about the most repugnant rule ever in our Constitution, the 3/5th rule, where slaves were assigned the value of 3/5ths of a person for congressional district distribution. This was a compromise and the only way to get the Southern states to ratify the Constitution by giving them a much larger population than they had of free men who could vote. This assured the South that the North couldn't garner enough votes in the House to outlaw slavery.
The electoral college was designed so that every American would have a say in the election of their president and the big cities wouldn't dominate the election. We saw a wonderful example of just how that works in 2000 with Bush and Gore.
Gore – 677
Bush – 2,434.
Square miles won:
Gore – 580,134
Bush – 2,427,039
Population of counties won:
Gore – 127 million
Bush – 143 million
See the map for yourself: http://fs.huntingdon.edu/jlewis/Outlines/BushCountyMapMandate.htm
If the electoral college was not in place 78% of those counties in America could have stayed home and not bothered voting. If we get rid of this protection for our free republic it would only be a matter of time that they all would just stay home, as all would be lost before the election began.
There would be no reason for any president to ever go to any place other than the biggest cities because all would be won or lost there. It would be the greatest fear of Thomas Jefferson come true. In fact the greatest fears of all of our founders come true.