A lot of liberals have been whinging that Trump won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote, which has led to calls in some quarters for a constitutional amendment to elect the president by popular vote.
The truth is, as wise as the Electoral College is, the Founding Fathers didn’t go far enough.
There are 3,141 counties in the United States. According to some sources, Trump won 3,084 of them, which means Clinton won 57, or less than 2% of the total of all counties.
In all fairness, other sources, such as BrilliantMaps.com, put the number of counties Clinton won up at around 500 counties, and also go into a little detail about the variance in the number of counties between states, parish, borough, etc.
The map above shows the county level and vote share results of the 2016 US Presidential Election. The Guardian offers a great map if you want to look at the county results on a state by state basis. You can count them yourself.
Either way, the idea that a presidential candidate could come close to winning an election with such a meager portion of the country (whether 2% or 15%) is exactly why the founding fathers put the Electoral College in place. It has become shockingly clear that too many states are controlled by small urban areas.
Just as the Founding Fathers established the Electoral College in the Constitution as a compromise between election of the president by a vote in Congress and election of the president by a popular vote, we need a constitutional amendment so that state delegates are selected by county, rather than by a statewide popular vote.
We are for good reason a republic, and not a democracy.
Alexander Hamilton said it quite clearly, “We are a Republican Government. Real liberty is never found in despotism or in the extremes of Democracy.”
To put this issue in perspective, Hillary Clinton won just eight of Oregon’s 36 counties but still pulled out an overall victory thanks to urban voters. In an even larger testament to the power of the most populous U.S. cities, Clinton won Nevada by securing victory in just two of the state’s 16 counties. Trump also won the great majority of New York counties and half of California, without ever really campaigning there. (This was for practical reasons, since the election is won or lost in the Electoral College. These ponderously blue states were skipped in favor of battleground and Rust Belt states.)
Clinton’s supporters have been loudly asserting that she won the popular vote. If she had won the presidency, she would have won with 15% or fewer of the counties in the US. This would be an absurdly low number — even worse than Obama’s 22% of the counties in 2012.
No one thinks Las Vegas should have dictatorial control over Nevada anymore than Mexico City should have dictatorial control over Mexico. Nor does anyone beyond the most hardened liberals think that the president of the US should be decided by New York, LA and Chicago.
To quote Chief Justice John Marshall, “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”
Let us cast aside any notions of direct democracy based on popular vote and reinforce our republican values. Yes, a constitutional amendment, but one so that state delegates in the Electoral College are selected by county, rather than by a statewide popular vote.
And in the interest of driving New York City and Chicago liberals completely to distraction, I should mention that of course, by the same token, we should also consider an amendment to have United States senators also selected by county delegates rather than statewide popular vote…
…........................................................................................- James Connor is the Editor-at-Large for the Connor Post.
Follow James Connor on Twitter: Follow @connorpost or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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