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  • I want to talk you about the Electoral College and why it matters.

  • Alright, I know this doesn't sound the like most sensational topic of the day,

  • but, stay with me because, I promise you, it's one of the most important.

  • To explain why requires a very brief civics review.

  • The President and Vice President of the United States are not chosen by a nationwide,

  • popular vote of the American people; rather, they are chosen by 538 electors.

  • This process is spelled out in the United States Constitution.

  • Why didn't the Founders just make it easy, and let the Presidential candidate with the

  • most votes claim victory? Why did they create, and why do we continue to need, this Electoral College?

  • The answer is critical to understanding not only the Electoral College, but also America.

  • The Founders had no intention of creating a pure majority-rule democracy.

  • They knew from careful study of history what most have forgotten today, or never learned:

  • pure democracies do not work.

  • They implode.

  • Democracy has been colorfully described as two wolves and a lamb voting on what's for dinner.

  • In a pure democracy, bare majorities can easily tyrannize the rest of a country.

  • The Founders wanted to avoid this at all costs.

  • This is why we have three branches of government -- Executive, Legislative and Judicial.

  • It's why each state has two Senators no matter what its population, but also different numbers

  • of Representatives based entirely on population. It's why it takes a supermajority in Congress

  • and three-quarters of the states to change the Constitution.

  • And, it's why we have the Electoral College.

  • Here's how the Electoral College works.

  • The Presidential election happens in two phases. The first phase is purely democratic.

  • We hold 51 popular elections every presidential election year: one in each state and one in D.C.

  • On Election Day in 2012, you may have thought you were voting for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney,

  • but you were really voting for a slate of presidential electors. In Rhode Island, for example,

  • if you voted for Barack Obama, you voted for the state's four Democratic electors;

  • if you voted for Mitt Romney you were really voting for the state's four Republican electors.

  • Part Two of the election is held in December. And it is this December election among the

  • states' 538 electors, not the November election, which officially determines the identity

  • of the next President. At least 270 votes are needed to win.

  • Why is this so important?

  • Because the system encourages coalition-building and national campaigning. In order to win,

  • a candidate must have the support of many different types of voters, from various parts of the country.

  • Winning only the South or the Midwest is not good enough. You cannot win 270 electoral

  • votes if only one part of the country is supporting you.

  • But if winning were only about getting the most votes, a candidate might concentrate

  • all of his efforts in the biggest cities or the biggest states. Why would that candidate

  • care about what people in West Virginia or Iowa or Montana think?

  • But, you might ask, isn't the election really only about the so-called swing states?

  • Actually, no. If nothing else, safe and swing states are constantly changing.

  • California voted safely Republican as recently as 1988. Texas used to vote Democrat.

  • Neither New Hampshire nor Virginia used to be swing states.

  • Most people think that George W. Bush won the 2000 election because of Florida. Well, sort of.

  • But he really won the election because he managed to flip one state which the Democrats

  • thought was safe: West Virginia. Its 4 electoral votes turned out to be decisive.

  • No political party can ignore any state for too long without suffering the consequences.

  • Every state, and therefore every voter in every state, is important.

  • The Electoral College also makes it harder to steal elections. Votes must be stolen in

  • the right state in order to change the outcome of the Electoral College.

  • With so many swing states, this is hard to predict and hard to do.

  • But without the Electoral College, any vote stolen in any precinct in the country could

  • affect the national outcome -- even if that vote was easily stolen in the bluest California

  • precinct or the reddest Texas one.

  • The Electoral College is an ingenious method of selecting a President for a great,

  • diverse republic such as our own -- it protects against the tyranny of the majority,

  • encourages coalition building and discourages voter fraud.

  • Our Founders were proud of it! We can be too.

  • I'm Tara Ross for Prager University.

I want to talk you about the Electoral College and why it matters.

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B1 中級 美國腔

你了解選舉人團制度嗎(Do You Understand the Electoral College?)

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    WEI CHIH PAN 發佈於 2021 年 02 月 19 日
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