In the wake of Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton, many embittered Democrats are crying foul. It’s a case of sour grapes. For a second day, thousands of protesters chant ‘not my president’ and repudiate the legitimacy of our centuries-old electoral process. They are vehement in their disapproval of a man who they believe represents ignorance and bigotry. There are calls to banish the Electoral College, insisting we elect a Commander-in-Chief solely on the basis of the popular vote. Protesters marched in Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Oakland.
During this time of upheaval, Hillary Clinton and many of her supporters are, nevertheless, calling for collaboration in the interests of moving forward. Among the Democrats, they seem more willing to accept the results of a fair election than their jilted and disaffected Bernie Sanders brethren who resemble more of a far left fringe reluctant to capitulate to the new regime
Fringe leftists’ disregard for the established order is ironic. These opponents of Trump were quick to indict him before the election for undermining the American social fabric when he claimed our free elections are rigged, thereby jeopardising the peaceful transfer of power. They condemned Trump when he egged on moderator Chris Wallace in the final presidential debate, facetiously bloviating that he would not immediately accept the results of the election were he to lose.
The protesters are quick to deride the supposedly uneducated and backward Trumpers, yet they don’t seem to grasp the intricacies of the electoral process in America. If you were to ask them about the The Federalist Papers, introducing the idea of the Electoral College in the Constitutional Convention of 1787, their mouths might hang agape much like when they discovered Trump had secured the presidency. Then they would patently dismiss the constitutional policy as archaic and racist in their refusal to study the national framework of rich, deceased slave-owning white men. Isaac Asimov once said about the pratfalls of democracy:
‘Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’
Our founders had prescience to design a system by which a rightful candidate would take hold of the highest office in the land. They feared mob rule and designated electors apportioned to each state. At the country’s inception, before widespread news media, the founders were concerned that citizens throughout the country might lack the pertinent details to make informed choices and would need a stand-in elector.
To its critics, the Electoral College is a relic that violates the democratic principle of one person, one vote, and distorts the presidential campaign by encouraging candidates to campaign only in the relatively small number of contested states. And though there was some momentum after Al Gore’s defeat in 2000, it dissipated after George Bush and Barack Obama won both the popular and electoral votes in 2004, 2008 and 2012. Obviously both candidates agreed to this system of presidential selection when they entered the contest, so why does our left-leaning electorate suddenly feel the need to intervene and disavow it? They didn’t have a problem when it voted in President Obama, Bill Clinton and others.