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Behold the Dinosaur: the Electoral College

Posted by Howard Denson on November 13, 2016 at 12:10 PM

By HOWARD DENSON

 

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That’s a time-honored adage that discourages meddling and monkeying with things unnecessarily. It heads off the management types who crow that change is good, any change is good. Often it’s not.

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On the other hand, there’s a corollary: “If it’s broke, fix it.” Quit trying to limp down the road using duct-tape and bailing wire to keep the vehicle together. Put in new fan belts, do a tune-up, buy new tires.

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In the American political world, the Electoral College is not only obsolete, it’s also broken and cries out for demolition or repair.

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The electoral college system has misfired six times in the country’s history, when presidential candidates with fewer national votes wound up in the White House. One of the most famous miscarriages of counting occurred when 1800 when Thomas Jefferson got past Aaron Burr to be president.

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Twenty-four years later, Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams went at it, and, thanks to wheels and deals, Adams won the presidency and embittered Jackson, who later became our first psychopathic president.

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Fifty-two years after that, a dust-up occurred when Democrat Samuel Tilden (with excellent credentials) won the popular vote but had the White House snatched away when Republican Rutherford B. Hayes essentially sold out Lincoln’s vision of Reconstruction by caving in to the demands of Southern politicos in exchange for their electoral votes.

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A dozen years later, Benjamin Harrison slipped by the incumbent Grover Cleveland to become president before Cleveland messed up the sequential count of presidents by defeating him four years later.

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Now, we have a break of 112 years when no serious problems emerged in the Electoral College vote counting. True, the Democrats may have pulled some fast ones in Chicago and Texas to get past Nixon (only to tempt him into emulating them in 1972). The popular vote was very close.

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In 2000, of course, Al Gore won the popular vote, but, with the help of shenanigans in Florida and in the U.S. Supreme Court, George W. Bush got the office. He was likely to be an okay president, as his father had been. Unfortunately, Dubya was a doofus and helped to tear apart our country’s fiscal and military health.

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Sixteen years later, we have Hillary Clinton currently with more popular votes than Donald Trump, who has been crowned as the president-elect. It remains to be seen if Der Fuhrer will be our second psychopatic president.

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We have had FIVE presidential elections from 2000 to 2016, and forty percent of the time the system has NOT worked. The damned thing is broke, so let’s fix it or replace it.

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Categories: The Human Comedy or Tragedy

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