Conservative Political Commentary

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Electoral College: Comments on Its Importance and Value

By Eddie Howell

There are some very important issues related to the Electoral College today, and arguments over whether it should be maintained or abolished. There is an effort by some of the losing side of the presidential election to persuade electors pledged to Donald Trump to change their votes to Hillary Clinton. This, in my view is a subversive effort to undermine the Constitution.

Some articles by and some linked, along with videos, by The Lexington Libertarian are quite helpful. I will also add my own comments.

The following is a video explaining the function of, and some of the reasons for, the Electoral College, which seems to be the least-understood aspect of our presidential election system:


And an even more serious effort is underway for states to pass laws requiring electors to vote for the candidate with the highest number of popular votes in the nation, regardless of the vote in their own states. This would completely negate the provisions of the Constitution on this matter and disenfranchise the voters of the states.

This is an underhanded effort to undermine the national electorate, and probably constitutes treason. It is illegal to interfere with someone's legal vote. In my state, Texas, for example, Trump was the winner, but under this law, Texas would have to cast all its electoral votes for Clinton, assuming she won the popular vote. Ridiculous, but people are seriously pressing for this law, which would go into effect when the states passing it have the required 270 electoral votes or more, circumventing the Constitution.

It is patently unconstitutional, but a liberal court might OK it if it were challenged. Dick Morris ably explains the law, which has passed one house of the legislature in several states, and also the urgency of stopping it before it can go into effect:


(Videos via The Lexington Libertarian)

Mark Newman of the Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan has provided several maps illustrating the results of the 2016 presidential election. I will refer to two of them, the results by state, and by county. The county map shows that only a small fraction of counties in the U.S. had Democratic majorities, and the rest had Republican majorities. Also, as shown by the state map, significantly more states voted GOP than Democratic.



The Electoral College is supposed to represent the states. It was set up, very wisely, by the founders, because the fact that the U.S. consists of united states is important. States are nor simply units of the Federal government, but, as the Declaration of Independence describes it,
We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor. [Emphasis added]
Quite a Declaration! The states subsequently established the U.S. Constitution, and delegated certain powers to the Federal government, which were considered advantageous to their people, carefully enumerating the powers so delegated. The Electoral College was designed to preserve a measure of state power while recognizing the differences in population. To abolish the Electoral College would eliminate the influence of most states in the presidential election. The states with the most large cities would determine the winner, and less-populated states would have no influence. The Electoral College exists because the states are important. Without it, the major cities would dictate policies for everyone, whether or not they would be of any benefit to other parts of the country.

The Electoral College should be preserved as a vital part of our political system, and changes to it should be done only by constitutional amendment. A change which would be beneficial, in my view, would be a requirement that electors vote according to their pledges, not using secret ballot but a public vote, and face severe penalties for not doing so. Or, perhaps, create a mechanism to automatically award electoral votes to candidates according to the state-by-state results.

You may sign the petition Dick Morris referred to here.

Further reading: Electoral College website

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