If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t given too much thought to the importance of the Electoral College and the consequences if the Democrats succeed in ending it in favor of a strict popular vote for president.
The new documentary “Safeguard: An Electoral College Story” makes a compelling case that the system is actually a “brilliant creation on the part of the founders,” which binds the nation’s varied regions together.
“The presidency today is the one office … that actually represents all of the American people as opposed to a particular state or congressional district,” Hillsdale College professor of constitutional government Matthew Spalding says in the film.
“Without [the Electoral College] I think the system really wouldn’t have worked and actually many of the regional divides we all know about in American history probably would have broken down a long time ago.”
“This system solved a lot of [the founders’] philosophical problems of a democracy within a republic,” Spalding adds.
The Electoral College is made up of electors that correspond directly with the number of legislators (Senate and the House of Representatives) each state has in Congress.
These electors then cast the official vote for president based on the election outcomes in their respective states.
Tara Ross — author “Why We Need the Electoral College“– explains the Electoral College reflects the great compromise of the Constitutional Convention in which each state was equally represented in the Senate, while the House of Representatives is based on population.
“So there is an element of one state one vote, in the Electoral College, but there’s also also an element of one person, one vote,” she says.
“California still have many more electors , than a state like Wyoming  or Rhode Island .”
Many Democrats have been arguing for the strict popular vote to replace the Electoral College.
After all, Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump in the popular vote in 2016, as Al Gore did against George W. Bush in 2000.
“Direct popular election. While it sounds great, while it sounds very democratic, also carries within it the seeds of many problems that the founders rescued us from,” Princeton University professor Dr. Allen Guelzo says in the film.
One of the biggest unintended consequence laid out in “Safeguard” would be the factionalizing of the presidential race.
Rather than it being a two-party contest, with some third-party runs from time to time, there would likely be multiple candidates, representing various special interests, competing in each race, with the winner perhaps garnering not much more than a quarter of the total of the popular vote.
So rather than having a president who has had to compete in multiple regions of the United States, successful presidential candidates would perhaps only have to do well in some large coastal cities.
The film contends the result would be to increase the influence of money in politics and leave the rest of the country feeling disconnected from the presidency.
The divide could not only fall along regional, but also racial lines.
“When you take away the Electoral College, you create a scenario where people can get elected president without a single vote cast their name by a single minority. That is the reality that we need to be facing,” argues Joseph Pinion, chair of Conservative Color Coalition.
The Electoral College gives minorities leverage in states where they may only make up a relatively small percentage of the population, but are able to tip the balance to the Republican or Democratic candidate.
“But when you talk about how do we get to that more perfect union, how do we make sure that we are living Dr. [Martin Luther] King’s dream, that all people are judged by the content of their character?” asks Pinion, who is African-American. “You don’t do it … by getting rid of the [system] that has empowered black people to be able to leverage political power.”
Contrary to complaints by Democrats, the Electoral College is fair.
“So we have democracy today, but we have 51 democratic elections, not just one. So they decentralize those votes to recognize that states are different,” says Michael C. Maibach, distinguished fellow for Save Our States.
“You can think of the World Series that same way. It’s not who gets the most runs in seven games. It’s who wins the most games,” he continues.
“The Electoral College, in effect, is who wins the most states. Not just who gets the most votes in total across the nation. And those are very different systems, but no one says, ‘The World Series is undemocratic because my team got 24 runs in the series and your team got 12, but they won more games.’ It’s just each game becomes its individualized contest,” Maibach contends.
Trent England, author of “Why We Must Defend the Electoral College,” warns that people who care about America’s constitutional republic must take Democratic threats to end the Electoral College seriously.
“It is very likely that unless Electoral College defenders rise up and defend the system that’s in our Constitution and make the argument about why the Electoral College is so important, we could easily lose the Electoral College. This is close to happening and could easily happen within the next few years,” he says.
“Safeguard” is an eye-opening account of the vital role the Electoral College plays.
It should be mandatory viewing, particularly for those who believe its time has come and gone.