The Origin of the Electoral College

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ed
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The Origin of the Electoral College

Post by ed »

From the NYT.
Most important, once the possibility of direct popular election of the president was defeated, how much did the slaveholding states rush to support the concept of presidential electors? Not at all. In the initial vote over having electors select the president, the only states voting “nay” were North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia — the three most ardently proslavery states in the convention.
Not to protect slave states. Sorry to make you cry.
When it first took shape at the convention, the Electoral College would not have significantly helped the slaveowning states. Under the initial apportionment of the House approved by the framers, the slaveholding states would have held 39 out of 92 electoral votes, or about 42 percent. Based on the 1790 census, about 41 percent of the nation’s total white population lived in those same states, a minuscule difference. Moreover, the convention did not arrive at the formula of combining each state’s House and Senate numbers until very late in its proceedings, and there is no evidence to suggest that slavery had anything to do with it.
But elections were pure then. Right?
But didn’t the college, whatever the framers’ intentions, eventually become a bulwark for what Northerners would later call the illegitimate slave power? Not really. Some historians have revived an old partisan canard that the slaveholding states’ extra electoral votes unfairly handed Thomas Jefferson the presidency in 1800-01. They ignore anti-Jefferson manipulation of the electoral vote in heavily pro-Jefferson Pennsylvania that offset the Southerners’ electoral advantage. Take away that manipulation, and Jefferson would have won with or without the extra Southern votes.
The more things change ...
But the myth that the Electoral College began as a slaveholders’ instrument needs debunking —
Anyway, read the whole piece, it's short and well within your attention span.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/04/opin ... e=Homepage

eta: Why this is true:

1- the author includes an obligatory dig at Trump viz.
... the system enabled the election in 2016 of precisely the kind of demagogic figure the framers designed the system to block
2- the author is evidentially a jewish liberal proven by both
- his name Sean Wilentz
and
- his bald faced attempt to shill more books:
which I hope to help with in my book’s revised paperback.
3- he is at an Ivy League den of dripping liberalism:
Sean Wilentz is a professor of history at Princeton
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Anaxagoras
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Re: The Origin of the Electoral College

Post by Anaxagoras »

That's interesting historically although I don't know if it's particularly important to the current question about it. Originally I think the idea was that the electors would actually exercise independent judgment and not just automatically vote according to whatever rules their state gave. So the electoral college as it works today is not the electoral college that the framers originally intended.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
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Re: The Origin of the Electoral College

Post by Anaxagoras »

I mean, they called it a "College" for a reason, right?

Wasn't the original idea that these people would all be wise, learned men who would think really carefully about the candidates and have discussions and debates and, they would collectively make a wiser decision than just putting it to a popular vote of the common people. Today it is nothing more than a rubber stamp for whatever the states have already decided. Electors are not supposed to use their own judgment but are supposed to follow the will of the majority of the voters in their state.
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Re: The Origin of the Electoral College

Post by ed »

Yes, but the basis for the attacks always ALWAYS (<--note caps meaning that that is categorically true) reverts to the claim that the basis for the College is racist.
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Re: The Origin of the Electoral College

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Far more often than the "racist" accusation, I hear people questioning why a vote in Wyoming should count more than a vote in California. Bear in mind I don't consider that a no-brainer question. There are a lot of issues around it.
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Re: The Origin of the Electoral College

Post by Nyarlathotep »

I am trying to figure out why I should give a single fuck about the ORIGINS of the thing rather than its effects on modern day politics
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Re: The Origin of the Electoral College

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What's all this talk about political erections?!

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Nyarlathotep
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Re: The Origin of the Electoral College

Post by Nyarlathotep »

Abdul Alhazred wrote: Tue May 14, 2019 8:25 pm
Nyarlathotep wrote: Tue May 14, 2019 7:24 pm I am trying to figure out why I should give a single fuck about the ORIGINS of the thing rather than its effects on modern day politics
Might be relevant to understanding it.
Does it though?

I mean whether people 200+ years ago meant it as a tool for slavery or not, how does that affect the situation now?
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Re: The Origin of the Electoral College

Post by Nyarlathotep »

Preventing big states from dominating = relevant

Intended to promote slavery/not intended to promote slavery = not relevant (except to historians and history buffs)
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Re: The Origin of the Electoral College

Post by Nyarlathotep »

But therein lies my question. Why is it relevant. For it to "prove the electoral college is evil" it would have to be relevant, whether it was a lie or not. Otherwise, it's either just a bit of trivia or a cool story bro.
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Re: The Origin of the Electoral College

Post by Rob Lister »

Nyarlathotep wrote: Tue May 14, 2019 7:24 pm I am trying to figure out why I should give a single fuck about the ORIGINS of the thing rather than its effects on modern day politics
That's a notable quote. I can't really respond without offending you.
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Re: The Origin of the Electoral College

Post by ed »

Nyarlathotep wrote: Wed May 15, 2019 1:41 am
Abdul Alhazred wrote: Tue May 14, 2019 8:25 pm
Nyarlathotep wrote: Tue May 14, 2019 7:24 pm I am trying to figure out why I should give a single fuck about the ORIGINS of the thing rather than its effects on modern day politics
Might be relevant to understanding it.
Does it though?

I mean whether people 200+ years ago meant it as a tool for slavery or not, how does that affect the situation now?
Good question. The more I examine issues around the constitution and the thinking of the founders, the more I realize that they were a bunch of smart fuckers. They really really thought about this stuff and bet all they owned and their lives. So their 200+ year old thinking is probably relevant.
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Re: The Origin of the Electoral College

Post by ed »

Well, the First obviously. That is what saves us from the PCness enveloping the world. Though that too could change and fairly easily.
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Re: The Origin of the Electoral College

Post by Nyarlathotep »

You know.

I am getting fucking sick of people making shit personal and fucking lecturing me no matter what I fucking say
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Re: The Origin of the Electoral College

Post by ed »

Abdul Alhazred wrote: Thu May 16, 2019 12:09 pm
Nyarlathotep wrote: Thu May 16, 2019 1:54 am You know.

I am getting fucking sick of people making shit personal and fucking lecturing me no matter what I fucking say
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