News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Sept. 14, 2012: That is where it belongs – the Electoral College in Hell. Instead it has put the rest of us in political hell.
While our nation is filled with flawed institutions, none may be more pernicious that the so called Electoral College. Once every four years it gets attention but its terrible impact is built into our government every day of the year every year of our history, year in and year out all the way back to 1789.
Stated succinctly, we do not have a national election every four years for President. We originally had 13 separate elections back in the late 1700s for President now we have 50 separate elections for President.
That changes everything. It may seem fair, even attractive to have 50 elections that add up to one Presidential election. It isn’t. Let’s go back to the beginning to understand why.
This convoluted government construction that never should have been built into the U.S. Constitution ultimately was made part of the Constitution for only one basic reason – to protect slavery and to give the slave holding states enough power to keep “their” slaves.
No anti-slave President was going to be elected from the Electoral College but would have in a true national election.
That’s says it all. The Electoral College was created to promote the worst kind of human activity. Today it still is doing so if less horribly so.
Trafficking in human flesh – Black human flesh – is the basic reason the Electoral College exists. If the election for President had been formatted as any normal new government, being a President would simply have been the candidate who received the most votes across the nation, whether the nation had 13 states, 50 states or 100.
A President should reflect the will of the majority in a democracy.
It doesn’t! Yes most of the time the candidate who gets the most votes nationally does win the Presidency. But all that fact does is mask what is really taking place.
Candidates including this year Barack Obama and Mitt Romney do NOT run to win the most votes. From the day they first have the idea to run for President of the United States then forevermore their goal is to win the most Electoral College votes if they also win the popular vote fine but that I not what makes them President of the United States. Never has!
Article 2, section 1, clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution created the Electoral College. No need to repeat the arcane language in the Constitution it is the result that counts and it is crystal clear.
Candidates run for President by appealing to the special interests and the voting patterns of those who live and vote only in select states. States they decide hold their key to victory. States that they know will vote for their Party get no attention and states they know will never vote for their party are likewise ignored.
So what we have is the largest most important states in the nation like California and New York as examples are being ignored by both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney but Nevada with a very small population and mostly desert is always on their minds and the schedules of both candidates. What Nevada wants Nevada get promised by both candidates. While any issue of particular importance to New Yorkers is meaningless.
Imagine the difference if there was no Electoral College. Obama and Romney would spend plenty of time and even more give lots of attention to the interests of those who live and work in highly populated states like California and New York because swaying voters in these big important states will be just as valuable to them as those voters in Nevada. That is the way it should be. A vote is a vote in a presidential elections. Instead many votes are worthless and others priceless in our Presidential elections. A blatant form of discrimination! It will make absolutely no difference to the outcome whether or how you vote in New York.
Yet there is a far larger impact that the end of the Electoral College would have on our nation both today and for the future and would have in the past going all the way back to 1789. Candidates would concentrate on the big issues that affect us all not issues that are just relevant to a particular state. Nor stay away from certain issues The difference may seem subtle to some but it sure isn’t. We would get candidates who would not be afraid to speak about and support issues like single payer health care a variation of which every other so called advanced nation has except us. A candidate could rack up huge majorities in the more populous states by doing so and also bring out many voters who won’t bother voting except it does not matter at all how many votes a Presidential candidate wins by in New York or California. It won’t improve their chances of being elected President But what they think about a subject like single payer health care in tiny Nevada and in other small states with few voters is of extreme importance to those running for President of the United States.
Yes I am making the argument – we cannot get rid of the Electoral College which is no real college at all soon enough. But it is never going to happen as you realize as well as I do.
To amend the Constitution which would be necessary to eliminate the Electoral College in favor a true national vote for President by the majority of voters require that first such an amendment pass Congress “good luck there” and then it gets worse the amendment the be ratified by ¾ of the states. It is not going to happen.
There is no way 38 states are going to give up the power and the ability to get very valuable goodies from Presidents that the Electoral College has given them election after election.
So what is the answer? There isn’t one. It would take a national leader of almost unbelievable popularity combined with a persuasiveness and an ability to change minds and make millions of non-believers and most of all their individual state leaders across the nation believe that a truly national election for President is what is best even for those in the smallest states.
Don’t stay up waiting for that to happen. You will go sleepless for the rest of your life more than likely!
About The Writer: Arthur Piccolo is a professional writer and commentator and often writes about Latin America for New Americas.