Democrats: HILLARY CLINTON WON THE POPULAR VOTE!
Republicans: THAT DOES’NT MATTER! WE LIVE IN A REPUBLIC!
The reason I felt compelled to write about this already highly discussed topic, is because it seems to me that no matter how much we talk/write/read/argue about the structure of the government, we remain more divided than ever.
Reason for Confusion:
Many people adamantly believe that in a Democracy, the Presidential candidate with the most votes should win the Presidency. This is pretty tough to argue; Hillary Clinton won the ‘popular vote’ meaning more individuals voted for her than did for Donald Trump. It seems like we have our winner.
Problem: America isn’t technically a Democracy, it’s a Republic. This changes things, and is why the result is that Donald Trump won the election.
Remember learning about “Tyranny of the Majority” in school? (I should have paid more attention). The idea of “Tyranny of the Majority” AKA Mob Rule is the exact reason that the founding fathers created the Constitutional Republic of the United States of America. It was a system put into place to allow for an extra level of responsibility between the people and the law. Each state elects ‘Electors’ to act on the behalf of the state, and those electors ultimately vote for the President, as chosen by popular vote in their state. This prevents the popular opinion from overpowering the rational opinion, and seems to be a safe middle ground between pure democracy, which usually has dangerous results, and totalitarianism, which is just as dangerous.
So why the debate?
The United States of America does not, nor have they ever chosen their leaders based on the will of the majority of Americans, so why do people still debate the popular vote vs. the electoral college? As it turns out there may be good reason for the debate.
It’s all in the name!
I may be a little slow to the party, but I just realized why the left hates the electoral college.
It appears to those on the right, that those on the left who are protesting the validation of Donald Trump’s Presidency are simply disappointed that they lost, and that they’re trying to “change the rules” after the game is over. While there may be some truth to this theory (I myself believed this for some time), the same could be said of people on the right, had Trump lost the Presidency to Clinton. In retrospect I am convinced that the loudest and least informed members of both sides would be protesting regardless of the outcome of the election.
However, it’s not just “butt hurt” liberals who are unhappy with the result, it appears that holding liberal, or ‘Democrat’ positions, could actually stem from deeper values than a simple dislike for Donald Trump – crazy right?!
The Democratic Party, by definition, believes the power belongs in the hands of the people.
The Republican Party, by definition, believes the power belongs to the republic, or the group of electors that have been chosen by the people to represent each state.
To a true Democrat it doesn’t make sense that the winner of the popular vote doesn’t get to become president, just as to a republican it doesn’t make sense that Democrats keep talking about the popular vote! Both sides genuinely disagree on the nature and role of the political system in the US, so it naturally follows that the left and the right are in disagreement about the outcome of the 2016 Election.
How do we reconcile this?
The very nature of the two party system creates a deep dark casym of disagreement, that even the bravest foot soldiers on either side dare not leap. And why would we want to? If we abolish the two parties that create these differences in opinion, then America would literally be a fascist regime. America is great is because people have the ideological freedom to disagree with each other, and to criticize the government. The absolute last thing we want to do is become totalitarian about politics, where we disallow variance in opinion.
In terms of this election, if the left disagrees with the direction the government is going in, they are responsible for creating a strong opposition. This will allow the next election to prove more fruitful for their side, just as the right did in electing Donald Trump after reluctantly living through eight years of President Obama.
Not everyone liked Barack Obama, but everyone accepted the results, all the while exercising their right to protest & criticize. I urge my democratic friends to do the same.