Monday, October 22, 2012
The next Big Stink
This has been a really bitter election year, a really bitter and divisive 4 years for that matter. Here's something to consider: I'll bet you the upcoming election results will NOT end the bitterness, but will intensify it. Here's why....the electoral college might well crown one man the duly-elected "winner" while the popular vote will say the other candidate really won.
So what exactly is this electoral college? It was our Founding Father's way of putting a layer between the common man, the actual voter, and the election process. They didn't actually trust the common man. They were afraid a tyrant would somehow get control of a party and be able to manipulate enough uneducated naive voters to win the popular vote, and this was their way of being able to override such vote rigging. (They were a very suspicious / paranoid bunch!)
FYI, in the election of 1876 Rutherford B. Hayes had a quarter-million fewer popular votes, but won the electoral college vote 185-184. In the election of 1888 Benjamin Harrison had 80K fewer popular votes, but won the electoral college vote by a lopsided 233-168. And more recently George W. Bush won the election of 2000 with 500K fewer popular votes, but with 5 more electoral votes, 271-266.
I'm seeing signs something similar might happen next month. They say Obama and Romney are neck-and-neck in popular votes, but the number of solid Obama states has many more electoral votes than Romney's solidly red states. Regardless of which candidate you / I prefer this election year, I just think that's wrong.
So why don't we just do away with the electoral college and vote directly for president? Because it would take a Constitutional Amendment, which would require a super majority of state legislatures and congress, and BOTH parties have benefited at one time or another from the screwy electoral college process. Both see they have more to lose than to gain. In short, nothing is going to change.
Sharp as our Founding Fathers were, I'm thinking they bungled this one, at least as seen through modern eyes.