What We Know: Petition to overturn the election, 3.9 million signatures
This time, I’m posting mostly opinions, but here are the key facts I’ll be commenting on:
Opinion: Reasonable sentiment, wrong solution
Many Americans have long argued that the Electoral College is a broken system. Many have called for reforms or its abolishment. Reform isn’t a crazy idea.
Hillary Clinton did win the popular vote, and many are saying that in a democracy this should be enough to make her president. At first blush, this too seems quite rational.
I voted for neither major party candidate. So, why would I oppose flipping the vote?
I am against so-called “faithless electors” voting contrary to how they were bound in the election.
To me, this is at best a dereliction of duty by electors to represent the people and the states. Furthermore, I believe we would see serious (hopefully unintended) consequences.
Yes, Hillary Clinton would be president. Then the other half of the country would feel that the rules and laws everyone thought they were playing by had been trampled.
If you think there’s anger today, imagine the level of anger we would see from tens of millions of people who would then feel betrayed.
The very foundations of the Constitution and our government as a whole would be called into question, and respect for law and order would devolve.
We need to keep the peace, and we need to work on ways to improve our institutions of government.
We are already seeing some glimmers of hope that Donald Trump understands compromise and will work toward it. All presidents break campaign promises. Meanwhile, let’s not forget that the Republican party, while in power, is far from unified.
I do believe at this juncture that America’s system of checks and balances can and will survive almost any of Trump’s detractors worst-case scenarios.
That’s precisely why we need to maintain the integrity of our government. The Electoral College, for better or worse, is part of that foundation today.
Let’s preserve as much of the integrity of our system as we can to protect all of us.
Is the Electoral College Totally Wrong?
I do support some aspects of the Electoral College that favor concepts like states rights. The more local control we have, in many ways the more free people are. Your vote “counts more” when more power is at state or local level. How many decisions do you want made by someone across the country?
To maintain this sort of state and local autonomy, each state no matter how small needs to have a certain voice and power.
Our Founding Fathers were not perfect people. Yes, some did own slaves. The rights of native peoples were utterly trampled. They were probably pretty hypocritical at times. But … they also gave us a system that’s worked pretty well the last couple of centuries. They did more good than harm for our nation as it is today.
So, let’s give the tried and true ideas the respect they deserve. I think a read of things like The Federalist Papers (I read them in highschool) would remind us how much effort they put into finding the right balances.
Respect the rights of the majority AND the minority. We should always strive to evolve systems to do that better.
From Austin, Texas, I bid you peace.