– Written by A.B. Stuckey from The Conservative Millennial –
America Needs the Electoral College
On the surface, the idea of the Electoral College seems undemocratic—perhaps even tyrannous. How can a small group of political activists ultimately determine the presidency? Furthermore, how can the votes of electors override the vote of the majority of Americans? Wouldn’t it be more democratic and fair to count the popular vote alone?
Great questions. Here are three reasons why, no matter who the candidate is, America needs the Electoral College:
- The Electoral College provides both parties with a fair chance of winning the election.
For those unfamiliar, the Electoral College is a process by which the president and vice president are ultimately chosen. Each presidential candidate has a group of electors in each state. These electors are carefully selected by their own party to vote on their behalf in December. There are 538 total electors, and a candidate needs a majority of 270 to win.
The goal of securing the majority of electoral votes necessitates that each presidential candidate campaigns in regions, states and cities representative of a wide gamut of American citizenry: varying socioeconomic backgrounds, cultures, social standards, agriculture, religions, frustrations, focuses and legislative needs. Without the aim of securing 270 electors, candidates need only to focus on largely populated areas. The Electoral College exists to represent all types of populations.
Therefore, the candidate who spends all his or her time with just one or a few types of voters will fail; the candidate who appeals to voters in all or most regions and demographics will succeed. Each presidential hopeful is thus presented with the same challenge: to effectively address concerns that are as multi-faceted, complex and numerous as the electorate itself.
- The Electoral College perpetuates American democracy.
The Founding Fathers never meant for America to be a true democracy. Why? Because, ultimately, pure democracies fail: the strong oppress the weak, erupting in eventual anarchy.
America was set up as a republic, in which democratic power is given to the people via their representatives. That is why each state is given a number of congressional representatives based on its population and exactly two senators no matter its population: to guarantee equal and fair representation of every region and demographic of U.S. citizenry.
The Electoral College helps ensure the same justice. Because each state is allotted a certain number of electors equal to its combined number of representatives and senators, both populous and unpopulous states are proportionately represented. The states and, consequently, its people, are thus provided with the leverage needed to make its votes “count.”
- The Electoral College helps protect us from corruption.
Democracy is brutally described as two wolves and a lamb fighting over what’s for dinner: the stronger, louder and more vicious will always win. Cue, the Electoral College. The Electoral College intercedes for the “lamb:” the voters who, otherwise, would remain unheard due to a lack of power, influence or wealth.
Not only does the Electoral College give the marginalized an opportunity to be heard, it takes power out of the government and into the hands of the people. Rather than Congress making the ultimate decision for the presidency, the people, via their representatives, possess that authority. Thus, the Electoral College creates a barrier between state and federal interests, insulates the presidency from the influence of Congress and hinders political influences from manipulating the results of the election.
Disliking the results of an election need not produce animosity toward the American electoral process. Those who decry the existence of the Electoral College as unjust ignore the dangers of pure democracy (i.e. only counting the popular vote) and the necessity of electoral representatives to preserve freedom and prevent corruption. A more broad, far-reaching and factual perspective is necessary in recognizing the vital role the Electoral College plays in our republic – no matter who wins.