The Electoral College Needs to Go

This post is based on Cathy O’Neil’s informative book, “Weapons of Math Destruction.” The penultimate chapter in the book shows how weapons of math destruction are ruining our elections. It is only recently that Facebook and Cambridge Analytics have be found to employ users data for nefarious purposes. Nevertheless Dr. O’Neil’s book was published in 2016. To summarize the chapter, weapons of math destruction are distorting if not destroying our elections. Actually the most informative and most important part of the chapter is found in a footnote at the end:

“At the federal level, this problem could be greatly alleviated by abolishing the Electoral College system. It’s the winner-take-all mathematics from state to state that delivers so much power to a relative handful of voters. It’s as if in politics, as in economics, we have a privileged 1 percent. And the money from the financial 1 percent underwrites the micro targeting to secure the votes of the political 1 percent. Without the Electoral College, by contrast, every vote would be worth exactly the same. That would be a step toward democracy. “

Readers of the healthy memory blog should realize that the Electoral College is an injustice that has been addressed in previous healthy memory blog posts (13 to be exact). Just recently, the Electoral College, not the popular vote, produced Presidents with adverse effects. One resulted in a war in Iraq that was justified by nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. And most recently, the most ill-suited person for the presidency became president, contrary to the popular vote.

The justification for the Electoral College was the fear that ill-informed voters might elect someone who was unsuitable for the office. If there ever was a candidate unsuitable for the office, that candidate was Donald Trump. It was the duty of the Electoral College to deny him the presidency, a duty they failed. So, the Electoral College needs to be disbanded and never reassembled.

© Douglas Griffith and, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Douglas Griffith and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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One Response to “The Electoral College Needs to Go”

  1. russvane3 Says:

    The reason for the electoral college was two-fold. You record only one. I have also found a third. The other original reason was to generate a ‘large win’ so that the country felt united: 300 to 238 kind of thing. Lots of the early elections were close from a headcount perspective – AND had a lot less electors. Of course the modern winners are trying to do so efficiently, so they campaign to achieve such a victory, even if it’s small.

    But the US is not just filled with people but geopolitical entities as in any republic. I am not only a US citizen, one of 330M, but a Vienna, VA citizen. So Presidentially, my vote is counted with my Virginian brethren for the slate of electors that will protect my state and my needs, even if my vote has gone for the other party’s electors for twelve years. No problem, that’s the system.

    I like the Senatorial system to protect little states from the big states completely dominating. Big population states already get the lion’s share of the tax money. The Senatorial system is the real reason that electors are not population proportional – not the electoral college. Too many societies suffer from ‘El Jefe’ – the boss mentality. For some unexplained reason one party is walking away from representative democracy. But please don’t claim anything about fairness.


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