In case you haven't heard us shouting this from the mountain tops on a regular basis, Donald Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by 2,864,974 votes. That's a solid win in everyone's book. But thanks to the antiquated electoral college, we have a serial-lying huckster occupying the highest office in the land—and while there's been talk of getting rid of the electoral college for years, the movement may be finally picking up traction.
On Monday, Democratic nominee Elizabeth Warren used her bully pulpit to call for the end of the electoral college.
But she's not the first to bring up the idea in recent months. Former Attorney General Eric Holder has also been talking about it...
Time to make Electoral College a vestige of the past. It’s undemocratic, forces candidates to ignore majority of the voters and campaign in a small number of states. The presidency is our one national office and should be decided - directly - by the voters https://t.co/OyRbXOiBpz
— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) February 26, 2019
And on Sunday, Colorado joined 11 other states and the District of Columbia to approve the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, in which members pledge to give their electoral votes to whoever wins the national popular vote. Since it's not in the Republicans' best interest to eradicate the electoral vote, this is our best chance of getting around a GOP controlled Congress. However, the compact will only take effect when it has at least 270 electoral votes—enough to win the presidency—and currently, thanks to Colorado, it's well on its way with 181.
The time is ripe for such a switch, as an overwhelming majority of Americans are unhappy with the electoral college, which has overturned the popular vote five times in our history (most recently Hillary Clinton and Al Gore).
Detractors—most of whom are Republicans who know that an electoral college favors their candidates and way of life—are sounding off against the move.
#ElectoralCollege was work of genius by founders. It requires candidates for President to earn votes from various parts of country. And it makes sure interests of less populated areas aren’t ignored at the expense of densely populated areas.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 19, 2019
One of the major talking points of these detractors is the so-called "wisdom of our forefathers" who bravely took a stand against the "vulgar popular vote" (never mind that the "vulgar electoral vote" gave us our current president).
No, the electoral college exists to counteract the will of a vulgar popular vote, which the Founders, who read their Greek history, knew was the cause of the destruction of Athens. Same with the Senate. Pure democracy is an evil, not a virtue. https://t.co/LMf9Nax0zg
— Esoteric Jeff (@EsotericCD) March 19, 2019
THIS IS BLATANT BULLSHIT. For a more accurate and historically factual reading of how the electoral college came to be, check out this very interesting op-ed from February by the great Jamelle Bouie, who documents the very messy and, even then, controversial compromises our forefathers made to bring the electoral college to life.
Bouie sums up his feelings on the electoral college thusly:
The Electoral College routinely threatens or produces perverse outcomes, where the will of the voters is thwarted by an ill-considered 18th-century electoral device. It has no place in a democracy that strives for a standard of “one person, one vote.”
And if you need one more reason to eradicate the electoral college, well... ARIANA GRANDE DOESN'T LIKE IT, EITHER.