While it’s not the most dangerous of the guardians of the soul of aristocracy embedded in the American system of government, the days of the Electoral College might be dwindling. Maryland has become the first state to adopt what is called National Popular Vote or NPV. The idea, invented by a computer scientist named John Koza, looks like a brilliant means of doing what couldn’t ever be done by constitutional amendment, ensuring that the presidency can’t go to the person who loses the national vote. States are given the ability to control how the electors cast their states’ electoral votes by the constitution. In NPV the electors are required to cast their votes for the winner of the nationwide popular vote instead of the winner of the state’s popular vote*.
If a majority of the states adopt this idea it would effectively destroy the possibility of the Supreme Court selecting a member of their party to rule against the will of The People.
That is if the Supremes don’t use their power to prevent democracy flowering here, the epicenter of the cult of “democracy”, where democracy is prohibited by rule of law. The federal and state courts again acting as a roadblock to democracy is another of the horcruxes provided by the aristocrats who wrote the constitution. But we won’t do anything about changing that until we have people in elected office who are answerable directly to the voters instead of those best at gaming the corrupt system we have today.
The article linked to above, by Martha Biondi goes into some detail about how the Electoral College disenfranchises the majority of voters who live in “safe” states which can be ignored and dilutes the power of minority voters. The blather about its genius from those tedious souled, leaden-eyed college teachers who made the Electoral College their specialty, which is heard every four years as the broadcast news covers up for the shameful system, is a series of lies. The Electoral College ensures that the direct democracy which we demand in every other election around the world can’t happen here, at least until now.
The anti-democratic structure of the Senate, life tenure for Supreme Court Justices, the Electoral College and, most dangerous of all, their child, corporate personhood, these are the greatest dangers of a dictatorship here, they are the active means by which the rich lord it over us now. Changing them will take an enormous effort against the entrenched power of the most wealthy and their stooges in the media and elsewhere. We need to support NPV and to look for means short of the impossible reform of the constitution. Gaining democracy through the courts has proven to be a short-term illusion, something easily overturned by those opposed to democracy by stacking the courts through our most anti-democratic elected body, the Senate. Whatever rights have been wrested from the hands of the aristocrats has been taken by The People, not granted by the courts.
The peculiarity of the “states-rights” provision in the Electoral College might prove to be its downfall, we need to look for other weak places in the wall of aristocracy. But most of all we have to change the culture of sycophancy to the “Founders” and their supposed wisdom. Oh, they were wise, that isn’t the trouble. What they built they built to last, it’s just that they didn’t build a democracy, they didn’t intend to. But even the worst provisions of our undemocratic constitution are in place only as long as The People tolerate them and accept their mystique. The only secure gain we make is by changing the publics’ mind and through them the elected officials.
* In some states the elector has been able to cast their vote for whomever they choose. I seem to recall in that in the early 70s that accounted for the Libertarians receiving the one and only electoral vote they’ve ever gotten, not that you would guess that from the fuss that is made about the Kinky Republican Coalition all the time.