No, the system is not rigged. And no, the Electoral College should not go. This brilliantly crafted system enshrined in our Constitution has created more economic prosperity than any other in history. This system that has elected numerous Democrats and Republicans is neither prejudiced nor unfair.
In the wake of Tuesday’s election, many have called for eliminating the Electoral College and its inherent unfairness. Because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, they claim that Clinton should have won the election. Clinton won the popular vote because she won the two states with the largest populations, California and New York, in a landslide. Those two states, the largest of the nation’s 10 most liberal states, do not truly reflect the sentiments of the remaining 48. Those claiming Clinton should have won are sore losers, demonstrating an ignorance of our history and founding principles.
The Founding Fathers designed a republic, not a direct democracy. The individual states joined the union on the explicit understanding that larger states’ influence over smaller states would be limited. James Madison understood that unfettered majorities such as those in pure democracies tend toward tyranny:
“[In a pure democracy], [a] common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert results from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual.”
It is evident from Madison’s words that the Electoral College, like many other constitutional provisions, serves as a check to ensure that the U.S., a country formed to escape abusive government and tyranny, did not become one itself. May I also remind Electoral College opponents that on three other occasions the president has been elected by winning the Electoral College vote while losing the popular vote. Clinton received about 300,000 more popular votes than Donald Trump, but she overwhelmingly won California and New York by about 1.9 million votes more than were required to obtain those states’ electoral votes. In other words, the large states were unable to overwhelm other states, and the system worked perfectly. Some argue that times are different and modern communications and a more integrated economy have rendered the founders’ system anachronistic. But I believe that none of the advances in society alter the fact that our country was formed by sovereign states joining a republic — not a national democracy — on specific terms set forth in our Constitution.
As a young American, I am appalled by the response to the election of the next U.S. president. I realize that Trump is a controversial candidate. However, I fear that the outcry against the system that has served us so well reaches far beyond Trump and threatens the roots of our country.
In 2012, President Barack Obama was re-elected. As a conservative, free-market capitalist, I vehemently oppose many of Obama’s policies and what I would describe as socialist tendencies. In fact, I’d even say that I find his policies as controversial and threatening, if not more so, to American prosperity and my generation’s future than the election of Trump. Under the Obama Administration, the Affordable Care Act created a new, expensive entitlement program when we already have $19 trillion of debt, 20,000 new federal regulations were added and the financial sector was strangled by excessive regulation under the Dodd-Frank legislation; each of those actions represents a shift from America’s individualist and capitalist principles and toward a more centrally planned government and economy. Yet, in 2008 and 2012, I and other like-minded individuals did not riot nor did we call for a “revolution” as Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and their incredibly perspicacious colleagues suggest.
I would be lying if I did not say that I was upset and that I do not believe Obama’s direction for America. However, I never claimed that he was “not my president,” nor did I ever wish America ill. I may not have agreed with Obama’s policies, but I did not want to see the country go down the tubes. I fear that these protesters are hoping for a Trump impeachment or that he is unsuccessful as a president and that is inherently un-American.
These protesters have woefully ignored the notion that we have had flawed leaders in the past. Arguably, Bill Clinton was more misogynistic than Trump; after all, the former president was impeached for lying under oath concerning his affair with a White House intern, and held in contempt of court for giving false information concerning a sexual harassment lawsuit. I am by no means saying that Trump is an angel whose controversial statements should be overlooked. I am, however, arguing that the protesters, and those denouncing Trump as their president, should look to history before making absurd allegations that imply the union is ending. Ironically, the only threat to the union is the protests against our republican system and protesters’ complete rejection of an elected president.
As a strict constructivist, I fully support the right to freedom of speech and expression. I am not saying that protesters do not have a right to demonstrate their frustration, even with their burning of numerous American flags, because, under the Constitution, they do. I do believe, however, that they are rejecting the principles of our nation, and would be praising its greatness had Clinton, who risked our national security by having a private email server and lied to cover it up, been elected. The true hypocrisy lies in the fact that these protesters are so mentally lazy they would dismiss my opinion as racism and bigotry. I did not vote for Trump and I do not support many of his economic policies because they violate basic free-market economics, yet I am made to feel that my unwillingness to support Clinton, a corrupt socialist, automatically makes me a misogynist, a bigot or a racist.
Former President Thomas Jefferson, elected in an extremely controversial election, said during his inaugural address, “If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union, or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it.” Let us heed his advice before we further betray the principles of our republic.