At one point during last Tuesday night’s election returns, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney led in the popular vote.
But that was AFTER President Obama had already won the necessary 270 Electoral College votes to cinch his re-election bid.
Even if Romney had gone on to win the popular vote – which he didn’t; Obama won with nearly 61 million, while Romney had close to 58 million – he still wouldn’t be president. Do any of those naysayers that called for abolishing the Electoral College 12 years ago want to reconsider their position?
In 2000 former President George W. Bush – then just Republican presidential candidate and former governor of Texas Bush – lost the popular vote to then-Vice President Al Gore. But Bush won more states, giving him more Electoral College votes, and the presidency.
Democrats, being the sore losers they are (curious thing about Democrats: they’re also sore WINNERS) cried foul. Do away with the Electoral College, many of them insisted, because it was “undemocratic.”
And their point would have been what, exactly?
I agree: the Electoral College ISN’T “democratic.” That is, the Electoral College is not – and should not – be a feature of a democracy.
Here’s the rub: the United States of America isn’t a democracy. Never has been. If it is to become one, there would have to be a major constitutional change. (Didn’t Black Panther Party founder Huey P. Newton, back in the early 1970s, call for a convention to create a new constitution for the country? Didn’t we all virtually ignore him?)
The United States of America is a republic, not a democracy. Yes, there is a difference between the two, and a major one, not a subtle one.
Here’s the definition of a democracy, taken from the Web site www.merriam-webster.com: “a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodic free elections.”
I can hear the yelps of protest now: “you’re a moron, Kane! That’s the kind of government we have now!”
Actually, it isn’t.
Here’s the definition of a republic, from the same Web site: “a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law.”
I’ll emphasize the key phrase in the above definition: “supreme power resides IN A BODY OF CITIZENS ENTITLED TO VOTE.”
In a democracy, everyone might be entitled to vote. In a republic, only that “body of citizens entitled to vote” gets to vote.
In a democracy nothing like the Electoral College – in which the president is elected not by popular vote, but electors – would be abided. So when critics of the Electoral College said it wasn’t democratic, they were absolutely right.
Too bad they didn’t understand we live in a republic, not a democracy.
Still not convinced the good old U.S. of A. is a republic? Check out the article and section of the Constitution that requires the federal government to guarantee that each state has a certain type of government.
That type of government isn’t “democratic.” The article and section in question requires the federal government to guarantee that each state has a REPUBLICAN form of government, not a democratic one.
If those that want to abolish the Electoral College because it isn’t “democratic” want to be consistent, then they’d insist we abolish the U.S. Senate as well. The Senate isn’t “democratic” either, at least not in the way critics of the Electoral College are using the word.
The purely democratic unit of the federal government is the House of Representatives. Members of the body are chosen based on the population of each state. Those states with large populations have the most representatives; states with small populations have the fewest.
There are exactly two U.S. senators per state, regardless of population. Each has an equal vote in the Senate. There is, and cannot be, domination of large states over smaller ones in the U.S. Senate.
If the Electoral College and the U.S. Senate had both been abolished back around 2000, when critics called for doing away with the Electoral College, guess who wouldn’t have been re-elected president on November 6?
Yes, that would be one Barack Hussein Obama. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004 and began his presidential bid in 2007. That would have been hard to do had there been no Senate for Obama to be elected to in the first place.
Our “undemocratic” system of government might not be perfect, but it sure has worked out well for the former U.S. senator from Illinois.