Our Founders’ Foresight

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The current election for the US President is another demonstration of why our Constitution is such a remarkable document.  Yes, it is not without flaws, but as the framework of our democratic republic it is remarkable in its ability to frame the way our government is designed to work.

It seems with every election there arises the question of whether the popular vote should not be the means of selecting our president, but always seemingly lost is the reason for the creation of the Electoral College.  In 1789, when the Constitution was written, the industrial north had the largest population, the agrarian south significantly less.  How to convince those less populous States to sign on to the new Constitution was a major problem.  The solution was to create the Electoral College, preventing the major population centers of the north from overpowering the agrarian south.  Each state was assigned a number of votes based on population, thereby leveling the playing field so that all voices would be heard.

Remember we are a democratic republic, not a simple democracy.  In this election, one candidate carried the vote across 4000 of our nation’s 4037 counties.  Setting aside all political beliefs or affiliations, wouldn’t you agree this is a firm indicator of desire of the Republic as a whole?  I live in Nevada where the Electoral vote went to a candidate who carried only two counties, but won the popular vote, thereby garnering the Electoral vote.  If each county were only to have one vote based on their popular vote, Nevada would have changed color on the red/blue map, but as a State, our electoral vote goes to the popular vote winner.  As a nation, each State has the same circumstance, thereby making the Electoral College the check and balance of the election.

Our government is founded on checks and balances.  In our legislature we have a Congress based on population, and a Senate based on geography.  Passage of law requires agreement of both and then approval by the President, said law being subject to review by the Supreme Court.  Our three pronged system of Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches to check and balance our government.

In an election there is always one winner.  Only one.  Now it is time to watch and see how our new leader performs in the office to which he has been elected.  Like everyone who has held the office, he will have successes and failures, do what you wish sometimes, do what you don’t want sometimes, but right or wrong, until he leaves office, he will be the President of the United States.

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