Nick Schultz

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I am thinking about pursuing either the need for affordable higher education with students or whether the electoral college is the best way to elect our president. Both topics interest me as I am entering college in the field of political science and/or law. Currently, I am leaning towards researching more about the electoral college and other systems of elections around the world, especially with the controversy around this past year’s presidential election in the United States. For the most part, I am impartial as of right now and would like to research the options that we have to amend our current system. However, researching more about college affordability and why tuition has been rising and is so expensive would benefit me more in understanding what I am paying for in college and how to get the most out of the experience.

Part I: Introduction

Born into the millennial generation, many would think I lean towards liberal-leaning political views and hate the electoral college. In contrast, I view my ideology as a moderate, slightly towards the conservative-libertarian part of the spectrum. Rather than favoring or oppose the electoral college based on the candidate it produces, I will research the history of elections and the institution of the electoral college in the Constitution, other electoral systems around the world, and potential replacements or directions to amend the current system. As of right now, I have no opinion of whether the electoral college should stay or get abolished, and I have somewhat limited knowledge of other options we have, which is why I am interested in diving further into this topic. Although talking about politics without favoring one side is nearly impossible in current polarizing times, I will look into each side’s main supporting points and choose what the best option for the country in this era.

Part II: Definitions

Before talking about the electoral college, I must first mention how it became to be the way it is today. By 1787, the Colonists in the United States had defeated Great Britain, and needed to create a form of governance via a constitution. The Constitution of the United States is the funding document and supreme law of the United States which includes the principles the U.S. is governed by. This document was established on the fundamental belief of democracy, arguably the first time a country had done so. In the Constitution, the Founding Fathers created the electoral college, the system of electing the president that we still have today. This system allows each state to have as many delegates, or electors, vote for the presidency and vice-presidency. The process was mostly decided to settle the disagreement between the small and large states on who got how much power, or in other words, if power should be based on equal representation or proportionately based on population. Throughout the history of the U.S., there have been two amendments, a change to the Constitution, altering the way the electoral college works. The 12th Amendment made the electoral college basically vote for the president and he or she’s running mate, or vice-president. Before the 12th Amendment, the president was declared by the being the highest vote getter and the vice-president was the second-highest. As crazy as it may seem, it was possible that a president be elected with a vice-president of the opposing party. The other amendment that changed the electoral college was the 23rd Amendment. The 23rd Amendment gave representation (3 electoral votes) to the District of Columbia (D.C.). Because D.C. is officially not part of a state, they were not allowed to vote for the president before the 23rd Amendment was created.

Part III: Literature Review of Opposing Perspective(s)

In nearly 250 years of United States history, America has prided itself on the democratic principles that the Founding Fathers created in the Constitution in 1787. During these years, there has been multiple elections where the popular will of the majority lost the presidency, as recent as the 2000 election of George W. Bush and the 2016 election of Donald Trump (Pavía 435). These elections bring many doubts into our system of electing the president – the electoral college. In a country where the political will of the majority typically prevails, the electoral college has recently lost its egalitarian characteristic of “one person, one vote.” Some people believe change is needed (Lessig par. 4-7).

The importance of getting the election of the presidency right is obviously crucial because the president is the sole person elected to the executive branch. Unlike the legislative branch where Congress is comprised of 538 congresspeople, seats cannot be split between various political parties; the executive branch can only be controlled by one party, which enhances the need for getting the election as precise and accurate as possible.

With this being said, people want the best representation possible. This idea is best exemplified by the concept of majority rule and “one person, one vote,” both of which contradict the electoral college (Lessig par.7). Out of the fifty states in the United States, forty-eight have a winner-take-all system of electing president. This simply means that no matter how close a political election race is in a particular state, all of its electoral votes go to only one candidate (Bolinger 179). Evidently, this system shows that electoral votes are often distributed disproportionately to who the majority of voters, as a whole, actually vote for (Pavía 436).

Electoral votes are based on the amount of representation in congress, which gives a bigger voice to smaller populated states. This makes the votes of some states carry more weight than that of other states. For instance, citizens of Wyoming have four times as much power in their vote as citizens casting votes in Michigan due to their smaller population. This obviously causes another source of anger from the opposition of the electoral college.

Whether you agree with the electoral college or not, the only foreseeable alteration to it is by passing a constitutional amendment (Bolinger 181). Although this path would require three-fourths of the states to back this plan, an amendment to change the way the electoral process works has been done before; the passing of the 12th Amendment is a great example. Prior to the 12th Amendment, the president was elected by having the most votes of the electoral college, and the vice-president was elected by having the second-most votes (Hawley 1554). As can be imagined, this caused major conflict by sometimes forcing the president and vice-president to be representing different parties. Personally, I cannot imagine what this environment would create in today’s hostile and polarized political world. In addition to the 12th Amendment, the 17th and 23rd Amendments also altered the way the electoral college works (Rosin 57). This gives compelling support for another potential amendment regarding constitutional law and the electoral college, as long as a strong consensus of states desire the proposed change takes place.

From here, the next part of my research will be to examine the rural-urban divide, the often opposite and polarized voting behavior divide in our country. This divide examines whether the electoral college’s current state actually does balance the will of the country in a more complex version. Certainly, the “one person, one vote” concept resonates most with the average American and makes the most sense, but there may be a better way to represent the population’s electoral voice.

Works Cited

Bolinger, Benjamin. “Point: Abolishing the Electoral College.” International Social Science Review, vol. 82, no. 3/4, June 2007, p. 179. EBSCOhost. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.

Hawley, Joshua D. “The Transformative Twelth Amendment.” William & Mary Law Review, vol. 55, no. 4, Apr. 2014, pp. 1500-1586. EBSCOhost. Web. 1 Mar. 2017.

Lessig, Lawrence. “The Constitution lets the electoral college choose the winner. They should choose Clinton.” The Washington Post. N.p. 24 Nov. 2016. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.

Pavía, Jose M. “On Introducing Proportionality in American Presidential Elections: An Historical Analysis, 1828-2008.” Political Quarterly, vol. 82, no. 3, Jul-Sep2011, pp. 435-447. EBSCOhost. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.

Rosin, Michael L. “The Five-Fifths Rule and the Unconstitutional Presidential Election of 1916.” Historical Methods, vol. 46, no. 2, Apr. 2013, p. 57. EBSCOhost. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.

Part IV: Literature Review of Perspectives That Align With Your Own

Imagine how different our country would be right now if former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was president right now. Imagine how different our country’s policies and politics would currently be, let alone the fact that it will endure at least another four years. No matter if you cringe or are delighted when you see Donald Trump in the Oval Office, nobody can question the impact the electoral college has on American government. But the question that millions of people have protested in the past month has been left unanswered. Is the electoral college the best way to elect the President of the United States of America?

To best understand why the electoral college was first implemented, one must first look into what the Founding Fathers desired with the writing of the Constitution. A major misconception that most people believe is that the Constitution was created to ensure democracy and equality throughout citizens of the country. In reality, the authors of the Constitution wanted to create a republican form of government, which could be defined as “a representative government that secures natural rights” (Balkin 1431). Benjamin Franklin, a key contributor to America’s independence from Great Britain, says, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote” (Pease par. 2). These notions can conclude that the goal of constitutional law is not necessarily to ensure that everyone is equal, but rather that people have the right to give their opinion through elections and have the right to protest or speak out whatever they please if they do not like the outcome.

Another argument that was discussed and debated at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 was the issue of whether states should have proportional or equal representation in Congress. The Connecticut Compromise, better known as the “Great Compromise,” solved this issue by creating a bicameral legislature in which one chamber would be based on population, the House of Representatives, and the other would be equal throughout, the Senate. Having just resolved this problem by compromising between large-states and small-states, the Founding Fathers searched for an easy solution to elect the president. Furthermore, this is why the electoral college is based on the amount of congresspeople each state possesses (McCollester 182-183).

The electoral college also enhances the idea of federalism and the separation of powers. The Constitution gives the power to conduct elections at the state and local level of government. Looking back at the 2016 General Election, following election day on November 8, Green Party candidate Jill Stein raised millions of dollars for a recount in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Even though Pennsylvania and Michigan courts denied Stein’s recount request because judges deemed it “irrational” and with “lack of evidence,” she and anyone had the ability to request a recount if enough money was raised (Ax par. 1, 6-8). If a direct popular vote was in place, a much more substantial amount of money and effort would have to be put in to look into a voter fraud problem nationwide.

Throughout our countries history and more today than ever, there has been numerous divides that separate groups of people. Some examples of these splits are small state-large state, rural-urban, and agricultural-commercial, just to name a few. A major strength of the electoral college is that no matter what demographic you fit in, where you work, or where you live, your voice will be taken into consideration. Because of the electoral college, presidential candidates must have a nationwide campaign that appeals to multiple demographics in order to garner enough support to win enough electoral votes (Glenn 6). A presidential candidate must appeal to a farmer in Iowa just as much as a technology developer in California or a banker in New York.

James Madison, the fourth President of the United States, and Alexis de Tocqueville, a French political philosopher, feared of a “tyranny of the majority” taking over minorities. (“Alexis” par. 3; “Federalist” par. 4). Hypothetically, if the popular vote was legislated into law, a candidate could win the nine most populous states in order to receive a majority of votes, according to the 2016 General Election turnout rates (par. 6). Realistically, a candidate from a more-populous state could build a coalition only with urban areas to tyrannize less-populous rural areas. Urban areas would slowly start to take away freedoms of rural minorities because they simply do not need to take into account their interest to be elected. This is a scenario that de Tocqueville and the Constitution tries to prevent, and the electoral college righteously fights against.

In conclusion, although the argument for the direct national popular vote seems simple enough to understand, it is not what is best to balance the conflicting interests of an extremely diverse society. The U.S. Constitution created the electoral college because the Founding Fathers believed it would be the most stable form of electing the most powerful office in the country. And here we are, in 2017, still in tact with the same basic set of laws since the Constitution was created in 1787, as the longest-lasting government in modern history (Berry par. 17). Most would agree that it at least has worked thus far.

Works Cited

“2016 November General Election Turnout Rates.” United States Elections Project. N.p. 1 Nov. 2016. Web. 6 Mar. 2017.

“Alexis de Tocqueville on the Tyranny of the Majority.” Edsitement. National Endowment for the Humanities. 14 Oct. 2015. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.

Ax, Joseph. “Green Party U.S. election recount bid comes to a close.” Reuters Politics. Reuters. 13 Dec. 2016. Web. 6 Mar. 2017.

Balkin, Jack M. “Republicanism and the Constitution of Opportunity.” Texas Law Review, vol. 94, no. 7, June 2016, pp. 1427-1446. EBSCOhost. Web. 7 Mar. 2017.

Berry, Jake. “Huntsman says the U.S. Constitution is the Oldest.” Politifact. Tampa Bay Times. 8 Aug. 2011. Web. 6 Mar. 2017.

“Federalist No. 51 (1788).” Federalist Papers No. 51. Bill of Rights Institute. N.d. Web. 6 Mar. 2017.

Glenn, Gary. “The Electoral College and the Development of American Democracy.” Perspectives on Political Science, vol. 32, no. 1, Winter2003, p. 4. EBSCOhost. Web. 7 Mar. 2017.

McCollester, Maria. “Counterpoint: Preserving the Electoral College.” International Social Science Review, vol. 82, no. 3/4, June 2007, p. 182. EBSCOhost. Web. 6 Mar. 2017.

Pease, Harold. “The Founding Fathers Rejected Democracy.” Liberty Under Fire. N.p. 25 Jun. 2010. Web. 7 Mar. 2017.

Part V: Conclusion

The Controversial Electoral College:

Fair and Balanced or Lacking Equality and Biased?

Imagine how different our country would be right now if former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was president at this very moment. Imagine how different our country’s policies and politics would currently be, let alone the fact that it will endure at least another four years. No matter if you cringe or are delighted when you see Donald Trump in the Oval Office, nobody can question the impact the Electoral College has on American government. But the question why millions of people have protested in the past month has been left unanswered. Is the Electoral College the best way to elect the President of the United States of America?

The importance of getting the election of the presidency right is obviously crucial because the president is the sole person elected to the executive branch. Unlike the legislative branch where Congress is comprised of 538 congresspeople, seats cannot be split between various political parties; the executive branch can only be controlled by one party, which enhances the need for having the most precise and accurate election results.

In nearly 250 years of United States history, America’s citizens has prided itself on the democratic principles that the Founding Fathers created in the Constitution in 1787. Throughout these years including 58 Presidential Elections, there has been five elections where the winner of the national popular vote lost the presidency, as recent as the 2000 election of George W. Bush and the 2016 election of Donald Trump (Pavía, 435; Gore). These elections bring many doubts into our system of electing the president. In a country where the political will of the majority has the right to prevail, the Electoral College has recently lost its egalitarian characteristic of “one person, one vote.” Some people believe change is needed, including most experts and myself (Lessig).

In the U.S. Constitution, the establishment of the Electoral College allows states to choose the electors that cast the votes for that particular state. This is a major flaw of the Electoral College because there is always going to be the risk of having “faithless electors.” A faithless elector is a chosen elector who votes against the popular vote for that particular state, essentially completely disregarding what voters decided on election day (Agrawal). These faithless electors could significantly alter the results of an election in the future. If a coalition of electors were able to acquire a majority even without the mandate of the public, they could possibly decide the presidency.

Secondly, electoral votes are based on the amount of representation in congress, which gives a bigger voice to less-populated states. This makes the votes of some states carry more weight than that of other states. For instance, citizens of Wyoming have four times as much power in their vote as citizens casting votes in Michigan, due to their smaller population (Bolinger, 180). This obviously causes another source of anger from the opposition of the Electoral College.

In general, most people want elections to reflect the public’s opinion in the best possible way. This concept is best exemplified by the concept of majority rule and “one person, one vote,” both of which contradict the Electoral College’s fundamental principles (Lessig). Out of the fifty states in the United States, forty-eight have a winner-take-all system of electing president. This means that no matter how close an election race is in a particular state, all of its electoral votes go to only one candidate (Bolinger, 179). Evidently, this system shows that electoral votes are often distributed disproportionately to who a decent sized portion of voters,  as a whole, actually vote for (Pavía, 436). As mentioned above, less-populous states’ individual citizens have a stronger voice through the Electoral College than large states’ citizens. This allows the possibility of electing a minority president, which, in its most simplest form, is against the principle of democracy.

All of the arguments mentioned above is what I am “supposed” to believe. Quite simply, up until this point, every point given is in fact not what I believe, but is what most people in my age group conform to believe. Born into the millennial generation and about to enter college, most people would characterize young people, myself included, as youth with a “liberal-leaning revolutionary spirit… flirting with socialism” and giving full pledged support for Bernie Sanders (Thompson). This kind of conformist mentality is often seen politically by certain groups of people following what the media says, their peers vocalize, or even how they were raised and what their parents believe (Suhay, 15).

In most cases, a typical person of my age tends to glance at and agree with their surroundings more than other generations from the past. However, I decide to take second glances at things while considering each side fairly. I refuse to conform to my surroundings. Simply because I am saying all of this, I know that most readers are going to read this essay and categorize or label me as a Republican and Trump supporter just because I support the Electoral College. But these people would be far from the truth, as I did not vote for Trump and have many doubts about his capabilities and experience fit for the presidency. This tendency, to depict people into certain categories in today’s world, punctuates how divided our society truly is when it comes to politics. Residents in the United States have become so split that even the two major political parties have begun to fracture and crumble. During this past summer, Republicans were divided over Trump, and Democrats were divided between Bernie and Hillary (Friedersdorf).

Furthermore, when it comes to who should have a voice in declaring the presidency, in order to take everyone’s voice into consideration, the direct popular vote and majority rule exemplifying the “one person, one vote” concept would be the best option to declare a winner, right? Wrong. There exists a principle described by French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville and former U.S. President James Madison about the possibility of a tyranny of the majority. Majorities taking advantage of minorities happens when factions, or political coalitions, become too powerful in a governmental system (“Federalist”). Hypothetically, if the popular vote was legislated into law, a candidate could win the nine most populous states in order to receive a majority of votes, according to the 2016 General Election turnout rates. Realistically, a candidate from a more-populous state could build a coalition only with urban areas to tyrannize less-populous rural areas. Urban areas would slowly start to take away freedoms of rural minorities because they simply do not need to take into account their interest to be elected. This is a scenario that de Tocqueville and the Constitution tries to prevent, and the Electoral College righteously fights against.

In addition, the only foreseeable alteration to the Electoral College would be through the passing of a constitutional amendment. This path would require three-fourths of states to agree and back a replacement plan (Bolinger, 181). Since our country’s beginning in 1787, there has been approximately 11,699 proposals to make amendments to the Constitution, with only 27 successfully passing (“Measures”). Considering the fact that the Electoral College is a fairly contested issue, a change in the process is almost guaranteed to fail.

Several misconceptions exist about the Electoral College, some of which were used as arguments above. Each of the three arguments have major flaws that people do not think of unless further research is done. Simply watching the media and keeping up with current events is not enough to catch all sides of the story, which is why I will discuss some of the fallacies people tend to think of with a one-sided mindset.

One of these misconceptions is that most people believe the Constitution was created to ensure democracy and equality throughout citizens of the country. In reality, the authors of the Constitution wanted to create a republican form of government, which could be defined as “a representative government that secures natural rights” (Balkin, 1431). Benjamin Franklin, a key contributor to America’s independence from Great Britain, says, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote” (Pease). These notions can conclude that the goal of constitutional law is not necessarily to ensure that everyone is equal, but rather that people have the right to give their opinion through elections and have the right to protest or speak out whatever they please if they are not satisfied with the outcome. The favoring of liberty over democratic principles ensures checks and balances of each branch and level of government, as well as preventing the tyrannical rule of the majority previously mentioned.

“Faithless” electors were discussed earlier to thwart the public’s opinion by voting for a candidate other than what the state’s election said. What this opinion does not account for is that these electors very rarely vote against their state’s mandate. In history, there has been a grand total of 157 faithless electors; considering that there has been fifty-eight elections, this infamous group of electors is only a percentage of electoral votes casted, and has never come close to altering the outcome of an election (Agrawal). In addition, there are thirty states and the District of Columbia that require electors to cast votes for the pledged candidate decided on election day. If an elector fails to comply in one of these states, the vote is often cancelled and the elector is immediately replaced (“Faithless”).

Another argument that the opposition to the Electoral College has stated is that small states have too much power. While it is certainly true that small states have more individual voting power per electoral vote, the outcome is likely not going to be changed by three electoral votes, in Wyoming’s case (Emont). The chance of casting the determining vote in a larger state is much greater than in a small state. For instance, in 1968, researchers concluded that the voting power of a citizen in New York, the largest populated state at the time, was 3.312 times the voting power of a citizen of the District of Columbia, the smallest populated region (“Rethinking”, 2535). While it is true citizens of rural states have more power per electoral vote, urban states have greater probability of affecting the outcome of the election as a whole; therefore, through the Electoral College, large states and small states have relatively equal power.

Earlier in this essay, I questioned whether or not the Electoral College is the best system to elect the president. The word “best” could be interpreted in various way; from my perspective, I think the best representation is by having a combination between being the most fair and balanced. As mentioned before, there exists many divides between America’s current constituencies: rural-urban, small state-large state, commercial-agricultural, just to name a few. A major strength of the Electoral College is that no matter what demographic you fit in, where you work, or where you live, your voice will be taken into consideration. Because of the Electoral College, presidential candidates must have a nationwide campaign that appeals to multiple demographics in order to garner enough support to win enough electoral votes (Glenn, 6). A presidential candidate must appeal to a farmer in Iowa just as much as a technology developer in California or a banker in New York. This easily proves that each and every opinion is accounted for, thus making the Electoral College system the most fair and balanced form of electing.

In addition to these misunderstandings, the Electoral College also enhances the idea of federalism and the separation of powers. The Constitution gives the power to conduct elections at the state and local level of government. Looking back at the 2016 General Election, following election day on November 8, Green Party candidate Jill Stein raised millions of dollars for a recount in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Even though Pennsylvania and Michigan courts denied Stein’s recount request because judges deemed it “irrational” and with “lack of evidence,” she and anyone else had the ability to request a recount if enough money was raised (Ax). If a direct popular vote was in place, a much more substantial amount of money and effort would have to be put in to investigate a voter fraud problem nationwide.

To conclude, do not simply believe that the Electoral College is bad because a candidate loses and blames it or if a candidate wins and praises it – accept the outcome because it is fair. When deciding whether or not the it is the best system to elect the president, one must ask what they define to be the best form of electing. Although the direct popular vote may be the simplest and easiest to understand, it is not the most fair and balanced. The Electoral College weighs each and every opinion carefully by having a mix of power between large and small states, protects minority groups from being overpowered and discriminated against, balances the opinions of multiple demographics in order to require a national coalition to win enough votes, let alone the fact that it would be nearly impossible to change with a constitutional amendment. Do not join people impulsively and protest a well-functioning system of electing the president, even if your peers are rallying. Instead, become politically involved through a specific candidate’s campaign that you associate your own opinions with, even if your peers do not agree. Instead of resisting a fair outcome of an election, accept the outcome and make the political party of your choice better next time, even if your peers do not participate. Instead of listening and conforming to the beliefs around you, question why things work the way they do and examine them, even if your peers are not evaluating. Understand that the Electoral College is not the underlying problem and do not just blame the Electoral College, even if your peers blame the system.

Works Cited

Agrawal, Nina. “All the times in U.S. history that members of the electoral college voted their own way.” Los Angeles Times, 20 Dec. 2016, latimes.com/nation/la-na-faithless-electors-2016-story.html.

Ax, Joseph. “Green Party U.S. election recount bid comes to a close.” Reuters Politics, 13 Dec. 2016, reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-recount-idUSKBN1411QE.

Balkin, Jack M. “Republicanism and the Constitution of Opportunity.” Texas Law Review, vol. 94, no. 7, June 2016, pp. 1427-1446. Academic Search Premier.

Bolinger, Benjamin. “Point: Abolishing the Electoral College.” International Social Science Review, vol. 82, no. 3/4, June 2007, pp. 179-184. Academic Search Premier.

Emont, Jon. “The Growing Urban-Rural Divide Around the World.” The Atlantic, The Atlantic Monthly Group, 4 Jan. 2017, theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/01/electoral-college-trump-argentina-malaysia-japan-clinton/512153/.

“Faithless Elector State Laws.” Fair Vote, Veracity Media,

fairvote.org/faithless_elector_state_laws.

“Federalist No. 51 (1788).” Bill of Rights Institute, billofrightsinstitute.org/founding-documents/primary-source-documents/the-federalist-papers/federalist-papers-no-51/.

Friedersdorf, Conor. “Making Up Is Hard To Do.” The Atlantic, The Atlantic Monthly Group. Nov. 2016, theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/11/making-up-is-hard-to-do/501146/.

Glenn, Gary. “The Electoral College and the Development of American Democracy.” Perspectives on Political Science, vol. 32, no. 1, Winter 2003, pp. 4-14, Academic Search Premier.

Gore, D’Angelo. “Presidents Winning Without the Popular Vote.” Factcheck.org, Annenberg Public Policy Center, 24 Mar. 2008, factcheck.org/2008/03/presidents-winning-without-popular-vote/.

Lessig, Lawrence. “The Constitution lets the electoral college choose the winner. They should choose Clinton.” The Washington Post, 24 Nov. 2016, washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-constitution-lets-the-electoral-college-choose-the-winner-they-should-choose-clinton/2016/11/24/0f431828-b0f7-11e6-8616-52b15787add0_story.html?utm_term=.06c6ef342d9e.

“Measures Proposed to Amend the Constitution.” United States Senate, senate.gov/reference/measures_proposed_to_amend_constitution.html.

Pavía, Jose M. “On Introducing Proportionality in American Presidential Elections: An Historical Analysis, 1828-2008.” Political Quarterly, vol. 82, no. 3, Jul-Sep 2011, pp. 435-447. Academic Search Premier.

Pease, Harold. “The Founding Fathers Rejected Democracy.” Liberty Under Fire. 25 Jun. 2010, libertyunderfire.org/2010/06/the-founding-fathers-rejected-democracy/.

“Rethinking the Electoral College Debate: The Framers, Federalism, and One Person, One Vote.” Harvard Law Review, vol. 114, no. 8, June 2001, pp. 2526-2545. Academic Search Premier.

Suhay, Elizabeth. “Political Conformity: Evidence and Mechanisms.” School of Public Affairs, American University, 10 Jan. 2016, democracy.uci.edu/newsevents/events/conference_files/suhay_2016_politicalconformity.pdf.

Thomson, Derek. “The Liberal Millennial Revolution.” The Atlantic, The Atlantic Monthly Group, 29 Feb. 2016, theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/02/the-liberal-millennial-revolution/470826/.

“2016 November General Election Turnout Rates.” United States Elections Project, 1 Nov. 2016. electproject.org/2016g.

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17 Comments Add yours

  1. schbra17 says:

    This is a very good topic. I think most people (at least in our society and/or similar ones) can relate to feeling as though politicians do not always have the good of their country and its people as their top priority.

    Like

  2. emilyungerer says:

    I would be very intrigued to read about this mostly because I find politicians interesting and I feel like many people would be interested as well with the election ending. It would be interesting to look at their personality traits and different paths politicians take to get to where they are. I think it has the potential to be different in a fascinating way.

    Like

  3. koecou says:

    I’d be really interested in corruption in the U.S. as opposed to other countries, or any widespread/long-term/deep impacts on corruption.

    Like

  4. I agree with your topic because it will help to open up our generation’s eyes to so much more than Donald Trump. I was just wondering how politicians today are so misunderstood when they should be straightforward? I may just be reading into the title too much. The past election and this topic fascinates me.

    Like

  5. I have a lot of conflicting feelings on politicians in general, so maybe this could help give some clarity?

    Like

  6. mulkay says:

    I tend to have a negative connotation with the word politician, but I am trying to change that. It would be interesting to analyze why so many people think poorly of politicians.

    Like

  7. wyattmolling says:

    It’s not easy having a job that no matter what you do, 50% of the people will hate you for doing it

    Like

  8. ericksells says:

    I agree that there are many politicians that have been proven to be corrupt and selfish. At the same time, this topic is so widely discussed mostly because these are people that are always being watched and monitored. Especially with our type of government, citizens will find any smidge of something bad to nail a politician with. People make mistakes all the time, not just politicians. That might be a subsection to go off on in your paper.

    Like

  9. shaben17 says:

    I’ve found that people assume that elected officials should be impartial and objective, but most, especially legislators (e.g. congress), are elected to represent a specific group of people, which have inherently diverse interests and biases. Maybe you could talk about people’s assumptions for elected officials and compare that with what the reality is or what the law requires?

    Like

  10. dunnumpaige says:

    I am interested to read about the positive side of politicians because we usually only hear the negatives in the media.

    Like

  11. burkhardt.carlie says:

    On social media, you rarely ever hear about the positive things politicians have done. I would be very interested to read this because I have a negative view on politicians because of the negative things I hear.

    Like

  12. nollabby says:

    I would like to know about the positive things politicians do because I normally just think about the negative. I know it is bad, but I am not really a fan of politicians, so learning more about the positives would be helpful.

    Like

  13. huntermolly123 says:

    I didn’t know much about politics until this past year, but the media has such a negative impact on this. I would be interested in finding out what impact the opposite political party has on the other (throughout the media and such).

    Like

  14. knutsjes000 says:

    On social media all we hear about is the negative things politicians do and say. It would be interesting to learn about some positive things.

    Like

  15. katiekrien says:

    I don’t think I could ever be a politician because everything I said could be construed. Also, when I am in arguments with my mother, it doesn’t matter if I’m right, I’m still “wrong”. I feel like that is what being a politician is like.

    Like

  16. trautmanemily says:

    I feel like we don’t give politicians enough credit for what they do. Our society runs the way it does because of them, even if people don’t agree with what they are doing, we couldn’t function without our government and our leaders.

    Like

  17. lasand17 says:

    I found the arguments for both viewpoints to be fascinating. I especially liked reading about the “tyranny of the majority”, a point I had not considered up until now. There is bias evident towards the end of course, but it is worded in a non- provocative way and doesn’t distract. Additionally I enjoyed learning about the early president- vice president system. I can only imagine the arguments that resulted from two parties being elected at once.

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