LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Electoral College founded on elitism

Ever since the election, I have seen and heard various rationales for the Electoral College system of selecting our president, including:

a) protecting the small states against the big states;

b) protecting rural areas vs. urban areas;

c) keeping the states in control, not the federal government.

One of our local pundits even suggested land mass as a criterion (as in Kent and Sussex), rather than allowing those silly humans to cast the deciding votes. [“The Electoral College is just fine, thank you,” Letter to the Editor, Nov. 29]

Ironically, this rationale takes us back to the founding, when only white men with property could vote, and we needn’t deal with other men, blacks or women in the mix. I’m surprised that someone hasn’t justified the Electoral College as the basis for Delaware having no sales tax.

While there may be some few grains of truth in the above, there is nothing in the Constitution to justify these arguments except the property rationale, which long ago went the way of slavery, wealth and gender arguments.

The real basis of the Electoral College was elitism, the fear that the masses would make a bad choice, and electors should be allowed to offset this. This rationale, even if one gives it credence, has long since disappeared with the rise of political parties and winner-take-all states, and I certainly hope that we have progressed over 1796, in terms of the franchise, anyway.

So, let’s get on with it and stop pretending that California has no right to determine an election simply because it has more voters. That makes sense? And, by the way, rural and urban voters are about the same number. The majority are suburban.

I wouldn’t mind seeing a presidential candidate in Delaware when my popular vote counts, which doesn’t happen now because we are not a “battleground,” or meaningful Electoral College, state.

Let’s do it like we do it for every other office that we vote for (governor, senator, congressperson, General Assembly person, mayor). The elitists’ time of white, wealthy men with slaves has passed, or should have.

Now, if we can just do something about MONEY in elections.

Dohn Harshbarger

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