A common response theme that we get when we talk about the National Popular Vote (NPV) scheme after some folks have heard the NPV sales pitch is that somehow the NPV is going to cure something that doesn't really exist as a problem.
The NPV scheme is a Plan that Will Not Work to Fix Problems That Do Not Exist
One common "problem" they claim to finally set right is that the Electoral College is designed to have only wealthy white men elect the president". This is a multi-point response.
1) The Founders intentionally did NOT specify that "only wealthy white men would vote for Electors". This myth comes from the 21st Century teaching that America invented slavery and it's government structure is designed to permeate it. Nothing could be more wrong than that.
We need to know that TWO States (Massachusetts & Vermont) had already banned slavery in the decade before the Constitution was adopted. Other States took actions to curtail aspects of slavery, but it was not until the mid-1830s that a nation - Great Britain - would outlaw slavery.
But, if what the Leftists who are pushing the NPV claim here was actually the TRUE intention of the Founders, they would have written it that way! What existed in the late 1780s that would have prevented them from writing their open support of slavery into the document? (Hint: Nothing.)
What they claim on this point is patently false and is one of the misleading selling points of the devious NPV scheme. EVEN IF IT HAD ANY TRUTH TO IT, the National Popular Vote scheme DOES NOT SOLVE their made-up problem!! What could possibly guarantee that a popular vote tally would elect ANTI-Slavery Presidents and Pro-Individual Liberty candidates only?! Answer: NOTHING.
In fact, on at least four different occasions, the elected U.S. Presidents WERE winners of the so-called "national popular vote" tally - (even though there has NEVER been ANY popular vote that has factored into the election of ANY President!)
What IS, in fact, the case is that the Founders said and agreed that each State shall cast State Votes using Electors to serve only that very limited role, CHOSEN IN THE MANNER THAT EACH Legislature shall decide! The NPV paid sales staff knows this extremely well, too, because it is the central core of their NPV sales pitch!
In 1820, when James Monroe was re-elected, for example, there were 24 States and 9 of them did not even have a popular election! It was not until the election of 1880 that each of the States had asked their own voters to elect the State's Electors! Has anyone anywhere suggested that the Presidents elected before 1880 were illegitimately named as President because not every vote could cast a vote for their Electors? (Hint: No, no one has ever legitimately suggested that!)
2) "There are not supposed to be any political Parties." I agree that the political parties are the primary source and vehicle of the current corruption of our federal government. HOWEVER, the Founders did not ban political parties - I wish they had, but the fact is they did not. John Adams wrote that political Parties was one of his greatest fears for the new republic.
Even so - the NPV scheme does absolutey NOTHING to alleviate that concern and, in practice and in fact, makes the political parties even more powerful and more dominant! NPV certainly does not solve that problem a all!
3) "The Founders said that Electors are to Vote Autonomously." This simply is false. Some critics today are probably correct that the Founders THOUGHT that each State Elector would Vote autonomously on their own, but if they really wanted that to be the case, they would have written the Constitution that way. They did not. They left all that up each State's Legislature (Article 2).
What the Founderts really wanted is what they wrote, and that is that State Electors are chosen in the Manner in which each Legislature shall decide. Just a year ago, the Supreme Court clarified that means that each Legislature MAY, if it chooses to, put conditions on the Elector's Vote! They are called "Faithless Elector laws" and the Court upheld the use of them.
Today, still, a majority of the States have chosen to NOT have a Faithless Elector law with any real teeth in them, so Electors ARE free to cast their Vote independently - and that is also FINE with the Founders Constitution.
The Electors, however, have all been chosen by a political party since the 1880s and they are diehard partisan hacks, for the most part. This happened as the two major parties began concentrating their power across the country. Every State remains free to change all that at ANY time, and for any or for no reason - it is not a Constitutional provision making that happen.
It still remains a STATE choice.
4) "The Constitution did not require the Winner-Take-All system that we have today!" Not only does the National Popular Vote compact NOT solve this non-existent 'problem', the NPV scheme itself actually DOES require a Winner Take-All law in each of its Compact States!! The NPV scheme, in reality, converts a 'Winner-Take-All' State into a LOSER-Take All State in every election where State voters disagree with national voters! This particular argument of theirs is insane. Make THAT make sense!
The Founders did not provide for popular voting at all to choose Electors, so Winner-Take-All was never a consideration.
Those are each State by State independent decisions. Each of those has to follow the individual State decision to have a Statewide popular vote choose Electors!
5) "The Founders established that there be one presidential Elector for every 30,000 people in a State." That Is simply false. Though we have not heard this one in a direct NPV sales pitch before, a few of their supporters claim this as a selling point.
The FACT IS that the Founders took the time in 1787 to document that as the basis for electing the House of Representatives. Once again, IF THEY WANTED THAT IDENTICAL METRIC to choose the number of Electors, they would have said so and put it in the document. Instead, they very deliberately provided that "whatever is agreed to as the number of Representatives and Senators each State has in Congress, is how many Electoral Votes each State shall have."
There are a number of other Misinformation selling points and beliefs of the NPV sales force and/or their followers, but I will address those in an upcoming blog post.
John Crawford has been a lifelong Constitutional Conservative. He graduated from Michigan State University in Business Administration and worked on his MBA at Western Michigan University. He has been very active in grassroots politics and in volunteer community service organizations his entire career.