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The Founders Created the Electoral College to Prevent a Foreign-Influenced Candidate From Winning—It Didn't Stop Trump, so Let's Scrap It


#1

The Founders Created the Electoral College to Prevent a Foreign-Influenced Candidate From Winning—It Didn't Stop Trump, so Let's Scrap It

Thom Hartmann

America’s Founders and Framers thought they could use the Electoral College to prevent somebody like Donald Trump from ever becoming president. Unfortunately, they were wrong, and now we’re paying the price.

Given how the Electoral College hasn’t protected us from getting a president beholden to a (or multiple) foreign power(s) as president, it’s time to do away with it.


#2

Fine tuning? What? Are we living in a Steinway concert grande that’s just a little out of tune? I offer the following, classic clip in response to the idea that “fine tuning” will do the trick. This is our current Congress handling the public piano…


#3

The founders created the electoral college to prevent populist candidates outside of their own landowning class from winning. “Foreign influence” was and is an excuse.

The electoral college has been pretty much completely successful in this, but mostly because it is supported so thoroughly by the rest of the political structure.

We should indeed get rid of it, but let’s not kid ourselves so badly about the reasons.


#4

Whatever Hamilton’s explanation (not the founders in general), what’s gone wrong with the College is all states but two letting the votes go winner-take-all to the parties in power. But indeed there’s no purpose for it any more, and it’s time to take down the parties that have fulfilled the founders’ worst fears.


#5

The First Nations peoples of what became the United States of America did not have a written language. As a consequence words were very important to them. Very early on they noted how the leaders of the United States of America were lying and duplicitous bastards. They would speak flowerly words that would cause another to think they believed in the values of freedom justice and fair play but their actions were totally divorced from the same.

We see that today with political leaders speaking of “freedom and democracy” in countries like Venezuela. A Hartmann type writing 100 years from now could very well quote them and claim “This proves how committed to freedom and democracy Donald Trump was”.

As you observed , the same applies to those hallowed “Founding fathers” . They were scoundrels and thieves intent on lining their pockets with as much wealth as they could. They spoke with forked tongues. They were just like the 1 percent of today.

As Howard Zinn observed , the vast majority of freedoms and liberties citizens of the United States might exercise was in spite of the founding fathers and came to them from the people who used the words of the 1 percent against them. Democracy is not a top down thing. A true Democracy does not have hierarchy and does not have a “ruling class” nor does it have a small group of people passing laws to ensure that they always rule.


#6

HI SuspiraDeprofundis------YES!!! And before everyone goes gaga on Hamilton because of the musical---- remember he was outraged with the people of the Whiskey rebellion------how dare they keep profit from their work…TAXES TAXES-----he even convinced Washington to let him have a GO at those he considered to be disgusting whiskey makers.
Looking at other things he’s said and done—and seeing how the right adores him----maybe we should celebrate that Hamilton didn’t go on for much longer.
Actually, although Hartman focuses on Trump-----it was the DEM electors, the AP and the Hillary who decided before all vote were in. Sadly that group is who I believe made Trump the winner for many of us voters who still believe Bernie would have beaten Trump:
After seeing how well that worked for the electors-----It seems that my vote and that of millions of others can be negated by a gaggle of electors--------well so much for One Person, One vote----------another American myth dies . : (


#7

Keeping the Electoral College is just about the most moronic thing about our entire government (having a Senate with two reps from each state is another though I would say not as obviously stupid). We don’t really need any new or rephrased arguments against it. What we need is pressure on our politicians to rid us of it. The only argument we need is that every vote does not count the same and thus campaigns are distorted and voter apathy abounds. Trump himself said he could win with a popular vote (he just would have campaigned differently). Where were the Democrats when they could have used this opportunity to loudly challenge him on it? If we had acted early in 2017 maybe we wouldn’t be facing another moronic election and another and another.

We need a single popular vote, a single ballot format, and Ranked Choice Voting. And for primaries too.


#8

Nailed it! The rich, white, propertied males designed/wrote the Constitution behind locked doors, guarded by armed men to keep the public out. They wrote a document to cement their privilege and property to themselves. Hence, they gave us the Commerce Clause and the Electoral college. The Constitution is basically a document to protect the wealth and property of rich, white, propertied males. It ensures that the rabble (the people) will not have the tools to govern in a manner that is of, by, and for the people. The US has never been a democracy by design.

Has the time come for a Constitutional Convention II ? Of, by, and for the people and the natural environment and ecosystems?


#9

Gray v Sanders established “one person one vote” as the rule in state level elections. It’s obvious the same rule should apply to Federal elections.


#10

SO, Thom Hartmannn drinks the kool-aid, too.


#11

You think Montana would give up its Senate seats? Look what trash washes up from these little states. (cough cough Delaware).


#12

" The Founders Created the Electoral College to Prevent a Foreign-Influenced Candidate From Winning—It Didn’t Stop Trump, so Let’s Scrap It"

Somebody better call Mueller. He’s been trying for two years to find some kind of collusion between Trump and Russia. Thom should have come out with his proof of two years ago. Would have saved a few $million.


#13

Hey Thom, You are full of ----, that is not why the electoral college was established. Stop the nonsense, the purpose was to prevent large populous states from overwhelming states with less population. Is this push to eliminate because the Hildebeast was beaten ? Trying to make certain that the next “anointed one” won’t lose ? Too bad , the deplorables flipped the script. Hopefully the next time an even bigger outsider will win.


#14

If we can do it. I’d hate to see the current bunch of elected officials make the attempt.


#15

Let us no forget that Hamilton was a slave owner.
Having persons of color acting in a play written by a person of color and not even touch on the issue of his slave ownership is like telling the story of the Civil War and not mentioning that both Southern and Northern cultures were based in and on slavery.


#16

An investigation should be made to determine if the Russians and or others were able to influence, corrupt, bribe, extort or in any way used illegal methods to sway or control members of the Electoral College to vote for trump or not vote for Clinton.
Did the GOP or trump election organizations share, provide or receive from foreign parties, information/data that was used to attempt to sway the election by having influence over or in Electoral College member voters.


#17

Montana ( other small states ) would not necessarily give up anything. It is not always a zero sum game, comparisons of small states’ powers in a coalition gov’t shouldn’t be underestimated in the legislating jockeying to actually pass budgets, appoint judges and pass legislation.
This is a divide and conquer assumption which gets past along as a truth. It isn’t, though.


#18

Well, in 2018 the Democrats won 8.9% more votes than the Republicans. In 2016 Trump won 46% of the vote. In the last 24 months Trump & Co. have lost elections by a combined 13+ million votes and you think that’s a good thing?
That’s just dumb, even if you don’t like Democrats.


#19

What in the hell are you talking about?

The electors in the College, all except for one faithless elector, voted for the candidate that won their state or their Congressional district (a few states have it set up by districts.)

Back before they voted (which was over a month after the election) the Democrats and all their media pundits were all encouraging them to not vote according to the vote but to be faithless because either Trump was crazy or stupid or a jerk or put in by the Russians or something. That’s the reason one elector, who was supposed to vote for Hillary, was faithless and voted for Colin Powell so Powell would a vote if it went to the House.


#20

That’s nonsense. A citizen of Montana has greater power than a citizen of California. It may not be what they want, but they have it. If they give up their Senate seats they will only have one member of Congress representing them instead of three.