- Ian Robinson: OPINION
Why The Electoral College Doesn't Work
As the polls closed on another election day in America, the people have spoken, and we have a new leader of the free world.
Donald Trump: a man with no previous political or military experience has gained the needed 270 electoral votes to become our president-elect. Despite having been called a bigoted, racist, homophobic, misogynistic man who resembles a Cheeto, Trump got the majority of American citizens to go out on November 8th and vote for him.
Well, not exactly.
Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in the election, ‘beating’ Donald Trump 48% to 46%. So, one would think that the experienced former senator, secretary of state, and first lady who won the popular vote by a margin of 2% would be picking out bathroom tiles for the White House about now. But instead, we are left with Donald Trump to be our wall-loving, taco-hating future president, all thanks to the Electoral College.
Established in the U.S. Constitution, the Electoral College is the messed up, outdated way that we choose our president. Contrary to the beliefs of most Americans, ‘We the People’ don’t actually vote for our president. We vote for electors, who then go on to vote for whomever they want to vote for. The Electoral College was created partially because our founding fathers didn’t want the ‘common man’ having the power to vote and shape the nation.
Nowadays, most Americans are educated and have the ability to vote for themselves effectively. So why do we continue to use this somewhat insulting, ancient form of election?
Including the 2016 election, the popular vote has been won five times by the candidate who did not win the electoral vote. So even though the majority of Americans voted for Al Gore in 2000 instead of George Bush, Bush still got the electoral win and became our president for two terms.
Why is it that our votes aren’t the ones that the government is shaped by? We just point them in a general direction, and then they go and do their thing.
Sure the Electoral College has ‘worked’ more times than it has failed. And of course, it has given us some good presidents. But the idea of it alone is offensive to the intelligence and worth of the American citizens. The times it has failed us in a big way, like Bush’s entire presidency, and the new election that has half of America threatening anarchy, are huge events in modern history that could have been completely different if the College didn’t exist. Maybe if Gore was president in September of 2001, the terror attacks of 9/11 would not have transpired.
The Electoral College is truly an old world establishment that tries to pull the wool over our eyes every four years. It’s broken, and nobody seems to want to admit it.
Remove it, amend it, just do something about it so maybe we don’t throw ourselves into a war with Russia in the next four years because President Trump wants to build a wall on Vladimir Putin’s lawn.
Good luck America.
If you need me, I’ll be hiding in my bomb shelter waiting for Señor Trump’s presidency to be over. Thanks a lot Electoral College.
Image: By Gage (2012 Electoral College map) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons