FEC Chair Questions Whether Electoral College Win Will Be Considered Legitimate by the Masses
Chair of the Federal Election Commission Ellen Weintraub said Friday that she’s concerned people will question the legitimacy of U.S. elections because of the Electoral College.
The left has been in a tizzy over the Electoral College since Donald Trump was fairly and legitimately elected in 2016. That is nothing new. In fact, it can be good comedic material.
Hearing this nonsense legitimized by the chair of the FEC, however, should raise some eyebrows and make supporters of American federalism a little uneasy.
The FEC is supposed to be an independent regulatory agency responsible for enforcing campaign finance law, but when its chair recently quashed Trump’s voter fraud concerns but refuses to counter leftist narratives, it doesn’t exactly scream “independent.”
Nevertheless, Weintraub sat down with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes to lament her experience of explaining American presidential elections to foreign observers, who are apparently often confused by the system.
She noted how the Electoral College’s existence hasn’t really been an issue because the victorious candidate often wins the popular vote and “everybody’s happy.”
But, apparently, nobody is happy anymore.
“More recently that hasn’t been happening all the time,” Weintraub said. “And I worry, that just like these other, where people from other countries were confused about it, that people in our own country will come to feel that the result is not legitimate.”
“Or just,” Hayes joined in.
While Weintraub did not mention any elections specifically, it was clear she was referring (at least in part) to Trump’s 2016 victory.
Watch Weintraub’s appearance below:
Since the existence of an over 200-year-old institution is quickly becoming a partisan issue, the Electoral College deserves a coherent defense.
The Founders did not intend to create a pure majority-rule democracy and the office of the president was not designed to bend to the will of 51 percent of the population.
Why? Because minorities need to be protected against the tyranny of the majority.
The Electoral College is perhaps even more important now than it was during the founding because the country has become so much larger and more diverse. Our regional interests have the potential to be near polar opposites.
To give the people a direct voice in the federal government, the Founders devised the House of Representatives in which representation is proportioned according to population.
The state of California has 53 representatives, while seven states have only one each. In the House, California has 53 times the influence of each of these states.
The Senate, on the other hand, does not grant representation to the people. Senators are tasked with representing their states, which is why each state is given equal representation.
In Congress, that makes two federally elected bodies that represent different interests.
The third federally elected office, the presidency, is a compromise between the two. The states are represented through electoral votes, while the people are represented through the ability to choose how those votes are cast.
The American presidential election system is a hybrid between state and popular power. It also incentivizes candidates to earn the support of all different types of voters across the United States, rather than focus only on the dense population centers.
We should embrace the system: It was designed with a purpose. We live in a federal republic, which means that the majority has power, but not carte blanche to make every decision.
Maybe instead of stoking the fear that our centuries-old elections are suddenly becoming illegitimate, Weintraub would do better to relieve concerned voters by assuring them that our federal republic is working exactly the way it is supposed to.
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