The Wisdom of The Electoral College

During the birth of our nation, our forefathers didn’t agree on everything. Certainly the one thing that caused the most grief was slavery. The south wanted it and the north didn’t. Actually, it was a little more complex than that, but that is the summery.

The final result was a compromise. Though it was a horrible one, it did allow the nation to be formed and eventually the matter was settled a number of years later. By the way, many white men gave their lives to free the slaves and many black men gave their lives to preserve the south.

I could go on, but it is not my purpose at this time. Instead, I want to write about another compromise, a good one. It seems all the big states, such as New York wanted representation to be totally by population. The result would be that the big states would control the country. The little states, such as Rhode Island, wanted the states to be represented by one vote, which would allow the small states to have an unfair control of the country.

(Oddly, I learned this in the eighth grade and I wonder why everyone else didn’t. It seems to me that every one ought to know it before entering high school, certainly by the time they finish it.)

The compromise was simple. Each state would be represented by two senators and one representative for every 30 thousand people. (Bear in mind, this is where the previous compromise comes in. Slaves were not counted as whole people.)

Since that time, two changes were made. The Senators were originally selected by the state assemblies, now by popular vote. For practical purposes, the number of representatives is limited to 435. Though every state has at least one, they are distributed by state population.

Hence, the logic was that the Senate represents the state (but no longer) and the House represents the people.

Also, when determining how the president is elected, they decide to use the same numbers. Therefore the populous states could not utterly rule over the less populous states. If they had not used this formula, a person seeking the office of president would never visit the smaller states and just a few big states would determine who our president would be.

At the time I was going to school, it seemed an odd thing to me. It seemed that the one who got the most votes ought to win. However, now I see the wisdom in the ways. Mrs. Clinton complains that she won the popular vote and that she should be president. If we did things that way, a few states on the east coast and west coast would determine who went to The White House.

The way it is, Clinton should have visited some of the states she skipped. Now she’s complaining that they won’t change the rules for her. If I may use an example. If football team complains that they gained more yardage, should they be given the win. Of course not! The rules were plain and set in advance. Clinton knew she needed more electors when she started her campaign. Why should the rules be changed for her after the election?

The fact is, she was just outsmarted and she knew it, though she still does not want to admit it. The fact is that the time to change the rules is before the game, not after. Any card player can tell you that.

More than that, the rule are fair. If it were by popular vote, all the votes of all the flyover country would count for nothing. Those of us in such states just may as well stay home. Also, those running for president would be wasting time going to any but the biggest fifteen cities.

The fact is, The Electoral College was perhaps one of the best compromises this country ever made. If it is ever altered, it will likely result in disaster, maybe in a revolution.