Political “bad luck”, as President Barack Obama commented in his November 20th press conference in Lima, Peru is not what cost Hillary Clinton and Democrats the election. Neither is alleged false news, Fox News, Russia, alt Right, or James Comey the reason. Clinton lost because of her message, corruption, and campaign strategy. Donald Trump won for being the opposite of Clinton. And while Clinton won the popular vote, Trump decisively won where it mattered – the Electoral College.
The College is not some relic of the past but a key part of our Constitution because we are not a direct democracy, but a representative republic. This is a critical distinction because our founders well understood the tyranny of the majority. The College also represents the great compromise between the large populous states and small states. The College gives voice to the few – what liberals claim to be the most important part of being tolerant.
The map below (as published in the Washington Post in an article by Jim Tankersley on Nov. 22, 2016) clearly shows the over 2,500 red counties Trump won and about 500 blue counties Clinton won. Without the Electoral-College the vast majority of the country is irrelevant. In fact, if Southern or Northern California or even the Greater New York City areas are removed from the consideration then Trump wins the popular vote too.
Some Democrats now call for a constitutional change toward a popular vote. But should the election be decided by California or the top 20 most populous urban centers? Of course not – this is tyranny of the majority. The Constitution was specifically designed to distribute the power among all the states and not limit it to the most populous states. This was the single largest point of contention at the constitutional convention. If national elections were only on the popular vote it would undermine the rights of states and make the values of most of the country irrelevant.
The 2016 results, can be argued, as the most relevant since the founding of the republic because it is the fundamental manifestation of states’ rights that was at the heart of the formation of a representative republic – which we are. However, tyranny of the minority or the majority is tyranny none-the-less; this representative republic marries popular vote with the Electoral College to balance the voice and will of the people and states.