An Online Publication of The Anonymous Anything Society- April 10, 2019
THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE
Blame it on the gentry who ran things in this country when it was new. The big land owners, many of whom owned slaves and slave ships, the "right" people who always had ruled over the masses, were believed to be ordained by manifest destiny to decide what was best for all, including the rabble. They decided who would control the levers of power.
At the first constitutional convention, only two of the eleven states represented voted for a popular election of the president. As delegate James Madison made clear, there was very little support for a popular election of a chief executive. Furthermore, in eight of the thirteen states, the legislatures even elected the governors.
So what happened to the idea of one man, one vote? Forget one person, one vote. That was not fair to smaller states, especially those on the new frontier, and forget female suffrage! How droll?
So the men who ran things wrote this idea of an electoral college into the Constitution and cast it in concrete. There is no way of getting rid of it, save by amending the Constitution. It's not impossible but it was never meant to be simple, or quick.
When Congress proposes an amendment to the constitution, they do so in a joint amendment agreed upon by a two-thirds majority of both the House of Representatives and Senate. That's just the beginning of a lengthy process. If approved by Congress, the proposed amendment is sent to the governors of fifty states for ratification by their states' legislatures.
My take is that smaller and less populated states will never vote to give up the power endowed to them by the electoral college. I also doubt very much that the rich folks who own the media by the sheer weight of vote-buying power, i.e. the thousands of lobbyists, the Koch Brothers, the Murdochs and the George Soros of this world, will not buy into the threat of diminishment of personal power over the electorate.
- Phil Richardson, Storyteller and observer of the human condition.
"He goes doddering on into his old age, making a public nuisance of himself."—Joseph Menchen
Our unending thanks to Jim Bromley, who programs our Archive of Prior Commentaries
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