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Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

    Is the Electoral College Effective? Clinton Supporters Granted Recount

    Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

    We are now three weeks past the notorious results of the 2016 Presidential election. With just over half of Americans left feeling scared, hated, shamed, doomed. And with good reason. For the past eight years we have been lucky enough to live under a president who fights for the rights of all citizens: all genders, all races, all LGBTQ+, all ages, all lives. Equality was at its highest point and was only growing stronger. Now, however, this idea of equality for all citizens has been voted out of our country, taken over by white supremacists who are passionate about taking America back by centuries, misogynist men who think they know more about being a woman than women themselves, and hate filled men and women who care more about changing the way things are now than focusing on the future of our great country.

    I, as is more than half of the American people, am shocked and disgusted by the outcome of this election. Although, we could not be as mad as we are now if Donald Trump had actually won the majority vote. Obviously, voter fraud is next to nonexistent, and rarely ever happens. And a recount is going to do nothing but keep those involved in it busy for a while, rattling republican extremists and fueling each others fires on the republican and the democratic sides. It seems like a waste of time to try to change the unchangeable. But, this brings us back to the most important question of them all: How did Donald Trump win the election, without winning more votes than Hillary Clinton?

    Many things are outdated: bell bottom jeans, paper maps, VCRs, the electoral college. But for some reason we still use all of these things even though there are better, more effective measures that exist. In one point in time the electoral college truly was the best way to elect the President of the United States, making sure that each state was fairly represented. This system had not raised any distrust since 1888. However, recently, the electoral college has cheated the majority of Americans out of their true choice for the presidential elect twice in the past sixteen years. In 2000, candidate Al Gore won about 500,000 more votes than candidate George W. Bush, but since it is a race to 270, Bush beat Gore. Looking at this, we figured it was a rare occurrence, considering it was almost unheard of and it was not an extremely large margin of votes. In 2008 Barack Obama won both the popular vote and the electoral college, thus seeming to confirm our suspicions of the 2000 election being a freak accident. But in recent weeks we have once again become nervous about how we elect our presidents. The electoral college has benefitted the republican party twice now in the last sixteen years, even when the democratic party has come out as the real underlying victors. This time though, the margin is much greater. Hillary Clinton in 2016 has won by almost five times what Al Gore had in 2000, and yet, on January 20th, 2017, Donald J. Trump will be named the 45th president of the United States.

    In the next four years, since it has repeatedly been proven to benefit them, the United States government, now almost completely Republican, will not assess the accuracy of the electoral college process. But after legislature is voted on in two years, and maybe even after this presidency, it is worth taking into strong consideration: is the electoral college the best and most effective way to choose a President that the we the people of the United States of America actually vote for? Or is it just the best way for the Republican party to vote, lose, and still maintain power, over and over again?

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