The Current Crisis and the Electoral College

Yesterday, published in The Jewish Pluralist was my response to an article posted there by Peter Eisenstadt: The Current Crisis and the Electoral College.

My Response to The Current Crisis and the Electoral College available with this link, and below, takes issue with Mr. Eisenstadt’s fine article on mainly two essential points:

  • I clarify that the Electoral College is the intention of the Framers.
  • I take issue with Mr.Eisenstadt over his evaluation of the possible consequences of the Electoral College selecting whomever they might choose.

My text, showing italics and bolds, and very slightly edited except for one silly typo in the last paragraph, is as follows:


Response to The Current Crisis and the Electoral College

In The Current Crisis and the Electoral College, The Jewish Pluralist, December 16, 2016, the author, Peter Eisenstadt asks:

“What would be worse? Allowing Trump to become president, and then watching him violate the rules, principles, and foundations of America’s democracy, or trying, democratically if possible, but extra-democratically [italics mine] if necessary, to prevent him from becoming president?”

His answer, yes:

“But in the end, if you ask me, am I willing to do anything, including putting American democracy in peril now [my bold], to prevent a potentially greater peril to American democracy later, I reluctantly must conclude, yes.”

I don’t know what he means by “extra-democratically” because if the College was the Framers intended way of selecting a President, abiding by its choice could not logically be “extra-democratic.”

At first, his stance on the the Electoral College was, for me, unclear.

He says, “The electors should not select Trump as the next president…People have tolerated the electoral college … since the winner of the popular vote has generally won the electoral vote… It is time for this pernicious anomaly to be eliminated, and there’s no time like the present.”

What is the anomaly? Is he advocating for reconciling the difference by endorsing the popular vote, abolishing the College, or, as the Framers intended, isolating the popular vote from the selection of the President?

What has become clear to me after several readings is that he indeed favors the College:

“And talk of something further, going beyond the electoral college to ensure [a] the winner [by] of the popular vote[,] becomes[ing] the next president[,] is just crazy talk.” YES!

In the Federalist #68, an essential reason given for the Electoral College, was to make sure that the selection [not sic] of a President

“…should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations [bold mine].”

I think that makes clear that the Framers wanted to isolate the selection of the President from a popular vote.

When considering our present plight, one could think that the Framers had a Crystal Ball!

Federalist #68: HAMILTON: To the People of the State of New York:

“The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity [bold mine], may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State.”

“Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils [bold mine].” [Looks to me like an impeachable offense.]

The Mode of Electing the President
From the New York Packet.
Friday, March 14, 1788

Hard to imagine that they didn’t really have a Crystal Ball!

Therefore, if the Electoral College is the Constitutional means to save us, there is no “extra-democratic” solution presented in Mr. Eisenstadt’s fine article. The Electoral College is the Democratic solution intended by the Framers!

(The unconscionable disingenuous use of the “Intent of the Framers” is another subject.)

Furthermore, I conclude that for the College to now choose another President would NOT be “… putting American democracy in peril now, to prevent a potentially greater peril to American democracy later…”

On the contrary, it would be living up to our Democratic Principles. If, in trying to live up to our Democratic Principles, we failed, it would not be the failure of Democratic Principles, but of the strength of out society to live by those principles.

And if we are too weak now, imagine how impotent we will be after this man takes office, destroys our society, and makes it impossible to redeem!

About Ghoh

My name is Joe, but username Joe was already taken. I am interested in politics, religion and ideas that are off the beaten path, whatever the subject.
Video | This entry was posted in Donald Trump, Election 2016, Political Philosophy, Politics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Current Crisis and the Electoral College

  1. Reblogged this on mmcdonald77 and commented:
    Ghoh has a very nice discussion going here on the College:

    Interfering in an election is a federal crime, and I am waiting for this tyrant to be arrested according to law. Bribery, or the “conflicts of interest,” is also grounds for impeachment failing indictment. The trouble is that due to intimidation, etc, the law increasingly does not apply to this man, and his 37% of the “republican” party treats truth, news and words as though they were a sales pitch, to be spoken and proliferated according to the interest of the salesman.


  2. In using the word “antidemocratic,” your writer makes the freshman error of assuming that our constitution establishes a pure democracy, making the electoral college impossible to understand. The sophomore view sees how every point of the Bill of Rights is anti-democratic, but necessary to preserve government “of the people, by the people and for the people.” It does not matter if a majority vote to end free speech: such laws are still unconstitutional, etc. “We the people…, the opening words of the constitution, appeals to a permanent choice of the people that supersedes any temporary majority, and is amended only by super-majority. Hillary was just on the radio yesterday trying to explain the protection of the rights of every sort of minority (Catholics, Mormons, smokers, blacks, whites, etc) which is explained in Federalist 10. The constitution itself was voted on by special delegates, much similar to the electoral college. But in our case, the problem is not the electoral college, but election fraud. The fraud would then be aimed at the popular vote. It is like a ballgame thrown in the ninth by a bribed ump o pitcher, so they want to have only eight innings to fix it, rather than arrest the pitcher and the mobster who paid or intimidated him. The fraud would then only be aimed at the first eight innings.


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