From the desk of Jim Madigan:
I generally take the idea of amending the United States Constitution pretty seriously.
I do believe it is a “living” document and changes must be considered from time to time simply because so much has changed since the framers put this amazing document together 227 years ago. I also don’t subscribe to the idea that when interpreting the Constitution Supreme Court justices must always try to figure out and hew to exactly what was thought or intended by the framers back in 1789. I believe when the brilliant minds of Madison, Hamilton, Jay and others decided to spell out right in the Constitution the means to amend it – they clearly foresaw how this country would grow and change and that the Constitution would need to be able to do the same.
All that said – we now really need to make a major Constitutional change that probably should have come a long time ago. We are – I believe– way beyond the time when the Constitution needs to contain a cumbersome, confusing process for electing the President and Vice President every four years. It is time to end the Electoral College and depend on the popular vote of the people and pure democracy to pick our leaders.
Twice now in the past 16 years – this year and in 2000 – the winner of the popular vote for President did not have those votes spread out enough among a sufficient number of the larger states to also win the 270 electoral votes needed to win the Presidency. For the second time in just 16 years – someone who lost the popular vote will lead the country. That just doesn’t make sense. Simply put, there is no other free, democratic nation on this earth where the person who comes in second – and by a fairly substantial margin in both of our cases – would get to take office.
I do not call for this change because of who won in both recent cases cited. This is not a matter of political party or partisan views. To me, this is just pure common sense. The person the most people vote for should be President. Case closed.
Please understand, I am not saying that Donald Trump come January – or George W. Bush back in 2001 –are not legitimately elected President of the United States. They both won their elections fair and square under the rules we all went into the voting booth knowing all about. That is, that the popular vote total doesn’t really matter except as the means to determine which candidate wins enough states to tote up to the required apportioned 270 electoral votes.
The Electoral College was originally intended to allow a “safety valve” of sorts so that the “wise men” of the nation had a means to step in and change the result if the un-educated, unwashed masses ever elected a President that the leaders just could not stomach. It’s never been used in that way and it shouldn’t be. Those days have long since passed. It’s time to end the Electoral College and give to the people the real power of truly choosing the President.