November 19, 2019

The Case Against the Popular Vote

“Two hundred years ago, the Founding Fathers made a mistake. They decided that the president of the United States should be elected by a popular vote held among the entire country’s citizens. The results of this flawed system speak for themselves. Under the popular vote, Americans have endured two centuries of elections where the presidential candidate who receives the most votes is also the winner.

This is simply too much democracy. Time and time again, the American people have shown that they can’t be trusted to choose the leader of the free world with such a simplistic electoral method. Then again, Americans would most likely overthrow a system in which they never got to choose their leaders. The only viable alternative is one where the majority only gets to choose its leaders some of the time. In other words, we need an electoral college.

Here’s how it would work: Each state would get a certain number of electors equal to their seats in the House plus their seats in the Senate. That would give each state a minimum of three electoral votes and roughly 535 votes altogether. The District of Columbia would also somehow have three electors, bringing the total to 538 electoral votes. These electors would then gather in Washington one month before inauguration day to vote for the president and vice president. Whoever receives a simple majority of 270 votes would win. This wouldn’t be quite as radical as it sounds. Similar mechanisms exist in other thriving democracies, like the Vatican and the Holy Roman Empire.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Picks

"The top brass of China’s Communist Party (CCP) – its 370-strong Central Committee – recently emerged from the Fourth Plenum of the 2017 Party Congress. Such meetings, usually one a year, are key forums for policy discussion. At the previous..."

"Mayor Pete is having his moment — for the second time in the campaign. Surging to the head of the pack in a recent Iowa poll, and edging out Vice President Joe Biden in last quarter's money race, Buttigieg is staking his claim to being the..."

"careful reading of Walden; or, Life in the Woods makes it clear that Thoreau never intended his cabin to be a solitary hermitage, although fans and detractors alike often misunderstand this. It was more an author’s workshop than a fortress of..."

"In the fall of 2015, a rash of posters appeared around Copenhagen. One, in pink letters laid over an image of chicken eggs, asked, “Have you counted your eggs today?” A second — a blue-tinted close-up of human sperm — inquired, “Do they swim too..."

"While there’s plenty of disagreement about how the money should be used, almost everyone involved in public-policy debates agrees that it would be good if the federal government could collect more revenue without raising tax rates or reducing..."

"On a brisk November night, a solitary man wandered around the plaza outside the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts on the edge of downtown. He had just flown alone from New York to see his favorite comic, Louis C.K., and he had an extra..."

"Judaism has been described as many things: a culture, a people, a religion, a nationality, and more (including, according to answers given to the 2013 Pew survey of American Jews, a culinary disposition for bagels and smoked salmon or the..."

"US sex education is decades behind other countries. Right now, it isn’t even mandatory in every state. Add to that the awkwardness people feel about sex and bodies in general, top it with the idea of having to have these discussions in public..."