Hillary conceded. The electors voted. It’s actually happening: the Talking Comb-Over, Mr. Donald J. Trump, will be the 45th president of these not-very-United States of America.
A majority of Americans did not cast their votes for Trump, causing Liberals such emotional agony that they’ve taken to the streets—to chant, apparently without irony, “This is what democracy looks like!”—in protest against this very undemocratic Democracy, which twice in 16 years has handed victories to Republicans when Democrats won the popular vote. It’s quite tragic.
Except it’s not.
If Trump had won the popular vote but lost the election, we’d now be surrounded by a gleeful mob of pro-Hillary Constitution experts bloviating over the forethought of our Electoral College-founding Fathers. That not unrealistic potentiality, less due to who would occupy the White House than the precedent set if we changed the rules every time we lost the game, is a terrifying prospect.
Our Founding Fathers gave the states equal representation in the Senate, proportional (population-based) representation in the House of Representatives, equal justice under the law (judiciary), and proportional representation in picking a president. This was not accidental.
In The Federalist Papers: No. 68, Alexander Hamilton wrote:
“The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union…”
Trump won 30 states to Clinton’s 20. He lost the popular vote by 2.8 million out of 137 million votes cast (-2.1%). And Clinton won California by 4.2 million votes.
TRANSLATION: If presidencies were awarded by popular vote, one state would wield more power than 10.
If you find that acceptable so long as it results in a Clinton presidency, you are as intellectually bankrupt as someone who finds the same prospect acceptable so long as it results in a Trump presidency.
Now, some 65.8 million Americans might argue, likely with our Founders’ blessings, that Trump is not “endowed with the requisite qualifications” to be president. At his worst, even the staunchest Trump supporter couldn’t whole-heartedly disagree. That is not the point. Trump is not the point. The point is that the obligation of picking the president intentionally falls not to a well-populated state, but to the United States of America.
Hillary’s inability to garner “the esteem and confidence” of a majority of the United States was specifically cited by our Founders as a reason for the Electoral College. Trump’s brash language was not.
Trump was elected because Americans were less emotionally triggered by the offensive billionaire’s imperfect phrasing than they were morally outraged by a rigged primary, pay-to-play politics, and the general arrogance of Hillary, Democrats, and the sitting president who stood behind the corruption.
But that is not the Left’s failure. Parties and candidates can make mistakes. They can misjudge the electorate. They can pick the wrong candidate. They can struggle to identify a powerful message. They can lose. Their failure is not losing; it’s the disregard of a long-standing process simply because of who won or lost. To change an opinion based on who benefits is to embrace authoritarianism.