Opinion: Petition w/ 3.9M+ signatures to overturn election is a road that undermines democracy

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:

On Change.org there is a petition out to overturn the election in what would be Clinton’s favor.  It’s been signed by over 3.9 million people at the time of this posting:

Electoral College: Make Hillary Clinton President on December 19

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.

There are 12 comments

    1. Eric Tucker

      Did watch the video! I think it’s a compelling argument that can and should be taken into account during some sort of reform. I would be cautious to ensure that we don’t get into the same issues around a different set of corner cases in protecting the rights of minorities and states.

      My stance today is that examining and proposing reforms for the Electoral College is something we should have done in more earnest for decades.

      I just don’t want to see us support the method being proposed to bypass the system today. Let’s fix it and get it right in future elections. If we try to have bound electors vote differently this election, I think that could have grave consequences up to and including rebellion.

  1. Bruce

    Yeah, you can drop that whole “Hope for an intelligent future” BS, now that you’ve been outed as a willfully-ignorant POS who thinks Infowars must fact-check because of how large its audience is. Yep, a large audience of woefully under-educated, small people who can’t grasp the big world around them. You are a poster child for what is wrong with our society, with zero credibility among opinion leaders and any other full-on adults. You have been told – your posts are part of a circle-jerk of the stupidest Americans, and the large majority see your kind as the enemy of the progress. Delete your account, loser.

    1. Eric Tucker

      As I was quoted earlier, “The systems that carry information to us all are filtered by what’s sensational — not by what’s true.”

      Call it what you like, but I think there’s something fundamentally broken about the way we have conversations in this country.

  2. David Melton

    Very good article. Only thing I might suggest is that IF an effort is made to do away with the electoral college it should be done after the campaign season and before the next one. A campaign should be conducted under consistent rules.

    Also saying she won the popular vote is meaningless. IF we had no electoral college (EC), all candidates would have campaigned in a completely different way, spent money differently, in different places and on different people. They would have taken different amounts of time in different places. Everything would have been done differently. It is not adequate to say that doing away with the EC means Hillary would have won. Donald would have been doing things differently too and might still have won. Both candidates were seeking to optimize EC performance, and Trump won handily. If both sides had instead sought to optimize popular vote performance, who knows how it would have gone.

  3. Julie

    We don’t know that she had more votes. When a number is reached that puts the district for candidate A or B is reached, the rest of the absentees aren’t counted. They generally run 2-1 Republican. He probably has more votes anyway. ESPECIALLY if you discount people voting multiple times, dead people voting, people with no legal status to vote, and the 50k felons whose voting rights were “restored” just before the election in VA.

    These are just spoiled children stomping their feet. And Change.org is Soros’.

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