Nearly two years after losing to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton is calling for an amendment to the Constitution that would change how presidents are elected.
When she made her concession speech, she said in an essay for the Atlantic published Monday, she had hoped that that “my fears for our future were overblown.”
“They were not,” she declared, contending Trump “has sunk far below the already-low bar he set for himself in his ugly campaign.”
“Exhibit A,” Clinton said, “is the unspeakable cruelty that his administration has inflicted on undocumented families arriving at the border, including separating children, some as young as eight months, from their parents.” Along with the policy, which also was carried out by the Obama administration, she cites “the president’s monstrous neglect of Puerto Rico” after Hurricane Maria, contending “his administration barely responded” and “some 3,000 Americans died.”
Along with calling for “early voting and voting by mail in every state in America, and automatic, universal voter registration so every citizen who is eligible to vote is able to vote, she calls for eliminating the Electoral College established in the U.S. Constitution.
“And you won’t be surprised to hear that I passionately believe it’s time to abolish the Electoral College,” she wrote.
Clinton won 232 Electoral College votes to Trump’s 306. Many of her supporters have insisted she was the true choice of the American people because nationally she accumulated nearly 3 million votes more than Trump.
As WND reported, shortly after the November 2016 election, an online petition signed by more than 1 million people, arguing Clinton “won the popular vote” and asserting Trump is “unfit to serve” and a “danger to the Republic,” urged members of the Electoral College to vote for the Democrat when they met.
To those who argue the election of Trump is “the people’s will,” the petition insists otherwise, because Clinton “won the popular vote.”
In an interview with CNN last year while launching her campaign memoir “What Happened,” Clinton said the Electoral College “needs to be eliminated.”
“I’d like to see us move beyond it, yes,” she said.
Activist filmmaker Michael Moore has warned fellow progressives the system for electing the president must change because he thinks Trump is on track to win again in 2020.
Moore contended Trump was “appointed” president because he was in the Oval Office without have won the most votes nationwide, even though neither candidate campaigned according to that premise.
In creating a republic, America’s Founders sought to strike a balance between pure majority rule and aristocracy, as Jarrett Stepman notes in the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal.
In Federalist 68, Alexander Hamilton argued that while the people should have considerable power to choose the president, it’s “desirable” that “the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice.”
Heritage Foundations legal expert Hans von Spakovsky explained in a paper on the Electoral College that the Founders “struggled to satisfy each state’s demand for greater representation while attempting to balance popular sovereignty against the risk posed to the minority from majoritarian rule.”
Stepman pointed out that states are free to select the method in which they choose their electors, and in the early days of the republic, most states chose to have their legislatures pick electors, rather than the people.
By the time of the Civil War, every state had shifted to the popular election method.
Proponents of the Electoral College point out that a pure national vote would make smaller states irrelevant, with campaigns focusing their energies on major population centers.
An organization called National Popular Vote is pressing to eliminate the Electoral College through an amendment to the Constitution or a state compact. The group argues the current system encourages presidential candidates to spend most of their time in “swing states” rather than campaigning for votes across the entire country.
Von Spakovsky contests the assumption, because swing states “can change from election to election, and many states that are today considered to be reliably ‘blue’ or ‘red’ in the presidential race were recently unpredictable.”