One of the most resounding objections against the GOP in 2017 has to be: “Party over Country!”
The majority of us were consistently stunned with GOP decision-making that appeared to malign the country while benefitting the party.
The never-ending daunting issues, challenges, and conflicts created major turmoil and unrest for the majority of us who did not vote for trump. With trump’s popularity plummeting following an endless stream of extreme Executive Orders, and without any attempt by trump to invite the majority into the conversation and find bipartisan solutions, we need to dig deeper into the Electoral College process and strengthen this particular check & balance to prevent this type of hostile takeover from happening again.
A year ago, the public conversation was focused on the Electoral College. Electors cast their votes in their states the first Monday following the second Tuesday of December (tomorrow, a year ago). So a year ago today, a tidal wave of news headlines called on the Electoral College to vote their conscience rather than along party lines. Millions of us believed that if they did it would likely upend trump’s apparent win (despite trump’s losing the majority of votes in the national election on November 8, 2016).
But even this didn’t work.
I was recently reminded that when James Madison and the Continental Convention created the Electoral College in 1787, there were no political parties in the United States. Initially, our founders believed that despite the many differences that existed amongst the public — this because of varied backgrounds, education, local landscapes, religions, professions — the public all shared similar moral principles, so we would use our principles and common sense when voting. (Jefferson phrased it, “many different opinions, but all the same principles.”) Our founder never envisioned we’d devolve into a binary system for electing a president.
Back when those who formed the Continental Convention were vigorously debating the concepts to include in the Constitution, (Madison explained to Jefferson in a letter how daunting this huge monster challenge was, “To adjust the clashing pretensions of the large and small States. Each of these objects was pregnant with difficulties. The whole of them together formed a task more difficult than can be well conceived by those who were not concerned in the execution of it. Adding to these considerations the natural diversity of human opinions on all new and complicated subjects, it is impossible to consider the degree of concord which ultimately prevailed as less than a miracle.”), the founders eventually envisioned that there might be five strong candidates that would rise to the top and become contenders for the two most important posts: president and vice-president.
So with no political parties, and with the founders hoping for a strong five candidates to emerge and become the presidential contenders, would the Electoral College as it was intended have netted the same result as the broken binary 2016 Electoral College?
I honestly don’t believe it would have.
I therefore have 3 takeaways from the past 12 months:
(1) It’s time to rethink this binary system that results in party allegiance over national best-interest.
(2) If the party system was redesigned (following the Blue wave in 2018 which we desperately need, I’m a registered Independent so this is my Independent perspective), then we could correct the broken Electoral College check & balance.
(3) And let’s simultaneously correct the representation-denying issue of gerrymandering that is another negative outcome of the two party political system we’ve devolved into, enabling millions of Americans to finally have a voice in Congress that has long been blocked. Ω
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