The Electoral College failed again. Is twice enough (in recent history, five times altogether) to realize that this outdated compromise needs to go? When it failed to elect a President Gore, whom the majority of Americans voted for, America was given 9/11, an unnecessary and disastrous war in Iraq, and less time to deal with climate change. Now that it has failed to give us a President Hillary Clinton, whom the majority of Americans voted for, what will America be given? More terrible fiscal policy, as Trump has promised, more racial divisiveness, as Trump has promised, more inept handling of our military, as Trump has promised, more poisoning of the environment, as Trump has promised. We will certainly not get the manufacturing jobs he promised, as those are a fantasy, we will not get the wall he promised, thank God, as that is a fantasy (although in spirit that wall already exits and will get even higher).
Alexander Hamilton wrote in The Federalist Papers #68 that the point of this type of election was to preserve the “sense of the people.” It is not doing so anymore. The Electoral College makes candidates care only about a handful of states (if you live there, are you not outraged by the barrage of messaging? I was, when I lived in two of them), and care nothing at all about the votes of millions of Americans in all but a handful of states (if you live there, are you not outraged by the lack of attention the candidates give you? You should be). The Electoral College was a dubious compromise when it was made at the Constitutional Convention (its roots were in protecting slavery), but one that was necessary to secure the ratification of our country’s founding document. But we have amended that document since. Not everything is the same as it was in 1787. We can amend it now. We must. And since those in power are the beneficiaries of the system, the push to change must come from the voters—if you voted for President Clinton you owe it yourself to now call for an amendment to the Constitution for the direct election of the President of the United States.
Irate and also profoundly depressed about the election result, I wrote this letter and sent it to our national newspapers. I decided to again push the notion of abolishing the Electoral College. This should have been done after the 2000 election. And now that we have seen it wreck the country again, it’s time. We can’t wait for the next time. Progressivism has lost two elections in which the majority of America voted for it, and that is not okay. Our country is held hostage by gerrymandered districts, and once in power, those in the districts have no reason to redraw them.
I’ve written to my particular congressional representatives, and some others who I think will be friendly to the cause. I will send more. I’ll be honest and admit I doubt it will come of anything—America, and humans in general, have a terrible track record of always taking the easy path, which is what we have done with this election. We take the short view always; we do not look beyond our own narrow wants.
But hey, prove me wrong. So write to your Representatives and Senators, and your governors, too. Constitutional amendments can be passed though state Constitutional Conventions, and, although none have ever happened, what the hell. It will cost you only some time and stamps, and the US Postal Service could also use your support these days.
Contacts can all be found here though these two sites. I suggest mailing to local offices, since they do not screen as heavily for anthrax (hey, remember that?) as the Washington offices do, and so letters will arrive faster.