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The Importance of the Electoral College (Witherspoon Book Collection) [Paperback]

By George Grant (Author)
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Item Number 73954  
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Item description for The Importance of the Electoral College (Witherspoon Book Collection) by George Grant...

What do George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jack Kennedy, Harry Truman, Woodrow Wilson, Abraham Lincoln, and eight other American Presidents have in common? Each received less than a majority of the votes cast in the election that elevated him into the White House. Nevertheless, the Presidency of the United States has enjoyed wide popularity and legitimacy. Why? Simply, the government of this greatest and freest nation the world has ever known has never aspired to, nor depended upon, the forces of pure democracy. Yet the question persists in the minds of many: How should Americans select their president? Were the Founding Fathers foolish elitists, or brilliant architects of a system designed to safeguard the American people from both tyranny by majority and tyranny by elites? With many Democrats and liberals disappointed over the results of the 2000 presidential election, the raging controversies over vote counting in Florida and the victory of President George W. Bush in 2000 has ignited a debate over the legitimacy of our constitutional process for selecting presidents. The question: Should we scrap the Electoral College in favor of the direct election of presidents? In this timely primer on the electoral process, Dr. George Grant makes the case for the brilliance, wisdom, and continuing necessity of the Electoral College. This book is a must for students, lawyers, statesmen, pastors, and citizens of all ages interested in understanding and defending the providential system of elections bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers.

Publishers Description
In this timely primer on the electoral process, Dr. Grant makes the case for the continued necessity of the Electoral College.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Vision Forum Ministries
Pages   110
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.42 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2004
Publisher   Vision Forum
Series  Witherspoon Book Collection  
ISBN  0975526421  
ISBN13  9780975526422  

Availability  0 units.

More About George Grant

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Dr. Grant is director of the King's Meadow Study Center and Professor of Humanities at the Franklin Classical School.

George Grant currently resides in Franklin.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > Homeschooling > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Government > Elections

Christian Product Categories
Books > Education (K-12) > General Education > General
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > Politics

Homeschool Catalog Product Categories
Books > Homeschool > Electives > Civics

Reviews - What do customers think about The Importance of the Electoral College?

How can anyone defend the electoral college in this day and age?  Feb 25, 2007
The author of this book is either an obscurantist or an elector himself, but my guess is on the former. There is no need for an electoral college in this day of mass media. The electoral college is archaic, aristocratic and undemocratic - how can anyone defend an establishment such as that?
Electoral College Education  Nov 10, 2004
Remember the American Presidential election of 2000? Almost any other country, almost any other time-period, almost any other bid for power, and you would have had civil wars, kidnappings, stealthy assassination by poisoning, palace intrigue, a military coup, a foreign invasion, or something neat. Shakespeare could have written a tragedy or Sir Walter Scott could have penned a great romance about the event. Historians could have written histories that read like mysteries. Mystery writers could have written fiction that read like history. But the American political system is unbelievably dull. With hanging chads and pregnant chads being the prime suspects, not even the fictional talents of a John Grisham or a Dan Rather could make this American story anything but dull.
Buttressing this dull political system is an antiquated, almost Medieval, reactionary, pre-Civil War, 18th century concoction of a committee called the Electoral College. It is of this institution that George Grant has written his latest book The Importance of the Electoral College.
In spite of the dullness of the subject, the supposed obsolescence of the system, and the nature of the critics and the criticisms, the Electoral College is important.
The Electoral College, not the will of the majority or even plurality of voters, put George Bush in the White House four years ago. Back in 2000, the claim of Mr. Gore and his supporters was that they won over a million more votes nationwide than Bush and were the rightful intended recipients of more votes in Florida. The will of the people was somehow thwarted, so the Gore supporters claim. Still the issue revolved not around the millions of votes cast, but the 270 electoral votes. Was this a travesty of democracy? "Bush won 29 states to Gore's 21. Bush won 2,436 counties but Gore received majorities in only 676. Bush won regions covering approximately 2,432,456 square miles of the nation while Gore won in 575,184." (p. 43) A Gore Presidency would have largely represented only a few densely populated clusters along the coasts as opposed to Bush's broader appeal.
Of course, it is easy to defend the Electoral College when my candidate wins. The question still remains, is this the best system? After all, a candidate could win the White House by winning the 11 most populous states by one vote each even if he lost the other 39 states and the District of Columbia by 99% margins.
Dr. Grant provides three major lines of reasoning in supporting the Electoral College. First, the system works. Even with at least 14 of the 43 Presidents being elected without a popular majority, the system has worked in providing an adequate means of determining a winner in Presidential races. Even in cases, such as 1800, 1824, and 1876, when the system was subjected to questionable political tampering, it was not the Electoral College that was the issue. Rather, there were political forces at work outside the system that created the tensions. In such elections as those of 1888 and 2000, when the candidates receiving the most votes were denied the electoral prize, the winning candidates represented a greater cross section of the entire country.
A second line of reasoning in defending the Electoral College is that it represents many minority groups in the nation. Black Americans comprise only 13% of the electorate, but they comprise "25% of Alabama's electoral vote, 27% of Georgia's 13 votes, 31% of Louisiana's 9 votes" (p. 20). Less than 4% of the population are farmers; 100% of the population eats. Farm issues crop up in several states. So Presidential candidates don straw hats and hold up ears of corn and tour dairy barns. Sparsely populated, but often geographically large, states have a say so in the election. Thus, Vice President Cheney's home state of Wyoming with its 3 electoral votes offset the left coast mob-opolis of California with its walloping 54 votes in the 2000 election. The abolition of the Electoral College would mean that all of us who are not with 50 miles of an ocean front beach would not only be denied easy access to the wind and the waves, but would have almost no say in who leads the nation.
Grant's third line of reasoning is the stability of the republic based on both the wisdom and the anti-revolutionary gravitas of the Founding Fathers. Alexander Hamilton, in The Federalist Papers, and others were quite pleased with the federal system of governing and the federal nature of electing the chief magistrates contained in the Constitution. As usual with George Grant books, this work contains a host of brilliant quotations gleaned from sources obscure and scattered. These quotes strengthen the case for the Electoral College and affirm the genius of the system.
Is it flawless and without any need of reform? No, and this book suggests some methods to give greater flexibility to the system. For example, two states-Nebraska and Maine-already award electoral votes on the basis of congressional districts. If more or all states did this, it would arguable improve and yet preserve the essential system.
This is a most necessary and important little book.

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