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The Controversial Conundrum That Is the Electoral College

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  • Part 1: From the Archives | The Electoral College Was Meant to Stop Men Like Trump From Being President
  • The founders envisioned electors as people who could prevent an irresponsible demagogue from taking office.
  • Part 2: The Electoral College Conundrum
  • There’s no consensus on abolishing the Electoral College, which has countered the popular vote in two of the past five presidential elections.
  • Related: Effort to Abandon Electoral College Gains Steam. Here’s What It Would Ruin for America

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: From the Archives | The Electoral College Was Meant to Stop Men Like Trump From Being President

https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/mt/2016/11/RTSSEN9-1/lead_720_405.jpg?mod=1533691859 / Mike Segar / Reuters

The founders envisioned electors as people who could prevent an irresponsible demagogue from taking office.

Peter Beinart, the Atlantic

Nov 21, 2016 | Americans talk about democracy like it’s sacred. In public discourse, the more democratic American government is, the better. The people are supposed to rule.

But that’s not the premise that underlies America’s political system. Most of the men who founded the United States feared unfettered majority rule. James Madison wrote in Federalist 10 that systems of government based upon “pure democracy … have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property.” John Adams wrote in 1814 that, “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself.”

Peter Beinart is a contributing editor at the Atlantic and an associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York.

Full story …



Part 2: The Electoral College Conundrum

https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/mt/2018/11/GettyImages_541661822_1/lead_720_405.jpg?mod=1542921364 / Senator Birch Bayh delivers a speech in New Hampshire during his 1976 presidential campaign.Owen Franken / Corbis / Getty

There’s no consensus on abolishing the Electoral College, which has countered the popular vote in two of the past five presidential elections.

Parker Richards,  the Atlantic

Nov 23, 2018 | Even in the pantheon of maligned features of the American republic—gerrymandering, the Senate, first-past-the-post, voter repression—the Electoral College stands out. It’s a chimera, a system that serves as a rubber stamp when it’s working well, and as a massive, semi-automatic check on the popular will when it’s not. Formed as a deliberative body, it now has only a ceremonial semblance of such a function. The position of elector is essentially a sinecure that conveys no real financial or reputational rewards.

Almost half a century before Donald Trump became president, his victory was nearly undone. It was a close thing: The House of Representatives easily passed a constitutional amendment that would have eliminated the electoral college. The Senate was getting closer and closer, just a few votes shy of the required two-thirds majority. Then the midterms came along, and Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana, an auteur of constitutional amendments second only to James Madison, was forced to shelve the proposal.  

Parker Richards is an editorial fellow at the Atlantic.

Full story …

Related:

Effort to Abandon Electoral College Gains Steam. Here’s What It Would Ruin for America. Jarrett Stepman, the Daily Signal / Intellectual Takeout

https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/ito/files/field/image/8202951245_5012303a7c_k.jpgThis misguided attempt to subvert the Constitution (is) partisan and historically ignorant. It overlooks … that the Electoral College has produced … a stable political system that forces politicians to reckon with our nation’s diverse needs.
 

 

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