Lessons Learned… Or Have They? A Boomer’s Viewpoint on Today’s Electoral College

By Dr. Sal Martingano, FICPA

Boomerism #8: “Wisdom is the ability to think and apply knowledge, experience, understanding and common sense to any given circumstance.”

In an earlier blog, I listed my 9 “Boomerisms” that best represent the knowledge and experience base of the boomer generation that current and perhaps future generations may never understand. Easy access to technology and information reduces the need for ‘recall’.

In my book, “Boys of Brooklyn…a time when life never sucked”, I devote an entire chapter to ‘High School: A Time of Awakening’. Part of the chapter humorously describes the mindset and actions of H.S. boomers during the 1960’s, but from an educational perspective, understanding American history and how government works, was taught to give us an accurate and unadulterated glimpse into the genius of our founding fathers. The Electoral College (EC), for example, is a confusing concept for today’s voters because a quick Google search just doesn’t cut it. Ask yourself, did you ever learn why the EC was instituted or what makes our form of government different from other forms of government?

Ok… hang on now, you’ll understand my logic shortly

NOTE: The following is not a political statement or political stance,
it is perhaps what our founding fathers were anticipating and
Common Core education has failed to point out to current generations.
This is my ‘educated’ opinion based on ‘Boomerism #8’.

For those of you who never attended Wake Up With Waldbaum’s American History Classes’ at 7:50 AM, you missed a unique chance at being bored out of your mind! This class was taught by a crotchety old man who demanded not only memorization but accurate recall via a system of role playing and answering his thought provoking questions in writing, underlining important information using a ‘crimson red’ ball point pen. The only technology we had was a 450 page text and a 12” ruler.

One topic I can vividly remember from Old Waldbaum’s class was the Electoral College, a topic on the front burner in today’s politics. I’ll spare you the gruesome details but The Electoral College was created because the founding fathers feared a tyrant could manipulate public opinion by ‘mob rule’ and come to power as a Dictator. An unintended consequence of the Electoral College is the possibility that the winner of the popular vote will not win the presidency; which has happened four times, most recently in 2016.

So, what’s the point?

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself gifts out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result that the democracy collapses, followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.”

Alexander Fraser Tytler

You can stop rolling your eyes now… here is where it makes sense

Let’s take a look at the recent attempt to ‘hoodwink’ the voters via the 2016 Hillary Clinton (a 1947 boomer herself) run for presidency:

1- In 2000, Hillary knew that her home state of Arkansas had only
    6 electoral votes. She decided to run for retiring Daniel Moynihan
    N.Y. senatorial seat and establish residency in NY with its
    29 Electoral votes, anticipating a future presidential run.  

2- In the 2008 election cycle, Hillary lost the democratic nomination
    for president to Obama.

3- The Clintons represent a political dynasty, where millions of
    dollars were taken in by domestic and foreign entities to insure
    their interests were remembered after Hillary’s future potential
    presidential win.  

4- Hillary understood going in that her progressive platform played
    well in large states with large Electoral College votes and large
    minority voting blocks.

5- In 2009, Obama appointed Hillary Secretary of State, giving her
    more credentials to run for president.

6- In 2016, Hillary became the overwhelming choice to beat Trump
    in the presidential election.

7- Hillary won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College vote
    to Donald Trump.  

Results:

Hillary found out why the Electoral College was instituted. The Founders wanted to shield the presidential voting process from a majority rule mentality. Hillary won all the BIG states that had the most Electoral College votes but ‘middle’ America with smaller Electoral College votes said no to Hillary; rejecting her progressive policies. It wasn’t the Electoral College that caused Hillary to lose, it was that the Electoral College balanced the playing field against majority rule and special interests.  

Of course now, the rhetoric is that the Electoral College is ‘archaic’, ‘unfair’ and should be abolished because it goes against the will of the majority of voters. On the contrary, the Electoral College IS our electoral process, not the majority of voters. Old Waldbaum may have been boring as hell but with age came wisdom and knowledge, something not found by asking “ALEXA”.

Come share more of the experiences, knowledge and adventures of
“Boys of Brooklyn…a time when life never sucked”
available on Amazon here.

Related Posts

Leave a comment