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#1 User is offline   Liz 

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 02:02 AM

Constitutional Ignorance -- Perhaps Contempt

NewsBusters
By Walter E. Williams
January 17, 2018 2:26 PM EST

Excerpt:

Hillary Clinton blamed the Electoral College for her stunning defeat in the 2016 presidential election in her latest memoirs, "What Happened?" Some have claimed that the Electoral College is one of the most dangerous institutions in American politics. Why? They say the Electoral College system, as opposed to a simple majority vote, distorts the one-person, one-vote principle of democracy because electoral votes are not distributed according to population.

To back up their claim, they point out that the Electoral College gives, for example, Wyoming citizens disproportionate weight in a presidential election. Put another way, Wyoming, a state with a population of about 600,000, has one member in the U.S. House of Representatives and two members in the U.S. Senate, which gives the citizens of Wyoming three electoral votes, or one electoral vote per 200,000 people. California, our most populous state, has more than 39 million people and 55 electoral votes, or approximately one vote per 715,000 people. Comparatively, individuals in Wyoming have nearly four times the power in the Electoral College as Californians.

Many people whine that using the Electoral College instead of the popular vote and majority rule is undemocratic. I'd say that they are absolutely right. Not deciding who will be the president by majority rule is not democracy. But the Founding Fathers went to great lengths to ensure that we were a republic and not a democracy. In fact, the word democracy does not appear in the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution or any other of our founding documents.

How about a few quotations expressed by the Founders about democracy? In Federalist Paper No. 10, James Madison wanted to prevent rule by majority faction, saying, "Measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority." John Adams warned in a letter, "Remember Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a Democracy Yet, that did not commit suicide." Edmund Randolph said, "That in tracing these evils to their origin, every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy." Then-Chief Justice John Marshall observed, "Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos."

The Founders expressed contempt for the tyranny of majority rule, and throughout our Constitution, they placed impediments to that tyranny. Two houses of Congress pose one obstacle to majority rule.

*snip*

Those Americans obsessed with rule by popular majorities might want to get rid of the U.S. Senate, where states, regardless of population, have two senators. Should we change representation in the House of Representatives to a system of proportional representation and eliminate the guarantee that each state gets at least one representative? Currently, seven states with populations of 1 million or fewer have one representative, thus giving them disproportionate influence in Congress. While we're at it, should we make all congressional acts be majority rule? When we're finished with establishing majority rule in Congress, should we then move to change our court system, which requires unanimity in jury decisions, to a simple majority rule?

My question is: Is it ignorance of or contempt for our Constitution that fuels the movement to abolish the Electoral College?

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#2 User is offline   Timothy 

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 02:38 AM

There were two main reasons the electoral college was created, neither of which are applicable today:

1) Suffrage laws were very different from state to state. The 3/5ths compromise would not have been possible under the electoral college for example. The South wanted its slaves to count towards population for representative purposes but did not want them to vote. And universal white male suffrage didn't come about for a couple of decades.

Now days, unlike when the Constitution was written, we have universal suffrage and the rules for eligibility to vote are nearly identical state to state.

2) The electoral college was meant to be a deliberative body which would serve as a "layer of separation" between the people and the President and do the hard work of picking someone. Now they are little more than glorified point counters, that level of separation doesn't exist any more.

To people who agree with the article: should racial minorities be "protected" from the rule of the majority by giving disproportionate electoral power?

This post has been edited by Timothy: 18 January 2018 - 02:39 AM

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#3 User is offline   JerryL 

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 03:49 AM

View PostTimothy, on 18 January 2018 - 02:38 AM, said:

There were two main reasons the electoral college was created, neither of which are applicable today:

1) Suffrage laws were very different from state to state. The 3/5ths compromise would not have been possible under the electoral college for example. The South wanted its slaves to count towards population for representative purposes but did not want them to vote. And universal white male suffrage didn't come about for a couple of decades.

Now days, unlike when the Constitution was written, we have universal suffrage and the rules for eligibility to vote are nearly identical state to state.

2) The electoral college was meant to be a deliberative body which would serve as a "layer of separation" between the people and the President and do the hard work of picking someone. Now they are little more than glorified point counters, that level of separation doesn't exist any more.

To people who agree with the article: should racial minorities be "protected" from the rule of the majority by giving disproportionate electoral power?

From the original post:

"How about a few quotations expressed by the Founders about democracy? In Federalist Paper No. 10, James Madison wanted to prevent rule by majority faction, saying, "Measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority." John Adams warned in a letter, "Remember Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a Democracy Yet, that did not commit suicide." Edmund Randolph said, "That in tracing these evils to their origin, every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy." Then-Chief Justice John Marshall observed, "Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos."
"

While the reasons that you cite might have been considered, it is revisionist history to state that they were the reason the Electoral College was created. Do you flat out dismiss the words of the Founders themselves as to why they created...and not to forget, the PEOPLE ratified...a Republic and not a Democracy? You repeating some leftist interpretation of what the Founders "really meant" fed to you in leftist academia is never going to change their actual words.

Let me ask you this, Timothy. You are a homeowner in a community with an HOA. The HOA regulations, for one reason or another, do not stipulate how many residents can reside in a property. So, a religious cult or M13 or a peace and love group buy the house next to yours and 150 people move in next door. Those people want to transform the community so that ALL of the residences are communal dwellings. Should the residents of the house next door to you have 150 votes towards deciding how the entire community is going to live?

People in Idaho and South Dakota, also your neighbors in the HOA, don't want to live like the religious cult or hippy commune. Why should a couple of cities in California and New York be able to force them to do so?

ETA: In the previous election, the Electoral College served exactly the purpose of acting as a "layer of separation" between the people (popular vote) and the president. Looks like that aspect of its design still works! Thanks for pointing that out Timmy.

This post has been edited by JerryL: 18 January 2018 - 05:02 AM

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#4 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 04:54 AM

I realize Aristotle wasn't one of America's founding fathers, but some people think he was fairly bright, LOL. Aristotle said: "democracy is, just like oligarchy, a tyranny spread over a large number of people."

And Benjamin Franklin, who was one of America's founding fathers, probably said it best: "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what they are going to have for lunch."

B)
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#5 User is offline   ThePatriot 

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 07:13 AM

"My question is: Is it ignorance of or contempt for our Constitution that fuels the movement to abolish the Electoral College?"


The answer, of course, is both.
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#6 User is online   Dean Adam Smithee 

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 08:12 AM

View PostMontyPython, on 18 January 2018 - 04:54 AM, said:

I realize Aristotle wasn't one of America's founding fathers, but some people think he was fairly bright, LOL. Aristotle said: "democracy is, just like oligarchy, a tyranny spread over a large number of people."

And Benjamin Franklin, who was one of America's founding fathers, probably said it best: "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what they are going to have for lunch."

B)


I'm more a fan of H.L. Mencken, who once said, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard".
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#7 User is offline   mjperry51 

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 08:38 AM

View PostMontyPython, on 18 January 2018 - 04:54 AM, said:

And Benjamin Franklin, who was one of America's founding fathers, probably said it best: "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what they are going to have for lunch."

B)

You forgot the best part --

"Liberty is an armed lamb."

This post has been edited by mjperry51: 18 January 2018 - 08:38 AM

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#8 User is offline   mjperry51 

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 08:39 AM

View PostThePatriot, on 18 January 2018 - 07:13 AM, said:

"My question is: Is it ignorance of or contempt for our Constitution that fuels the movement to abolish the Electoral College?"


The answer, of course, is both.

Ignorance is fertile soil for the growth of contempt. . .
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#9 User is online   satellite66 

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 08:40 AM

The party that cries that voter ID disenfranchises, yet they have no problem disenfranchising entire states
Liberalism is a mental disorder and a moral perversion
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#10 User is offline   gravelrash 

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 09:16 AM

View PostTimothy, on 18 January 2018 - 02:38 AM, said:

To people who agree with the article: should racial minorities be "protected" from the rule of the majority by giving disproportionate electoral power?



You're thinking of Lani Guinier. The Bill Clinton pick who wanted "cumulative voting". Of course, our Republic was founded on INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY not caste or ethnicity. My single vote carries the same weight as everyone else's. However, that is easily countered with a group of like-minded individuals all voting an up-and-down ticket for whatever reason.

Democracy is the doorway to anarchy. Schools need to spend more time teaching the foundation of our Republic. Not just "we won the Revolution and ratified a Constitution". People need to know the works and minds that came up with this ingenious system. I doubt school kids even know what the Federalist Papers even are. Most are never exposed to The Enlightenment. And hell no to the Judeo-Christian principles that also can be found throughout!
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#11 User is online   Dean Adam Smithee 

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 09:53 AM

An important factor that the Left seems to be overlooking is that in 2016, The Trump team won the electoral college BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT MATTERED. THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERED. BOTH sides based their strategies on "270 TO WIN", and if anybody thinks that the Hillary team was aiming for (merely) the popular vote in the mistaken belief that it somehow mattered, then they're a damned fool.

Now, take away the electoral college and EVERYBODY's strategy changes; it's no longer "270 to win" but "65 million to win" or some-such. There's no reason at all the believe that Trump couldn't have done that... IF that would have been what mattered.

A popular vote would change the dynamic not only from Candidate's perspective but from the voter's as well. In 2016, let's face it, there were plenty of reasons for voters on BOTH sides to dislike their choices. These voters in "Solid" Red or Blue states had the luxury of staying home, IF their state was already so red or blue that it wouldn't have mattered. Take away the electoral college and now it matters; it COMPLETELY changes the turnout dynamic and I don't think ANYBODY could predict which way it would go.
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#12 User is offline   Natural Selection 

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 10:01 AM

View PostTimothy, on 18 January 2018 - 02:38 AM, said:

Now days, unlike when the Constitution was written, we have universal suffrage and the rules for eligibility to vote are nearly identical state to state.


You're assuming that all states follow the rules for eligibility. California, for example, allows people with absolutely no ID to register to vote. It assigns them an ID number. Nothing prevents illegal immigrants from registering to vote or registering multiple times to vote. California lets people know that they must be citizens to vote but makes zero effort to enforce that aspect of the process. The California Secretary of State is the son of illegal immigrants!

Edited to add:
It's important to point out that the electoral college protected our Presidential election from California's illegal immigrant vote fraud. They could import 100,000,000 illegal immigrants and they would still have the same number of electoral votes.

This post has been edited by Natural Selection: 18 January 2018 - 10:39 AM

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#13 User is offline   firecoco 

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 10:42 AM

F*** the Democrats

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#14 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 10:49 AM

View Postarticle, on 18 January 2018 - 02:02 AM, said:

Is it ignorance of or contempt for our Constitution that fuels the movement to abolish the Electoral College?



Apparently, it's just plain stupidity.
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#15 User is offline   stick 

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 11:23 AM

View PostNatural Selection, on 18 January 2018 - 10:01 AM, said:

You're assuming that all states follow the rules for eligibility. California, for example, allows people with absolutely no ID to register to vote. It assigns them an ID number. Nothing prevents illegal immigrants from registering to vote or registering multiple times to vote. California lets people know that they must be citizens to vote but makes zero effort to enforce that aspect of the process. The California Secretary of State is the son of illegal immigrants!

Edited to add:
It's important to point out that the electoral college protected our Presidential election from California's illegal immigrant vote fraud. They could import 100,000,000 illegal immigrants and they would still have the same number of electoral votes.


Thats why they want to make them CITIZEN voters; California’s ratio to total national population goes up, so does their share of Congressional Representatives for the House. As if California doesn’t have enough electoral influence now.

This post has been edited by stick: 18 January 2018 - 11:23 AM

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#16 User is online   Dean Adam Smithee 

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 11:47 AM

View PostNatural Selection, on 18 January 2018 - 10:01 AM, said:

You're assuming that all states follow the rules for eligibility. California, for example, allows people with absolutely no ID to register to vote. It assigns them an ID number. Nothing prevents illegal immigrants from registering to vote or registering multiple times to vote. California lets people know that they must be citizens to vote but makes zero effort to enforce that aspect of the process. The California Secretary of State is the son of illegal immigrants!

Edited to add:
It's important to point out that the electoral college protected our Presidential election from California's illegal immigrant vote fraud. They could import 100,000,000 illegal immigrants and they would still have the same number of electoral votes.


On the other hand, Approximately 5.2 million registered voters in California are Republicans, which is about 29% of the total.

As it stands, there is ZERO incentive for any of them to vote in a Presidential election: Whether NONE of them vote, or whether all 5.2 million of them vote, All 55 of California's electoral votes are STILL going to the Democrat. Guaranteed. Add to it New York's 29 and Illinois's 20 for a total of 104 of the 270 needed, and Dems are already well over 1/3 there with just those three states... and a total of ~10.7 million Republicans who have no incentive to not stay home.

Take away the electoral college, and that whole dynamic changes. NOW those 10.7 million republicans have a reason to vote, and between them make up almost 1/6 of the ~65 million that it would take to win the popular vote.

I'm not advocating doing away with the Electoral college. It's part of the constitution and it is what it is. But I see no constitutional reason why it needs to be "winner take all" in each state rather than "proportional".
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#17 User is offline   DJGoody 

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 11:56 AM

View PostTimothy, on 18 January 2018 - 02:38 AM, said:

There were two main reasons the electoral college was created, neither of which are applicable today:

1) Suffrage laws were very different from state to state. The 3/5ths compromise would not have been possible under the electoral college for example. The South wanted its slaves to count towards population for representative purposes but did not want them to vote. And universal white male suffrage didn't come about for a couple of decades.

Now days, unlike when the Constitution was written, we have universal suffrage and the rules for eligibility to vote are nearly identical state to state.

2) The electoral college was meant to be a deliberative body which would serve as a "layer of separation" between the people and the President and do the hard work of picking someone. Now they are little more than glorified point counters, that level of separation doesn't exist any more.

To people who agree with the article: should racial minorities be "protected" from the rule of the majority by giving disproportionate electoral power?




So you are fine, with NYC and LA deciding for the rest of us how the country should be governed? Candidates and laws would be centered specifically around those two areas, since they will be the only votes that really matter. As already pointed out, we would basically have non-citizens deciding our Presidential elections.
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#18 User is offline   Severian 

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 12:01 PM

Hilary: That damned pesky Constitution kept me from becoming Dictator For Life!

You can bet your bottom dollar that if they thought Republicans would have an advantage in the popular vote, the Democrats would suddenly come out with great respect for the Electoral College. The only, and I mean only, thing they care about is acquiring and maintaining power.
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#19 User is online   RedSoloCup 

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 12:13 PM

View PostDJGoody, on 18 January 2018 - 11:56 AM, said:

So you are fine, with NYC and LA deciding for the rest of us how the country should be governed? Candidates and laws would be centered specifically around those two areas, since they will be the only votes that really matter. As already pointed out, we would basically have non-citizens deciding our Presidential elections.


Yes, Timmy is ok with that. Illegals, celebutards and all

This post has been edited by RedSoloCup: 18 January 2018 - 12:13 PM

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#20 User is offline   baldeagle 

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 12:16 PM

View PostSeverian, on 18 January 2018 - 12:01 PM, said:

Hilary: That damned pesky Constitution kept me from becoming Dictator For Life!

You can bet your bottom dollar that if they thought Republicans would have an advantage in the popular vote, the Democrats would suddenly come out with great respect for the Electoral College. The only, and I mean only, thing they care about is acquiring and maintaining power.


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