In 1787, the Founding Fathers of the United States put their heads together to decide on a fair, effective way to choose who would run the country as President. These men were afraid of direct election of the president- not solely based on the assumption that common citizens would be unable to decide on a solid leader- but because they feared a tyrant could come to power, manipulating public opinion, and creating the same situation of which the U.S. had just conquered.
How could they protect the new nation from such a terrible fate? After long discussion, the Founders concluded that the president would not be elected by the people alone; in fact, in one of the most controversial decisions to this day, they came up with a system where the states elected the president, commonly known as the Electoral College. Through the Electoral College, the 538 electing members of Congress have decided who the Presidents will be since the system was established; in this way, the U.
S. had been running indirect elections for over 200 years. The men who established America were smart, and they intended for elections to be run in this way for a reason; why, then, would it be a wise idea to change what these men worked hard for and desired? It is important that the U.S. keeps the Electoral College; it “contributes to the cohesiveness of the country by requiring a distribution of popular support to be elected president, enhances the status of minority interests, contributes to the political stability of the nation by encouraging a two-party system, and maintains a federal system of government and representation” (“The Electoral College- Pros and Cons”).
Because of how the Electoral College functions, it allows for the country to become equally distributed population-wise when it comes to the election of the President. This is not seen number-wise necessarily, but rather through the idea that each state matters as much as the next, encouraging candidates for major office to campaign not just in heavily populated cities, but also in lesser-known areas and states with smaller populations. This provides for “an incentive for presidential candidates to pull together coalitions of States and regions rather than to exacerbate regional differences,” unifying the nation as a whole while such “severe regional problems have typically plagued geographically large nations such as China, India, the Soviet Union, and even, in its time, the Roman Empire” (“The Electoral College- Pros and Cons”). The Founding Fathers set up the Electoral College to run as fairly as possible without completely ignoring the actuality of population and size in various states; each state gets exactly 2 U.S. Senators, while those chosen for the House of Representatives is based on population; “the number of electors, those who can actually vote for president, for a State are based on the number of members in the House of Representatives who represent the State, plus two for the State’s Senators” (“U.S. Electoral College”). Selecting the electors is an ability given directly to the people through affiliations with major political parties; most electors are chosen at State Party Conventions (“U.S. Electoral College”).
The Electoral College allows for those ideas and desires of minority groups to be more readily heard by the major political parties. “Because of the winner-take-all system, a relatively small number of voters in a state can make the difference in determining which candidate gets that state’s electoral votes. This gives well-organized minority groups a chance to have a profound influence on the election by getting their voters to the poles” (“About the Electoral College”). As commonly known, minority parties are seldom elected to offices in Congress, and most will never see actual office time, and most likely never a presidency. Minority groups, then, are given an opportune moment of time where they can voice their opinions, ideas, and issues to the main political party branches. Because candidates know that these minority party followers have some impact on the outcome of the election, they are forced to listen and take into consideration what they have to say. While the Electoral College gives voice to minority groups, it also “enhances the nation’s political stability by encouraging a two-party system” (“The Electoral College- Pros and Cons”). Because minor parties have difficulties getting solid recognition during presidential elections, the establishment of a two-party systems forces those of each minority party to settle with one main party or the other, which combines different people with different ideas, allowing for the creation of new, better ideas, while still maintaining a stable, politically-savvy environment. “A direct popular election of the president would likely have the opposite effectâ€¦there would be every incentive for a multitude of minor parties to form in an attempt to prevent whatever popular majority might be necessary to elect a president. The surviving candidates would thus be drawn to the regionalist or extremist views represented by these parties in hopes of winning the run-off election” (“The Electoral College- Pros and Cons”). This would result in a frayed, unstable political system, weakening the nation’s abilities to stay politically sound-minded while solving serious problems.
Finally, The Electoral College promotes a solid federal system of government. When the Founders discussed what would happen throughout the nation in terms of governing and law-making power, they made many important powers reserved for the states. The Electoral College was thus designed to represent the ideals and desires of the state as a whole. “To abolish the Electoral College in favor of a nationwide popular election for president would strike at the very heart of the federal structure laid out in our Constitution [leading] to the nationalization of our central government – to the detriment of the States” (“The Electoral College- Pros and Cons”). The Electoral College keeps the original ideas of separation of powers between the federal government and local/state-level governments alive; without this system, our nation would be unsuccessful in electing a president, debating laws and problems, and developing effective solutions.
“The fact that the Electoral College was originally designed to solve one set of problems but today serves to solve an entirely different set of problems is a tribute to the genius of the Founding Fathers” (“The Electoral College-Pros and Cons”). In the 200 years the Electoral College has been functions, and though 50 presidential elections, it has yet to falter, save for some controversial dispute over a candidate winning the popular vote, but not the electoral vote. And even then, that was and is the Electoral College’s purpose; the power is vested in the states, not the individual. Despite much discussion to abolish the Electoral College, no other idea has been proposed and approved to do so. In this fact, it should remain in place as the way the nation decides on who its leader will be.