The electoral college has been controversial from the start and people have been looking for ways to remove it or circumvent it including the National Popular Vote Bill which destroys the role of the states in favor of the people.
The fact is the majority of founders did not want the President to be directly elected by the people; they feared that and in my opinion with good reason. They intended the Electoral College to be a buffer against potential abuses of democracy. They did not want an executive who would flatter the people for votes. Boy did they get that right.
George Mason argued that “it would be as unnatural to refer the choice of a proper charter for chief Magistrate to the people, as it would, to refer a trial of colors to a blind man. Charles Pinckney said “An election by the people being liable to the most obvious & striking objectives.”
The great majority of founders did not believe people were qualified to make the choice of president alone and that they would be subject to manipulation by those seeking votes.
Much has changed since then. The Electoral College has been watered down, most people don’t understand it and nearly all communication impediments that existed in the 18th century are gone. Virtually every American has the ability to learn about the candidates first hand and to learn the facts about vital issues … but they don’t bother.
Some things have not changed and perhaps gotten worse. Flattering, patronizing if not lying to get votes is the norm and extensive. And, while they have the ability to obtain facts and make sound judgements, I suggest the vast majority of voters make no effort to do so, know little about the person they vote for beyond what they are told by others and are easily swayed by promises while ignoring the practicality or consequences. You only have to look on social media, see the posts and read the comments to know this is true.
In other words, the concerns expressed in 1787 are no less a concern in 2018. We may have made it worse in the quest for fairness by avoiding any criteria whatsoever for voting under the assumption that was the intent of our founders.
Voting is a great privilege and a great responsibility so why isn’t it reasonable to require some minimal knowledge criteria at least once before obtaining the right to vote?
It’s simply the nature of us humans, we will vote for what appears in our best interest and we will reject what does not fit our view of things often despite any pertinent facts. So we do the best we can with our Republic, but the thing is, we need to a great deal better.
As many as 50% of Americans can’t find states on a map or name the states. In a National Geographic survey several years ago 30% of respondents thought the US population was 1-2 billion.
In one survey 70% of Americans didn’t know what the Constitution was.
“A 2012 ACTA survey found that less than 20 [percent] of American college graduates could accurately identify the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation, less than half could identify George Washington as the American general at Yorktown ((Virginia)), and only 42 [percent] knew that the Battle of the Bulge occurred during World War II.”
ACTA found in another recent survey that of over 1,100 liberal arts colleges and universities, only 18 percent require a course in American history or government.
“When surveys repeatedly show that college graduates do not understand the fundamental processes of our government and the historical forces that shaped it, the problem is much greater than a simple lack of factual knowledge,” said ACTA. “It is a dangerous sign of civic disempowerment.” Source: voanews.com
A survey by Xavier University in 2012 found that 30% of Americans could not pass the civic portion of the citizenship test.
85 percent could not define “the rule of law.”
75 percent did not know function of the judicial branch.
71 percent were unable to identify the Constitution as the “supreme law of the land.”
63 percent could not name one of their state’s Senators.
62 percent did not know the name the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
62 percent could not identify the Governor of their state.
57 percent could not define an “amendment.”