Federalists, Fences and Fascists – Part 4 of 4
[Editor’s Note: This is the last installment of a four part series on the Electoral College, its meaning, and its effect on the national psyche following the Election of 2016. This is likely the best explanation of this institution you will ever find.]
A quick note on the group calling itself the “Hamiltons,” who cited Federalist Paper #68, penned by Alexander Hamilton, as their justification for electors to ignore the will of the people they took an oath to represent – and to vote against Donald Trump.
When Mr. Hamilton wrote #68, political parties did not exist. Also the idea of every citizen having enough information to make an informed choice about a national–level candidate did not exist. So Hamilton wrote:
“It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.”
Mr. Hamilton is saying that people in a state would elect informed people they trusted to make a good choice for them. Last spring, or whenever, when electors were chosen, did anyone in the entire nation think that “This Presidential election thing is just too hard for me as a citizen to decide, so I’m glad I can vote for an elector to make the choice for me?”
Of course not!
Modern electors are chosen to comply with the letter of the law to cast the votes indicated by the results of the popular election conducted by an informed electorate.
Mr. Hamilton was a man who held his honor dear. He died defending it. I’m sure he would have condemned the conniving “Hamiltons” as low scoundrels, who were in violation of their oaths and lacking any honor.