LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Why is Electoral College so hard to understand?

As I’ve stated previously, I simply adore the English language. [“All men (and women) are truly created equal,” Opinion page, Dec. 12] I understand that it could be confusing if you don’t appreciate its nuances; however, the descriptive qualities far outweigh that argument. Let’s look at the word “informed.”

One who is informed makes comments that are irrefutable when based on facts. The converses of that are two words: “misinformed” and “uninformed.” The implications are that, one, a misinformed person was given the incorrect information, or two, the [uninformed] person never was exposed to the correct information.

In her most recent column [“Electoral College ‘creates more problems than it addresses,’” Opinion page, Dec. 27], Ms. Carol Hotte leaves me puzzled as to which of the latter she is. After weeks of listening to arguments from members of both parties seeking to abolish the Electoral College, I suppose I’ll just have to explain the process in more simple terms.

Many people think that the Electoral College is akin to the Baseball Writers Association in picking members to its Hall of Fame. Nothing is further from the truth.

The Electoral College is said to consist of 538 voting members, but in reality, contains more than 1,000 potential voting members. Each year, each political party holds a convention in each and every state. That party’s duty is to choose members who meet the U.S. constitutional requirements and whom the party wants to represent them on the college.

To simplify it: that means that here in Delaware, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party (and any other party having a viable candidate for the presidency) chooses three individuals to represent them and the voters within that party. Delaware has, at least, six possible Electoral College nominees (but could conceivably have any number divisible by three based on the constitutional requirement that a state have no more members than it has congressional seats – two senators, one representative.)

On Election Day for the presidency, voters go to the polls to select which group of Electoral College members will vote in their stead. Notwithstanding the closeness of the contest, whichever candidate receives the most votes, that party’s Electoral College member has the responsibility to represent his or her party and vote for that particular candidate.

In our case, Hillary Clinton won by a plural majority. The three Democratic selectees then became the Electoral College members representing Delaware. The Republican selectees just went home (along with any of the other parties’ selectees contending for the office.)

The omniscience of our Founding Fathers couldn’t be shown better than it was in this past election. It also provided a firestorm for both the poor losers and the anti-Constitutionalists. In their foresight, they [the founders] envisioned how one state or a group of states could decide and impose their will on all the other states. In this case, Hillary Clinton (as we continue to be bombarded with) won the popular vote by over 2 million votes. However, that’s a bit out of context, as she won California by 4 million and New York by nearly 3 million. Obviously, there was much concern in other states, as she lost over 5 million votes in the final tally.

Then came the finger-pointing and excuses to justify losing the presidency. Outward entreaties for members to go against their party were made and accusations of foreign governments releasing truthful information cropped up. The easiest target, as has been the constant game plan of liberals, was to attack the Constitution and eliminate the Electoral College.

The saddest result was that the entreaties were followed by a handful of electors. The ironic thing is that Clinton actually lost votes in the process her party had advocated.

Again I will say: we are not a democracy. Democracies fail because popular votes can and do load the haves against the have-nots. We are a republic which elects representatives to vote in our stead. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a conservative in Delaware who supports our all-Democratic Party representation in Congress, but we understand they were elected by the popular vote here in Delaware and, mathematically, most of New Castle County.

For the next four years, this country will be represented by Donald Trump and a Republican majority in both houses because the system set up for our republic worked against the haves and allowed the have-nots to show their strength. The Constitution has stood the test of 240 years, and trying to change it under the guise of it being a “living document” is just more uninformed commentary.

George Roof
Magnolia

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