No matter what anyone thinks about the electoral college, it does have a purpose. The Founding Fathers actually feared outright democracy because they believed an irrational “mob-like” mentality could possibly lead to more than 50 percent of voters electing a president who’d support policies that violated the Constitutional rights of Americans.
Essentially it was a failsafe mechanism put in place to prevent unconstitutional candidates who were fueled by irrational, anger-filled mobs from being elected president.
In other words, the electoral college was actually put in place, in large part, to prevent someone like Donald Trump from becoming president.
While Republicans have tried spinning Trump’s electoral college win as some sort of “mandate” or “statement from the American people” — it’s neither.
Ignoring for a moment the fact that there are questions about voting irregularities in three key states that some think might have helped Trump win, when you get right down to it, there was no “massive wave of support” that propelled Trump to victory.
Even if you take just those three states in question (Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin), here are the rough estimates of Trump’s vote-count lead in each of those states:
- Pennsylvania: 68k
- Michigan: 11k
- Wisconsin: 27k
Right there, If you flip those three states, Hillary Clinton’s our next president instead of Donald Trump.
Think about that for a moment.
Right now, Clinton leads in the overall popular vote by around 2 million votes — a lead that’s expected to reach anywhere between 3-4 million once all the votes are counted. That would literally make Trump the biggest loser ever “elected” president in our nation’s history.
He’s not going to become president because he won some massive victory where most of the American people supported him, but rather because of roughly 106k votes spread out over three states.
Essentially, he’ll become our next president because of pockets of angry voters in a handful of states who were stirred up into an irrational frenzy by a candidate who ran on a lot of policies that were unconstitutional.
In other words, if there was ever a time where the electoral college should do what it was meant for, it’s this election.
We’re looking at a situation where:
- A candidate won by extremely thin margins in a handful of states.
- Had 54 percent of the population vote against him.
- Is going to lose the overall popular vote by an estimated 3-4 million votes.
- Our intelligence officials have publicly stated that the Russian government was behind hacking of a political organization and campaign in what seemed to be a calculated effort to help our now president-elect win.
- A candidate waited until after the election to settle a lawsuit that accused him of creating a fake university with the intent of defrauding Americans out of tens of thousands of dollars, a settlement that would have likely impacted the votes of some Americans.
- The candidate who won the election ran the most dishonest, conspiracy-driven campaign in political history where many of his promises were flat-out unconstitutional or things he knew he’d never accomplish.
Like I said, if there was a time for the electoral college to do what our Founding Fathers meant for it to do — it’s this election.
Am I saying that’s what the electoral college should do? No. While I know it’s tempting to say that they should ignore the election results and choose Clinton instead, I don’t think those supporting that stance are being rational when it comes to consequences (likely violent ones) that would take place in this country if that were to happen.
That completely changes if concrete evidence emerges showing voting irregularities that might indicate the results in those three states weren’t valid, but we’ll have to see how that unfolds.
Until then, as Republicans and the conservative media continue to jump through hoops to defend the electoral college in the face of the second Republican candidate in a row to be elected president despite losing the overall popular vote, we should continue to point out the truth of the matter. Our Founding Fathers didn’t create the electoral college to help elect someone like Donald Trump — they created it to try to keep someone like him away from the presidency.