Remember the Jetsons? One of America’s favorite cartoons Produced by Hanna Barbera and first aired on our own ABC back in 1962. Election day, November 6, 2012 and no we are not flying around in “Jetson” aircraft vehicles or live in “Skypad Apartments”.
However, one would think that we should have evolved from standard automobiles to flying vehicles, have an entirely new energy approach and not need to utilize gas. You might ask yourself, why we have not established new ways to power businesses and homes?
Election day is no different, as today’s historic election day is predicted to be one of the closest elections. Both Presidential Candidates spent a historically large amount of money campaigning, a whopping 3 billion dollars. This is the most expensive Presidential campaign season in history. Most of the money went to running ads and flying to the battleground states in a mad rush to gain potential voters, which would help either candidate get closer to 270 electoral votes.
The Electoral College system has been criticized as outdated, as it was established back in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention, which used the “Virginia Plan”, Virginia had proposed the Electoral College system first. The proposal was finally passed and approved on September 6, 1787. Even back then, not everyone was for this process, as James Madison and James Wilson preferred the popular vote method.
Webster dictionary defines Democracy as:
Definition of DEMOCRACY
a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority
b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
So, by definition isn’t the most democratic approach in choosing the next President of the United States consist of a majority consensus? The popular vote which indeed includes every American and not just a few states, designated back in 1787?
In a Penn State article, “Is the Electoral College an Outdated System” brought back the history of the Electoral College as a method to limit the amount of voters, as the Forefathers did not trust democracy actually working. Political Science and Sociology Professor at Penn State, Eric Plutzer stated that:
"Since that time, voters have played a direct role in electing U.S. senators and representatives, and in nominating presidential candidates through primaries and caucuses. There is no longer a reason to insulate elections from the preferences of ordinary citizens."
The article resurrected the Al Gore/Bush elections of 2000 where Gore won the popular vote by 500,000 voters or more. However, Bush won in electoral votes. If the popular vote became the new way future elections are held, then every vote would count and the way campaigns are run would change. Plutzer went on to conclude that letting each state use the Congressional District Method is the most Democratic approach to deciding who is the next President. Which is basically allowing each state to gather the popular vote in each state’s congressional districts.
As a matter of fact, in 2004 WTTW television asked President Obama on whether the Electoral College system should be scrapped. President Obama responded with, “Yes … I think, at this point, this is breaking down.”
Hillary Clinton complained after the 2000 Gore/Bush elections at a news conference stating that, “We are a very different country than we were 200 years ago.” Mrs. Clinton went on to add- “I believe strongly that in a democracy, we should respect the will of the people and to me, that means it’s time to do away with the Electoral College and move to the popular election of our president.”
However, if President Obama were to win the Electoral College tonight, but lose the popular vote- would he or Hillary Clinton be saying the same thing about doing away with the Electoral College? Either Presidential candidate, for or against the Electoral College system, would probably be pleased if they won and the popular vote would be less important. Either candidate would be pleased that they gained at least 270 electoral votes bringing them to Presidential victory.
We are definitely not flying around in “Jetson” aircraft vehicles or at the point where we have scrapped the old, 1787 Electoral College system. We are still struggling with voting fraud and malfunctioning voting machines that don’t work.
Perhaps, once we can perfect voting machines and reduce voter fraud, then the country can graduate to utilizing the popular vote by way of the Congressional District Method. But until then, this evening will be a very long ordeal, waiting to see which battleground state turns red or blue.