Today is the day that the Electoral College “votes” for our next President. I’ve long said the Electoral College is stupid. I had not previously realized, however, that the electors could actually choose to vote for somebody other than the individual that “won” the state. I only began reading about this as a potential hail-mary to keep Trump from getting elected. And why is it possible for an elector to do that? Apparently, the people who created the Electoral College had the sense that from time to time, the voting populace could be duped by a charlatan and that it would be smart to add a layer of protection between said populace and the Presidency. (Also, there’s likely a slavery aspect to the Electoral College too.)
To review, we’ve had a nonsensical way of choosing a President for over 200 years and for all of that time, we have not exercised this protection option. The people who are electors don’t seem to have had cause to stray from the voting populace in the past. But if ever there was a time when the voting populace needs to be protected from itself, now is the time. In the weeks since Trump was elected we’ve seen him back down from promises he made during the campaign all but stating for the record that much of what he said during the election was merely to get elected. And we’ve learned that Russia’s hacking extended to both political parties but only information that would be damaging to Clinton was leaked for the express purpose of putting a thumb on the scale for Trump. All this has been happening while the vote tally for Clinton continues to increase her “win” over Trump.
Just today at the bank, I overheard a customer saying to a bank teller who was reluctantly engaging in conversation that he was a Trump supporter and even owned “a few Make America Great Again hats” but is now starting to question Trump. He seemed surprised. I’m sure this is a typical sentiment among Trump voters. It seems to me that there was an instant in time when Trump could have won the electoral votes and that instant was voting day.
Assuming that the Electoral College does not change the expected outcome, there’s no question any more that the Electoral College is dumb and needs to go. The only reason it wouldn’t is because for it to disappear, the people who benefited from it would need to advocate for it to be destroyed. One thing we know about elected politicians is that they like power and anything that would reduce that power is a nonstarter.
So, Electoral College, prove your worth. Show that you are not an irrelevant extra layer of bureaucracy. This is your chance. Miss your chance and the world will know the pointlessness to your existence and that you only serve the politicians that you elect, not the nation and it’s people.