There is a lot of random nonsense floating around the interwebs talking about the electoral college and how it might save us or how it is meant to protect the farmers or the people with a smaller voice or what have you. This is all utter bullshit. The electoral college had one purpose and one purpose only and that purpose was, along with the three-fifths compromise, to enshrine slavery as an American institution.
We Americans loves us some revisionist history. Our founding fathers are now gods that walked among us instead of the petty, vindictive, self-centered men whose biggest democratic breakthrough was counting human beings as chattel in our founding documents in order to create our country. Our Civil War wasn’t about slavery, no, it was about States’ Rights, a vile lie retold ad nauseam to shelter our fragile egos from the mistakes of our horrendous past. The electoral college was designed to make sure those running for president did not ignore the small towns and villages of the country, when in reality it was to make sure that a tiny minority who believed in a sub-class of humans could continue to treat that populace with as much scorn, contempt, violence, and death as they see fit. In other words, the electoral college was designed so people like Donald Trump could be elected. The Senate? Same thing. Slave owning states would be vastly over-represented in our legislature.
Don’t get me wrong, intellectually, I’m sympathetic to the electoral college. There is an argument to be made that it forces candidates to pay attention to rural states. There is an argument to be made that rural concerns are so outside the experience of urban centers that a special weight of consideration should be given to their needs. There is no basis in reality that these arguments were the primary reason or even much more than an afterthought into the creation of the electoral college.
And that’s what grinds my gears.
Personally, I think rural communities should be given some extra weight. Slavery was brought into existence by a tyranny of the minority, but there is also such thing as a tyranny of the majority as well. The problem is they have a bit too much weight now. They can have the Senate or they can have the electoral college. They shouldn’t have both.