The Presidential election this year has shown us one of the biggest flaws in our political system. Any third-grader can tell you that the electoral college is a stupid idea. Now it will bring us a President who won fewer votes than his opponent.
Call me a foolish idealist, but I believe in democracy. Believing in democracy
has many possible meanings due to the distortions and interpretations of
politicians and demagogues, so perhaps I should clarify myself. Democracy is
the closest thing we have on this planet to Divine Right. If God speaks through
people, then the Will of the People is the Will of God. I don't like using
religious terms in this context, but it's the only way to express how firm my
conviction is that Democracy is the best and only form of government, with the
possible exception of self-government, or anarchy. I can be wrong, but the will
of the people cannot be. Sure, I've groused about popular beliefs from time to
time, and I reserve the right to continue doing so. But I am willing to bow
down to the will of the majority in a great many matters though I disagree with
My friends, a travesty has been visited upon this nation that can only be
described as a blight on the face of democracy. The United States has a system
it calls representative democracy, and I'm not here to argue the benefits and
drawbacks of it. But the system of representative democracy that the U.S.
practices has failed the American people in as heinous a way it knows how, and
the result is that George W. Bush will be inaugurated as President of the
United States come January.
Am I opposed to George Bush? Yes, I suppose I am. I'm not fond of Gore either.
If anything, I feel that Gore deserves to have lost for betraying the values of
American liberals. I have cast my vote, however, and done my part, however
small. The time for me to affect the outcome of this election is past.
The travesty here is that thanks to our electoral college George Bush will
become the president even though Al Gore won the election. The electoral vote
differing from the popular vote has not happened since 1888, when Benjamin
Harrison beat Grover Cleveland in electoral votes but not popular votes. The
fact that this can happen today is a slap in the face of every citizen of the
The only sovereignty the leaders in this country can claim is the backing of
the American people. Regardless of the result of the recount in Florida (it
looks like that race is darn close no matter which side wins) Gore had about a
quarter million more votes cast for him this time around than Bush. That's a
reasonably small margin considering that nearly 100 million people turned out
to vote this time around. Nonetheless the numbers are clear: if the person with
the most votes wins, Gore should be President.
I call on George W. Bush to withdraw his bid and allow Al Gore the presidency.
Heck, I don't even know if that's legal, so I won't pursue that any further.
Barring that remote possibility, I call on every American who has even a shred
of belief in democracy to take to the streets. The electoral college must be
dismantled! As long as the electoral college stays in place, the votes of
people in some states mean more than the votes of people in other states. In
America, we shouldn't have second-class citizens!
Write your congressman! Petition for a constitutional amendment dismantling the
electoral college! It's been a bad idea, a blight on the pretense of democracy,
for over two hundred years, made clear in the first electoral tie in 1800, when
the House of Representatives decided that Thomas Jefferson would be the third
President. I was brought up to believe in the righteousness of the rule of the
majority tempered by the restriction of the Constitution. Without a working
democratic process, the monster of the political system rather than the will of
the people makes the critical decisions that affect every single person in the