South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Electoral college should stay, writer argues; states get an equal say


Letters to the Editor

To the editor:

Angie Dunlap, in an Oct. 31 letter to the editor, supported the idea of electing a president via a national popular vote — i.e., a pure or direct democracy.

I disagree — our current electoral system should remain in place. The founding fathers of our country established a representative democracy — a republican form of government — in an attempt to prevent unlimited power from morphing into tyrannical power.

Thus, the founders’ highest priority involves achieving a “separation of powers” between the people and government agents, resulting in the creation of the electoral college.

In my estimation, it would not make sense to change a system that worked well over our nation’s history.

The 2016 election of the 45th president, Donald Trump, is one of four instances where the candidate lost the popular vote and won via the electoral college vote.

The other instances included the 1876 election of Rutherford B. Hayes, the 1888 election of Benjamin Harrison and the 2000 election of George W. Bush. Four out of 45 presidential elections.

If we decide to do away with the electoral college, then rural states will no longer enjoy an equal voice. Thus, the needs and concerns of rural residents would fall off of the radar.

Keeping the electoral college provides a mechanism for maintaining the voices of citizens in less populous states.

Finally, if the people do decide to change the existing system, then I think that we need to execute it properly via an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

This would require the support of the legislatures in 39 out of the 50 states. It would be the end of the republic and would deeply sadden me. But, it would be the law of the land.

Kent Hilbert
South St. Louis County

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