Electoral College has its place

Our American government never was intended to be a democracy. It is a republic, for the excellent reason that the nation’s founders understood the danger in pure democracy.

Pure democracy amounts to majority rule every time, regardless of how oppressive that may be to those in the minority.

Think of it this way: Not so long ago in the South, a type of pure democracy was responsible for state laws that were blatantly and sometimes viciously unfair to black Americans.

But the idea of government by democracy has become newly popular among many people, because of the Nov. 8 election.

In it, Democrat Hillary Clinton finished with about a million more votes than Republican Donald Trump. Yet Trump will be our next president because he won the Electoral College vote handily.

That is wrong, some Clinton supporters say. It is proof the Electoral College is a bad idea for Americans.

It is no such thing. It is evidence the founders understood a safeguard was needed against potential control of the nation by a few populous states.

Consider that nine states have enough population that, with a little help from big cities in a few other states, they can control the popular vote. They are California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. But together, they have only 232 Electoral College votes, far short of the 270 needed to win the presidency.

As so often is the case with guarantees of liberty written into the Constitution, the founders were absolutely right on the Electoral College. In essence, it safeguards those of us in about 40 states from being dominated by the other 10.


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