I — along with many others — believe the electors were intended to be something more than mere cogs. That they instead were to exercise judgment in deciding how to cast their ballots.
I believe the electors were intended to placate the interests of slave states by the exact same mechanism that was used in the Great Compromise. It is not a coincidence that the structure of the electoral college is based on the structure of the United States Congress, in terms of a state’s number of electors being identical to its number of congresspersons.
This glaring omission of the truth behind the formulation of the electoral college makes me think of your piece as propaganda instead of a factual argument made in good faith.
Madison, who preferred a popular vote, let slip the following truth nugget about the whole affair:
There was one difficulty however of a serious nature attending an immediate choice by the people. The right of suffrage was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes. The substitution of electors obviated this difficulty and seemed on the whole to be liable to the fewest objections.
In other words, the Electoral College gave slaveholding states a way to empower slaveholders while stripping slaves of any voting rights. It even incentivized slaveholding, because the more slaves that were present in a state, the more voting power white men in that state had relative to white men in other states.
Let’s not pretend there were any noble intentions for the electors; they were designed to placate the Southern states, and then were justified with a bunch of mumbo-jumbo that now represents centuries old propaganda, not legitimate ethical or legal arguments. In other words, you are citing propaganda from centuries ago to back your modern propaganda. Note that Madison said there was one difficulty. Not two or ten or anything else. One. Slavery.
Just tell the truth, man. The electors were about slavery. Period. We’re left with this obsolete, anti-democratic system today, centuries later, and it does offer up many interesting ways to undermine democracy, for better or worse, but the origin was rooted in the injustice of slavery.
Why is it so hard for people to acknowledge that?