|(c) André Karwath|
Remember, this picture will be found identifying posts addressing the roots of classical liberalism, republicanism, and the Republican Party today.
Welcome to the Electoral College
That's all it takes to become President folks, 28.4% of the vote. All you need to do is win 11 states: California, Texas, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, New Jersey, and North Carolina for 270 electoral college votes.
Now I did a little research and according to the US census bureau there are 234,564,000 of us of voting age. Now those 11 states have a voting age population of 133,225,000... but that's 57% you may say, true, but you only need to convince 11 more than half of them to vote for you. That's only 66,612,511 and that is 28.4% of the voting age population and you thought Florida in 2000 was bad.
So why have an Electoral College at all?
There was a very good article in Huffington Post by Carl Creasman. Professor of History at Valencia College.
The Founders NEVER saw the president as someone that represented the citizens or stood in their places as a representative. Instead, to the Founders, the president was supposed to be someone slightly detached from the passions and zealotry of "the masses" and provide a more, reasoned, comprehensive approach of, well, someone who is an executive...
The Founders' point was that there needed to be a way for us to have a chief executive who did answer to the people through the states, but not one who had to somehow participate in a popularity contest. Often, the best leader must make decisions and choices that the majority simply will not like. The Founders wanted to have a leader who would do that with few fears as to what the people might think.
A Republic - If you can keep it.The founders thought the Republic such an important facet of government that it is specifically called out in Article IV. Section 4. of the Constitution: "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government"
Why? A few of them made their viewpoints known:
Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. ~James Madison
It has been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity. ~Alexander Hamilton.
To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, —the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, & the fruits acquired by it. ~Thomas Jefferson
What's wrong with America? Too much Democracy.
Representative Democracy Good, Popular Democracy Bad.
The intent of the electoral college was to insulate the presidency from the vagaries of popular opinion, to enable the president to make decisions that would not necessarily be popular with the population at large. As we weaken the republican aspects of our government the United States moves closer and closer to popular democracy and our political situation degrades closer and closer towards everything we were warned about. Politicians represent not their constituencies but the mob. They don't need to represent their people, only an electoral majority of their people. You vote for what keeps you in office, not for the general welfare and good of the country as a whole. Politics has devolved into factionalism, we no longer debate ideas, we enforce platforms.
I'll leave you with two final thoughts, and to be honest, the second is from Viburnum:
The world is weary of statesmen whom democracy has degraded into politicians. ~Benjamin Disraeli
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. ~Sir Winston Churchill