Not since the George W. Bush-Al Gore recount in the 2000 presidential election has the Electoral College come under such scathing attack. But those who would tear it down, principally because Hillary Clinton captured the popular vote on Nov. 8, should consider first why the Electoral College was established.
Rather than any vestige of “white privilege” or even the presumptive “sexism” of our nation’s Framers — as liberal critics insist — the Electoral College stands as a reflection of the Framers’ vision and the wisdom of federalism. The 270 electoral votes required to win the presidency ensure that all states, large and small, urban and rural, red and blue, have a say in the outcome.
The “winner-take-all” popular-vote alternative would mean a state’s Electoral College votes would go to the candidate who receives the most votes nationwide, not necessarily the candidate who won that state.
In contrast, the Electoral College compels those seeking the presidency to reach out to all citizens, not just those in the large urban centers in vote-rich states like California, New York and Texas.
“Without an Electoral College, candidates would have little incentive to appeal to people outside the most urbanized, coastal states,” writes Jarrett Stepman of The Daily Signal.
Indeed, the Electoral College embraces and reinforces this nation’s rich diversity. And lest the protesters of President-elect Donald Trump forget, we remain the United States of America.
(c)2016 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.)
Visit The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.) at www.triblive.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.