This week I will tackle the Electoral College. I am not going to make this into a deep philosophical discussion about Democracy vs. a Republic. I’m just going to point out a few facts and observations about the recent elections. What would have been the 2016 outcome if we were a true Democracy and the Electoral College didn’t exist?Looking at the first picture below,it becomes very obvious that six states,California,Texas,Florida,Illinois,Ohio and New York have so much population as to essentially determine every next president. Why would candidates even bother to go to any other states to try to win votes? The other 44 states would become relatively insignificant in choosing future presidents. The will of the people living in those six states would dictate how the rest of the country has to be governed and how we would all live.
    Now look at the map of the voting pattern,county by county,for the entire country. The red represents Republican majorities and the blue represents Democrat county majorities. What you find is that outside of the big population cities,this country is overwhelmingly Republican (?Conservative,not Liberal). Yet,if the president was elected by a one person,one vote democracy,the big cities (and big populous states) would always determine the President and the ruling political party. In addition,since those cities and states continue to grow in population, their influence would only increase. Would this be fair to the rest of the country?
    At this point in my discussion,a liberal (Democrat) reading this would most likely find no fault in letting the majority rule. We conservatives (or at least me –I don’t speak for all conservatives or all in the Tea Party) might look at it differently. Just to give a few quotes towards my point:”Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.”H. L. Mencken

    “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”Winston Churchill (do you remember the repeated street interviews with Jesse Watters and Jay Leno?)

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on,the majority always votes for the candidates promising them the most benefits from the public treasury,with the result that a democracy always collapses over a loss of fiscal responsibility,always followed by a dictatorship. The average of the world’s great civilizations before they decline has been 200 years.  (Alexander Fraser Tytler,Alexis de Tocqueville,or someone else – no one is sure).

    I wish it wasn’t so concerning democracies but history bears out that voter self-serving (among other reasons) is why a pure democracy eventually fails. Our brilliant founding Fathers were wise enough to understand the problem and put the Electoral College into place.

    So,I guess my simplistic argument for the continued need for an Electoral College comes down to large scale voter ignorance about the issues, voter self-serving and also vastly different lifestyles and beliefs in different states across our diverse country. This is why I,for the country as a whole, at the national level,prefer the Electoral College over a direct Democracy.

    (But not necessariy at the state level. Each individual state is presently governed as a direct Democracy as chosen by a majority of the state’s voters in local,statewide and Congressional elections.  Therefore, each state can govern itself as it chooses as long as it doesn’t conflict with Federal law. This form of government [?Federalism] doesn’t necessarily force me in one state to live like you in another state if my state chooses to live differently. Yet we all remain part of the greater United States of America).

    Finally,as long as the majority of states remain Red,we don’t have to worry about the Blue states having any chance to pass a Constitutional Amendment to do away with the Electoral College since it would require 38 states to pass the Amendment. By how they voted for the President,there are only 19 blue states vs. 31 red states. The Electoral College is safe for now and the near future.

    I remain

    Jack Sternberg,MD
    Chairman,Garland County Tea Party

    1 comment to THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE IS A NECESSITY –Dr Jack Sternberg,MD

    • Absolutely it is a necessity,today even more than in all of our US history!

      In the total US there are 3141 counties. Donald J Trump won in 3084 of those. Only in 43 counties across the entire country did Hillary actually win. Regardless of the mass of humanity crammed into those 43 counties,should such a disapportionment of votes dictate the presidency?

      Were that to determine the presidency we would find that the federal laws,rules,and regulations that are chosen by NY City,Los Angeles,Dallas,and Chicago would determine the rule of law in Garland County Arkansas. In what universe would that make sense? Our founding fathers were so wise is making this the method for choosing the chief executive of our nation.

      Simple sound bytes,“One man,one vote”just do not take in the true magnitude of the problem. To change to popular vote would require a constitutional amendment that is not about to be ratified by a majority of states,much less the 3/4 of the states required. Why would the Dakotas,Alaska,Arkansas,Wyoming,and other less populated states want to be governed like the mass of humanity crowded into the centers of the mega cities of the nation? Insane!