Democracy & The Electoral College | Michael Watson

Democracy & The Electoral College | Michael Watson


How should our leaders be elected? America is often referred to as a Democracy;
in a pure Democracy, one person should get one vote. Yet the framers of the U.S. Constitution set
up a system where our president isn’t elected that way – the electoral college. To many on the left, particularly after the
elections of George W. Bush and Donald Trump, who lost the popular vote but won the electoral
college, this was a mistake. Organizations such as National Popular Vote
and Fairvote want states to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which calls
on each state to require its electors to vote for whomever comes first in the national popular
vote, even if that candidate lost the state and did not receive a national majority. But as the Framers knew well, pure democracy
has its faults. The founders worried that pure democracy could
potentially infringe on the rights of the minority, in part from ancient history and
in part because they saw this in their own time: Functionally bankrupt Rhode Island elected
a radical government that used its power to print worthless paper money to threaten the
property of merchants to benefit the state’s majority rural interests. Alexander Hamilton wrote: “We are now forming
a republican government. Real liberty is neither found in despotism
or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.” James Madison wrote: “Democracies have ever
been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal
security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives, as
they have been violent in their deaths.” And while they also recognized the uses of
democratic votes to make the government accountable, the framers moderated it with a system that protected
the rights of the minority by requiring cross-region and cross-interest alliances to govern. We aren’t alone in seeking this balance;
an overview of democratic countries shows that very few countries use a pure popular
vote. Both at the Founding and now, America is a
collection of different societies. Different states have different interests. Rural, less-populous states such as West Virginia
and Alaska have substantially different interests than tech-titan California and financial capital
New York when it comes to how the government should treat land or regulate resources. Without a balancing system like the Electoral
College, these interests would be overrun by the democratic power of larger, more partisan
urban areas. “One person, one vote” is a catchy slogan
and might feel intuitive, but there is a reason the framers abhorred it – because they
cared about protecting all of our rights. I’m Michael Watson. If you liked this video, please help us share
it, subscribe to our account, and read the full article on our website. Thanks for watching!

21 Comments on "Democracy & The Electoral College | Michael Watson"


  1. If they want to reform the electoral system, abolish winner-takes-all and shift to a proportional vote that makes both sides heard in any state

    Reply

  2. Direct democracy is an exercise in who can stuff the most ballot boxes. The loser is the one who didn't cheat hard enough.

    Reply

  3. Democracy doesn't work. Our Constitutional Presidential Federal Republican government is the best path for the United States of America.

    Reply

  4. Nah sorry, democracy should be limited for minority protection, not for minority rule. One person, one vote is intuitive, because it is democratic and necessary for majority rule — and yes, there should be limits to protect the rights of the minority but power rest in the people, Popular Sovereignty, and the 47% should not lead the 53%. Living in the city shouldn't make my voice .7 of someone who lives in Wyoming, land shouldn't vote, but it does.

    Reply

  5. I thought this was an anti-electoral college video for a second and I was mad, but I’m glad it’s not.

    Reply

  6. Not too badly made, a little bit too pro-Republican, buuuutt, as a Centrist, this isn't a bad video.

    Reply

  7. honestly, they should count every individual vote of every person instead of taking a majority we have to technology so it quickly and easily.

    Reply

  8. The founders didnt come up with the electoral college, it's a relatively new concept. Why the fuck are you lying? Fake news

    Reply

  9. You ignore the fact that you're so called pure democracy wouldn't be a pure democracy.

    Abolishing the Electoral College would not affect how Senators, congressmen, and Governors are elected. America would still be a representative democracy.

    This is hence why we have the separation of powers.

    Reply

  10. at 2:12…are we supposed to believe what west virigina and alaska want should be treated as equal to what new york and california want? I mean, we're talking about 100-300x the number of people in the later 2 states. wtf – is this a joke?

    Reply

  11. This so-called ‘research center’ pretends to be informative but deliberately disinforms and unnecessarily mixes up unrelated subjects to confuse viewers and prevent them from understanding what is wrong about the electoral college (how Trump became president). You would be much better off watching this neutral, educational video made by a teacher in 2011 long before Trump became president. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wC42HgLA4k

    1. In 2012 Trump himself said on Twitter ‘The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy’ because he expected Obama to win the electoral college but lose the popular vote. Obama won both. Now that Trump has himself lost the popular vote; the Electoral College is not such a disaster for democracy anymore. https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/266038556504494082

    2. It is ignorant or deceptive to claim that the founding fathers set up the electoral college because they were concerned that the rights of the inhabitants of the smaller states would be infringed upon. Ridiculous. The Electoral College is just an antiquated remnant of the feudal system in Europe where representatives of noble families from all over the country would travel to the king’s court so they could lobby for their interests. The founding fathers were against democracy and wanted only upper-class white men to have political influence. Poor white people, black people and women got the right to vote only in the late 19th century to the 1960’s (Jim Crow).

    3. The system (Electoral College) to choose the head of state (president) is a different subject from elections for government officials (governors, senators and congressmen) or how they rule. Why unnecessarily mix these subjects up? Abolishing the Electoral College as a system to choose the president wouldn’t change the US from a republic into a ‘pure democracy’ or change anything else, except how the president is chosen.

    Unnecessary and confusing to give Rhode Island (local, state government) as a historical example of how ‘pure democracy’ government was wrong, because that has nothing to do with how the president is chosen. The so-called ‘research center’ just wanted to create the impression that the US is no different than most other countries in the world, which are also republics, not ‘pure democracies’. But that was not the subject. The way the president is chosen, the Electoral College, was the subject. Indirectly choosing the president through the Electoral College (some voters vote weighs three times more than that of other voters), is unheard of in the rest of the world. It is not democratic in any way. Republic nor 'pure democracy'.

    4. The president leads the whole country and his decisions (war, foreign policy) affect each state and citizen equally (from big or small states). Therefore, they all have equal right to choose the president. There is no justification or anything that necessitates that votes from smaller states should count three times more than that of bigger states in the presidential elections. Abolishing the Electoral College would not infringe on the rights of the minority. The minority is the minority after all and lost, no matter what state they live in.

    What is the alternative? That the minority rules the majority? That they get to choose a president that wants to go to war with another country, while the majority doesn’t want that war? Would that be fair? If the minority in the US as a whole, is concentrated in certain states, locally forms the majority and don’t want to subject themselves to the majority of the US, then they should pursue autonomy (possibly secede from the rest of the US), not demand that their vote count three times as much as that of the others. That would be unfair and undemocratic.

    Reply

  12. "I think that the minority should have say over who is the head of the executive branch" you people do realize there are republicans in california whose votes are basically not even considered and Democrats in texas just the same, they act like all of a sudden california is gonna control kansas.

    Reply

  13. Brought to you by the mouthpiece of the right:
    https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Capital_Research_Center

    Capital Research Center:

    "CRC doesn't seem to think its own hidden agenda should receive public scrutiny. The CRC website does not give any indicator of where it gets its own funding, and it has not responded to queries from PR Watch staff. However, some of CRC's funders are publicly disclosed through IRS filings or other means".

    Ties to the Coal Industry

    CRC has received large donations from pro-fossil fuel groups like Exxon and the Koch Family Foundations through its Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation.[8]In November 2010, CRC published a report criticizing the Sierra Club for its work in transitioning the US away from coal plants, portraying it as an attack on "American prosperity."[9]

    Ties to the Tobacco Industry

    Documents released as a part of the settlement by tobacco companies with U.S. state governments revealed the close relationship between CRC and Philip Morris. See Capital Research Center and the tobacco industry for more details.

    A report by CultureWatch described CRC's leadership "reads like a Who's Who of the establishment right."

    Reply

  14. Apparently the founders didn't foresee that Capital Research Center and other organizations paid for by Exxon and the Koch Foundation would be trying to forward their agenda on YouTube under the guise of educational videos attempting to appear unbiased. The only thing CRC cares about is protecting the rights of its donors and convincing you to follow their agenda.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *