I’ve been meaning to write something on this topic for months — and I would have preferred to do so before the election. But better late than never.
I am a fairly flexible and open-minded person, always eager to learn things I don’t know and talk to people who have different life experiences for me. I am certainly stubborn, but I’ve always prided myself of being a voracious learner.
That being said, there are two things that I’m an Absolutist about. The most important — sticking to the Constitutional principles, especially the First Amendment. I have rarely found an issue of speech come up in my life where I didn’t stick to being a First Amendment Absolutist. I may hate the what the person is saying, I do believe that free speech has consequences and one should accept those — but I RARELY will stand behind an effort to chill speech in advance.
The second Absolutist issue for me is the quadrennially-maligned Electoral College. Yeah, I’m a geek about it. In my view, the problem isn’t the Electoral College system itself — but the ignorance about it (and our system of government as a whole) by the American populace at large.
It PAINS me that our system of government and the philosophy behind America’s creaton is barely taught, and openly mocked, by our public schools and universities. We have a dumbed down electorate that doesn’t understand WHY the process is what it is.
I think there might be a way to restructure the EC to make it more workable — each Presidential candidate wins one Electoral Vote per Congressional District, then the Two “Senators” Votes if they win the State’s Popular Vote. But aside from some reform, the College works!!
I could go on and on for days about why the Electoral College is important, relevant and critical to our Federalist system of government. Luckily for all of you, I was rescued by a more eloquent defense of the Electoral College by Richard Posner at Slate.com.
Here is Posner’s reason #2:
2) Everyone’s President
The Electoral College requires a presidential candidate to have transregional appeal. No region (South, Northeast, etc.) has enough electoral votes to elect a president. So a solid regional favorite, such as Romney was in the South, has no incentive to campaign heavily in those states, for he gains no electoral votes by increasing his plurality in states that he knows he will win. This is a desirable result because a candidate with only regional appeal is unlikely to be a successful president. The residents of the other regions are likely to feel disfranchised—to feel that their votes do not count, that the new president will have no regard for their interests, that he really isn’t their president.
Please read the whole thing. And forward it to friends and family who voted but don’t know anything more about our system of government than Sandra Fluke does. Thank you.