The idea of ending the Electoral College has come up now and again in several publications, and all have offered many points for and against it.
One point has NOT been fully addressed: National Security.
Federalist #68: “Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one quarter, but chiefly in the desire in foreign powers to gain an imposter ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union?”
They knew prying eyes were watching, and even from WITHIN there would be those who would still favor ending independence, and could rally political support to that end.
The Framers of the Constitution envisioned a very real worst case scenario:
A candidate for President of the United States, backed by the wealth and power of a foreign adversary, could deceive a majority of the 13 States, and subjugate the Union.
Imagine the wealth and power of the King of England, expended in an election system with no real security measures to prevent an influence campaign within our major cities… and how to secure the integrity of the ballots themselves? Transport between countries took months, between States… weeks.
Between totals and recounts, distances traveled to report… on horseback, of course having a handful of Electors, decided within the States, by the States’ representatives would be more efficient and less prone to corruption. Electors, decided by Elected officials within the States, elected by the People.
Federalist #39: “It is SUFFICIENT for such a government that the persons administering it should be appointed, either directly or indirectly, by the people.”
At that time, they feared the level of wealth once possessed only by the heads of monarchies. There’s no way they could have imagined the massive amounts of wealth and power held by corporations and financial institutions of today. Nor could they have envisioned the ability to communicate and interact with people, in real time, at the speed of light.
Combine those facts with Social Media Marketing.
Candidates for office, running on contributions from DARK MONEY interests, propped up by those with the means to support a candidate, and also the party that candidate represents. ALL working to acquire DATA on voters, in every State, in every city. Working to make sure their ads are seen, and their candidate makes that trip to Sioux Falls next week, and where their OPINIONS should go… in order to “keep numbers UP”.
Every obstacle that has been erected to oppose “cabal, intrigue, and corruption” within our elections has served to create a barrier, a financial BURDEN to overcome for any candidate seeking office. Those with wealth decide who the rest of us should vote upon.
‘Red Sauce’ or ‘Blue Sauce’… “It’s your choice, we picked ’em both!”
Federalist #39: “It is ESSENTIAL to such a government that it be derived from the great body of the society, not from an inconsiderable proportion, or a favored class of it.”
The Framers tried, in GOOD FAITH, to prevent the situation we find ourselves in TODAY. They created the PATH that gave rise to the very thing they tried to PREVENT.
To read their words, and understand their fears and worries about what could happen IF, we must remember… NO ONE had done this before! It was all just theoretical ideals and beliefs, emblazoned on a piece of parchment. They had NO PROOF it would work, they had no DATA to draw upon.
Today, after more than 230 years, we have that DATA. We can see where the faults lie, and we can see where we must make AMENDS. Our strength and security is ensured when EVERY CITIZEN is guaranteed access to the ballot. Any system that LIMITS access or attempts to correct, distort, or interpret the WILL of the people, is inherently susceptible to corruption.
There is only ONE METHOD that will ensure our national security, and the continued success of our Constitution: ONE CITIZEN=ONE VOTE.
We must End The Electoral College.