The electoral college is under attack. As World Net Daily’s Leo Hohmann notes:
One of Michigan’s 16 electors who will be called upon to cast a vote validating the election of Donald Trump in the Electoral College has testified on video that he and others in the state are receiving “dozens and dozens of death threats” from Hillary Clinton supporters urging them to switch their votes to Clinton.
On Dec. 19 the Electoral College will convene to cast their votes for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, with each state’s electors pledged to vote for the candidate elected on Nov. 8 in their state.
But more than a dozen states have no laws making it illegal for the electors to change their vote while others have only a minor penalty such as a fine for doing so. If Clinton’s supporters can get enough of the 163 electors from states where Trump both won and votes can be legally switched on Dec. 19, Hillary Clinton becomes the next president of the United States.
Michael Banerian, 22, of Oakland County, Michigan, is one of that state’s 16 official electors who will meet in the state capital of Lansing on Dec. 19 to cast their votes for Trump. He told the Detroit News Thursday he has received threatening emails, lots of them, from people telling him to vote for Democrat Clinton instead of the GOP victor he is pledged to support. Trump won Michigan’s popular vote and should be able to count on the 16 electoral votes in that state.
So much for liberal concerns about the consequences of questioning the legitimacy of our election. Nevertheless, conservatives should be terrified at the notion of a large bloc of voters supporting a national popular vote, a heinous idea that has gained some popularity even on the right. As the brilliant Jarrett Stepman notes at the Daily Signal, the Electoral College is incredibly important to our nation’s stability:
In addition to balancing the protection of individual rights and majority rule, the Founding Fathers attempted to create a “federalist” system that would keep most of policymaking power reserved to states and localities. America’s presidential election system also was designed to empower the states, not just the American people as an undifferentiated mass.
The total number of electors and thus electoral votes across all states and the District of Columbia—included after the passage of the 23rd Amendment—adds up to 538. The winner must receive a majority, or 270, of these votes to become president.
The system empowers states, especially smaller ones, because it incentivizes presidential candidates to appeal to places that may be far away from population centers. Farmers in Iowa may have very different concerns than bankers in New York. A more federalist system of electing presidents takes that into account.
The states are free to select the method in which they choose their electors. In the early days of the republic, most states chose to have their legislatures pick electors, rather than the people. But, over time, the states shifted to choosing electors via the state’s popular vote instead. Every state has opted for popular election at least since the Civil War.
The electoral college is particularly important now, as the country is more divided than ever. Voters have less in common than ever before. The rights conservatives hold dear- property rights, the right to bear arms, and religious freedom- are completely off the radar of the average liberal voter, and moving to a national popular vote would disincentivize politicians who actually want to get elected from considering them at all. The absence of the electoral college would likely force candidates to shift their efforts to urban centers, and would likely be a death knell for the conservative agenda. the freedom agenda prioritized by red states today would likely be replaced by some form of FDR style welfare state draped in nationalism.
Liberals get this. They’ve moved beyond the old school tactics. They’ve traded Teamsters at voting booths for trolls on the internet. In turn, conservatives need to be vigilant.