Why the Founding Fathers Created the Electoral College
Don't do away with the electoral college. Use it the way it was intended to be used...
UPDATE OF THIS POST
MAY 5, 2017
I stand by the content of this post written before the Electoral College cast their votes. Donald Trump has turned out to be the demagogue I warned about, but not only that, he has blithely ignored the emoluments clause, and the Republican controlled House and Senate have turned a blind eye toward this. He has proven to be in this thing for himself and his billionaire appointees, carrying through on his "promises" to the common man that put him into office in the rust-belt states. It turns out that carrying through on his promises are only given lip service. Instead of universal healthcare and cheap premiums, the healthcare bill just passed by the House is really only for the rich. The healthcare bill creates the "death panels" Sarah Palin warned against in Obama's ACA. While there are no overt "death panels" mentioned of course, what it means is that the poor will have no coverage; those with pre-existing conditions might as well die, because their premiums will be too costly to afford. But most important, Trump's demagoguery involves saying one thing and doing another, stomping on the least able to fight back, while getting into league with other dictators and demagogues around the world. Who does Trump admire more than Putin? Duterte of the Philippines, Erdogan of Turkey, and he has even said he wants to meet with Kim Jong Un of North Korea. He also loves LePen of France. Demagogues all.
The founding fathers were afraid of direct election to the Presidency. They feared a tyrant could manipulate public opinion and come to power. The following is a quote from Hamilton in the Federalist Papers why they created the electoral college. The emphasis is mine (underlined portions):
- It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass [i.e., the popular vote] will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations. It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. But the precautions which have been so happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual security against this mischief.