Letter to the Editor By "Juan Cortez"

Juan Cortez
Electoral College
ELECTORAL COLLEGE Some on the left side of the political spectrum are advocating elimination of the Electoral College, and instituting popular vote for the election of the president. This flies in the face of the founding principles of this nation and the compromise agreements reached largely between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson argued in favor of states rights, as well as human rights, representing the rural agrarian Southern states. Hamilton, represented the interests primarily of New York, as the financial center of the country. Looking back on the 2016 presidential election, not much has changed with the issue of state vs popular representation since the early days of the country, and the arguments persist. Hillary Clinton won 13 states, those with large urban populations, while Donald Trump won 37 states, mostly those with large rural areas. Would it have been fair if 13 states over-ruled the wishes of 37 states? Under today’s political conditions it would be grossly unfair. However, I can imagine some major federal government changes that could make popular vote acceptable. First of all, we need to get rid of career politicians. Too many of those fail to represent the people, but focus more on re-election and special interests, and get rich by doing so. Term limits are essential. Second, there are just too many politicians in office, and that makes efficiency and compromise difficult. There are currently 435 representatives and 100 senators. Dissolution of the House of Representatives, leaving only 100 Senators elected by popular vote within each state would correct this. With these two changes the balance of popular vs state representation would still be maintained. Election of Senators at the state level and election of the President and Vice President by popular vote maintains popular representation. State representation at the federal level would be preserved by the 100 Senators. In addition, federal government focus and efficiency would improve. These two changes, obviously, are unlikely as it would take a Constitutional Amendment to achieve. Congress is unlikely to take action on either of these issues. They will not derail 535 gravy trains, so it would be up to the states. I can’t wait for the next Constitutional Convention. Until then, I guess we’ll stick with the current system. Juan Cortez