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Two years ago, I put up the following cautionary entry on this blog. The threat still looms over us all. Also, check out http://www.nationalpopularvote.com.
Start by Fixing the Electoral College
September 22, 2010
One day again (see the election of 2000), the Electoral College will put in a President who did not win the national popular vote. This archaic instrument is not fundamental to our democracy, in fact it is anti-democratic. It was the product of a 18th century political compromise by the founding fathers. It is not needed anymore. It doesn’t do what it was meant to do. It could destabilize the nation at a time when grassroots voters demand to be heard.
What is the history? What is the risk? What are the arguments, pro and con? What can we done to change it, before it’s too late?
To join the discussion and find some answers, read my essay, “One Collage Too Man.” Go to chilit.org, click on “Roll of Members” found on the left column, click on “E”, then go to “Charles Ebeling” and click on the essay title to read or copy it.
Make up your mind, then do something! Isn’t it time for a National Popular Vote? Thanks.
Here are titles of the 8 essays I’ve written and presented to date before the Chicago Literary Club, since joining in 2005. I will present a new essay related to the use of colors in the world of power and politics on this Election Eve, which I will then also post here. Those of you concerned about the risks of the Electoral College in this year’s elections might take a look at my essay, One Collage Too Many, cited below, for insights and ideas. All my essays are copyrighted.You can pull up the full text of each by searching for the title at the website of the club at http://www.chilit.org
French Fried – From Monticello to the Moon, October 31, 2005
Masai Mara Hood Ornament, March 12, 2007
Samuel Johnson and His ‘Clubbable’ Friends, January 21, 2008
One Collage Too Many, November 3, 2008
Breakfast with Mr. McDonald, October 26, 2009
Acceleration, November 8, 2010
All That Glitters…, November 21, 2011
Bozzy’s Last Lap, James Boswell, The Great Biographer – 1789-1795, April 23, 2012
That’s what President Obama said moments ago on global television, but not to make too fine a point, that’s not how he himself was elected President of the U.S. In the last election, my vote in Chicago counted for less than 20% of the value of a vote cast for President in Alaska or Wyoming! Does that sound democratic? I’m not happy about it, as a Chicagoan, and if voters in Alaska (except for Palin) or Wyoming were honest about it, they’d say it wasn’t fair — not democratic.
Why is this so? Because although we elect our mayors, governors, U.S. representatives and senators, etc. through a popular voting system, when it comes to the Presidency, we use an obsolete system that was an 18th century political compromise between true democracy and states rights, in which Presidents were and are indirectly elected by a system that doesn’t accurately reflect the votes of the national population. It’s called the Electoral College, and it flunks the course in true democracy and ought to be changed, before the day our own citizens take to the streets because the wrong President takes office, or at least the one who lost the national election. Yes, I said “another,” because it has happened 4 times already, most recently in 2000, when Bush II received hundreds of thousands fewer votes than the other candidate, but was put into office by the ridiculous Electoral College.
Don’t believe me? Don’t want to see it potentially happen again, either way politically, in 2012 or thereafter, see my other posts or go to http://www.natinalpopularvote.com and get the facts. Why do we talk about “red and blue states?” See my essay, “One Collage Too Many,” under “Roll of Members” on http://www.chilit.org and learn the non-democratic collage of red and blue states should, if honest, be one democratic carpet of purple. Don’t like purple? Ok, call it a green carpet, just so it reflects a democracy in action. Only then will our own U.S. government truly be “grounded in democracy.”
Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board has revisited the discussion about the dangerous, outmoded Electoral College system of selecting, not electing, our U.S. Presidents. The electoral College is irrational, but like some hostages, many in the American populace have Stockholm Syndrome, and have developed a loyalty to a system that defies democracy.
The National Popular Vote initiative (www.nationalpopularvote.com) is one way to reform the system and assure that a true voting plurality elects our President. A Constitutional Amendment is another way to remedy the situation, but the chances of our Congress getting together on this are slim.
If you care about democracy, and want to avoid having people riot in the streets some day over an illicit election express yourself to your friends, media and your representatives in Congress. Here’s Steve’s editorial: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-01-09/news/ct-oped-0109-chapman-20110109_1_electoral-college-popular-vote-college-football