Our Founding Fathers’ vision for this country in the late 1700s reappeared again after last week’s elections. Although Hillary Clinton captured the popular vote, Donald Trump won the presidency based on the votes awarded by the Electoral College. Clinton did not capture a majority as some profess. A majority of votes would constitute 50 percent plus one; instead, she won a plurality by capturing more votes but not a majority.
Bill Clinton, for example, did not win a majority of votes in 1992 or 1996; he won a plurality in the 40-percent range.
It is discouraging to watch educated people and pundits on national television babbling about how unjust Trump’s win was. Evidently, these people either slept through their government classes or want to eliminate the Electoral College.
First and foremost, the United States is a republic, not a democracy. A republic is a state in which the people and their elected representatives hold supreme power, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch. According to Webster, therefore, a democracy is a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.
The Founding Fathers, therefore, established a federalist form of government in which power is divided between the federal government in Washington D.C. and the states. Neither the federal government nor states is subservient to the other.
Although the Founding Fathers appeased representatives from the slave states to set up a system like this, they also feared a majority vote could restore a monarch or set up a dictatorship. Hence, we see 2016 as a repeat of 2000 in which George W. Bush won the Electoral College votes, while Al Gore won the plurality. Not the majority.
Because of this election, we are hearing again from occupants of the empty vessel, a proverb that means “those with the least talent and knowledge usually speak the most, speak the loudest, and create the most fuss.”
There’s another call to eliminate the Electoral College. We disagree strongly. Why eliminate a safeguard from mob rule or decisions that would disenfranchise about 35 states? We don’t think Nevadans or their neighbors in Arizona, Idaho and Utah would want to yield to the majority. The Electoral College gives residents and voters in smaller states a bigger, more pronounced voice during presidential elections. We can’t imagine anyone in this state would want to relinquish the Electoral College to allow the people of eight to nine large populations states dictate the popular vote.
We don’t advocate its elimination, now or in the future.
This renewed talk about the Electoral College is nothing more than sour grapes and nonsense … more politely, a bunch of bullcrap.
LVN Editorials, which represent the viewpoint of this newspaper, appear on Wednesday.