Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Final tally shows Trump lost popular vote by 2.8 million but he BEAT Clinton by 3 million votes outside of California and New York


The Electoral College: Do We Still Need It?

By Lynn Scott

In the aftermath of the contentious 2000 Bush v. Gore Presidential election, many people called for an end to the Electoral College method of electing a President. Al Gore had barely won a majority of the popular vote, but George W. Bush had the edge in the Electoral College. Those supporting Al Gore claimed that the Electoral College voting system was “antiquated” and didn’t reflect the will of the people. They proposed that whoever won the national popular vote should always be declared the winner. They wanted “democracy.” 

However, the Founding Fathers took the time to create the Electoral College for some very important reasons: (1) they wanted to create a republic, not a democracy; (2) they believed that the Electoral College was necessary for a distribution of power called federalism; (3) they wanted protection for small states against large state dominance, and (4) it was a safeguard against those who may want to tamper with the process. Is the Electoral College as described in Article 2:1 and Amendment 12 of the Constitution still needed today? I say yes.

Our Founding Fathers were against pure democracy. They studied history, and they had fought against the oppressive King of England. They knew that a pure democracy would eventually allow a few scheming men to seize power and tyrannize the people. As a result of these fears, our Founders crafted a republic, and built our Constitutional government on federalism. Federalism is a system that distributes power vertically for two distinct purposes; “. . . the first purpose was to distribute power from the top down and the second purpose was to filter wisdom from the bottom up.”1

Power is distributed from the top down by giving the states authority to choose their electors. During the debates at the Constitutional Convention, two groups emerged: the Federalists, who wanted a stronger central government, and the Anti-Federalists, who feared that a strong central government would lead to tyranny. 

The Anti-Federalists were very protective of their state sovereignty, and to persuade the Anti-Federalists to ratify the newly written Constitution, the Federalists had to ensure that state authority would be protected. The two camps argued about many provisions of the Constitution, but when it came time to discuss the manner of electing the President, the two sides had little to argue about. As Alexander Hamilton stated in Federalist No. 68: “The mode of appointment of the Chief Magistrate of the United States is almost the only part of the system, of any consequence, which has escaped without severe censure. . . . I venture somewhat further, and hesitate not to affirm, that if the manner of it be not perfect, it is at least excellent.”2The Federalists agreed that “it was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided.”3 The concept of the Electoral College was to have “a small number of persons, selected by their fellow citizens from the general mass, [who] will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such a complicated investigation.”4 The Framers doubted that the common man would have enough information available to choose the best President, so they devised a plan where good men (voters) would choose better men (electors), who would then choose the best man (the President).5 This system would allow the people’s voice to be heard and would give each state the power to express their will in electing the President. 

The Framers devised a system that called for the people to select trusted men from their states to “form an intermediate body of electors”6 to elect a President. Each state would have electors equal to the number of Senators (2) plus the number of Congressional representatives. For example, California has fifty-five electors: fifty-three Congressional representatives, plus two for their Senators. Electors meet together in their own states to “vote for some fit person as president.”7 Since the electors are chosen in their state and meet in their state to vote for the President, even the small states have an important role in the process. The Framers noted that unless the small states were important to the electoral system, the Presidential candidates would tend to ignore the needs of the citizens in those small states and concern themselves only with the needs and opinions of the large states. This would tend to cause regional tensions and a sense that the President didn’t represent the entire union of states. The current system forces candidates to run separate campaigns in each state.

Having an effective and “energetic” government was very important to the Framers, but it was equally important to them to guard against tyranny. “Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue and corruption.”8 They worried that if the central government were in charge of choosing the President, they might choose someone only from within their own ranks, ignoring public opinion. They also noted the danger in having the electors all meet together in one central location. The public might try to influence their vote. 

The Framers also set up the electoral system so that the electors would come together to make this one decision and then disband. The Electoral College was not a standing committee that could be tampered with “chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils . . . . They have not made the appointment of the president to depend on any pre-existing bodies of men who might be tampered with beforehand to prostitute their votes.”9

We’ve established that the Framers had specific reasons for creating the Electoral College. Through the Constitution they wanted to establish a republican form of government whose power would be distributed from top to bottom while still protecting the smaller states from the larger states. They wanted a system that would discourage foreign influence from affecting the selection of a President. Is it fair that a President can be elected by a majority of the electoral vote without winning the popular vote? Yes, in the same way that a tennis player can win more points than his opponent but lose the match. One baseball team can score more runs than the opposing team and still lose the World Series. 

The Electoral College is not intended to reflect the national popular vote; it is intended to reflect the votes of the people in the individual states. The Framers created an electoral system that is often misunderstood but on closer examination is a brilliant safeguard for electing arguably the most powerful leader on earth. It is most definitely still needed today. 

Lynn Schott is a fourteen-year homeschool veteran who taught her own three children from elementary through high school graduation. She is passionate about helping young people understand and embrace Constitutional liberty and free market economic thought. Founders Academy specializes in teaching live, online Government and Economics classes and engaging and exciting enrichment classes for ages 5 and up. 

[1]. Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, (New York, Bantam Dell, 2003), p.413.
2. Ibid., p. 414.
3. Ibid., p. 414.
4. Andrews, The Guide, p. 145.
5. Ibid., p. 414.
6. Ibid., p. 416.
7. Hamilton, Federalist No. 68, p. 414.
8. Ibid., p. 414–415.

Russians hacked our election? More like the Department of Homeland Security.


  1. Wow, the right-wing paranoid conspiracy mill is really cranking them out! Could it be nervousness over their lack of a mandate? I guess if I'd only won 46% of 41% of the voting-age population I'd be nervous, too. That's less than one-fourth of the country!

    1. Hillary and the Democrats knew the rules about the Electoral College before the election. If she had campaigned more in the states she had to know would make a difference, she might have won. Instead, she all but ignored Pennsylvania and completely ignored Wisconsin.

    2. Actually, I was referring to the caption where the Republican blamed the hacking on the DHS, but since you mentioned it, I don't believe its "in the rules" to ignore the Russians' saboutaging our elections when you like the result. I KNOW its not "in the rules" for the REPUBLICAN FBI Director to release baseless, inflamatory statements against a Presidential candidate days before the election. Winning the electoral college without the popular vote is a fluke, an aberration that our Founding Fathers never envisioned. Skating into the Presidency by a mistake, or by trickery and deceit DOES NOT give you a mandate from the people. 59 million is only one-fourth of the voting public; not exactly a "resounding victory." Sure, Hillary made mistakes, but even with the deck stacked against her, SHE STILL GOT 3 MILLION MORE VOTES THAN TRUMP. And we're not gonna let you forget it!

    3. Philip Caron12/20/16, 4:19 PM

      That linked article admits the possibility of Russian interference in the election, and calls for reprisals against those who would say anything, even if true, that could "undermine" the Trump presidency.

  2. Headline: Trump wins again - The Left still confused.

  3. chuck gregory12/20/16, 11:41 AM

    The Athenians eventually found democracy too hard to sustain-- after all, it required logical thought, attention to details, mindfulness about justice, equity and comity-- so they settled for a series of men on a white horse to rule them. When each of those men proved too corrupt, too power-mad and too cruel, the Athenians would go back to democracy. I think this continued up to the time of the fall of Constantinople.

    I just finished reading David Dayen's book, "Chain of Title," about how three people, their homes in foreclosure, got so involved in understanding what had happened to them and how it had happened that they eventually discovered so much detail about the criminal fraud that they were in a position to supply the legal proof needed to break up the whole Wall Street enterprise-- if the state and federal governments had acted on what they were given.

    My conclusion after reading the book is, as one promising to stay the course, Hillary Clinton deserved to get beaten.

  4. The electoral college was designed with several purposes in mind. It was SUPPOSED to be a check on an uninformed, misguided public if they were so foolish as to elect, say, a dictator with too many ties to hostile foreign governments. It was also designed to create balance, so that one state did not matter more than another. Since it has failed MISERABLY on both counts, it is LONG PAST TIME TO ABOLISH IT! I find it interesting that the Trump supporters I spoke with before the election thought it should be abolished, out of fear that Hillary would win using it. It's rather obvious how they feel now!



    Anyone who believes that New York and California are "half the country" must be a flatlander.

    1. And damn proud of it. GO CUBS!!!!!!!

    2. Face it, Trumpies, your boy lost the popular vote, and only won the electoral college by a paltry 80,000 votes! You do NOT represent a majorty of Americans, NOT EVEN CLOSE! You can fool yourselves all you like; YOU'RE NOT FOOLING US! At the rate he's going, he'll be lucky to last a year before being impeached! So sad!

    3. Anon 1:15: Nobody needs to fool you, you are fooling yourself. The USA is a constitutional republic, not a democracy. Pure democracies constitute a tyranny by the majority - like the one that killed Socrates. Impeachments are instigated by the House, and tried by the Senate. Both of those bodies have Republican majorities, y'know?

    4. And most of these majorities were viciously attacked by Trump during the campaign (little Marco, non-hero McCain, etc.) Trump has VERY FEW friends in Congress, Mike Pence has A LOT of them; see how that works? At least you're willing to admit being corrupt, you speak of the "tyranny of the majority," then point out the Republican majority!

  7. Trump won the election....all you liberals are just upset because the grants are going to dry up and you'll have to earn things.

    1. Ha, I bet most of us worked harded than you! And when those grants "dry up" count on state and local taxes to skyrocket! EVERYWHERE! See, most of us already know how to live within limited means; been doing it all our lives, YOU'LL be the ones who suffer the most! AND, OH THE WHINING! "My taxes are too high, I can't afford my condo in Hawaii, WHAT'LL I DO? I'll have to drive last year's Mercedes, OH, NOOOOOOO!!!!" And if you're NOT that well off? You'll be stuck down here with the rest of us! You're not as clever as you think; you benefit from those services more than you know!


Please keep your comments polite and on-topic. No profanity

R E C E N T . . . C O M M E N T S

Video:   Stone Mysteries at Mt. Ephraim, Springfield, Vermont

Springfield Vermont News is an ongoing zero-income volunteer hyperlocal news gathering project. No paid advertising is accepted on this site but any Springfield business willing to place a link to this news blog on their site will be considered for a free ad here. Businesses, organizations and individuals may submit write-ups and photos about any positive happenings here in Springfield that they are associated with and would be deemed newsworthy. Email the Editor at ed44vt@gmail.com.

Privacy statement: This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do we store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies. You can turn off the use of cookies at anytime by changing your specific browser settings. We are not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without our permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on January 1, 2017. If you have any questions feel free to contact Springfield Vermont News directly here: ed44vt@gmail.com

Pageviews past week

Sign by Danasoft - For Backgrounds and Layouts