|Since nobody was paying attention last class,|
consider this a remedial session. Ahem!
This begs the question: can our republican democracy prevent the U.S. from electing a really dumb, silly, dangerously uninformed, mentally unbalanced or otherwise five-fries-short-of-a-Happy-Meal president? To answer this question, we will have to go back to the writing of the U.S. Constitution.
In or around the year 1787, democracies were rare in the world: we were pretty much it. Even the much talked about Dutch Confederation still had at its core a hereditary prince called a Stadholder, who was usually Orange --that is, usually the Prince of Orange. There was a decent reason for all this aristocracy in the world. Only aristocrats had the free time to become educated and thus make wise, informed decisions about what a country should or should not do. They had all this free time because the reason for their existence had pretty much evaporated. You see, the aristocrats were at the top of the social heap because they were supposed to spend all their time training how to kill and maim people while riding on a horse. Since kings now used smaller, professional, paid armies, all tricked out with the most expensive new killing technology (black powder muskets with --wait for it! --bayonets on the end!), there wasn't a reason to call out the feudal host any more because someone would probably blow them all sky-high with a cannon.
|Come to think of it, going to Kings College, Oxford sounds a good deal|
more jolly than going to the Holy Land and having my balls cut off en route.
For all their talk about democracy, America's Founding F-ers shared the same reservations about unbridled democracy as the Brits did, because let's face it: the average American in 1787 believed every word in the Bible was literally true, was pretty sure that grand-dad had done him a solid when he burned all the witches in the colony, and that Indians could fly, change color, sprout as many arms as they wanted, and probably had at least one parent that was a horse. In order to stop the Ship of State from being skippered by these bumpkins, the Founding F-ers had a few rules about who could vote and for whom they were allowed to vote. For instance, of the newly minted Federal Government, only Congressmen were elected by the voters. And those voters had to be male, white, over 21, and own a certain amount of "property," which could be real estate, money, or even people, just as long as those owned people were black.
|See if you can spot the new American Voter!|
Hint: it's no one on the top row!
Over the years, the system has been tweaked around a bit, but it is still the Electors who actually elect the President and Vice President. Sure, there are formal and informal rules that pretty much say that Electors must vote for whichever candidate gets the majority vote in the state on Election Day, but things are sort of vague about what happens if an Elector goes off-script and votes for someone who --and I'm just speculating at this point --the Elector believes would actually make a good president. I'm guessing they have to pay for their own lunch at the meeting of the Electoral College (I am so not making this name up!).
So okay, now this guy is running for President:
Whoops, wrong country, wrong election. Wait a sec... ah, here he is:
Long story short, he makes "Idiocracy's" President Commacho look like Abraham Lincoln by comparison. And who do the Democrats have lined up to run against him? Either Hillary who for some reason is liked less than her skirt chasing husband, Bill "Bubba" Clinton, or some old, transplanted to Vermont New York dude who has an actual Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream flavor named after him (again, so not kidding!) There is a very real chance that this dipshi- uh, Donald Dude could become our next president, Who can save us? Superman? Batman? Nope, they are for reasons still unclear to me squaring off to fight each other this year. Well, can the Supreme Court? Nope, they're too old and they're down a member besides. Who can help? I'll tell you who: The Electoral College!!!
|Horse and I would help, but you're not in the|
British Commonwealth of Nations any more. Sorry!
So give it up for the Electoral College, my peeps! And be sure to know WHO THEY ARE from your state and threaten them with an infinite number of noogies and purple-nurples if they cast one friggin' vote for Trump. Because although they were flawed men, the Founding F-ers usually knew what they were doing.
|Your Electoral College at work: Electing Presidents since George Washington. We could be America's last hope :-0|