Letter: DeLogu, Electoral College critics are sore losers

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As a law professor, Orlando DeLogu should be ashamed of his recent Policy Wonk column (“Not all votes are created equal”). As a citizen, he should be embarrassed. And as a liberal Democrat, he should be proud.

The USA is not a democracy; it is a republic of states. True democracy is more like mob rule, and the founders of this country knew that. They established a republic, with most powers enumerated to the states. And they wrote the Bill of Rights in order to prevent the mob from trampling on the rights of individuals, and the minority. You should know that.

Why do liberals always want to change the rules? Gov. Paul LePage won two elections, and the mob gave us ranked-choice voting. Where were they when Gov. John Baldacci won two elections with smaller pluralities?

And now with Donald Trump’s election, those same liberals want to change the rules, abandon the Electoral College, and revert to mob rule, with a few states determining who our president will be.

To complain about the outcome of an election after the fact is ridiculous. The entire election was fought to win the Electoral College vote. Trump won. If the goal was to win the popular vote, both Hillary Clinton and Trump would have run completely different campaigns. And voters would behave differently, and the outcome would be different. Or not. Changing the rules is for sore losers.

Barry Stephens

  • EABeem

    The US Constitution provides for its own revision and amendment and it is time to do so to eliminate the electoral college. Alexander Hamilton justified the indirect election of the president by arguing that qualified electors would do a better job than the general populace.

    “The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications,” Hamilton wrote. “Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States.”
    Well, the electoral process has now failed twice to provide qualified men. And the fact that each vote in Wyoming counts 3.6 times a vote in California is indefensible. Delogu is correct. You are wrong.

    • PatsFan78

      Exactly the response I would expect from a liberal Democrat. I have known Orlando Delogu for a longtime. He may be wrong but he is never in doubt. Your view of history is exactly why we need the Electoral College. I do not want to live in a country where California, New York and Pennsylvania determine who the next President is. A pure democracy means that your vote, and every other Mainer’s, is irrelevant.The reason for the EC is to force candidates to campaign in all states, and take into account the issues concerning the “fly over” states, as they are arrogantly dismissed by the left. Each state gets 2 electoral votes for each Senator, then votes based on population with a floor. Barry Stephens is correct in his analysis. Incidentally, Hamilton did not draft the Constitution. The Constitutional Convention, consisting of 41 delegates, had vigorous debates as to how the Constitution would read, as it was replacing the ineffective Articles of Confederation. If you have ever read the Federalist Papers, you know that many different points of view were espoused, and the EC was a compromise to address the fear of many of majority tyranny. The Bill of Rights was enacted to prevent majorities from determining the rights of all people without regard to the individual. Since we do not live in a democracy but in a republic, pure popular vote is not enough, nor should it be. As for qualified men, Barak Obama had no qualifications to be president, and he is not the only one.

      A good discussion of the process is contained at the History Channel’s website: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-draft-of-constitution-debated.

      • truther

        It doesn’t logically follow that we have to stick to the same rules we’ve always had, just because we’ve always had them. The 3/5ths compromise was also written into the Constitution to address the competing concerns the drafters had about voting representation; we don’t maintain it today. Facts on the ground change.

        The fact here is that millions more Americans who bothered to vote voted for Clinton than Trump. So instead of a tyranny of New York, California, and a few other large states, we have a tyranny of a minority of extreme ideologues who have taken control over a bunch of random states. The end result, like our absurd Cuba embargo that was driven by a small group of Cuban-Americans who happened to live in a swing state, is no more representative and is doing great harm.

        I actually support the idea of the Electoral College, for some of the same reasons you elucidate. But to suggest that anyone who sees problems with the EC in the execution is just a sore loser or a “typical liberal” or whatever is simply to be childish.

        • EABeem

          Exactly. I used to think this election came down to the intelligent v the ignorant. Increasingly I think it came down to the true v the false. The false won.

  • David R. Hill

    I have three questions:

    1. If the Electoral College is such a good idea, why isn’t some form of if it present in any other election anywhere else in the world?

    2. If it’s such a good idea, why don’t we have it for local and state elections, perhaps county by county so that votes from rural Aroostook County would count more than the votes from more urban Cumberland County? Would that make our state elections more fair?

    3. It’s a fact that one of the reasons for the Electoral College was to provide for consideration of the slave population (or 3/5 of it, anyway) in the southern states, so as to gain their support for the Constitution. Should the fact that slavery has been abolished be a reason to revisit the concept of the Electoral College?