As we begin to step into the new year, which includes an always important presidential election, more and more talk about the Electoral College echoes through the halls of our government. You like how I through ‘echo’ into it there? Anyway, I think it’s important to look into why we have it, its relevance, and why some are attacking its existence.
When our Founding Fathers were chiseling out a Nation, one of the points of contention was regarding how the President would be elected and how the States would be properly represented through this process. It's important to point out right here that we are the United States of America. Each of the States are sovereign; united into a single, powerful American Nation. The process of electing the President followed the same fight that existed when determining the makeup of Congress. The large population states wanted straight population counts and the smaller population states wanted an equal count. However, different from the Congress was the fact that this was the way to determine who the chief executive was going to be for the newly formed country. It is widely attributed to James Wilson of Pennsylvania for coming up with the idea of the Electoral College. Not only does it seem to address the issue of the population size and equality of States, but it also addresses the idea that each State is sovereign and therefore contributes independently from the other States. It was commonly suggested that each state come up with its own way of determining the distribution of its Electoral College Ballots, but aside from a very few instances, the vast majority chose 'All-or-Nothing' for their ballots, meaning whoever wins the majority in the State gets all the State's ballots.
Within the last few decades there have been a lot of complaints of how the Presidential election is conducted. Many - almost all from large population States - want a simple General Election to determine the outcome. However, in my humble opinion - remember, I'm always right, therefore closed minded (I can afford to be because I'm right) - this shows a great lack of understanding of States' sovereignty, and therefore States' Rights. Now, I'm being nice here, because I'm not so sure it's due to a gross lack of understanding, but rather a desire to tamper with the elections, since the large population States are large primarily because of large urban populations, which carries with it the understanding that the majority party in these large urban areas are generally all the same. There would be validity to these claims if the populations became large in these urban areas due to involuntary, forced migration. That is not the case. Any moves to large urban areas have been voluntary, based on perceived economic opportunity.
The 10th Amendment to the Constitution says, " Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled." This very intentioned and prominent statement by the Founding Fathers into the Bill of Rights shows the very specific declaration that the States are sovereign. Changing any law to make it easier for the Nation as a whole to divorce the idea that the States are sovereign from the Constitution, would in my military mind rise to the level of needing to defend the Constitution against domestic enemies - something I and more than 20,000,000 fellow veterans swore to defend the Constitution from.
Please, let's not go down this path. Very little can come from it that doesn't end in potential conflict. There are already other areas of our great Nation where the kindling is set and only a spark will set it off, right Commonwealth of Virginia ? Contact your Representatives and Senators and let them know that continuing to look down this path is inherently dangerous, and there are so many other things in desperate need of attention. Contact your local school district and either demand they begin to ensure that we explain why the Electoral College is needed, or run for the school board to ensure that the curriculum contains this very needed information for our children. Otherwise, they will be so unprepared for this argument when they take our Nation's reins that they may make the foolish decisions that will most definitely light any fuse.