Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has voiced her opposition to the Electoral College. Like many Americans she fails to understand its uniqueness. The Founding Fathers were well aware that governments based on pure democracy had a tendency to degenerate into mob rule. Voter decisions were more apt to be based on which politician provided the best entertainment (Roman Circus) rather than the option for honest government.

Along with individual participation in government other factors were in play. In 1776, tiny Rhode Island had several times the population of rural Virginia. For that segment to rule over the interests of an area generating most of the revenue needed to fund a new republic was illogical. The 13 states were already established ruling bodies seeking to unite in one governing unit.

Collectively, each state had evolved a ruling process best serving their region. Many elements of those powers had to be turned over to the central authority but not all. The Electoral College provided a means for a state, as an entity, to voice leadership preference.

“E Pluribus Unum” might reflect the process better: One out of many.

Robert Denbow


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