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Best Web OpEds    H3'ed 10/28/19

Darrell M. West Explains the History of the Electoral College and Why It Should Be Abolished

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EL Civics and ESL: Constitution of the United States
EL Civics and ESL: Constitution of the United States
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'What kind of democracy elects the loser of the popular vote as its leader?  The framers of the Constitution set up the E.C. for different reasons. The Constitutional Convention was made of arge & small states -- which worried that states such as Mass., N.Y., Penn., and Va. would dominate the presidency so they devised an institution where each state had E.C. votes in proportion to the number of its senators and House members. The former advantaged small states --each state had two senators regardless of its size; the latter aided large states because the number of House members was based on the state’s population.  The compromise established the E.C.  chosen by the states with the power to choose the president. Also, at a time when many people were not well-educated, they wanted a body of wise men who would deliberate over leading contenders and choose the best man for the presidency.'

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I began teaching in 1963,; Ba and BS in Education -Brooklyn College. I have the equivalent of 2 additional Master's, mainly in Literacy Studies and Graphic Design. I was the only seventh grade teacher of English from 1990 -1999 at East Side (more...)
 

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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FROM THE ARTICLE: "In most elections, the Electoral College has operated smoothly. State voters have cast their ballots and the presidential candidate with the most votes in a particular state has received all the Electoral College votes of that state, except for Maine and Nebraska which allocate votes at the congressional district level within their states.

"But there have been several contested elections. The 1800 election deadlocked because presidential candidate Thomas Jefferson received the same number of Electoral College votes as his vice presidential candidate Aaron Burr. At that time, the ballot did not distinguish between Electoral College votes for president and vice president. On the 36th ballot, the House chose Jefferson as the new president. Congress later amended the Constitution to prevent that ballot confusion from happening again."

Submitted on Monday, Oct 28, 2019 at 7:56:46 PM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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1776 was more than 3 hundred years ago, and that was before this transformational era. Everything changes when something transforms society... i.e. humankind settling down and raising crops and animals (instead of hunting and gathering) gave us cities and nations. But at the time, the unintended consequences were all in the future! And now, in this transformational era comes the anarchy of cyberspace, where images and memes sell disinformation to a stressed, fearful and ignorant citizenry.

Information technology also changed everything... families, religious values, neighborhood, communities, and in the absence of the beneficial values that informed the framers and our society until image technology, and TV came along. Here is a 'must see' Jerry Mander video, made about television's impact in 2010. I read his book on this subject, Four Arguments for the Elimination Of Television" in the eighties. This is the subject that I studied and which I write about for decades!

Who could have imagined in 1776 that 'tweets' could fire top government employees, and would be used by a USA president (as all evidence demonstrates BTW ) to signal to a dictator inTurkey, that we were removing our troops and FYI bypassing the entire government (and military generals) with real information and knowledge of what plans were actually in place , and what strategies were crucial" ya know the facts!

So back to the electoral process which gave us Bush instead of Gore, and Trump instead of Clinton, and could give us Trump for 4 more years!

No matter how you feel about what Clinton might have done as President - the people elected her by 3 million more than voted for him! But now, instead we have in front of us a president who believes HE IS PERMITTED TO DO whatever he wants. He consults no one , and cares not a whit how it effects anyone. He just did that in Syria" endangering our soldiers, betraying our allies in front of the world, and interfering with final assaults on ISIS!

Moreover, to state that there is poor management at the top of our most important government offices, from the EPA to the state and justice department is to mistake the obvious... our government has been gutted. I have all the evidence in my files; this is no opinion!

This winner of the ELECTORAL COLLEGE, who wants a second term has proven that he is ignorant of history, and of how a real government works, and he has also shown himself, over and over, to be an impulsive child showing all the earmarks of a narcissistic personality disorder ( according to genuine experts examining 3 years of his behavior) -- someone who works only for himself and is a legend in this own mind -- so that if he thinks it (in that "genius' mind of his) he does it!

Maybe, the mob could thrive with a Don at the head, but for us we the people -- the bottom line is that this man has demolished a complicated government one that was not perfect but filled with educated, experienced career people whose job it was to advise the President ! Wise men were revered in ancient cultures... for a reason!!! No society or nation thrives when decisions are based on lies and misinformation.

Yeah, we need a GREAT leader to be president, but at least someone who can read, and knows history, and how to evaluate facts, and above all who LISTENS and THINKS ABOUT FACTS before telling the world to 'watch out!

No, "We won't Get Over it: We dare not fail this test of our constitutional government because millions of our people starving, and millions are homeless. If the Electoral College gives us 4 more years of this man who admires 'strongmen' and expects -"ya know -"quid pro quo there will be no return to the rule of law.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 29, 2019 at 2:55:41 AM

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Hey Susan,

I'll resist snipes about needing educated people who can do basic math, but 1776 was not more than 300 years ago.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 29, 2019 at 4:40:52 PM

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and look at the gerrymandering ongoing to subvert the electoral college. North Carolina judges rule gerrymandered election maps must be thrown out

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 29, 2019 at 4:43:45 AM

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Arcane historical arguments about slave states versus free states aside, this article describes how the founders distrusted direct democracy and wanted a "body of wise men" to elect the president, with the power to override the will of the majority in the event it chose an unqualified demagogue. The best argument against the EC is that in 2016 it overrode the will of the majority with the exact opposite result.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 29, 2019 at 4:49:21 PM

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Editing window expired but I should have said "...overrode the will of the majority by the biggest margin ever with the exact opposite result".

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 29, 2019 at 4:57:17 PM

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