If you had asked most Hollywood liberal elites several months ago what the Electoral College was they would have asked you if it had a good theatre program. Now, many singers, actors, and artists are writing that the EC is a tool of white supremacists and misogynistic sexists. It’s as if the Electoral College was somehow just created back in the summer to stick it to Secretary Clinton. In reality, the Electoral College has been the method of electing American presidents since the founding of our Republic, and up until recently it was the reason liberal commentators were oh-so-sure Hillary Clinton would be president.
The Electoral College was first conceived of in the mind of Alexander Hamilton (but don’t tell the cast of Hamilton), as a check on mob rule in the election of a tyrant as commander-in-chief. Hamilton and the Founding Fathers rightly recognized that, absent the Electoral College system, small states and rural communities would be absolutely ignored in a presidential election. If the presidency were awarded only on the basis of the popular vote, Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina would never be visited by a presidential contender, much less be the center of the political world every four years. The Electoral College places a premium on the sovereignty of the states, and provides a critical check on the power of the Federal government.
The Founders were students of human history, and they were wise to take heed of the mistakes of the past. One lesson imprinted indelibly on their imagination was the collapse of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. Enterprising and ambitious Roman politicians like the Gracchus brothers learned that in order to gain and keep power, they needed urban support which they could purchase through government spending projects in large metro areas. In so doing, they endeared themselves to the throngs of Romans in urban coastal cities, and largely ignored Rome’s “flyover country.” Eventually, this led to concentrated power in the capital and the collapse of the republican system in Rome.
Our Founders sought to prevent a similar fate in America, in part by establishing the Electoral College. Without such a system of state-by-state elections, national elections would involve only major population centers and the rest of America would largely be ignored. Additionally, a national popular vote would remove the role of the states and establish more of a true national government that views states as subservient, as opposed to a federal system of shared power between the states and the central government. In short, the Electoral College is a great guardian of our liberties and the very notion of America as a republic.
While liberal elites melt-down in their ivory towers in New York and California, Americans in “fly-over” country can take comfort in the fact that our votes still matter too. Maybe the left just needs to rewatch Hamilton, and then read something about the play’s namesake to discover that he, too, would support the Electoral College that he helped create.